Reviews 2003

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Niamh Parsons
Pete Brown 21 November 2003
Genevieve. Oh Genevieve! Why were you not there?

It was one of those special nights at the Woodman. We didn’t know what to expect. We did know that it wasn’t Clive Gregson who unfortunately had fallen from a ladder and couldn’t be there. Luckily for us Niamh Parsons together with Graham Dunn came to the rescue. We were in for a wonderful evening.

Ian put on three bands, Nothing to Prove, The Crag Band and The Bica Band together with singer/songwriter Bryn Phillips. They all played exceptionally well and it all went too quickly, however, the evening was frozen in time by the enchantment created by the star act.

Niamh started with the Boys of Barr na Sráide, of special note was the Orphan’s Wedding. By the start of the second half everyone was relaxed and delighting in the music. The anti-war song Done with Boneparte from the award winning Heart’s Desire CD was beautifully sung, and we’ll always remember Two Sisters (with additional percussion from the naughty corner). The Water is Wide and then two reels from Graham were followed by a very poignant song for Lynn - West coast of Clare. Syracuse by our own Bill Caddick was given the exquisite Niamh treatment, but the song that will always stay in my mind was the unaccompanied traditional (Sandy Denny) number, Banks of the Nile. Was this because I had requested it? no more likely, because it was sung with such compassion and meaning.

Thanks Niamh for such an enchanting evening and thank you Graham for such expert and tasteful accompaniment.

As it says on her web site, "Niamh Parsons has come to be known as one of the most distinctive voices in Irish music. Her voice has drawn comparisons to such venerated singers as Dolores Keane, June Tabor and Sandy Denny. The great Scottish balladeer Archie Fisher said of Niamh, "a songstress like her comes along once or twice in a generation."