Boo Hewerdine, Junction, Cambridge, 31 May 2014

Hafdis Huld is a singer-songwriter from Iceland, she charmed the Junction J2 audience with her pure, soothing voice and ukulele, backed by her multi layered acoustic guitar playing partner, in many songs laying down initial loops then playing over them with skill. Her universal tales of love and longing could be described as a bit playful and quirky, but there is a darker side, for example the sinister ‘Wolf’, co-written with Boo. She was popular with the audience and returned later to provide some brief backing vocals.

Returning to his home town Boo Hewerdine has been described as “one of Britain’s most consistently accomplished songwriters” and he is a highly regarded performer too, consistently writing and touring since the mid eighties. The set tonight was a chronological tour of his career, from the thoughtful pop singles of his band The Bible (‘Honey be Good’) through his many collaborations, productions and directions(too many to list here…). His sound is rooted in folk/pop balladeering, the songs wistful and lovelorn. Between each song his anecdotes, usually about his encounters with other musicians ( k.d. lang, Elvis Costello, Richard Thompson etc) are self-deprecating and actually very funny.

Standout song ‘Patience of Angels’, the subject of a half hour programme on BBC radio last year, featured early on in the set, showcasing his mellow voice and full acoustic guitar sound. There were also new songs, part of current collaborations and from an album due in the autumn. There was an encore of ‘I Started a Joke’, written by Robin Gibb in 1967 and fitting perfectly into the emotional range of the evening. I have seen him many times and will see him again…


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