Chris Wood and Dizraeli at Cecil Sharp House: The Guardian review
Chris Wood and Dizraeli
19 May, Cecil Sharp House
Review in The Guardian
The British folk scene has flourished because it's a forum not just for traditional singers, but for experiment. But acoustic hip-hop, in the home of English traditional music? Even by the most adventurous folk-club standards, this was a brave move. Chris Wood is one of our most original, distinctively English singer-songwriters and guitarists, a witty, deceptively low-key performer who fuels stories of everyday life with quiet anger. Here he joined forces with a young rapper, best known for winning the Radio 4 poetry slam. Chris Wood said listening to Dizraeli reminded him of Ian Dury, while Dizraeli says Wood reminds him of the best UK hip-hop "because he is using his own voice to tell stories of people he knows".
Wood started the show playing safe, appearing solo for a series of quietly effective songs that included Hollow Point, his chilling treatment of the De Menezes killing. Then he was joined by a double bass-player and by Dizraeli, who ambled on with a guitar still in its case.
Plucking at two fiddles, Wood gently eased into Albion, his bleak true story about discovering a suicide, now dissected with angry rap from Dizraeli. Then there were solo passages from both performers, with Dizraeli's distinctively English targets ranging from seaside towns to the X Factor, and Wood countering with a reflective song on age and youth. They were at their best with collaborations, with a song about marriage wittily mixed with a rap about a one-night stand, and a murder ballad intercut with stark, dramatic material on honour killings. Their unexpected collaboration may not have been as powerful or polished as Wood on his own, but it worked. "We must do this more often," he said. And he was right.
By Robin Denselow
Read on The Guardian website