Megan Linford at The Square Tower, Old Portsmouth REVIEW: ‘Her most ambitious and accomplished music to date’

Apologies to Fire In The Meadow, I arrived just as the opening act began what turned out to be their final song.

Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 10:50 am
Updated Wednesday, 27th March 2019, 10:56 am
Megan Linford at The Square Tower, March 2019. Picture: Paul Windsor
Megan Linford at The Square Tower, March 2019. Picture: Paul Windsor

But if the six-piece bluegrass act have got more songs in the locker like that, then the buzz around them is well deserved.

Next up, The Mantic Muddlers provide their own brand of ‘roots, rattle and roll’ – which neatly describes the trio’s sound. With violin, guitar and double-bass around a single mic, they’re tight, with some nice harmonies and memorable songs.

But this is Megan’s night – to launch her new single The First Day of Spring. And it’s impressive to see how much she has grown as a performer and a songwriter over the years.

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Megan Linford at The Square Tower. Picture: Paul Windsor

To play that new single, her band are joined by Tom Basson on slide guitar. From its atmospheric opening to heartfelt payoff, it’s Megan’s most ambitious and accomplished music to date.

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Megan on her 2019 plans

There’s a couple of well-chosen covers. Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game becomes a beautiful duet with guest player, singer-songwriter Joe Gisby. And given that there’s sometimes something about Megan that looks and feels like she could have stepped out of Greenwich Village in the 1950s, a Joan Baez cover (Diamonds and Rust) is apt.

But with her full six-piece band, the sound becomes something more expansive than folk-revivalism

Promising an album later in the year based on the journey through the seasons, she debuts a stirring new song, Autumn.

It bodes very well for the album, and proves why Megan was a worthy winner of this year’s Guide Awards Best Solo Act.