MOTHER and daughter Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy won BBC Radio 2 Album of the Year and Traditional Recording of the Year with the Gift album. Previously they have been nominated individually for the Mercury award and won BBC Folk Singer of the Year. It is fair to describe them as premier league folkies.
The two women sat at the front of the stage, husband and dad Martin Carthy almost out of sight behind them, providing accompaniment on guitar.
The Gift Band added guitar, double bass, piano and accordion plus backing vocals. The concert over two sets was built around traditional and contemporary folk songs. In the main it was a celebration of English songs, some picked up by Norma from other folk singers during her decades playing folk clubs, others by singer-songwriters well known to the Sage audience, such as Richard Thompson.
The pair exchanged banter with each other and the audience with such relaxed ease that I felt that I was sitting with them having a chat. The concert was fun and uplifting, proving that you can be serious without being stuffy. The Gift Band added highly polished range and depth.
For me, and I dare say for others, it was the folk gig of the year.