December 14, 2015

Review of Doin different/Boudicca's Country book/CD launch

Gas and Morra launch Doin Different. 
Pic and review by Baz Allan.

King's Lynn's ancient Hanse House was the venue on Sunday for the launch of Gareth Calway's latest book, "Doin Different. New ballads from the East of England."
After Vanessa Wood-Davies welcomed us into the room, with her harp playing, a selection of ballads from the book were performed by Gareth to an appreciative audience: we did not require much cajolery to join in with the choruses. The subjects of the songs were all folk heroes, heroines or villains of these most eastern counties: Boudicca, Nelson, Edith Cavell, William Sawtrey, the ghost of Anne Boleyn, and a humourously gangsta take on Bad King John, amongst various others. Old stories were given new life - through new music and new words in the traditional ballad form. Songs to share in the folk clubs that grace this region; songs to be shaped, and songs to be enjoyed.

Performance duties were shared with Anto Morra who, along with many other contributors to the book, had put Gareth's words to music. Their on-stage chemistry was effusive, infectious, and rattled the ancient rafters of the room with the raucous "Half God, Half Nelson" . This contrasted most poignantly with Anto's delicate and moving solo rendition of "The Ballad of Edith Cavell," which left this reviewer blinking back incipient tears for that singular tragedy of a hundred years past. Bravo.

Barry Allan

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