Yorkshire Evening Post
In recent months we have seen pop invade Harrogate’s lovely old theatre with great results. Now Leeds is to see a similar kind of event at the Civic Theatre.
On Thursday night a pair of contemporary folk groups - the Strawbs, a folk-cum-underground combination with a very big following, plus the Foggy Dew-O, a Yorkshire twosome with two albums to their credit - stage their own concert in this intimate 400 seat theatre, an experiment with a view to bigger things in future. The Strawbs need little introduction. They are already a big attraction, well-known on and off the screen while Danny Clarke and Lenny Wesley of the Foggy Dew-O have been busily engaged in making a big name for themselves since first presenting their own brand of music in the Barnsley area five years ago. Album.
They have some 50 television appearances to their credit, including a “Colour Me Pop” spot. You may have already heard them on radio’s “Country Meets Folk” on which they play regularly.
The Foggy Dew-O’s second album, “Born To Take The Highway” is now on release, reflecting the scope and talent of these two boys, one from Conisborough, near Doncaster, the other an ex-student at the Barnsley College of Art. Danny says of the duo’s music: “We do a very wide range of material. Some things are written by the Strawbs, some by ourselves - and of course - we give traditional songs contemporary arrangements.” Liked.
Like many folk music lovers, Danny finds the traditional “purist” attitude to folk distasteful. How often have you been to one of those places where one of the local yokels suitably clad Clancy Brothers-style in polo-necked jersey and jeans clambers to his feet, pint in hand, and, with eyes tightly closed begins to sing unaccompanied in that familiar nasal voice. Anyone who dares sing an American song on such hallowed ground is generally greeted with stony glances from the regulars. “But things are levelling out now,” says Danny. “And this is a much more healthy attitude. Traditional purists hindered the natural folk revival. If they had adopted a wider approach instead of trying to be the one true church of folk music, things would have been better.”
The Foggy Dew-O know where they are going. They are well known and liked on the college and university circuit. Danny says the Foggy Dew-O would like simply to carve their notch in the entertainment tree. They will sing a song to any audience - a good song judged on its merits, be it from Kilmarnock or California. Together with the Strawbs, Danny Clarke and Lesley Wesley have already staged two successful concerts. Thursday evening at the Civic Theatre should make it a hat-trick