Concert of the week

 

“Dirty Old Town” was, inevitably, one of the encores. My review [£] of “Blood & Roses”, a celebration of the music of Ewan MacColl. Steve Earle wasn’t present at the Barbican, but he does appear on the excellent new album “Joy of Living”.

He was a curmudgeon and an apologist for Stalin, yet there’s no denying that the man his admirers call “the old bugger” wrote some breathtakingly beautiful songs. It’s a measure of Ewan MacColl’s legacy that his most famous piece, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face — delivered by his spry, 80-year-old widow and collaborator Peggy Seeger — wasn’t even the high point of this remarkable centenary concert.

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