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Karine Polwart

The Salutation, Doncaster
Monday 30 January 2006

After one or two problems with the sound system tonight, the Karine Polwart Band delighted a small but respectable Doncaster audience to a memorable evening of acoustic music. The problems in getting the monitors to work correctly forced Karine to make the decision to go totally acoustic, which for some is even better. The Sal's concert room is borderline in any case, and with Karine purposefully leaning out from the stage, she managed to get that delightful voice to the back of the room with a certain ease. Karine Polwart was joined by her kid brother Steve on guitar and Inge Thomson on accordion and backing vocals. Because the band chose to play a totally acoustic set, we were treated to some really fine harmony vocals that could very easily have been lost in the mix otherwise, who knows? Songs like The Sun's Comin' Over The Hill, Faultlines and Four Strong Walls need that delicate touch although, having said that, the opening song to both the gig and the Faultlines album, Only One Way, could've done with a full band with the PA cranked up to eleven. The mix up with the PA did cause some brows to furrow and there was some disappointment in the air, albeit coming soley from the three organisers, myself included, but the audience cared not a jot, they lapped it up. It was just like the folk clubs used to be, in fact Chris Eusden who was supporting with Mike Miller, pointed out that very fact, that this is how it was always done in the good old days of Sixties folk clubs. So, although I promised Bob I wouldn't go on about it, I really don't think it mattered all that much in the end. The band were happy, the audience were happy, it was a good gig.

Allan Wilkinson
Northern Sky