Steeleye Span, Hark the Village Wait, Yeovil Octagon and touring

STEELEYE Span has been the fulcrum of traditional folk rock for decades, and a new line up (again with Maddy Prior at its heart) is ploughing a new furrow for the band.

Out on tour playing the first ever Steeleye album, Hark the Village Wait!, in its entirety as well as a second half selection of must from the vast back catalogue with the latest offering Dodgy Bastards, thrown in, they came to Yeovil Octagon to delight a full audience.

Maddy was clearly suffering from the lurgy, but sang gamely on, apparently most frustrated by her inability to do her famous dances for fear of coughing.

With the multi instrumentalist and singer Benji Kirkpatrick (son of John, a frequent occasional Spanner), sensational guitarist Spud Sinclair, guitarist Julian Littman, fiddler Jessie May Smart, bassist Roger Carey and lo­ngtime band drummer Liam Genocky, this is a powerhouse band that picks up the evolving spirit of Steeleye and runs with it.

Huge ballads like Cruel Brother and a powerful version of Tam Lin   go along with the familiar Alison Gross (a politically incorrect song if ever there was one!) and Little Sir Hugh – who knew it was originally anti-semitic propaganda?

As well enjoying those early songs again, it was a treat to hear the re-invigorated band, and here’s hoping the amazing Ms Prior is back in full voice and energy by the time you are reading this.


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