The last band I saw before lockdown


I decided on a whim, neither having heard of them or heard them, to see them live on the basis of this photo whilst scrolling around Folk Radio. “What is that dude doing with a Gretsch in a forest?!?”

I did my utmost, too, to not listen to them, to not search out what they might be like before the event. I conceded briefly, though, when trying to encourage some others to come along. 22 seconds in to the the video for ‘Charmer’ and I was on shaky ground – “That dude is bowing a mandola?!?” I had to turn it off as I thought my head might explode in expectation.

The gig itself was wonderful. Two Fridays before lockdown V.1, an uncertainty of what was to happen both then and afterwards, this beautiful undulating cloud of sound drifted around the Guildhall – voice, strings and harmonium floating around us. This melding of different organic elements creating one gentle incredible, shimmering whole. It was wonderful.

I got to speak a little to Ewan and Lauren afterwards, mainly about guitar things and it took all my strength not to buy a record – I didn’t want that to become my memory of the evening and how it made me feel. But isolating at home afterwards, the sounds still buzzing around in my thoughts, I had to. And it’s as close to perfect as you could get. A total joy.

I cannot wait to see them again.

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