Sunday 3rd December 2023
Review, photos and video by Keith Belcher
After a 10 year absence, a 7 hour drive in awful conditions and only a half hour sound check, Devon’s Jim Causley took the stage on a cold, wintry night . The audience were treated to pre-show drinks and nibbles from Hilary and Ron. A sign of the times that some mince pies were labelled vegan.
Switching effortlessly between accordion, keyboards, a Capella , stories, poems and songs, happy ,sad and somewhere inbetween. Jim, blessed with one of the best voices in the folk genre delighted the very enthusiastic Live Room audience not only with his singing but also the humour in the show. An unaccompanied poem by Roald Dahl mixing all the panto/fairy tale stories together had the audience in stitches. None of your usual festive carols featured in this show.
The show itself was a bit of a history lesson of Christmas songs from all around the British Isles (even a Gracie Fields cover from Lancashire and that well known folkie Cyndi Lauper were allowed in!). A lot of the songs were from Jim’s latest Christmas CD but many from the folk archives.
A goodtime was had by all. Set List below for those interested. (Note the Ivy and The Holly is not a typo and the Hunting The Wren is traditional not the one on the latest Lankum CD which is also covered by Natalie Merchant). Some shots below, videos to follow. Jim also wore a Christmas hat in the second set but I’d put my camera away by then. The video captures the hat though.)
Mari Lwyd/Dartmoor Wassail
The Dunster Carol
On Christmas Day It Happened So
Hunting The Wren
The Plymtree Carol
Christmas in No Mans Land
My Christmas Day
Adams Fall/Feels Like Christmas
A Song Of Truth
The Jacobstowe Wassail/Christmas Morn
The Ditchling Poem
Hot Pot Hot
Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs (Roald Dahl)
The Ivy & The Holly