Ladies night' at Cambridge Folk Club a success
Female folk artists Jess Morgan, Kitty MacFarlane and sister duo Doubleknot all performed strong sets.
Invited back to the Cambridge Folk Club after impressing at an open mic night, DoubleKnot are Megan and Charlotte Simpson, two sisters from Suffolk aged 14 and 17 who are hoping to release their first album in 2018.
Playing guitar and piano and singing assured, self-penned material – a song called November and a tune about Christmas lights particularly stood out – plus a Taylor Swift cover, the talented pair were backed by their friend Dave Olney on double bass, the evening’s ‘token man’.
Next up was Kitty MacFarlane. Hailing from Somerset and delivering her well-crafted musings on life in her own accent – and with a beautiful guitar-picking style – many of her atmospheric songs dealt with West Country life and folklore, including the legend of giants Goram and Vincent.
Lamb was an extension of the William Blake poem, while Song to the Siren was a touching cover of a Tim Buckley song about mermaids enticing sailors to their deaths.
Kitty revealed a fascination with eels and sang a composition related to the subject, and also spoke of some advice she was given as a teenager to “write about what you know.”
Bus Song, an acutely observed piece about a particular bus she used to take, certainly heeded this advice.
Jess Morgan followed, treating the packed out venue to a varied selection from her four-album career.
With an energetic guitar style and charismatic stage presence, Jess’s passion for songwriting really shone through. Songs like A Hundred Years Old and In Brooklyn sparkled with creativity, and, interestingly, she too has a song about eels, which just happens to be called Eels.
Like Kitty, her reflections on the mundane aspects of everyday life were impressive for their simplicity. One of her tunes was even inspired by the Birmingham ring road...
For the last song of the evening, these two fine artists – who only met for the first time last week – shared the stage and sang Jess’ Freckles in the Sun.
The respect between them appeared mutual, the appreciation and admiration of the crowd undeniable. It would be a pleasure to see them sing together again.