Kate Rusby

Norwich Theatre Royal

Norwich Theatre Royal

It's hard to find a bad word to say about our Kate. She's as pretty as a picture - knobbly knees aside - sings like an angel and has an earthy Yorkshire humour that would not be out of place on the stand up circuit.

By 'eck, she's even had a top ten hit with Ronan Keating.

She's also one to work an audience, as the Theatre Royal found out last night at an enchanting evening of Christmas songs, folk standards and material from her new album Awkward Annie, when the first lady of English folk music had them eating out of her hand.

Quite simply, the lass is class. And the only top turn I've seen to bring her handbag on stage with her.

Barnsley-born Kate is 34 now - not quite in her dotage yet, but certainly showing a stage craft and maturity that comes with experience.

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She was voted the best live act at this year's BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, and on this performance you can see why.

Highlight for me was the haunting ballad Blooming Heather, which she sings with a clarity and precision that sends tingles up the spine.

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