John Tams is one of those singers who manages to make so much of his own music sound as if was learnt at his grandfather's knee except that the content so often handles contemporary subjects. He is truly a talented, professional, songwriter, working as he does for the National Theatre with such productions as Warhorse, TV with the Sharpe series and radio with the Radio Ballads as well as his touring. He spends as much time talking about his songs as he does singing them but don't think that means one is short changed, the gig lasted well over two hours, and his soft Derbyshire voice is lovely to listen to, whether talking or singing. In general he played guitar but picked up various harmonicas and even a ukelele at one point, although the percussive effect of his own knee joint was one of the more appreciated moments.
Barry Coope provided a keyboard accompaniment as well as providing backing vocals and singing a couple of numbers himself. I'm not sure what setting the keyboard was at, it sounded something like a cross between a grand piano and a harmonium, indeed at one point in the first half the whole thing was strongly reminiscent of early Elton John, a sort of JT & BC do the Yellow Brick Road album, he also plays an excellent Daily Telegraph. There was much encouragement of the audience to join in, and we did, with the penultimate song, Over The Hills And Far Away from the Sharpe TV series, gaining by far the loudest chorus. A terrific evenings entertainment.