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Odin Dragonfly

The Causeway, Hartlepool

27 February 2006

Let me try to remember the set list. Starting with the easy-to-identify ones... Steal Away, which sounds like it was always intended to be played like this, and Caught in a Fold, which really shouldn't work like this but really does rather perfectly. And some covers: Jethro Tull's Witch's Promise (with excellent flute playing), Fleetwood Mac's Beautiful Child (with beautiful piano), and Leonard Cohen's Famous Blue Raincoat — this one a surprising but inspired choice, possibly the highlight of the night, a beautiful arrangement beautifully sung, and probably the only time I've heard a Cohen song without wanting to take an overdose!

Their own songs are harder (for me) to name. I actually recognised several from Fibbers last autumn: How I Feel Today, Given Time, and... er... something else. I think it says something about the songs that I could recognise them (even if not name them all) after only one previous listen.

Songs that were new to me were a rather wonderful song about cats (Waiting for the Snow, or something?). Personally I can’t think of a better subject for a song. What else? Magpie, which was the opening song and I'm afraid it's fading from my memory already, pushed out by the rest of the set. Magnolia Half Moon, which is beautiful and apparently very depressing but I didn’t get that feeling from it... I probably didn’t absorb enough of the lyrics. And something called Round and Round. And several others which I've forgotten the names of. Oh, their only joint composition, called... no, it’s gone, sorry, I'm useless at this, but whatever it was called it was a highlight... there were a lot of highlights...

Anyway, why am I blathering on about song titles? All you really need to know is that they were all superb songs. There wasn't one that I wouldn't have minded hearing again for an encore! (Despite many calls for a second encore, they confessed that they hadn’t rehearsed anything else and had played us everything they knew.)

The atmosphere was very nice, the audience tiny and very attentive, the girls very friendly and chatty. There was some annoying noise coming from the bar in the next room, which got worse as the night went on, but apart from that the venue was pretty good. The sound was perfect, the view was fine — even sitting at the back behind a very large man, I could still see the important parts of the stage. The stage was a bit murkily lit, but the tables all had little coloured candles on them to help the atmosphere. (Modesty forbids me mentioning how I was personally instrumental in passing out candles...)

What else can I say? Nothing... just that it was a perfect evening and I hope there's a lot more of them.

Oh, and due to me becoming completely flustered at the end (long story, not important), I forgot to say thank you.

So. Thank you both. It was wonderful.

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