Review: The Strawbs at The Cellars at Eastney

Experience some rarely played chamber pieces at Portsmouth Guildhall

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Founding Strawbs member Dave Cousins, along with Dave Lambert and Chas Cronk, make up the Acoustic Strawbs: the current Strawbs line-up that has now been touring since 2004.

The Cellars at Eastney was completely packed for the Portsmouth leg of the folk rock band’s current tour, with one audience member remarking: ‘I can’t believe a band like this would come here.’

Four decades on from their first appearance, the passion heard on their original material is not lost in their live set.

Dave Cousins’ unmistakably powerful voice, along with intricate guitar parts from the trio, makes for a compelling spectacle, though the group remained modest throughout, joking ‘We’re going to take a short break to plug in the pacemakers.’

Between anthems like Benedictus and Autumn, Cousins reminisced about the band’s early days in The White Bear, London, as well as record deals, touring and the people they met during their career.

Wrapping up their 90-minute set with Lay Down, a soulful fan favourite, they brought the evening to a pleasant and nostalgic close, proving that after all these years they can still put on a very good show.

At 44 years and counting, The Strawbs definitely proved they’ve still got it.

JESSIE DRABBLE