Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Converted at last

For many years I have disdained the harmonica - mostly because of asthma-attack impersonators with a harmonica strapped around their necks on a frame that looks like it is a leftover from either a Hammer horror or a particularly vindictive orthodontist.

Tim and Brendan - sorry couldn't find photographer credit
Seriously, there's nothing that grates my teeth more than that wheezy, tuneless, in-out-in-out attempt at accompanying guitar playing by puffing aimlessly and tunelessly into a strip of tin reeds...

OK, that's perhaps a bit harsh, but you can sense my strong definition between the above and, say, the playing of Stevie Wonder or Rick Davies (Supertramp). Well, Brendan Power definitely falls in the category of Stevie and Rick - playing his gob harp as an instrument of delight, not of torture. He was playing with Tim Edey at the Hitchin Folk Club, where I have been resident for many a year.

They came hotfoot from the BBC Folk Awards where they did indeed acquire an accolade or two I was host and support. So I got up there with my guitar and sang a few of my songs - which seemed to go down OK with the audience (nobody threw anything at me, in fact I even got three compliments).

It's unusual for me to be 'converted' by anyone, but hearing folk-beatbox-harmonica and guitar and squeezebox playing that just longs for a car door was wonderful. Yes - folk-beatbox (see Wriggle and Writhe link below if you don't believe me). A sneaky bit of loop technology as well and, with a couple of songs thrown in for good measure too, a thoroughly enjoyable evening. They deserved the Folk Awards, so do try and catch them if you can.


Tim Edey and Brendan Power's website
Listen to Wriggle & Writhe

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