Rook Lane Blog

Last night the chapel was buzzing with a calm but eccentric folky crowd – there to hear Martha Tilston.

Support act Morales/Watts kicked off proceedings with a quirky and romantic set – Watts finger-picking guitar with the speed of a touch-typer, whilst Morales entertained the audience with interspersed stand-up-esque anecdotes and then snippets of harmonica to break up his (incredibly impressive) vocals.

Morales kindly gave me a CD but I would’ve bought one. His rhythmic, soulful music is great live but great recorded too (I gave the CD a spin ‘pon returning to my abode).

And then Martha floated on to the stage. Barefoot. Her slightly Cockney London accent is somewhat juxtiposed by the pure, angel-like vocals that stream from her (perfectly) over-sized mouth. Her tales and introductions to the songs proved her to be humble and modest – yet her vehement hate for all violence and capitalism is testament to her passionate streak.

The implementation of expletives to illustrate her dislike for corporations and nuclear power stations was quite unexpected and she apologised to the two children in the crowd – explaining that sometimes adults have to use strong language when discussing certain issues – but it also made the audience loosen up and laugh.

After a non-stop set of songs – old and new compositions amongst tradional folk numbers – she left the stage with her bassist and then returned for an a cappella performance of a folk classic. Without the mic – her voice boomed through the chapel and sent such powerful shivers down my spine – it was as if someone had poured a cup of feathers down my back.

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