Dan Walsh

Bobiks, Newcastle

10 July 2021

My second time at Bobiks, and I'm impressed with the way they've laid it out: small, spaced-out (for obvious reasons) tables work better than the tight rows of seats they had on my last visit, and make the place feel full without losing any atmosphere.

When Dan Walsh started I thought the amplification was too much for this small room. Then I realised how long it's been since I've heard properly amplified music, and this isn't too much, it's perfect. I've just forgotten.

Though he's nominally a folk musician, Dan plays very little that you would recognise as traditional folk. And if you have any preconceptions about the kind of music a banjo player should play, well he doesn't play that either. What does he play? Anything and everything. Jigs, reels, 80s pop songs, Indian music, ragtime, his own original songs. Dan Walsh basically shows us that the banjo can do anything. And does it with a breathtaking technical skill. I would tell you that he's the best banjo player I've ever seen, but to be honest I haven't seen all that many banjo players. But for a few songs he switches to his secondary instrument, the guitar, and when I tell you that he's among the very best guitar wizards I've seen, I think you can trust that I've seen quite a few for comparison. Add in the fact that he's a fine singer, a great song writer, and a natural comedian in his between-song patter, and you've got all the ingredients for one of the best concerts I've ever seen.