Monday, 24 March 2014

Written in the Stars: Martin Turner Plays The Music Of Wishbone Ash + Curved Air + The Acoustic Strawbs - Corn Exchange, Exeter, 23rd March, 2014

Loads or Little Hair

A short but appreciative comment on last night's nostalgic gig at the Corn Exchange, and as a technical senior citizen I can comment without being patronising on the propensity in the male audience of this middle-to-late aged, middle class, middle income cohort [with understood exceptions] to either have loads of long hair, if greying, to very little at all.

The Strawbs themselves are confidently hirsute for their age, and they played a brief acoustic and 'historical' set running a snapshop timeline through their hits here and in North America. Narrated by Dave Cousins, it was a warm warm-up.

Curved Air played a tight, jazz-inflected set, that musical direction influenced by a healthy sampling of tracks from their latest release North Star which I am enjoying on a first listen [even the early Curved Air revisitings] and will review at a later date. They are a tight band and Sonja Kristina sings as dynamically as ever, and I enjoyed a brief chat with her after the set, reminding her I saw the band on their first ever tour. I'm sure she was impressed with this news.

Martin Turner Plays The Music Of Wishbone Ash headed the night, and this incarnation of the band played a really quite exquisite run through classic numbers, the dual guitaring of Ray Hatfield and Danny Willson being nothing short of consistently impressive. And such lovely vocal harmonies. Turner has a fine head of hair and looks and played the part of the rock star well: one wonders if this fullsome follicle feature plays any part in what irks Andy Powell about the man? Just an idle thought.

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