The Furrow Collective, The Spring Arts Centre, Havant, REVIEW: ‘An experience worth having’

Taking my seat in The Spring’s compact auditorium my attention was drawn to the instruments on the stage. Banjo? Check. Guitars? Check. Harp? Check. Fiddle? Check. Spear & Jackson saw? Of course.

Monday, 29th April 2019, 10:26 am
Updated Monday, 29th April 2019, 10:33 am
They were at The Spring Arts Centre, Havant.

The setting is perfect for The Furrow Collective’s introspective, melancholic music. The audience are hushed and respectful, perhaps too much; the first attempt at a singalong was not a success. A second chance was offered in the second set for Poor Old Mare which most joined in with.

With three albums to choose from there were no shortage of familiar songs. Openers Davy Lowston and The Dark-Eyed Gypsies sat comfortably alongside older numbers like Wondrous Love and my favourite of the night Queen Eleanor’s Confession.

The saw, you’ll be pleased to know, was used to good effect on The Cruel Grave from the current album Fathoms. A dark song (well, darker, it’s not a bouncing upbeat show) meant the keening sound of the saw suited the mood perfectly.

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The mix of vocal styles works surprisingly well. I was familiar with Emily Portman’s work beforehand but I was taken very much with Alasdair Robert’s fragile vocals and Rachel Newton’s harp offers a depth to the music too. Lucy Farrell plays the saw but sings lead on several songs beautifully too. 

Not an uplifting night but an experience worth having nonetheless.