Our first visit to Sawley Village Hall in a few years, Spot On were really excited when we got the call from Helen, the Sawley promoter, to say she’d be interested in taking a show this season. We were even more excited when she picked one of the Canadian artists we were hosting in Spring.
We made our way to Sawley on Saturday night to watch the fantastic Ian Sherwood and we looked forward to the promise of a pie and pea supper at the interval.
Ian is visiting the UK as part of a promotion for his latest album “Everywhere To Go”. His trip to the UK sees him visiting Northumberland, Durham, Cumbria, West Cumbria, Yorkshire, East Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire and also Shropshire and Herefordshire, with Spot On being fortunate enough to bag four dates in his tour. Sherwood has penned tunes for many other artists as well as for theatre, film and television and he has a string of accolades to his name (Contemporary Singer of the Year by the 2013 Canadian Folk Music Awards, Best Male Artist of the Year by the 2012 International Acoustic Music Awards and was the 2008 and 2010 Music Nova Scotia Musician Of The Year).
Ian’s music is a cavalcade of influences with a story for every song and, in some cases, a dance to help the audience remember the lyrics. He expects some participation – and actually complimented us Brits on our controlled but accurate ability to sing along as requested (apparently the Sing-a-long-a-Sherwood back in Canada is a little more raucous). His show is all his own work – except for one very special number in which uses his saxophone, guitar, and multiple vocal track looping to the maximum – I won’t spoil the surprise for you if you’re heading to one of his next shows but be prepared to join in!
Ian treated the Sawley audience to a selection of tracks from his new album and even delved a little more personally in the second half of the show with some new songs he is working on as he travels the UK – a new pop song for his wife, a number inspired by his then six month old daughter Winnie (now 3 ½) and a particular highlight during one number with a whole second verse which is as yet unwritten and was improvised on the spot: ‘make up some lyrics, so the audience don’t catch on, oooh what lovely curtains, in Sawley Village Hall’.
All in all, it was a fantastic night with a swift fix of a broken guitar string, a dancing dog, a really good pie and a few exciting fireworks at the end when the table in front of us accidentally set their tablecloth on fire – we all escaped unscathed!
Ian, we shall never forget your visit to Lancashire and in the immortal words of your final number, we’ll be ‘burning the ranches’ and ‘shooting the Sheriff’ in Sawley for some time to come.