The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #145045   Message #3355380
Posted By: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
25-May-12 - 04:36 AM
Thread Name: The Lady: A Homage to Sandy Denny
Subject: RE: The Lady: A Homage to Sandy Denny
I didn't see the show so I can't say how accurate the review is, but that's the case with any review - unless you're only going to read reviews of shows you've already seen. Surely any reviewer's job is to offer their judgement rather than just to write out a list of who did what. I say this as someone who's been on the receiving end of both good and bad reviews (as well as a few indifferent ones).

Colin Irwin has been writing about folk music for over 40 years and I've usually found his judgement sound and his opinions worth consideration, at least. And unlike several of the performers at the show he would at least have had first-hand memories of Sandy Denny and her music.

I do think there is a tendency among modern 'roots' performers to attach themselves to the reputations of deceased artists in the hope that some of those artists' credibility will rub off on them. I'm sure that some of them sincerely want to pay tribute to the artist who is gone but I think there's sometimes a temptation to jump on a bandwagon.

There was a Nick Drake tribute show in Liverpool a while ago and I didn't go to that either for the same reason. My loss, perhaps. However, I remember being put off by the blurb saying it was going to be 'curated' by Joe Boyd. Not 'presented' or 'introduced', mind, but 'curated'. Mind you, I remember the days when Bruce Forsyth 'curated' 'The Generation Game'.

I saw some clips from Cropredy a couple of years ago when Chris While stood in for Sandy Denny. She was great, but she just didn't have that wildness, volatility and vulnerability that Sandy had in her voice or her demeanour. Same with Cathy Le Surf when I saw her there in 1983. Great singers, both of them, and there was nothing wrong with either of those performances but, inevitably, if you put a woman singer in front of Fairport you will never escape comparisons.

Sandy Denny was a young, gifted, troubled, often unpredictable woman whose greatest performances were often her most spontaneous ones. 'A Sailor's Life' and 'Banks Of The Nile' spring to mind. A rehearsed, scripted, revue-style presentation is inevitably going to miss the point.

I do know of at least one woman singer in Liverpool whose voice provokes the same emotional response in me that Sandy's used to (and still does) but she's (currently) realtively unknown and certainly not part of the Radio 2-Folk Roots world from whom they seem to have recruited the performers in this show. So, inevitably, she wasn't used. One day, perhaps.