Easter Saturday saw the opening night of Downend Folk Club, with Sheffield-based trio Bright Season drawing an audience of around 100 people to Christ Church Downend to hear a mix of Scandinavian-inspired melodies, traditional English ballads and a little bit of Billie Holliday thrown in for good measure!

The atmosphere was incredible and the church setting and creative arrangements brought some of the ancient melodies and epic lyrics to life with even the church organ being put to good use. A soft hush descended over the whole audience as the bass notes rumbled into life, shaking the whole building to start off “The Yeoman’s Son.”

At several points during the evening, the audience were roused into joining in and lending their voices to a few sea shanties, with Bright Season’s own three part harmonies leading the way with a powerful intensity.

Particularly memorable was the atmospheric interpretation of “Strange Fruit”, a jazz song from the late 30s that poignantly exposed Southern racism and lynching.

It was an evening with a great range of textures offering a broad palette of different flavours from the world of folk music; a very appropriate introductory evening for Downend Folk Club and a great experience for all who went.

- Joe Brydon, 22.4.14

All photos by Chris Dobson. Used with permission.