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Monday, February 05, 2007

WAKING THE WITCH + JON REDFERN Windsor Arts Centre, Saturday 3rd February 2007

A new venue to me, being an old fire station converted into a very snazzy arts centre, complete with good acoustics in the main auditorium. First up was singer/songwriter Jon Redfern who was joined by a backing band consisting of a bass player, keyboards/acoustic guitar and a cellist, making for an eclectic musical mix and a very strong set of songs. Very rock ’n’ roll moment when he admitted they had been at the pub prior to the gig and had forgot to compile a set list although you’d never now given the strong musicianship on display.
Waking the Witch, the four piece female vocal phenomena, are touring in support of their recently released third album ‘The Boys From the Abattoir’, a stunning album full of vocal and musical delights. The four band members each have distinctive vocal styles and combined they provide one of the best harmonies I’ve heard since the early days of Clannad. Stripped of a backing band they rely simply on their voices and acoustic guitars (with a bit of mandolin), rattling through a set heavily based on their new album including the title track, ‘Spring Song’ (if the harmonies on this one don’t move you must be clinically dead!) and ‘Rock n Roll’ (not the Led Zep version). Highlight for me was ‘Yorkshire Boy’, a very jaunty number and one you could easily envisage getting played on BBC Radio 2 etc.
An excellent night of acoustic/vocal based music and both artists are well worth checking out, especially Waking the Witch who are simply one of the best female fronted folk/acoustic bands out there today.

Jason Ritchie

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