Review: Greenwich Meantime at Murphy’s Inn

Nicholas Matthew: Lead Vocals, Guitar
Steph McAlear: Drums, percussion, vocals
James Libbey: Highland pipes, whistles, trumpet, keys, vocals
Shelley Downing: fiddle, mandolin, vocals
Nigel Gibson: bass guitar
Management: Glen Forrester

Link: Greenwich Meantime — I checked out the website; these guys have quite a tour schedule!
Yes, I went out to a concert last night, at Murphy’s Inn, to hear as Gilles put it, “James Libbey’s band”. That meant quite a bit to me, because, back in their pre-driver’s licence days, for several years I drove my son Peter and Wes’ son James the thirty-five minutes up to Maxville every second Saturday for their piping lessons with the legendary Pipe major J.T. MacKenzie, who for a long time had been the Queen Mum’s Piper. I knew that J.T. gave his students a very rigorous musical education that a sound foundation, both practical and theoretical. In all those years, I never heard James say a word from the back seat. Peter has since become a major piper in Picton, has a CD of his music out (Peter Harry Hill). Now I was going to see the payoff for James.

I wrote about my experience last night, after the concert in “Celtic Music”. Now I would like to talk about the music itself. First, let me confess that much as I would have liked to, I did not stay for the whole concert: I am too old to stand for four hours at the end of a long day, particularly when I had not finished the poem I had started for yesterday (“Takoniweha stops by a tree”). But I did hear the first four numbers.

Let me say this: Greenwich Meantime is wonderful. Their music was all original, witty, richly arranged, affective, and thoroughly enjoyable, even to my old ears. I was pleased to see Nicholas’ dad, Ernie Sequin, whom I had not seen for years, playing a mean harmonica for a tune Nicholas wrote for him. The musicians are versatile, strong performers, with an alert crowd sense. The production values are strong, even on the limited stage of a somewhat cheesy venue like Murphy’s Inn. I do not know much about bands, have never been interested, even though I am a singer in a barbershop chorus, and taking part in attempting to start a quartet. But when I come across it, I know what I like. So did the overflow house in attendance. Bravo!

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About riverwriter

Poet, playwright, duplicate bridge player, website designer, cottager, husband, father, grandfather, former athlete, carpenter, computer helper for my friends, theatre designer, backstage polymath, retired teacher of highschool English, drama, art, a baritone singer in a barbershop quartet, who knows what else? wordcurrents is on Facebook: Doug also has a Facebook page, "Incognitio", related to his novels.
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