It’s always lovely to see one of your favourites in a new venue and when my friend David of Anglia Squared told me that Yve Mary B would be playing at his local, The Royal Oak in Poringland, I decided that if the weather was kind enough I would take a cycle ride out there. As it turned out it was a glorious late summer sunny day and once past Bracondale the ride to Poringland was accompanied by really beautiful scenery on roads and paths which were cycle friendly.
This was my first visit to the Royal Oak which has recently started doing Sunday afternoon music sessions. I found it to be a lovely, characterful building which was welcoming and friendly with a nice line of reasonably priced ales. I had over-compensated my journey time and arrived just after 3pm, a bit late for lunch and a good hour before Yve was due to start her set but she was already there setting up and soundchecking have already played a lunchtime set with Morganway at Ferryfest, looking amazingly Annie Oakley in Tony Brook’s stetson. We had a nice catch up before she started her set at 4.
Her beautifully delivered songs soon had people in the bar and garden coming closer to listen and it was also a pleasure to meet with David and see many other familiar faces from Norwich as well as Matt Watson who recently moved to the area. Spotting Matt in the audience Yve invited him to play a song or two as she had the briefest of breaks. The contrast in styles worked well and the very much caught unawares Matt ended up playing three songs to a delighted audience, closing with one from his new album he realised mid-song that the recording featured Mark “Boweevil” Howes who had also come over from Norwich for the gig! Mark also joined onstage and played a few brilliant songs with Yve, the chemistry and improvised creativity was wonderful to witness. There was certainly magic in the air here, with a three hour set from Yve with fellow musicians and music fans loving every moment of it. Another in the audience, a chap named Jim from Scotland via Lowestoft was also invited up and played a bit of I’m on Fire by Bruce Springsteen before adding that this probably wasn’t Yve’s style, little knowing that this is one in her repertoire, certainly with Morganway so she also sang her version.
She feels everything she plays, as evidenced by the smiles, laughter and even the odd tear, and I loved the name she gave to any future collaboration between Matt Watson and Mark Howes as The What Ho’s … that’s how her mind works!
Yve is such a special artist, so natural, open and endlessly creative, she’s one of the most naturally gifted artists we have in this county of talented musicians. I’ve seen her many times but no two sets have been the same, so vast is her catalogue and each occasion is utterly unique, fluid and organic tailored naturally to the audience and so each gig feels very special. This one certainly was, a lovely vibe with a talented artist in a great setting with lovely company. It’s not often I make a 17 mile round trip cycle ride for a gig from the other side of the city but I’m extremely glad I made the effort for this one, it was a gem of a session, in one word? “Magical”.
Many thanks to Yve, Mark, Matt, Jim, David and The Royal Oak
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