My third set of recordings is, I’m afraid, rather cruelly thin. A combination of the wind and an audience of chattering ninnies has meant that my recordings of this national treasure are not as great as I hoped.
Cards on the table.
I love Alasdair Roberts.
I love the man, at times, beyond all reason. I love his sparse lushness, his monotone vibrancy, his cheerless glee. Probably most of all I love the fact that he continues to plough his lonely furrow, year after year, with no apparent desire to move any further afield. If that sounds patronising, it really isn’t meant to be. In less austere times, I’d be providing lavish funding to the man…
So anyway, I wandered over to the Walled Garden on the Friday afternoon, really looking forward to another chance to see him. And he really didn’t disappoint, putting together another modest but brilliant set, blended from new and traditional material (I can never tell which), flanked by Rafe Fitzpatrick on the fiddle and Stevie Jones on the double bass. He picked songs from his guitar with hunched, painstaking craft, rarely speaking to a largely appreciative audience, his endearing eccentricity seemingly becoming more pronounced as the years go by. I was again captivated – a real pleasure to watch.
Unfortunately, I completely underestimated the effect of the wind on my mic which make some of the recordings pretty much unusable (the number of times my own voice can be heard on them suggests drink may have been taken). As well as this, there’s quite a lot of chat over some of the tracks, which you can either take as endearing Green Man atmosphere, or irritating intrusions from outside. I’ll leave you to decide…
And … I’ll give you this one because it’s such a wonderful song, but to be honest it’s not really up to scratch (the recording, I mean, not Roberts – he’s electrifying…)