Arts events in Fulbourn Cambridgeshire
One of the charms of seeing anyone at the function room at the Six Bells is the likelihood of a close peek at the performer as you go in. Little Axe, a.k.a. Skip McDonald with his band, lounged outside with a joke and a smile for the arriving punters.
This pre-festival tour sees the blues group crossing the country and bringing their multi-influenced sounds to audiences new and old. Their music is mesmeric and lulls the listener into a shamanistic trance. In the Six Bells, probably more intimate than any other venue on their list, Skip wastes no time getting the audience to ‘tune the room’ with him and by the second song the difficult early relationship between the band and crowd has been forged, the audience relaxes and Little Axe lay down classic blues numbers like Hard Time Killing Floor Blues by Skip James with gospel rotations and even some well-judged dub in the background.
Skip MacDonald plays the guitar with a deceivingly loose style and it’s here that I wish, along with quite a few others, that the band were elevated just a little so we could all see the man at work. Still, what we couldn’t see on the fret board, we could certainly hear as the sound system delivered a sharpness that puts the Norwich Arts Centre and other venues to shame.
After the finale Skip introduces the members of the band and then follows up by bringing on the six lucky students who got involved and helped to arrange the project. There were the obligatory CD sales to take care of but Mr McDonald patiently signed and chatted with a great deal of modest charm. A Little Axe gig is not one that you run whooping and screaming away from – its more relaxed and settles a little deeper into the soul than that. The music at the Six Bells with Fulbourn Arts continues to go from strength to strength, what on earth will they come up with next?
[Little Axe will be playing the WOMAD festival this year and their new album Bought for a Dollar, Sold for a Dime will be available in May].
More details available at www.little-axe.com