Magical final flourish from Steeleye Span

REVIEW: Steeleye Span, New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth.

Steeleye Span
Steeleye Span

How do you cap a great concert?

You do it in style, with a spine-tingling encore which was worth the admission alone.

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There was something utterly magical about Deep In The Darkest Night, a haunting, quite bewitching way to close the show – the best I’ve seen from Steeleye Span since I saw them for the first time in 1989.

As ever, the show is built around the wonderful, distinctive vocals of Maddy Prior; and the band’s challenge has always been to complement them with everything else that’s happening on stage. With the addition of Jessie May Smart, they have found the perfect foil. She is a mesmerising performer, a sublime, lyrical, flowing violinist who in turn finds the perfect complement in the guitar work of Julian Littman and Andrew ‘Spud’ Sinclair.

This was Steeleye Span, an institution for nearly half a century, firing on all cylinders. Their new album is out on November 18 – a mouth-watering prospect.

Phil Hewitt

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