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In Review: The Silver Dogs at Lancaster Priory

John Freeman

Who: Silver Dogs
Where: Lancaster Priory
Reviewed By A.M.Beddows

A Lancashire audience was enraptured by a special folk rock concert at the Priory Church, Lancaster on the 15th October.

Fresh from their theatre tour of the North West, premier folk rock band Silver Dogs played two faultless and brilliant sets to a full audience /congregation of music lovers last Friday evening. Familiar with large well lit theatre stages and special sound experts, the Silver Dogs band coped well with what was to them – a somewhat unusual, though spectacular setting.

These gifted musicians used a variety of superb instrumental and vocal sounds to share their love of folk music with a large and enthusiastic audience. The band that live and work in various parts of the North West were highly motivated playing much of their own arranged material.

The musicians include Richard Curran, a classically trained violinist, who amazed us with exciting sounds on the violin, viola and mandolin. He gave a most passionate rendering during his solo spots. While captivating with his competence and brilliance, lead guitarist Darren Dean was also compelling and flawless in his musicianship.

The accomplished vocalist and song writer Becky Haslam held us captivated with her lovely voice, her imaginative use of her rich and subtle singing in various registers clear and expressive. She reached her receptive audience with encompassing warmth.

Andrew Turner, an able and vastly experienced performer, challenged the listeners with calculated risks on keyboard bringing out unexpected sounds. His singing being mature and rounded was most enjoyable. The newest band member, Alan Partington, punched powerful and succinct rhythms on his bass guitar.

Already he has stamped his musical personality on the band with his particular talents. Neil Aspinall gave his all, thrilling us with percussive sounds. His vigorous drumming roots the Silver Dogs completeness with additional drive and excitement.

This excellent band delivers wonderful folk rock music and a brand new package. It is clever and innovative, interesting and uplifting and, in my opinion, the best live band in this area for a long time. They have played many venues and had a most responsive audience in the different environment of the Priory Church.

It was apparent that the Silver Dogs gained many new fans from their rich sharp rhythmic performance and fine musicianship. Not a surprise! This band is going places. Their new CD album will be out in the New Year.

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