Steve Tilston

Review Date April 22, 2012

Review By John Roffey

Location The Centre Stage, Bournemouth

A veteran of over forty years, award-winning singer-songwriter Steve Tilston played the Centre Stage to another healthy gathering and concentrated largely on his most recent releases RECKONING from 2011 and ZIGGURAT from 2008 whilst injecting a few surprises along the way. An all-round entertainer, Steve wowed the Bournemouth Folk Club regulars with his trade mark anecdotes and simply gorgeous music. Wizz Jones’ “Weeping Willow Blues” was first to get the Steve Tilston treatment but having messed around with both lyrics and music, he re-titled it “Weeping Willow Replanted”-but it was still great blues. “Fisher Lad Of Whitby,” taken from Holroyd’s Collection of Yorkshire Ballads, related the harrowing story of a boy being press ganged into the navy to fight in the Napoleonic wars and he followed this up with his own composition “Rocky Road” which has of course, been adopted by electric folk legends Fairport Convention. Then came three great numbers from RECKONING, “Rio de la Miel,” a tale of the Spanish Civil War, the title track and an instrumental medley of “Davy Lamp,” which paid homage to hornpipe impresario James Hill, and “Fruit Fly” a lovely reel. Incredibly, the first set was drawing to a close and Steve finished with the classic “Let’s Face The Music And Dance” which he chose to sing at his daughter’s wedding. The second set got underway with ST’s only “happy’ song “Jacaranda,” a beautiful blue flower growing mainly in South America, “Doubting Thomas,” another from RECKONING and Big Bill’s “Been Here And Gone,” a tribute to bluesman Big Bill Broonzy. It was then time to delve into the vast back catalogue with the beautiful “Sometimes In This Life” and then come right up-to-date again with the haunting “Sovereign Of Tides.” “Pretty Penny,” a song about bankers written before the current crisis, “Oil And Water” which Steve performed on Later with Jools Holland and an audience request, “Slip Jigs And Reels” brought this terrific second set to a close. Thunderous applause brought Steve back to encore with the autobiographical “Road When I Was Young.” This was another superb performance from a genuine class act whose songs have been recorded by many of the greats in the folk world. It was no surprise that extremely brisk business was soon being conducted on the merchandise counter. The evening had got underway with a short set from highly talented local musician Bob Burke.

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