The Glee Club * * * *
Review by Chris Field
Cara Dillon turned up at the Glee with her band of exceptional musicians, and delivered one of the best sets of contemporary and traditionally-based Celtic folk music I've heard in a long time.
Her voice is like the most fragile of crystal, but so expressive. Indeed the opening number She Moves Through The Fair was exquisite in its delivery both vocally and instrumentally and set the scene for what was a night of quality.
She showcased two particular favourites There Were Roses, with the most subtle and graceful backing vocals from the audience, and Black Is The Colour from her debut album
Due to the singer's pregnancy, the dynamics of the show have shifted away solely from Cara, to feature the other members of the band. So we were treated to a selection of jigs and hornpipes, featuring James O'Grady on Uillean pipes and whistles of various sizes, the astonishing keyboard skills of Cara's husband, Sam Lakeman and the wonderfully imaginative guitar of John Smith.
Lakeman in particular is criminally underrated as a keyboard player; he supports, he leads and he supplies the most delicate of melodies to compliment the pure vocals of his wife.
The set went by in a flash, but finished on a real high with a foot-stomping version of Johnny Is The Fairest Man plus an encore of tunes that showed Cara Dillon to be a fair fiddle player.
It's a great shame that she will be out of the spotlight for a while, but as they say, the cream always rises to the top. So when she does resume touring you will be sure of top quality music from a top quality lady.
A word also must be said for John Smith who took the support slot and demonstrated why he is so highly rated by Sam Lakeman. He has a vocal style that is a cross between Ray LaMontagne and Alan Hull from Lindisfarne and his story songs are just exceptional.