The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #145045   Message #3355174
Posted By: Bonzo3legs
24-May-12 - 02:12 PM
Thread Name: The Lady: A Homage to Sandy Denny
Subject: RE: The Lady: A Homage to Sandy Denny
This is a review from a total arsehole in the Telegraph:

"Tribute shows are a perilous business. Even well-meaning homages can descend into glorified karaoke, and there's always the lurking suspicion about motive and the question of whether the event is a genuine attempt to widen awareness of the artist concerned, a marketing ploy to accelerate cult hero status or a profile-raising vanity for the participating performers.

None of which became any clearer during The Lady: A Homage To Sandy Denny, as a somewhat random succession of artists quietly trooped on and off to perform the most celebrated work of Sandy Denny, a deeply emotional singer and exceptional songwriter – and lead singer of celebrated English folk rockers Fairport Convention – who died in 1978 at the age of 31 following a fall. In recent years, she has become the subject of a determined re-discovery campaign, yet anyone wandering into the Barbican without prior knowledge of her wouldn't have been remotely wiser at the end, as there was no narrative, sense of context or attempt to explain her complicated, often troubled character and the haunting melancholia at the heart of her work.

Of the 16 singers and musicians on stage, only two of them – fiddle player Dave Swarbrick and guitarist Jerry Donahue – ever worked in a meaningful way with Sandy (in the bands Fairport Convention and Fotheringay). Sometimes considered Sandy's rival back in the day, Maddy Prior probably came closest to evoking her spirit, using vast experience, stage craft and a still potent voice to breathe vitality into one of Sandy's best songs, Solo, even if she needed two attempts to nail it. That was one fewer than P P Arnold, who looked suitably bemused to be there at all and struggled to get through one of Sandy's big numbers, I'm A Dreamer.

Matty Groves, the epic traditional ballad Denny performed so passionately with Fairport, was murdered by Ben Nicholls; Green Gartside and Blair Dunlop drifted into the ether; and even a house band that included three members of Bellowhead sounded leaden and rudimentary. A rare moment of levity was provided by a jaunty Dave Swarbrick/Sam Carter duet on It Suits Me Well, and Swarb's solo at the end of Quiet Joys Of Brotherhood was another highlight, although the most purposeful performances came from Thea Gilmore.

There was a powerful solo performance of No More Sad Refrains from Joan Wasser before the night ended – inevitably – with the whole ensemble on stage powering out Sandy's first and still most iconic song, Who Knows Where The Time Goes, but its mood of quiet contemplation scarcely fits the clothing of an anthem and the point was missed. Not for the only time during the evening."

Sorry but he just didn't get it did he??