Kate Rusby was back in Truro (one of her 3 favourite places in the world apparently) for her ‘Autumn Tour’ celebrating 25 years on the road!
What a Star!
I don’t think I have ever seen Hall for Cornwall look as pretty as it did tonight with the chains of fairy lights shimmering like stars front and back of stage, reflecting off the huge foil balloons in the shape of the number 25, and two small stars next to them.
Kate also shimmered in a fantastically sparkly dress that caught the light as she moved, sending little pinpoints of light out into the audience. Stars are a recurring theme with Kate and feature in a number of her favourite songs from her 25 years on the road, including ‘Underneath The Stars’ (2003), ‘Who Will Sing Me Lullabies’ from the Little Lights album (2001) , and ‘Hunter Moon’ from Life in A Paper Boat (2016). She said its because she spends so much time travelling at night, something all gigging musicians can relate to I’m sure!
Kicking off with ‘Benjamin Bowmaneer’ from the latest album followed quickly by ‘Sir Eglamore’ from Hourglass, her first solo album in 1997, it was an emotional roller coaster of an evening. Beautiful, lyrical songs interspersed with entertaining stories and conversation. Kate has an absolutely fantastic sense of humour and her funny little commentaries and anecdotes had the audience creased up with laughter several times throughout the show. Her husband Damien O’Kane however has an even drier sense of humour, and actually made me cry with laughing at one point.
There were moments of poignancy too as you might expect from a retrospective spanning so many years – I particularly liked the ‘Lullabies’ tribute to Battlefield Band singer Davy Steele, who toured with Kate and her band mates when she was in The Poozies. Having been a fan of both bands throughout the 90’s this brought back lots of good memories, albeit tinged with sadness for yet another talented musician who is no longer with us. In fact my emotional connections with Kate go way back as we are from the same town and so there was an element of home-sickness for me, alongside the laughter, as she talked about local folk festivals that we both used to go to, and sang songs about drinking Yorkshire Tea (Big Brave Bill) or walking out in the fields around Penistone (The Lark).
The final song, Wild Mountain Thyme with everyone in the audience singing along – hundreds of voices blending in harmony – was phenomenal and her standing ovation at the end of the night was thoroughly deserved.
Kate plays in Cornwall on a reasonably regular basis so I’d recommend keeping an eye out for her next gig. I’ll definitely be there!