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Review: The Paperboys at the Lichfield Guildhall

Musical fireworks were delivered by The Paperboys when they made their debut performance at Lichfield Guildhall.

Support for the evening came from the talented singer and guitarist Sarah Jane Scouten.

The Canadian performer delivered songs from her recent album, When the Blossom Falls From the Rose, and gave a good account of herself.

The Paperboys are celebrating 25 years of music making. Their albums have won them a loyal following and many awards, and their live shows, which mix elements of traditional Irish and Celtic music with Mexican rhythms and sounds, are always more than sterile recitals.

The Vancouver-based ensemble, led by singer, guitar and Jarana player Tom Landa, his wife Kalissa on fiddle and vocals, founding member Geoffrey Kelly on flutes and whistles, and a strong rhythm section of Sam Esecson on drums and bassist Brad Gillard, played songs from their entire back catalogue, as well as including time for a couple of covers.

The Baron was a flute and fiddle led instrumental, as was Primevera – an inventive piece that blended the Mexican sounds and rhythms of Tom Landa’s Jarana with a lilting Celtic melody.

The group’s more modern sounds were to the fore during California, and the love song Better Than The Last, which wore its alternative Americana influences on its sleeve. A haunting, lyrical version of Sting’s Fragile also showed what a difference a new arrangement can make to an already familiar piece.

Sarah Jane Scouten joined The Paperboys for their encore of Neil Young’s Long May You Run, which showed just a fraction of the strength of music that Canada has produced over the years.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

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