Martin Simpson live at Huntingdon Hall, Worcester,
Friday 29 October
Worcester's Huntingdon Hall (a former 18th century Methodist Chapel) lends itself particularly well to folk music. Martin Simpson, an outstanding guitarist and a fine singer/songwriter, performed solo and without even a support act - just an acoustic guitar in an open tuning.
The songs that worked best, for me, were his re-workings of traditional ballads, particularly the stunning Little Musgrave, but the performance of his 'hit' (inasmuch as English folk singers have hits) Never any good was as moving as ever. The Chris Wood song Come down Jehovah was also very effective in the hallowed ambience of Huntingdon Hall but I was disappointed, given the ecclesiastical setting, that we weren't treated to one of my Simpson favourites - his version of Jan Struther's children's hymn When a knight won his spurs. Still, for an example of what can be achieved with an acoustic guitar and a voice steeped in English tradition, Martin Simpson is hard to beat.