A mixed bag at the Festival Hall. My review of the latest Transatlantic Sessions roadshow:
In the end the joie de vivre pouring forth on the stage made up for the oddly harsh sound mix. Amplification isn’t usually a problem at an annual hands-across-the-ocean concert that has become essential listening. Yet this time was different. In the first half, from my seat in the stalls, it was hard to decipher the contribution of every one of the guest singers.
Things improved after the interval, thankfully, and by the time the fiddler Aly Bain and his co-host, the genial American lap steel guitarist Jerry Douglas, brought the sprawling band back for a well-deserved encore, the Festival Hall had once again been turned into the snuggest of saloon bars. Part of the miracle of these shows is that, even with so many VIPs milling around, you feel as if you are one of the handful of revellers at a private party.