While I’ve seen quite a few bands more than once on the same tour this year, this is the first time I’ve ever seen the same act on two consecutive nights in completely different cities.
Friday night at Fibbers was on Odin Dragonfly’s home ground of York before an audience made up of an equal mix of hardcore Mostly Autumn fans and friends of the band, which made for a tremendous atmosphere; an awful lot of familar faces, and one of those gigs that’s more like a big private party that a regular concert. It’s the first time I’ve been (literally!) dragged to the pub afterwards by the support act and made to drink beer. ’twas one of those nights.
Saturday was at The Fly in New Oxford street, a very small and intimate venue, probably one of the smallest venues I’ve been to this year. With the low stage in one corner, only the front few rows could actually see much of the band! The sound was still excellent, though.
Support at Fibbers was half-hour sets from the excellent harpist Sarah Dean, who I’d seen supporting Odin Dragonfly before, and Aimee Ryan. Aimee’s set was rather spoiled by far too much audience chatter while she was on stage, especially when everyone had kept quiet during Sarah’s performance.
The support at The Fly was the excellent Anne-Marie Helder, who I’d seen supporting Mostly Autumn back in February. I recognised several of her songs from theat Astoria show; as I said back then, a solo acoustic set requires a powerful voice and strong material; Anne-Marie has both.
As I’ve come to expect from them, Heather and Angie put on a great show both nights. I still find it amazing that they can produce such a rich sound with just the two of them on stage, with nothing more than acoustic guitar, piano, flute and two voices. The setlist this time around was made up of the “Offerings” album played in order, plus a lot of the usual banter between songs. So much banter, in fact, that the York show started running considerably over time, and “Caught in a Fold” had to be dropped. They manage to fit all twelve songs in the time allowed at The Fly.
It’s just impossible to single out any highlights, there were just too many. There was Angela’s fantastic flute playing on the cover of Jethro Tull’s “Witches Promise”. There were the two beautiful renditions of “Magnolia Half-Moon”, one of my favourites from the album. Their cover of the unreleased Stevie Nicks song “Forsaken Love” comes over really well live too. But so does everything else; there really weren’t any weak spots on either night.
If anyone had told me a year ago I travel a couple of hundred miles to see two shows by female acoustic duo, I wouldn’t have believed them. But they were well worth seeing.