Review Date February 17, 2013

Review By John Roffey

Location Pavilion Arts Centre, Buxton

On the third date of a month long UK tour and with a new album due for release the following day, it was no surprise that Heidi Talbot showcased ANGELS WITHOUT WINGS, her fourth solo effort whilst also delving into her back catalogue of critically acclaimed albums to enthral an impeccably behaved full house. Hailing from County Kildare, the former Cherish the Ladies lead singer possesses a voice to die for and which could only be enhanced with the support of multi-instrumentalist and producer John McCusker, and the inimitable guitar playing of Ian Carr. Equally at home singing love ballads, sea shanties or traditional Irish music, it’s no surprise that she’s been nominated for two BBC folk awards and can attract the likes of Mark Knopfler, Jerry Douglas, Richard Bennett and Boo Hewerdine to contribute to the latest album. Heidi opened with “Grace Darling,” included in her EP of superfluous tracks MY SISTER THE MOON. Almost immediately she had the audience singing the chorus: “Haul away, haul away,’ before launching into “The Shepherd Lad,” a traditional folk story of a maiden caught swimming “in the clothes she was born in.’ A proposal of marriage is forthcoming but the outcome is of course, predictable! Then it was time for a love story with the beautiful “Start It All Over Again,” “Dearest Johnny” and the terrific “Button Up” about a tornado. A sea shanty, “Sally Brown” and the gorgeous love song “The Loneliest” led us into the break with another audience sing-along, “Music Tree.” “Bedlam Boys” and Tom Waits’ “Time,” both from the 2008 offering IN LOVE & LIGHT got the second set off to a fine start before John and Ian took over with a medley of instrumentals; a new (as yet untitled) tune, “Margaret Ann’s Silver Wedding Anniversary” and “Billy’s Reel” written for comedian Billy Connolly. Another love story “Wine And Roses,” Boo Hewerdine’s title track “Angels Without Wings,” “My Sister The Moon” and all too soon it was time for the final number of the evening, the up-tempo “Everything.” After prolonged applause and much stamping of feet, an encore was inevitable and Heidi returned to deliver a wonderful version of Sandy Denny’s appropriately titled “At the End of the Day.” What a superb evening! Naturally a stock of the new album was available for sale “not to be opened until tomorrow,’ and business was booming on the merchandise counter as Heidi appeared quickly to chat and sign autographs. Anyone not familiar with Heidi’s music and who likes their folk music in easy listening style should check out her albums or catch one of her shows. You won’t be disappointed.

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