Quercus (it means oak) is a new three-rooted project from folk singer June Tabor, jazz saxophonist Iain Ballamy and unclassifiable pianist Huw Warren.
In the middle of a modest tour, and clearly growing sturdier by the day, they give eclecticism, as well as British music, a great boost, stamping their own character upon traditional ballads, modern folk songs, Noel Coward, George Butterworth and John Dowland in among original pieces by Warren and Ballamy.
When June Tabor is centre stage, the subject matter is bound to be elemental: war, love, death and more war. She goes to the heart of the folk tradition (and indeed the essence of so much great music) by exploring how the mighty forces of nature and politics conspire to turn life into tragedy.
There were happy songs - well, two of them - but then the sad ones can prove even more life-affirming.
Although Ballamy began the evening playing rather too many notes and not quite gelling with Tabor and Warren (and granted, they go back a long way together) by the time we had reached Coward's Mad About The Boy the connections were made and the evening got better and better.
Lovely to hear Warren's Still Hearing You again, and Ballamy's simply heart-breaking All I Ask Of You . Thoroughly enriching throughout, and a project which we should all hope will develop further.
Peter Bacon ..SUPL: