Andy’s melodeon magic at Sidmouth FolkWeek

Andy Cutting and friends offer flawless evening of music

About two years ago I had the pleasure of seeing folk songstress Kate Rusby play at the Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple, writes Jonathan Alexander-Frye. It was truly one of the finest evenings of music that I have enjoyed since catching the ‘live music bug’ at the age of 13.

One of the stand-out performances of the night was an unassuming melodeon player named Andy Cutting.

One leg on a stool, and a smile painted on his face, he proceeded to provide a flawless backbone to a stellar cast of British folk musicians; his joy spilling over the edge of the stage and almost tangibly felt by all in attendance.

It is no surprise then that on hearing he would be playing at Sidmouth Folk Festival this year, my ears pricked up somewhat.

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As if the spectacle of seeing such a top quality musician was not enough, within two minutes of walking through the doors of the Ham Marquee, we were introduced to an absolute treat to the ears – live collaborations with such legends as June Tabor, Martin Simpson, Ian Carr and John McCusker.

Head in the clouds, with his gentle smile ever-present, Andy Cutting strolled through a set made up of both his own material and songs written by his musical friends creating a light-hearted atmosphere that people could really relax into.

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He switched seamlessly between melancholic love songs and fast-paced folky banter.

With ease he created a strong rapport with the audience by explaining the background behind certain songs and telling a few jokes along the way.

At all times it was obvious as to why Cutting has become the low-lying linchpin of many a famous folk line-up.

All in all, a magical night of mesmerising music in a fun family-friendly atmosphere.

For those that haven’t heard of Andy Cutting before, I would strongly recommend you buy some of his music, or even better, go and see him live in concert. You will not be disappointed.

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