Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Good crack

No, I'm not talking about Class A drugs, but the concert we went to last night featuring Scottish folk musicians Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham.

It was held at the improbably-named Kendal Box, a brand new venue which looks as weird as it sounds. Even its own web page describes it as looking like a 'wonky box' and as Cunningham commented last night, he'd "never played inside a slate box before". But however strange it might look, as a venue it's great. Small but cosy and very intimate, with space for an audience of only around 300 which gives a great feeling of being right there with the performers. None of these vast Big Screens needed here - you could see everything, hear everything and feel almost as though you were in the local pub with them performing for their beer.

And what a performance! Not only are they both brilliant musicians (Bain on fiddle, Cunningham on accordion), but they're charming and witty too. They divided up the music with chat ('crack' to the Celts, hence the title of my post) with anecdotes, brief information about what they were playing, and some surprisingly hilarious jokes. They played piece after piece with never a hint of a wrong note (or of any sheet music to crib from, for that matter), for a good two hours and their solo pieces brought the house down.

We thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment and will definitely be adding Aly and Phil to the list of acts to watch out for in future. And I'm sure we'll be going back to the Wonky Box.

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