Peter Walker and Nancy Elizabeth live at Miss Peapods
Review of Peter Walker & Nancy Elizabeth.
Live at Miss Peapodís Friday 20th March.
Thereís a large crowd and theyíve been kept waiting so itís no wonder that Nancy Elizabeth seems a little shy as she settles into her chair and lays her guitar across her knee. When she speaks, itís to confess that sheís been having problems with her voice. I experience a twinge of embarrassment on her behalf; just how bad is this going to be?
But I need not have worried, because when she opens her mouth again she lays all doubts to rest. Her voice is fragile, yes, but it is absolutely beautiful, tremulous and pure. And her guitar playing is lovely too, complicated but unshowy, providing the perfect complement to her voice.
Looking around at the upturned faces in the crowd the dominant impression is of rapt attention. People are really listening, mesmerised.
When she lays her guitar down there is a palpable air of disappointment, of a spell broken. I for one could have stood to watch it all again. Iím left to wonder what she sounds like when her voice is perfect.
The hush descends again when Peter Walker plays.
He looks so at home with a guitar in his hands, his eyes roving over the crowd, bestowing a nod here, sharing a smile there. All the while the music builds and climbs, his hands move faster but the effort seems to remain constant, and then, with a final flourish, the song ends.
After each song, each round of applause, he explains a little more about what it is heís trying to do, which teacher he learnt a particular lesson from, when and where. But itís not all business. He tells some tales too. His story-telling technique is almost as well honed as his guitar playing and youíre left to muse on what a full life the guy has lived.
But then itís back to the music. Another complicated sounding musical concept illustrated with apparent ease. Another twisting river of song that flows into a climactic waterfall before giving way to a momentís awed silence and then more applause.
It was a real pleasure and a privilege to be allowed to stand and to listen, all of us together listening, to two wonderful musicians.
Added: Thursday, March 26, 2009
Reviewer: Matthew Humby
Related Link: Promoter's Web page