Review: Standing ovation for O’Hooley and Tidov

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Chesterfield Folk Club found itself at a new venue for one night and what a night. The Rose Theatre provided a fantastic welcome and hall for the Natterjacks and award-winning duo O’Hooley and Tidov.

The Natterjacks, as is the way with other leading folk performers like Mumford and Sons, opened the night with a high tempo set. The duo’s adept guitar, banjo, bass drum and tambourine whipped the crowd up to a nice boil before the main act.

The quality of the playing and harmony singing by O’Hooley and Tidov was superb with many songs featured from the critically acclaimed album The Hum. This is not straightforward folk and this reviewer fancied there were unusual chords and song constructions that had a hint of Sparks and Queen. Their sound embraces elements of torch singing and operatic dynamics, the lyrics are literary and sophisticated.

It would be hard to name all the highlights but Belinda and Heidi’s voices wove beautifully on The Tallest Tree, the a capella Teardrop, Holding Court and the suicide-bomber theme of Peculiar Brood backed tastefully by piano and accordion. Their song for those children taken from single mothers and fostered abroad - Two Mothers - was an emotional a powerhouse that left us all holding our breath.

Local folk royalty, Lucy Ward joined them for Coiled Spring and on the encore Too Old To Dream and they worked in local references with Gentleman Jack about Ann Lister and Like Horses dedicated to Tony Benn. All in all a wonderfully accomplished and varied night deserving of both the full house and standing ovation.

On June 13, the club is back at Chester Street with The Young’uns, a major act for the final concert of the season.