Folk on the Pier

Cromer Pier

Cromer Pier

This is another world. Cromer as England was 50 years ago. The only end of the pier theatre left in the country.

And nostalgic, emotional music that brought a tear to the eye of many in the tiny auditorium.

A great audience of all ages seemed to share the same delight.

They call it folk but it's much more than that.

Razz Emery carried us all back to the days when a thousand smacks sailed from Yarmouth supporting a herring industry of 50,000 workers.

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A Norfolk son of the sea, he gave us a start to an evening of sheer joy. Harvey Andrews who followed - solo guitar, songs and anecdotes - is not simply a folk singer but a magician. He conjured unbelievable depths from his soaring voice, telling tales with a poignancy that was mesmerising.

The show-topper was the immaculate north-eastern foursome Jez Lowe and The Bad Pennies - Jez himself mostly on highly expressive guitar, Kate Bramley on the fiddle, Andy May on plaintive Northumberland pipes and piano and Sean Taylor on an exquisitely played five-string fretless bass.

Though this music has its roots in the Geordie tradition, much of it was written by Jez, including the saddest song ever written (according to a Radio 2 poll, and it truly was) Greek Lightning. This was mystical music from masterful musicians.

t Folk on the Pier continues with events and workshops all day through to Sunday night, May 14, with a concert every evening at the Pavilion Theatre.