Cromer Folk on the Pier Friday review

Seize the Day on stage in Cromer at the start of the Folk on the Pier festival
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Seize the Day on stage in Cromer at the start of the Folk on the Pier festival PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Archant Norfolk

Folk veterans Martin Simpson and Steve Turner proved their instrumental mastery, fine singing styles and superb choice of material on the opening afternoon of this year's 15th festival.

Martin Simpson.

Martin Simpson. - Credit: Archant

Guitarist Simpson wowed a capacity pier theatre audience with American folk blues, traditional British ballads and his own songs - many from his new album due in July.

A song recording his travels in the blues-soaked Mississippi Delta was especially evocative and his tributes to Northumbrian mouth organ player Will Atkinson and heroic World War One Dardanelles stretcher bearer John Simpson Kirkpatrick were equally moving.

The folk-blues standard In the Pines was a stunning opener and Leonard Cohen's The Stranger Song a welcome live revival.

Turner, playing at The Cottage, opened the festival fringe programme with a wide choice of material.

Two songs - Diesel and Shale and Sammy's Bar - by the late Cyril Tawney proved especially popular and Steve proved his versatility with Bert Lloyd's pseudo-traditional Gathering Mushrooms, Mark Knopfler's Done With Bonaparte and tunes - on cittern, concertina or banjo.

Earlier festival regulars Mawkin and newcomers Seize The Day impressed the pier audience with lively tunes and original songs.

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Brian Gaudet