Published on May 17th, 2017 | by Mike Ainscoe0
KATE RUSBY at Stockport Plaza – live review
12th May 2017
After plugging Kate’s gig on our show and across the Pure Radio network, it would be remiss not to recount the events of another evening with Kate Rusby – this time her usual Manchester stop off heading out of the metropolis and into our locale although not for her first time at The Plaza.
“Never a bad night out with Kate Rusby” – came the prompt reply from a friend in response to my social media status post, made once comfortably seated at the back of the stalls on my own first visit to Stockport Plaza. A pre gig aperitif of Robinson’s Smooth in one hand and a bag of Lancashire Sauce in the other. Don’t ask…
A chance however to take in the splendour of the local venue including a wander down to the front to check out the old organ that rises from the floor, phantom of the opera style. Sadly not in use for the performance, it was left to Duncan Lyall’s thoroughly modern moog to take responsibility for sending out a few sonic space sounds this evening.
It’s a Rusby sound that has slowly evolved from her early days fiddle and guitar folk roots into the atmospheric moogscapes with Damien O’Kane’s crystal chiming electric tenor guitar that come to the fore in ‘Hunter Moon’ (whose chorus is timeless heartbreaking Rusby) and ‘Benjamin Bowmaneer’ in particular. It’s a feature of the current ‘Life In A Paper Boat’ album, a large chunk of which was spread across the set, punctuated with a generous clutch of golden oldies. The reason? 2017 sees Kate celebrating twenty five years on the road and twenty since her first solo album – so it was quite apt that the first track from her first solo album ‘Sir Eglamore’ was duly dusted off. Aside it was a cherry picked box of delights. And not just one or two from the back catalogue; ‘Who Will Sing Me Lullabies’, ‘William & Davey’, ‘I Courted A Sailor’, ‘Cruel’ – it sounds like the potential track listing of ‘The Best of Kate Rusby’ although would make a lovely live recorded souvenir of a sample of her catalogue with the current band.
An embarrassment of riches, all topped off with a brilliant encore duet with Damian O’Kane on ‘Underneath The Stars’ (with naturally a plug for her own Underneath The Stars festival http://underthestarsfest.co.uk/ – this year showcasing Show Of Hands, Newton Faulkner and Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys, not to mention the giant knitted flowers).
With another Christmas album in the bag and the usual Christmas tour to look forward to following the summer, what else could be in store to celebrate what seems really strange to say, Kate Rusby’s silver jubilee.
(live shots by Mike Ainscoe at The Great British Folk Festival 2016)