Ralph McTell


Spending a chilly, damp, winter's evening listening to Ralph McTell feels a little like being wrapped in a big, warm blanket - welcome and comforting.

For those with ears to hear and a little knowledge about the roots of the blues it can be a revelation too, with music that ranges from self-penned favourites to numbers by prime influences like Blind Blake At the Tivoli, McTell showed that 40 plus years on the road has honed his skills as a masterful singer-guitarist, a wonderful songwriter and compelling storyteller.

With a largely autobiographical back catalogue to call upon, this concert was an invitation to take a guided musical tour through some of the key moments and influences in is remarkable life.

There were songs inspired by everything from The Brighton Belle and Dylan Thomas to a French busker who played with a mouse dancing on his flute and a blind, deaf, one-eared coal merchant from Croydon.

And after it was all over 63-year-old McTell sat in the foyer signing his latest signature souvenir - an ecologically sound, recyclable jute shopping bag. As he said himself: "It doesn't get much less rock n roll, than this."

© Jeremy Miles 2022