The Vagaband live at The Blueberry Music House, St. Patrick’s Festival 14 March 2014, review and photos
I’ve been wanting to see The Vagaband at the excellent Blueberry for ages now. Sarah and her team are running a really special venue, it has a long and well lit stage area with a very good PA system, and the atmosphere always seems to be good here. It is an important venue in the city.
Of course the Vagaband themselves played a blinder of a gig and had the place rammed and dancing, as we always knew they would. They sounded fresh, punchy and irresistible, and looked to be having a great time. There was no Greg or Ali today but the band are always able to play brilliantly in almost any permutation one can think of, this gig was a special one. A fantastic and happy atmosphere, friendly faces and smiles everywhere you looked, and glorious music. A fifteen minute or so spell in their second set was particularly memorable for the fast and joyous reels and St Patrick’s mood versions of Raggle-Taggle Gypsy, and Fisherman’s Blues which caused a sea of dancing at the front. This is a pub, remember, it felt like a proper full on gig and this is what the band and The Blueberry do so well. I imagine Irish pubs to be like this, with music and spontaneous dancing. Norwich loves to dance and we are lucky to have these places and these bands.
As well as lots of favourites from their already vast repertoire we had a number of new songs, which really excite me. I think that already The Whistling Song might well be my new favourite, it sounds better every time I hear it, and the band play it brilliantly. They had such a powerful sound and are all top class musicians who play so well together and can read each other well too, which means we sometimes get these great moments of improvisation. Great stuff, I love this band! So do a great many others too, hopefully the rest of the country will really notice and join us when the next album arrives, which I can’t wait for! A most talented band with an extremely good and gifted songwriter, I never tire of seeing them.
The Blueberry have a festival for St. Patrick’s with a number of bands playing over a few days, and of course some very fine stouts and porters alongside their always excellent ales and very friendly staff.
photos (c) richard shashamane 2014