STEELEYE Span cross the folk rock divide like no other act in the UK.

To see them in the Drill Hall at Bury as part of a trio of acts under the “Homegrown Folk” festival was to see a group who can still mix it with the younger generations, and delight longstanding fans with their back catalogue.

They were in Bury as part of the “Homegrown Folk” festival, and were supported by Trio Dhoore and Marry Waterson and David A.

Jaycock as they romped through some of their biggest hits, some new stuff and left the audience feeling like they had enjoyed a few hours with some old friends as well as making new ones.

First up, Trio Dhoore. Three Flemish brothers whose tunes were written to get your feet tapping and left you wanting to hear more.

It may have been a short support set, but I expect to hear more from them as they gear up to set a release date for their new album.

They were followed by Marry Waterson & David A. Jaycock, whose album ‘Two Wolves‘ was nominated for a BBC Folk award earlier this year.

Marry’s voice, allied with David’s haunting guitars makes for a sparse, but beautiful series of songs, and she closed out the set with an a Capella version of her Mum’s song, “Some old salty” with crowd accompaniment.

Then the main event – Steeleye Span. This band are more than just a folk rock group.

Along with the Watersons and Fairport Convention, they are the original folk survivors.

Maddy Prior rolled back the years as she shared vocals with both Rick Kemp and Julian Littman for a stroll through hits such as “All Around My hat” and “Gaudete” as well as their collaboration with the late Sir Terry Pratchett, “Wintersmith”.

Along with a couple of tracks from their forthcoming album (their 23rd) “Dodgy Bastards”, this was a set designed to get those in the hall stomping, clapping and hollering along, and for the most part they managed it.

Here they are in 1976 performing live on Crackerjack.

By Andrew Riley

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