Good things come in threes and tonight was no exception.
This is the third time that Granny’s Attic – Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne, George Sansome and Lewis Wood – have visited Baston, the previous occasions being April 2019 and September 2021, so tonight’s May 2023 visit continues the once-every-two-years pattern.
I knew I was in for yet another energetic evening of quality singing and playing since, when I arrived at the cosy Baston venue, the three band members were gently exercising on the recently installed outdoor gym on the green area outside. Now, I may be wrong but you won’t find Van Morrison, Martin Carthy or John Spiers limbering up on the parallel bars. It brings new meaning to ‘rock and roll lifestyle’.
After Woody’s now-traditional two-song warm-up we’re off with the instrumental opener Cruds & Cream/Jig From New Harmony, a lively piece that immediately shows off the individual and collective talents that exemplify the trio. It is noticeable that they now combine synchronised stage moves into their act, some serious, some just plain amusing. During one number they continue to play while lying flat on their backs whilst waving their legs in the air! Granny’s Attic are keenly aware of how their efforts fit with other pieces of music – brief references to Away In A Manger and a snippet of Ed Sheeran are most amusing.
During the evening we heard the excellent Death of Nelson, Our Captain Cried “All Hands” (with its recognised and recognisable echoes of To Be A Pilgrim, Lovely Joan, Queen’s Wood and later Ship In Distress, The False Bride, Watt’s Reel and Wheels of the World amongst others. Their repertoire is crisp and well-thought-out – every tune or song tells its own story.
Yet again, just like last time the trio played Baston, I was mesmerised by their interpretation of Richard Durden’s Victorian ballad What I Saw In My Dream As I Slept In My Chair, a song about poverty, hardship and injustice that sadly continues to resonate as much today as when it was written 150 years ago.
Later there was an amusing interlude when they discussed whether the audience at Baston should be called Bastonians, Bastonites or … er … never mind!
Once again it was great to see Granny’s Attic – they remain fresh, creative and fun to watch. On the previous occasions they have appeared at Baston I’ve commented on how well their voices blend together and how they and their playing complement each other, creating a sum greater than the individual parts. So what’s different now? Quite a few things. Firstly their youthful exuberance has been augmented by increasingly confident stage craft – they are assured and clearly let the audience know the significance of what is being played. They have incorporated moves into their act so are not merely static performers. Their singing is increasingly strong, both individually and collectively. But most of all they exude genuine fun and a love of life.
In my review of four years ago I wrote “the triumphant triumvirate are a classic case of the sum of its parts being greater than the individual components, a sort of 1+1+1=9”. Well let me revise that now to 1+1+1=12 or more. Some things are certain in this life – and one is that I shall never tire of watching Granny’s Attic play live. Their encore was Away to the South’ard, appropriate as they were soon to head back towards Peterborough.
If you want to see Granny’s Attic live then I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities. In the meantime why not pop along to one of the benches outside Peterborough station, close to the Waitrose store. Apparently you’ll often see them there, waiting for a connection on one of their many cross-country rail travels. Tell them I said hello!
You must be logged in to post a comment.