Welcome to our November Newsletter
This Friday, 9th November, we are proud to present
What you may have missed...
Ashley Hutchings and Blair Dunlop, supported by Friction Farm (September 2018)
Review by Dave Banks
Chesterfield Folk Club's September concert, which opened the new 2018-19 season, proved to be a cosy and warm delight for music fans across the generations. The Club is especially happy to enjoy such a great venue in the Chesterfield Library theatre, which has near-perfect acoustics and must be one of the town's least appreciated and most underused resources. The evening was opened by the US duo "Friction Farm", who played a tight set of six songs for two voices, an acoustic guitar and a might fine Taylor baby acoustic bass. In less skilled hands, several of Friction Farm's songs could unfairly be described as hippy-esque sentimentality, but it is a testament to the professionality, sheer musicality and writing ability of the pair, that even a hard-shelled humbug such as myself was thoroughly won over by tunes such as Last Glimpse of Infinity, about the disappearance of the night sky amongst the ever-creeping light pollution from our cities.
Then came the turn of the mighty-music machine that is the Dunlop-Hutchings Consortium. Blair opened the set with his new single, Sweet on You, a catchy and witty song, wondering whether he’d made the right decision in falling for a girl who didn't like Ry Cooder (and whether her mother, a Cooder fan, would have been a wiser bet). For some reason, I've managed to miss Blair Dunlop's local concerts, but I was well impressed by his excellent, confident guitar playing and by his vocals. Blair's father, Ashley Hutchings, provided an excellent counterpoint, playing bass and providing us poetry, traditional morris melodies (Mr Trill's Song) and stories about the glory days of folk rock. Particularly touching was his recollection of meeting Nick Drake at the Camden Roundhouse in the late 1960s and Nick's frustration at never finding the breakthrough he craved during his lifetime.
What particularly charmed me about the evening was the slight familial tension between Ashley and Blair. Blair surreptitiously rolling his eyes at his dad's corny jokes and well-worn stories. Ashley having a dig at Blair's dress sense ("I'd have dressed down if I'd known"). Add Blair's mum, Judy Dunlop, into the equation (shivering away on the front row in the blast of the air conditioning) and you had the perfect evening. Judy took the stage for a couple of songs, her beautiful voice sensitively accompanied by Blair on guitar – but she's back in her own right this month as one half of a double-header with Quicksilver. Do join us!
Concert photos by Patrick Scott