"The best parts of folk, jazz and rockabilly peppered with their own adorably dorky charm."
Julia Jacklin was the curtain warmer on the night, with her not-quite-country style. Her sweet voice, permeated with Western twangs, delivered melancholic, heartfelt songs. Don't Let The Kids Win was performed well, despite a self-confessed mistake in delivery. She finished off with LA Dream, an emotional tune about a past lover that reduced the crowd to a sobbing mess.
Next up were King Curly. It's no secret these guys have been around for a while, their performance oozing the tightness only accomplished with years of experience. They began with The Land Of Love, which divinely showed off their musical prowess. With their impressively unconventional instrumentation — nylon string guitar, double bass and trombone — they offered a point of difference distinguishing them from most other bands. Trombonist John Hibbard even whipped out the triangle for one track, providing tinkles that cordially set off the song. A Good Song and I Am Coming Back (In A Revenge Song) were two standouts, giving us our folk hit for the evening.
The Hodgkins siblings plus one friend, Perch Creek were the headliners for the night. Bitchin' Betty Lou, written about youngest sister Eileen, was played early, giving Camilla the perfect opportunity to enlighten us about the ongoing sibling rivalry. The way they were arranged on the stage, in a line so no member was left at the back, worked well. They played an assortment of songs, old and new, with a range of instruments and everyday objects used to make amiable clamours. Where You Been showcased a megaphone, while Lear played the washboard in another track. The song that was being launched on their tour, Mama Sings, saw Christi play a handsaw to create a wonderful whistling sound. Every song delightfully boasted each band member's musical talent, while the solos and harmonies exhibited their vocal ability. Carper Catinach was their final piece, an upbeat song resonating circus jingles where Eileen delivered an extraordinary tap-dance solo on a table top, the perfect finish. Perch Creek mix the best parts of folk, jazz and rockabilly peppered with their own adorably dorky charm.