Review: Artisan at Chesterfield Library Theatre

‘A fantastic venue’ said headliners Artisan on the second night of their reunion tour. The Library Theatre is indeed a great venue and Chesterfield Folk Club makes it feel like home in this their first season in partnership with the Library.

Artisan play at Chesterfield Library Theatre.
Artisan play at Chesterfield Library Theatre.

Artisan sang the three part harmonies perfectly. No wonder they have performed all over the world to rapt audiences.

At turns comic and poignant and always thoughtful, the songs had the crowd laughing, singing and moved in turn.

Brian Bedford is a formidable songwriter, able to conjure phrases and tunes out of the air in his favourite walking spot. His songs have been covered more times than he can probably count and they are perfectly rendered by wife Jacey, and Hilary Spencer. ‘I Saw Another You’, ‘Dancing With Words’ and ‘White Horses’ were particularly affecting and ‘I Ain’t Going Down’ got the crowd singing along.

This is probably the last time Artisan perform in Chesterfield and those lucky enough to be there will have the fondest of memories.

The support act was Mondegreen who treated a receptive audience to six self-penned songs before closing with ‘Let It Be’. ‘Saving Grace’ and ‘Freiston Shore’, a song sadly all-too-topical about the Vulcan bombers and their bomb practising in Lincolnshire, went down particularly well.

The next concert, on May 8, sees a double-header of the duo Mick Ryan and Paul Downes and local favourite Judy Dunlop. Another great night is in prospect.