It has been said that Kate Rusby has often been hailed as the First Lady of folk and this year see’s her celebrate 30 years of being a professional musician and to celebrate she has released a special album entitled “30”. It is an album of newly recorded versions of some of her favourite songs from throughout her career. It also features some of the many artists that have inspired her along the way including Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Richard Hawley, and Dan Kyminski to name but a few.
Friday night saw Kate visit the South West and Westlands Centre in Yeovil is the venue for this evenings show. Inside the venue it is all seated with neat rows all aligned to face the good sized stage and at the rear of the stage there is a big neon sign saying 30 to coincide with the name of the tour and album.
At 7.30 on the dot Kate and her fellow band members appear to warm applause from the audience. She starts by explaining the theme of the tour and her new album and thanks those that have bought it. The show opens with Benjamin Bowmaneer which draws a nice reaction and this was quickly followed by We will Sing which was recorded with Ladysmith Black Mambazo. This song saw the crowd join in on the words We will Sing.
Later in the set came Hunter Moon, a crowd favourite which had the heads swaying and feet tapping, Kate explained that this song was about the moon being in love with the sun but he couldn’t tell her as he couldn’t catch her as they revolve around each other but she liked the passion that it brought. Only Desire What You Have followed which skipped along as a song Kate found in one of her old French song books which had been translated into English,she wrote the music for it. The song is about all the good things you have in life and accepting that what you have.
Later in the set came Three little birds, a Bob Marley and the Wailers cover which Kate has also created a version of on her YouTube channel with her two daughters while the country was in lockdown.
We were treated to Step and Pull which features the guys in the band as Kate goes off for a little break, and also features Kate’s husband Damien O’Kane on guitar. Kate returns and the band give us another cover, this time it’s Lye Lovett’s If I had a boat.
Kate introduces the song Jenny and asks if there are any ladies in the audience called Jenny and is surprised when 3 women reply “yes”. She tells a story about another gig she played and asked the same question and there was none and she seems genuinely surprised there wasn’t any and gives a warm chuckle.
Tonight has shown that Kate is still a firm favourite on the folk scene with her soft and mesmerizing vocals and her from the heart lyrics it’s safe to say we have all been entertained.
Words and Photos by Martin Smith for TrueStyleMusic