Contact"Nothing ever happens on the Isle of Wight . . ."
05 November 2006
The Poozies, Quay Arts, Newport
Sparkler at Quay Arts
The autumn season of folk music at Quay Arts is proving to be a particularly strong one. This Bonfire Night concert by The Poozies provided positive proof that the group are Britain's leading female folk music ensemble.
Visiting the Island for the first time in three years, there was one change to the line up, with original Poozie singer/guitarist Sally Barker temporarily coming back in to the band to replace Scottish fiddler Eilidh Shaw who has just had a baby.
Appropiately for November 5th, 'We Built Fires' was the opening song, with Sally's more bluesy vocal style immediately making an impression.
Karen Tweed's weaving and waltzing accordion runs were a constant thread in an evening of splendid music. Karen's accordion sound blends in a mesmeric way with that of the two electric harps played by Mary MacMaster and Patsy Seddon.
In The Poozies, many of the bass notes are played on the harp - the Scottish waulking song 'Ged is Grianach an Latha' being an example before it led off into a merry Scottish tune. The next song 'Black Eyed Susan' highlighted the groups four-part harmony vocals. Another first half high point was a set of tunes that began with a hornpipe written by the great Irish fiddler Maire Breathnach. Brilliant bright bubbling accordion from Karen.
The second half opened with a sprighltly 'Hey Ho My Johnny Lad' with Sally on tambourine, before 'Honesty' with Sally taking the lead vocal. This was quickly followed by more twin harp and accordion magic on a set of instrumentals including 'Lost In The Loop' written by Chicago fiddler Liz Carroll. Sally once again took the lead vocal part on 'Haul Away' - a song from her recent solo album 'Maid In England' - before another flowing set of Scottish and Irish tunes were met with very enthusiastic applause by another sell-out audience.
The encore - 'Another Train' - sung accapella - wrapped up a great evening of musical depth and dexterity.