Review: Kimber’s Men, The Spring, Havant

Kimber's Men
Kimber's Men
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Folk music has perhaps sometimes had a bad press, what with the dilly-dilly-dum-dilly-dum-dum-dillies and all that (and actually, we had such a line to sing along to at The Spring on Saturday night).

But I would challenge - no, entreat and cajole - anyone who thinks the genre is not quite for them to spend an evening in the engaging company of Kimber’s Men.

These five talented and personable singers kept the audience enthralled with their rich and powerful harmonies as, in most cases without any instrumental accompaniment, they told us stories of ships that had foundered - and of women who had suffered the same fate.

In a seafaring area such as this, it was a joy to listen to shanties of old and imagine how in their own way they powered ships of oak. And the quintet brought us spirituals sung by slaves that inspired dreams of freedom and salvation.

As well as tunes from the depths of history, a good number of their songs have been written only recently, some self-penned, showing that this means of either gladdening or saddening the soul through the sheer power and beauty of the human voice is very much alive.

Throw in a good dose of between-songs humour (I commend to you the joke about the Yorkshire guide dog) and you have a wonderful way in which to while away an evening.