The first Walton People Competition (reviewed right here) was a wonderful day; I described it as, ‘…among the best experiences of reside music I’ve ever had.’ With a lineup that included Jack Cookson, Kitty Macfarlane, The Exterior Observe, Kim Lowings and the Greenwood and headliners The City People Quartet, it was going to be arduous to beat.
However someway the pageant group managed to rustle up an equally enthralling lineup, topped off with the folk-rock powerhouse that’s False Lights. Final 12 months the solar god smiled down on the day however was just a little too blazing at occasions. Whereas this 12 months hail storms, rain showers and a mighty wind couldn’t dampen the day, and fortunately the principle acts had been inside anyway.
The pageant bought out on the power of the lineup and super goodwill from returning pageant goers. They had been rewarded first with a energetic and transferring set from the north-east duo, Megson; showcasing songs largely from their newest album, Contradicshun. In his People Radio evaluation, Thomas Blake described the album as, ‘…a masterpiece of shared creativity, the fullest flowering of a partnership that has been nurtured for fifteen years.’ And Stu and Hanna actually showcased their star high quality in Walton. However the spotlight was a efficiency of The Longshot from the 2010 album of the identical identify. It managed to be hilarious, heartbreaking and uplifting (generally ). It was the beginning of one thing particular.
Subsequent up within the Barn was Riverhouse favorite Lukas Drinkwater, making a uncommon solo efficiency. In the event you haven’t heard of Lukas then you definitely haven’t been learning your album sleeves very fastidiously. In addition to credit on dozens of up to date people albums, he’s half of Jacob and Drinkwater and is presently touring with Saskia Griffiths-Moore, Emily Barker (with and with out Marry Waterson) and The Individuals’s String Basis. Quietly commanding the stage, Lukas delighted the gang along with his personal songs and a number of well-chosen covers that mirrored his musical journey. His guitar work is impossibly sensible (notably as he’s often hunched over a double bass). A girl sat subsequent to me stated, ‘Who is that this man? He’s superb!’ And nothing was extra superb than Lukas performing the John Martyn basic, Might You By no means – which Lukas described as an enormous affect on all the things he does. Class meets class.
Subsequent up within the barn is a younger performer whose voice, songs and guitar work actually impressed the pageant organisers. Rising star Hannah Ashcroft was additionally chosen this 12 months by Beth Orton to create new music premiered on the opening night time of Sounds Like THIS Competition in Leeds. Accompanied by The Travelling Band’s bass participant Sam Quinn on guitar, Hannah carried out a number of beguiling and mysterious songs from her 2016 EP, The Quiet Form. She additionally tantalised with a number of new songs which – fingers crossed – will seem on a brand new launch very quickly. Though a brand new voice to most of the viewers, Hannah clearly impressed because the queue on the merchandise stand after testified. It’s nice that the pageant organisers felt daring sufficient to showcase rising expertise alongside the established acts.
Extra proof of that is discovered within the number of performers that delighted the viewers between acts on the skin Courtyard stage. Battling the weather, the acts performing in-between the Barn stage had been largely made up of native expertise. First up was Darragh Chaplin who appeared far too younger to present such an assured efficiency – one to observe. Singer-songwriter and guitarist Charlie Wren couldn’t be extra native, from only a few streets away in Walton-on-Thames. Her songs injected a welcome little bit of grit to proceedings. Dragonfly Sky aren’t any strangers to the Riverhouse, having launched their EP on the venue final 12 months, and the melodic duo are attracting a loyal native following. A extra seasoned performer, Jim Cozens commanded the stage early afternoon along with his highly effective songs.
Final 12 months I used to be notably impressed by Claudia Stark and Zach Johnson, who every carried out solo on the Courtyard stage. And I questioned if this 12 months they may high them. It seems you possibly can, as Zach and Claudia carried out magnificently this 12 months as a duo. Each native Surrey singer-songwriters, they’re hard-working, proficient and fascinating performers. I hope their EP collectively pushes them as much as the subsequent stage.
However again to the Barn stage, the place following Hannah Ashcroft was a band for whom superlatives are flying, they usually appear to be on each pageant invoice that may include them this 12 months. The music press has lauded trials of Cato for each their reside performances and their sensible debut album, Conceal and Hair. The truth is, in his People Radio evaluation, some bloke known as Peter Shaw wrote, ‘If there’s a extra thrilling debut album from a people band this 12 months, then I haven’t heard it.’ Nicely, it seems he was proper. Trials of Cato launched into an exciting model of Tom Paine’s Bones, they usually had been superb all through the set. You may hear the viewers appreciation rising with each efficiency. They stomped a lot that the stage started to rattle, microphones flew off their stands and stagehands desperately tried to place it again collectively between songs. They’re phenomenal, and pleasant chaps too. Catch them as quickly as you possibly can, if not sooner.
Because the daylight light, it was time for the night leisure. The aforementioned Claudia and Zach closed the Courtyard and the gang gathered for the ultimate push. First up was the mesmerising and ever-so-slightly-bonkers Daria Kulesh. Now based mostly in London, Daria has Russian and Ingush roots that are mirrored in her songs and tales. It was a extra laid-back efficiency that completely suited the night ambiance. Regardless of taking part in to a packed crowd, Daria maintained a way of intimacy and showcased her breathtaking vocals. A real star.
So, because the night drew to an in depth, we had been in line for yet another deal with. I’m undecided the organisers knew what they had been in for once they invited False Lights to shut the pageant. However what a efficiency. Jim Moray and Sam Carter’s folk-rock powerhouse performed the vast majority of their two beautiful albums, Harmonograph and Salvor. The set electrifying set was damaged up by some solo showcases from Jim and Sam. Then Tom Moore on violin and Archie Churchill-Moss on melodeon – two-thirds of Moore Moss Rutter – delighted with a set of acoustic tunes. Then drummer Sam Nadel confirmed he’s no slouch both when the band assembled for his or her closing assault together with a show-stopping rendition of Crossing the Bar. The vitality and enthusiasm of the band bought the gang up and dancing for the previous couple of numbers. A world-class efficiency to shut a superb day.
So, that introduced an finish to the second Walton People Competition, a day of nice music with an intimate ambiance in a improbable group venue. The bar has been crossed and set excessive for subsequent 12 months, however till then there’s loads extra fab people to take pleasure in on the Riverhouse.
Edgelarks – Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin on 31 Might 2019 at 20:00
Saskia Griffiths-Moore (together with Lukas Drinkwater and Jack Cookson) on eight September 2019 at 12:15
Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar on 27 October 2019 at 12:15
Gigspanner on 13 November 2019 at 20:00
Woman Maisery on 29 November 2019 at 20:00
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Stay Overview: Walton People Competition 2019 at Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre was final modified: Might 20th, 2019 by