Sheesham Lotus and Son provided the perfect balance between musical virtuosity and a rascally hokum performance. A sepia tinted performance giving an authentic aural experience providing a time capsule of the 1930s. Their period costume added to the authenticity, showmanship there was but this was underpinned by superb musicianship.
Sam Allison’s banjo playing both frailing but primarily short scale tenor was no single top line melody instrument but his chord and rhythm playing demonstrated a wonderful drive providing an imaginative rhythm propelling the sound.
Teilhard Frost’s fiddle playing was simply wonderful, before the show, joining in with the support, with his band and later, believe me much, much later after the show I witnessed an enthusiasm for fiddle playing that was a treat in every setting. In addition to the banjos, fiddle and sousaphone there was music played on harmonicas, miniature bottle, turkey baster, hambone (check their website) a demonstration that if you have the music you do not need conventional instruments to demonstrate that you are musical.
Brian Sanderson on sousaphone provided bass notes breaking away to sing one number and solo on a valved hunting horn bashed by a long hard life of misuse and neglect. A shrunken version of Dizzy Gillespie’s sky pointing trumpet that looked like it had first been run over by the Calgary stampede then repaired by a drunken plumber. To produce a jazzy bluesy solo was wonderful. This instrument was used only once but it has been said that it is good to leave the audience wanting more.
The audience certainly wanted more and even after encores few wanted to leave. The most entertaining trio I have ever witnessed.
Support was a rare solo performance from Barry Nisbet who demonstrated on fiddle, guitar and vocals why he is in such demand not only as a performer but also as a songwriter. His dazzling demonstration of fiddle tunes from his native Yell were a delight. His self penned songs bordeland and his humorous Shetland dialect song (with translation) provided great contrast. Sheesham’s fiddle player was unable to resist the temptation to join Barry for a fiddle duet.
It is little wonder that by continuing to provide music of this quality that The Dundee Acoustic Music Club have been shortlisted for MG Alba’s Scots Music Awards club of the year. Please vote for us via Scots trad music awards web pages.