Review: Nancy Kerr and James Fagan at Sidmouth Folk festival

PUBLISHED: 17:30 20 August 2019

Nancy Kerr and James Fagan at the Ham Marquee. Picture: Paul Strange

Nancy Kerr and James Fagan at the Ham Marquee. Picture: Paul Strange

Paul Strange

Ever-popular folk duo Nancy Kerr and James Fagan packed Sidmouth’s Ham Marquee on the afternoon of Thursday, August 8, delighting the audience with a mixture of new and familiar pieces from their vast repertoire.

Jimmy Aldridge (left) and Sid Goldsmith at the Ham Marquee. Picture: Paul StrangeJimmy Aldridge (left) and Sid Goldsmith at the Ham Marquee. Picture: Paul Strange

Twice winners of Best Duo in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, the pair have been working together for more than 20 years.

Kerr is noted for her songwriting and virtuoso fiddle playing, while Fagan is a multi-instrumentalist, specialising in guitar, bouzouki and mandolin.

Highlights of their set included Kerr's self-penned Broadside, about the encounter between Elizabeth I and Irish pirate queen Grace O'Malley, and a heartfelt rendition of the traditional Turtle Dove featuring exquisite harmonies on the chorus.

Supporting duo Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith impressed with a mix of their own compositions, including Night Hours, and traditional songs such as the haunting and poignant The Reed Cutter's Daughter, featuring Goldsmith's vocals and Aldridge on concertina.

DELIA PEMBERTON


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