Review: Faustus @ St David's Hall
St Davids Hall
St David's Hall are showcasing a superb festival of modern and traditional folk music for the senses with their 'Roots Unearthed' season of performances. Having brought in new and old acts from the wrold of folk music, now it's time for a trio of musicians who aren't strangers to the scene, as Faustus (Benji Kirkpatrick of Bellowhead, Paul Sartin of Bellowhead/Belshazzar's Feast, and Saul Rose of Waterson Carthy and Kings of Calicutt) take to the stage with their blend of old and modern folk ditties.
All three take it in turns to introduce and perform lead vocals on the songs, focusing on their latest offering, 2013s 'Broken Down Gentlemen' and playing a mixture of instruments to complement their tales of heartbreak and solitude (not the most up-beat of subjects as the trio regularly remind the crowd!) all the while entertaining the audience with their tales of lost loves and song history.
That's one of the best parts of this show for sure. The music is sublime, part stompy headnod-along, part harmonic whimsy; easy to get lost in. But it's the sardonic and endearing delivery from the gentlemen that really carries the show. They announce each song with a back-story of some sort, playfully jiving each other and accepting crowd calls and occasional tech faults. They appear relaxed, jocular; really enjoying themselves on stage, and it's this warmth and humour that gives life to their performance. The music itself breathes with this life and pleasure derived from their acknowledgement of their craft, and with glorious performances of 'The Hostess' Daughter', 'Banks of the Nile' and 'Blow the Windy Morn', this is a band you don't want to miss live.
A small turnout for such a great group, this was a show that can't be repeated. You missed a great show, especially considering the band took to the merch table during the interval for CD signings. If you haven't already, give Faustus a listen, it's accessible and easy to get lost in; a rare feat in modern music.
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