Review Will Pound & Jenn Butterworth, Stoller Hall, Manchester by James Ellis

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

It would be my last night in Manchester where I made the discovery of Will Pound and Jenn Butterworth. This folk duo are doing the rounds on tour and my love for them has grown thanks to this lovely concert they gave in the intimate Carole Nash Hall within Stoller Hall.

It is their mix of harmonica, vocals and guitar that make them so endearing. Be it folk proper, sea shanties or country songs, their talents shine forth. A smattering of feminist folk songs stood out, Jenn being cheeky and removing some problematic elements from others songs (a cautious decision I didn’t really mind) , yet still kept up the earthy, thrilling ride. Will was showing off the only bass harmonica in the world, whilst proving his money’s worth through fabulous playing. Jenn with lush vocals and stirring guitar playing, both musicians a wonderful mix, the delight of this Sunday night.

After viral success on Tik Tok, they seem to be reaching new heights thanks to new audiences. The whole thing just felt very accessible and had an easy going quality I often enjoy in the concert environment. I should see more folk events, if they are as good as this. It’s rare to find a duo who seem to really understand one another, their cheery personalities also on show. It is the spirit of the British Isles that lives in these two, along with the fire of European nations, since we were also treated to music from Spain and elsewhere. This of course, gave Will the chance to show off his diatonic accordion, a sweet and acute instrument known by different names in different lands.

These two gave me the spirit to say goodbye to Manchester and to head home to Wales.

Will Pound and Jenn Butterworth continue on tour around the UK till 21 November 2022.

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