Eliza Carthy and Norma Waterson – review

The Gift Band Live at Union Chapel

Just over a year ago, Norma Waterson teamed up with her daughter Eliza Carthy and husband Martin, along with three other musicians, to perform material from Norma and Eliza's much-praised album Gift. They gave a memorable performance at London's Union Chapel, where this double album was recorded, but soon afterwards Norma became ill. She is now recovering and will hopefully sing again; this wildly varied set is a reminder that she is a formidable interpreter of not just traditional material, but popular songs. Nearly half the songs here are from her solo albums, and most had never been performed live before. They include her powerful treatment of Richard Thompson's Josef Locke and God Loves a Drunk, along with Dreaming, written for her by Loudon Wainwright, and Clive Gregson's bittersweet Fred Astaire. The eight songs from Gift include that glorious traditional weepie, Bunch of Thyme. Eliza was clearly happy to let her mum dominate the show but shows off her fine singing and violin work on The Nightingale. I'm delighted this concert was recorded.


Robin Denselow

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Eliza Carthy and Norma Waterson: Gift | CD review
This sometimes sparse but direct and unashamedly emotional album by Carthy and her mother is an impressive addition to each's acclaimed body of work, says Robin Denselow

Robin Denselow

08, Jul, 2010 @9:50 PM

Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy - review
The lady who heads the most extraordinary folk music dynasty in England was in magnificent voice, writes Robin Denselow

Robin Denselow

31, Oct, 2010 @9:44 PM

Eliza Carthy and Norma Waterson: Gift | CD review
Eliza Carthy's exquisite playing fails to mask Gift's lack of cohesion, says Neil Spencer

Neil Spencer

10, Jul, 2010 @11:05 PM

Article image
Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy on their first mother-and-daughter album
Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy are part of the first family of British folk music, and as they prepare to release their first album as mother-and-daughter, they talk to Jude Rogers

Jude Rogers

08, Jul, 2010 @9:30 PM

Article image
Folk CD of the month: Norma Waterson & Eliza Carthy with the Gift Band: Anchor review
Joy and bruised melancholy combine on this extraordinary release, made after the trials of illness

Jude Rogers

01, Jun, 2018 @7:30 AM

Article image
Paul Morley Showing Off ... Martin Carthy, Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy

Paul Morley introduces a legendary folk family and wonders how the music they lived off and through has changed over time

Paul Morley

02, Oct, 2009 @6:51 PM

Eliza Carthy: Neptune – review
The variety on Carthy's third set of self-written material is remarkable, and so is her vocal range, writes Robin Denselow

Robin Denselow

05, May, 2011 @9:50 PM

Article image
Norma Waterson obituary
Celebrated singer of traditional English folk music whose embrace of other musical styles won her a wide following

Robin Denselow

31, Jan, 2022 @1:55 PM

Article image
CD: Eliza Carthy, Dreams of Breathing Underwater


Robin Denselow

19, Jun, 2008 @11:14 PM

Waterson: Carthy, Holy Heathens and the Old Green Man

Wintry folk that shines the spotlight on Britain's pagan past.

Graeme Thomson

12, Nov, 2006 @2:08 AM