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Music Editorial

steeleye17.jpg Raining folk champions

Steeleye Span are playing a very special gig at Newcastle’s City Hall in early December with support from the Acoustic Strawbs and Jacqui McShee (voice of Pentangle now with her new band Take 3). Oh my!

For folk fans Christmas Day has been shifted this year from the 25 December to 5 December with the arrival of a truly stellar line-up at the City Hall. Leading the charge will be those pioneers of the folk rock scene Steeleye Span who are led, as ever, by the vocals of Maddy Prior. The band – fast approaching their fiftieth anniversary – have an enviable back catalogue of iconic tunes and they’ll be pulling out all of their biggies for this gig.

The Strawbs, meanwhile, have been hailed by Rolling Stone magazine as true legends of prog, but they are also firmly rooted in the folk rock scene too with Sandy Denny featuring in one of their earlier line-ups. Now playing as Acoustic Strawbs, and led by founder Dave Cousins, the trio bring a fresh approach to the band’s extensive catalogue.

Jacqui McShee’s crystal clear voice, combined with virtuoso guitarists John Renbourn and Bert Jansch, was as the heart of Pentangle – the band who combined jazz, folk and rock with dazzling results. McShee has continued to perform with a succession of stunning musicians, including her latest band Take 3, who perform classic Pentangle songs in a more acoustic manner, as well as McShee’s personal favourites from the jazz and blues genre.

Never mind Christmas coming early, this is all of my Christmases come at once.

Steeleye Span + Acoustic Strawbs + Pentangle’s Jacqui McShee’s Take 3, Tuesday 5 December, City Hall, Newcastle, doors 6.30pm, £32. Tickets and info from Theatre Royal’s website: https://www.theatreroyal.co.uk/whats-on/steeleye-span