REVIEW: The Poozies, Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham

The Poozies
The Poozies

I’ve spent the past week doing my gig homework; playing my old Poozies albums and enjoying the wander down memory lane. I was struck by how consistent the Poozie sound is despite the line-up changing almost every album.

The single constant is the wonderful Mary Macmaster. Her harp provides a wonderful bass sound that underpins the live set.

Two new members have joined, replacing Sally Barker and Mairearad Green, since they last played here in 2015. Sarah McFadyen has a wonderful voice and on stage pairs her fiddle wonderfully with Eilidh Shaw. Tia Files plays guitar and bass drum and in fact her deeper voice offers greater breadth to the Poozies vocal sound.

The set list was, as you’d expect, drawn largely from the latest album: Punch. Recent single Soaking in the Bathtub, a dark song, is terrific live and along with The Wedding Song and the title track are my favourites of the new material.

The first half of the set was dominated by instrumentals which, whilst a great showcase for the bands’ talent, are not as compelling as the vocal songs. The Blackberry Race is good but the sublime Easily Led sung by McFadyen in the deserved encore was so much better.

Harmonies have always been a major part of The Poozies sound and I love to hear them live. They were on good form tonight, banter aplenty and eventually the Ashcroft crowd warmed up enough to join in. A good night, especially when the girls sing along.

Simon Evans