(Hosted by Chalk Horse Music and The Equatorial Group)
The first thing to mention is the venue. The 1920s Hailsham Pavilion that has all the charm of its era. With original architecture this truly is a gem. The doors open onto a beautifully unique reception and as you enter the theatre the 1920s is revisited.
This was a magnificent showcase of folk hosted by a collaboration of two bands and accomplished musicians. The evening opened with the traditional Hunters Moon Morris. Traditional as I had never seen before, with spoons, hand percussion, accordion and a guitar. They told the stories of the Morris and played a few traditional ditties.
It was then time for the first of the hosting folk artists, Chalk Horse Music. With songs telling tales of Sussex life and legends like the infamous Nan Tuck, mixed with traditional instruments, they intoxicated the audience. The tea-box double bass was a marvel of genius, and the beautiful lyrics floated through the air filling our heads with stories.
Liz Pearson the vocalist was joined by band members Darren Pearson (guitar), Richard Walder (double bass), Ben Clennell (drums) and David Asher (specialist guitars). Liz sings with spiral dreamy tones and the band joins together with appreciation of harmony and traditional sounds. I think we should all tell the bees!
After a short interlude and mingle with Chalk Horse Music, it was the moment we had all been waiting for. The glorious Equatorial Group took to the stage in their usual interactive way, talking through their setting up issues, to the audience’s laughter. Showcasing their newly released album Apricity, the band filled the venue with electro folk, guitar solos, sparkling harmonies and elegant haunting main vocals, which make your hair stand on end.
Helen Weeks the main vocalist and pedal steel /guitar was joined by Twe Fox (Keys/vocals), Dave Davies (guitar/vocals), Andy Tourle (bass/vocals) and Mike Tourle (drums). Chalk Horse Music’s David Asher joined the stage with his mandolin adding another harmony and element to the ensemble, other guests including a saxophonist and trumpeter. For the finale Chalk Horse Music then joined them on stage to the audience’s, sharing vocals and showing how their friendships make the music so unique.
A fantastic end to what had been an evening filled with musicality. But this is not prog……!