Reviews 2014

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Pete Morton

Paul Bedingfield 7 February 2014

Click on photo to 
see larger image

It’s a little over three years since Pete was at The Woodman, so his visit, in my book, was well overdue. I’ve always liked his way with words and how he can deliver a no-holds barred protest song one minute and a tender ballad the next.

Pete brought his new album “The Frappin' and Ramblin’” from which he treated us to a few tracks including “The Manchester Rambler Frap” (worked round the chorus from Ewan MacColl) and “The Farmers Boy Frap”. Both examples of the Folk rap style which may not be everyone’s cup of tea – though curiously on the night I preferred the latter to the former yet when I listened to the album on Sunday morning it was the other way round and I think the fraps sounded better recorded (perhaps the added instrumentation worked for me?). Either way, I have to give credit to a man who can squeeze in more words than the House of Commons and bring folk music bang up to date by rhyming MacColl with LOL (try rhyming it with Jimmy Miller!)

By contrast, “The Love of You” is a powerful and reflective love song, typical of Pete’s style, and for me reminiscent at times of his most well known “Another Train”. Other tracks in the first half were “Rambling Through Old England” (a history lesson for the oppressed commoner), “Heart of The Land” (which reflected on the expulsions from Amin’s Uganda). Songs in the first half not from the new disc were the beautiful “Bigger than Life”, the quirky “Related to You” and the numerically updated “SEVEN Billion Eccentrics” plus my favourite “The Shores of Italy” (thanks for doing the request Pete!).

The second half began with another song from the new album “The Journeyman”. I really liked this “Mortonish” protest song which I felt was a metaphor for striking back at the disparity between the haves and have nots (sadly perennial fodder for songwriters). Pete played us “Further” and Disobedience” followed by “In The Days When Time Was Different”. We then had what I think was the best performance of “Another Train” I’ve heard Pete do. His excellent song of hope and new beginnings was put over with great emotion and it came across that he really meant it. Great stuff!
The evening continued with “The Shepherd’s Song”, “Great Gold Sun” and (almost) finally, we all joined in with the aptly titled “When We Sing Together” (“that’s the best of all”). As an encore Pete once again frapped us with “The Ghost of a Sailor”.

All in all a thoroughly varied, well performed and entertaining evening which I (and I know many others) enjoyed greatly. The album contains even more great songs.

The eloquent Bryn Phillips, the delightful Velvet Green, plus some really handsome bloke and three other people calling themselves Nothing To Prove provided support.

Take care peeps.