Review: Kate Rusby at Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

KATE Rusby has a rare presence, a beautiful voice: she researches and re-discovers traditional folk songs, whilst incorporating her own new material into her sets: all equally important. It was a great gig. Her band is impressive: the bass player is awesome. Kate has a new album out: which folk can now buy. The title track: ‘Life in a Paper Boat’ is a moving ballad about a young refugee with her baby, willing to cross continents to find a new life. kateb7b-_300dpiThe set was a mixture of material from the new album and classics. ‘Big Brave Bill’ is a song about a Yorkshire super-hero who drinks Yorkshire tea. ‘Only Desire what you have’ resonates, and my own personal favourite, written by Kate Rusby ‘Hunter’s Moon’ is hauntingly powerful. It’s an opportunity to hear a five-string banjo beautifully played, and listen to some original material. The banter is all part of the fun, and it’s all about celebration, and these performers love what they do. The culture and ritual (and Yorkshire tea) loom large. There’s an ‘Underneath the Stars Festival’ to look forward to next year (in Yorkshire obviously) with music, arts and crafts, and a promised heat-wave next July. Life in a Paper Boat has been launched on a 14-date UK tour that started September 28 2016, and taking in venues including Leeds Town Hall, Glasgow City Hall, Wales Millenium Centre, and Dublin’s National Concert Hall. It’s a taste of vibrant music within a rich culture, and the new album does not disappoint. Review by Jean Hill