Monday 12 November 2007

Not enough Fowlis

To see the brilliant Scots Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis at St George's in Bristol tonight. Fowlis is one of the three finest young female folk musicians in these islands at the moment - Kate Rusby and Cara Dillon being the others - and has a voice to match Capercaille's Karen Matheson or Altan's Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh in their earliest days. But untypically for St George's, Fowlis was allowed to sing for a mere 40 minutes before having to give way to Nashville singer Beth Nielsen Chapman, who isn't too bad when she sticks to her usual repertoire. But she didn't, preferring to inflict on the audience her embarrassing interpretations of world music which started with a creaky rendering of a Welsh song to which Fowlis could surely have done justice and descended into Zulu and Parsi tunes. It is not as if we suffer a dearth of good music played by visiting indigenous musicians in Bristol. We weren't the only ones to leave at the interval. Next time, let's hope they give Fowlis her own show.

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