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.
Eliza Carthy and Norma Waterson – review
The Gift Band Live at Union Chapel
Robin Denselow is a journalist and broadcaster who specialises in music and politics. He is the author of When The Music's Over, a history of political pop