The musicians gradually join their instruments on stage. Marianne Schofield – double bass, Maya Amin-Smith – violin, mandolin and guitar, Colin Danskin – trumpet, Patrick Milne – guitar and Héloïse Werner – cello. Formed in 2010 whilst studying at university this young group are quickly making a name for themselves on the British folk scene.
A seventeenth century tune about trees, a metaphor for human life, fills the hall. The mother in the song sings of her son – “death put an end to his growing”. As well as playing three instruments – mandolin, guitar and violin –Maya sings in wavering alto and despite her apparent youth brings maturity to the lyrics. Though the trees will long outgrow us.
A collected song – The Maid of Culmore – sinks you slowly into the depths of the sea. Rising with the chorus of voices you find yourself gasping for air, emotionally manipulated by the music. The Maid of Whitby washes this low mood away. The tale of a father and daughter deftly tricking sailors out of their money lifts the spirit, with the trumpet adding a perfect cheeky edge.
Searching the Cecil Sharp House archives they have stumbled across two songs. Erin’s Lovely Home in the Clive Kerry Collection and Blackbird, a Romani folk song. Sam Lee recently released a version of blackbird on his second album but this is different, almost right down to the lyrics. The cello mimics the flight of the blackbird and with a humming and crawling base give the song a sinister edge.
The Coach House Company take you on a journey reminding you of your mortality but keeping your head above the water.