Or June Tabor and the Oyster Band as they are better known.
Actually I may have got that anagram wrong. I hadn’t heard it before this evening and I wasn’t taking notes.
So what happened was this. TFD bought a ticket to see JT and the OB’s at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s South Bank.
Sadly she could not come to London midweek to attend so she gave the ticket to me on condition that I write some kind of review.
Writing about music is not my forte as you may have noticed. I tend to just say I like something and quote a snippet of the lyric or use terms like “pretty marvelous” or “particularly impressive” which don’t really tell you anything.
It was, I have to say, a pretty marvelous gig, including, as it did, songs from their original collaboration (which I’m partially familiar with) and their forthcoming album Ragged Kingdom (which, obviously, I’m not).
This was the first time they’d played some of the songs from the new album live and we were repeatedly thanked for being their guinea pig audience. A major tour is to follow and (tfd take note) I think they’re going to play Milton Keynes. Much though I love the South Bank Centre and all its works, I think this set will really take off when they play to an audience who aren’t obliged to remain in their seats.
Covers of rock classics included “Love Will Tear Us Apart”, “White Rabbit” and the Velvets’ “All Tomorrow’s Parties”.
These were all welcome but even better were their versions of Dylan’s “Seven Curses” and Polly Harvey’s “That Was My Veil”
They even managed to win over the teenagers sitting behind me who had been dragged there by their parents and who, at one point, spent their time complaining that “I didn’t want a history lesson” when a song introduction dared to include a bit of background colour.
I do have to say that June became rather terrifying as she contemplated the possible eviction of the Dale Farm travelers and the contribution travelling folks have made to preserving traditional songs. I look forward to seeing her on “Question Time” very soon.
The music veered from the manic to the ethereal and back again. Allen Prosser on guitar was particularly impressive but they were so integrated you couldn’t really isolate one element.
For some reason they did not play Day Trip To Bangor.