Review: New Rope String Band at Club Chesterfield

The New Rope String Band
The New Rope String Band
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This is folk but not as we know it! Chesterfield Folk Club boldly went where few folks do.

The New Rope String Band kept their folk and roots credentials alive with fiddle and accordion but blew the audience away with their Edinburgh Fringe style revue. When the audience weren’t roaring with laughter they were agog at what costume or twist would appear before them next. The band had spent hours arranging their props and scenery and their comic and musical timing showed they had spent many more hours perfecting their act.

Until you’ve seen a Scotsman in a kilt teaching the English about Morris Dancing which transmogrified into Saturday Night Fever, Break Dancing and then back again, it’s hard to describe. Equally, when three characters in sub aqua gear end up as musical notes on a stave made of underwater chime bars, you might feel a little disorientated.

There were too many good things to recount whether it was the tennis match batting notes with violins, the exploding theremin or the amazing sequence playing tunes on plastic pipes. Perhaps the biggest laughs were had when what appeared to be a live projection of their performance on a screen developed into an interactive one with pre-recorded sequences. As ever, Tim, was the butt of the jokes, ending up with him flying in his underpants on a lilo. As I say, you had to be there and the capacity crowd were glad they were.

January 10 sees the return of Richard Digance with a mixture of the serious and the seriously funny. Last time he came the club had to turn people away. We’re all anticipating another night to remember.

DAVE BATESON