Record Overplayed
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Jim Moray | Knaresborough Frazer Theatre| 24/03/12

 

 

Jim Moray

Gig review and Photos by Dawn

 

Jim Moray gigs are always a little out of the ordinary.

For starters, he tends to favour venues a tad off the beaten track of the usual gig circuit – and tonight’s sweet little back street theatre is no exception.

Then, of course, there’s the fact that he likes to introduce his songs by explaining the history behind them – whether in an intriguing, factual fashion or in a straight-faced but brilliantly amusing way (“The moral of this story is never love a soldier or sit on his knee. I’ve never done either of those things and I like to think it’s helped me to become a well-rounded adult”).

And on top of that, it goes without saying that Jim’s music, too, is a little out of the ordinary.

Brilliantly bewitching when performing with a band, Jim is just as compelling tonight as he plays his set solo.

Switching smoothly between guitar and piano, the lack of other people onstage means that it’s easier to focus on and appreciate Jim’s musicianship. Though he performs duet Jenny of the Moor without the usual contribution from Hannah Peel, it’s as enchanting as ever and a reminder of how strong his songs are.

 

From the moment he takes to the stage and begins with the heartbreakingly beautiful Three Black Feathers, the audience hang on his every word. By the time he requests that everyone join in with Peg and Awl, the room is filled with some impressively enthusiastic audience participation.

Horkstow Grange provides a neat twist – as on record, Jim manages to harmonise with himself thanks to the wonders of an electronic processor - while The Flying Cloud is performed a capella and with his tender voice ringing out crystal clear around the venue.

The Wishfulness Waltz (written for his sister, Jackie Oates, but now being “claimed back” by Jim) is just exquisite and the perfect end to the evening.

Folk traditionalists have long been divided on their opinions of Jim’s music, but his albums and performances are constantly helping new audiences to discover the genre.

And let’s face it, where else could you enjoy an evening’s musical entertainment interspersed with amusing but educational anecdotes about Child ballads and night visiting songs?

 

 

Jim's latest album, Skulk, is out now.

Visit jimmoray.co.uk for more info.


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