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Review – Fretless and Cara Dillon at Royal Concert Hall – Saturday 27th Jan

Review – Fretless and Cara Dillon at Royal Concert Hall – Saturday 27Jan

Making their first visit to Scotland, Canadian band Fretless won many new friends at the New Auditorium of the Royal Concert Hall. As the support act for Cara Dillon their exciting and innovative musical arrangements had the sell-out audience in raptures.

The band consisting of Karrnnel (Fiddle/viola), Trent Freeman (Fiddle/viola), Ben Plotnick (fiddle/viola) and Eric Wright (cello) are a refreshing addition to the folk circuit with their vibrant compositions and new arrangements to traditional tunes. They also have a tremendous stage presence. The band have been together since 2012 releasing three albums to date, “Fretless”, “Waterbound” and their most recent one “Bird’s Nest”. Music was played from all three as well as new compositions in a set that was all too short. I could have listened to these guys all night.

All too often a support act is not recognised by the main one however Irish singer Cara Dillon liked them that much she invited them back onto stage during her set to join her in a couple of tracks in what was an electrifying set. Cara was accompanied on stage by her husband Sam Lakeman (piano and guitar), Niall Murphy (fiddle), John Smith electric and acoustic guitar) and Ben Nicholls (double bass). She delivered song after song in her crystal clear angelic voice, singing traditional songs from her native County Derry, some new self –penned material and songs from her latest album “Wanderer”.

It is quite clear how Cara has won so many awards. Her voice is so wonderfully clear and every lyric is delivered with such clarity. With her Irish roots she also has the gift of the gab, explaining the stories behind her compositions and keeping the audience entertained from start to finish. I was privileged to be in this audience in what was a spectacular night of music and left the wonderful venue with the hairs on the back of my neck standing up following Cara’s regular last track, the beautiful rendition of Parting Glass.


Danny Matheson

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