KIMBER’S MEN - Folk At The Barlow, Edgworth

The concert drew an audience that had many new visitors alongside the usual audience members for this shanty band that had travelled all the way from Yorkshire to perform in Lancashire. It began with the much in demand Manchester folk duo of Michelle Holding and Bonz. This duo have a repertoire that is a great variety of English and American songs and tunes, some whose writers are known, others which are traditional. They are also excellent musicians too. Both of them are very competent guitarists and between them they lifted the public opinion of the banjo into an instrument people admire. Bonz is also a very good player of the dobro, an instrument not played very much in folk clubs but which gave a pleasing American twang to many of the pieces. Their rapport with the audience also won them many new admirers. They warmed the listeners up, particularly their voices, really well for the main act of the concert.

Shanty band Kimber's Men began with a powerful opening shanty but one of their 4 microphones stands had other ideas and kept dropping and swinging until tightened successfully! Those of the audience were familiar with the band knew what to expect but much of the audience hadn't heard them before and the feedback was that the harmony's were fantastic but their ability to play guitars and shruti box (look it up!) also made a big impression. They also engaged the audience really well with both jokes and stories about the songs too. Through their wide mix of songs, I learnt more than just sea songs but there one also a wealth of river shanty's from North America, about the life of people who take ships up and down the inland waterways. A great night was had by all and many audience members said of both Michelle Holding and Bonz as well Kimber's Men " you must book them again in the future".

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