Reviews 2013

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Patsy Matheson and Becky Mills

Bryn Phillips 19 April 2013

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This was the duo's first visit to the Woodman and so, although I had seen a couple of clips on YouTube, I didn't really know what to expect. The appeal of a live act is more than their competence in performing a song or two, it's all about engaging the audience and providing enough variety to keep the night moving and maintain interest. Happily it was all there, both Patsy and Becky had bags of personality and from the very start won over the audience. "Are there any hecklers in tonight", "Terry's away, you'll have to make do with Paul"; "Oh, is Terry your star heckler - that's a shame - can we get him on Skype". Anyway Paul lived up to the challenge and did a superb job which included a magnificent Toulouse-Lautrec impression. But I digress; suffice it so say they won over the audience and it was a thoroughly entertaining evening.

As far as the music and performance went - it was impressive. Both Patsy and Becky are accomplished musicians and songwriters, and we were treated to a wide variety of material ranging from a very powerful self-penned number from Becky, "Pretty Young Things", a song about prostitutes in Huddersfield, to Patsy's gentler "No Angel" with hypnotic refrain which got everyone singing along. Most of the material was self penned but they came up with a couple of covers including an amazing version of Donovan's "Goldwatch Blues". What really made "Goldwatch Blues" special was the arrangement which had Patsy on vocals and shaker eggs and Becky on Jaw's Harp. Most of the time they both played guitar, although Patsy played a very impressive mandolin on "Amy Sharpe" with Becky playing guitar armed with both a capo and a partial capo, which allowed her to provide a nice bass rhythm. This was an effective combination which, aided by the delay on the mandolin, resulted in a very full sound, making the duo sound more like a trio. Becky used the partial capo on several numbers, demonstrating the effectiveness of this clever little accessory. She also brought out an e-Bow to use on her guitar as accompaniment to Patsy's version of Dylan's "One More Cup of Coffee". So, lots of variety in the songs, the instruments and the arrangements - it was all there; altogether a really enjoyable evening and one that was over all too soon. 

Support was provided by the Woodman's resident band "Nothing to Prove" and Bryn Phillips (that's me!)