How was it for you?

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Bandersnatch invites you to post a review of any of the band's gigs. Honest (and printable!) criticism will be posted here; good, bad or indifferent.

You can send in a review directly using the reply box below:-

or just browse through some comments made by others in the reviews posted here...

The Cross Keys Folk Club

Tremendous act. Their interpretations of a whole host of songs was always very much their own touch, whilst always adding to the well known originals. Songs like "Little Pot Stove" and "Slip Jigs and Reels", so well known in their original versions that over the years not that many people include them in their sets, were here given a very "Bandersnatch" treatment and were all the better for it.

Bob Dylan songs, James Taylor songs were all present in beautifully crafted arrangements. The final number "The Weight" from The Band was a masterful blend of rock and acoustic. Funnily enough my car CD compilation at the moment has a load of The Band on it, so sat in a jam on the M62 this morning I could compare it to the original. Levon would have been more than happy to lay down the beat.

The highlight for me came early on when Rebecca sang "If it hadn't been for love". We've had some superb performances by many artists over the years, this ranked as high as any. It impressed me all the way down to my toes. A dip into Dylan's Nashville Skyline followed to make a magical pair of songs.

From the bass line to the lead instrumentation, vocals and harmonies everything fitted and sounded just right. Perfect.


(C Stuart Cook :resident performer )
http://www.crosskeysfolkclub.co.uk/

Coppull Folk Festival 2016

Musical excellence at its best. Superb harmonies and timing, and just everything about that set was just ace. We loved it all. This group deserves to be up there with the best. A fab start to what should be a great weekend. Thank you to the groups and to all of you who turned out to support the festival.

Fleetwood Folk Club

Only one word described the show DIABOLICAL. It was DIABOLICAL that it had to end.

It was a great mix of music, well played and sung. We are looking forward to seeing Bandersnatch at next year's Christmas Do.

(Tony Winstanley, Club Organiser)

Tarvin Community Centre

I have had the pleasure this morning of adding the Bandersnatch concert onto the on-line booking website. This vibrant folk group are back by popular request after a very successful concert in 2014. Their mixture of modern and traditional folk, blues and roots music gets the feet tapping.

Organiser, Tarvin Community Centre.

Edgworth Folk Festival Weekend

Hi. Good to see you at Edgeworth, your music was, for me, the high point of the day.

Peter Howarth (Audience)

The Moorcock Acoustic Music Night

Bandersnatch made their second appearance at The Moorcock this week, and gave us one of the best nights we have ever had at the club.

we have booked the band for a THIRD time now - - - these guys (and gal) really know their music, and I have no hesitation in recommending them for your night too - - - they are not to be missed!

Andrew Clayton (Club Organiser)

Morley Folk Club

An excellent evening of accoustic/electric folk giving a wide range of styles to suit every taste. They are on my 'not to miss' list and hope it isn't too long before they are back. Becky has a fantastic vocal range and if she fancies something different then Jazz and Blues would suit her voice.

 

Alan Clark ( audience)

CHANGING DAYS CD

Wanted to drop you a note and let you know that I got "Changing Days" from iTunes and am listening to it for the past few days ... superb! ... "The Lancashire Lads", "Geordie", "Queen of All Argyll" ... and all of the other tracks ... good stuff

Dror Kessler, Israel

CROPPERS FOLK CLUB, CLECKHEATON

Thanks again for an excellent nights entertainment at the Croppers 28th Birthday Party/Concert. I've had good comments last night and today from many who were there for the evening. Thanks again, best wishes to you all.

(Eric & Carol, club organisers, Croppers Folk Club)

Just a quick e-mail to say how much I enjoyed your concert at The Croppers on Friday - there was a great selection of songs and the arrangements were great lots of variety. It was nice to see everyone taking a part in the band and it's good to have the different singers giving a different feel to each song. I particularly liked the combination of instruments and you were all very professional but friendly as well.

Sue Dunn (Audience)

'Cross Keys Inn Folk Club' Uppermill

What a brilliant evening, great music and songs and lovely harmonies. First time I have heard them but it won't be the last.

Barbara (resident performer)

'Bits & Pieces' Club Silverdale

An excellent night from Bandersnatch that was really appreciated by our audience. Suberb musicianship and the variety of material and the different singers all made for a really entertaining evening. One of the best nights we've had at the Silverdale. Many thanks.

 Grant Davies (resident performer)

Lymm Folk Club

Great music and songs. Only downside with so many instruments not always easy to hear the words - like with other groups.

David Cowe (audience)

The Bothy Folk Club

Thank you for a splendid night. Great to have a ‘big band’ in the place and perfect sound, material, engagement made for a super evening. This band goes from strength from strength and long may it run! Heart-warming music for a cold January evening.

(Clive Pownceby; Club organiser, and performer
The Bothy Folk Club; Southport)

Dog and Partridge, Bollington, Cheshire

Many thanks for a delightful evening.I did struggle to hear the words of the first two songs,soloists Eddie and Ian.The rest of it was just about perfect. I especially liked the banjo,a bit of bite but not overpoweringly frumious.

(Alan Woodhouse; audience)

Bromley Cross Folk Club

Bandersnatch brought a wide selection of music to the evening, with something to please everyone, in a relaxed but well rehearsed approach.  From their musical virtuosity, to the pathos of 'Love is our cross to bear', Bandersnatch wrapped their harmonies round chorus and verse to excellent effect.  With all this, plus Rebecca's superb vocals and violin work, Bandersnatch seem to snatch the hearts of many.

Look forward to seeing them again.

Don Parry (audience)

Wharf Tavern , Stalybridge

First came aware of Bandersnatch by visiting their website during a trawl around the folk scene. On the basis of what I read, I just had to go to see & hear this band - & boy! - I wasn't disappointed! Fantastic arrangements, gorgeous harmony & the odd deliciously quirky bits as well. Brilliant night. Can't wait to see you all again!

Viv Thorpe (audience)

Radio Merseyside broadcast

 Unfortunately, I`ve not been able to follow the band over the last couple of months due to an accident.  So what a treat, tonight, to listen to the band on Radio Merseyside.  Some of my favourite songs and great to hear the band getting the recognition they deserve.  I`m back on my feet (literally) so will be back to see them at Cafe D`Art in Formby this week.  Well done.

Sheila Murphy

Skipton Folk Club

A great night! First time we have had the pleasure of hearing the band, look forward to a repeat hearing soon.

 Noeline & Tony Gill (audience)

WHFC 91.1 FM (Baltimore US)


I'm writing from WHFC 91.1 FM in the Baltimore, MD area, where I host a Celtic music program called "The Pub," among other folk and acoustic based programming. A listener brought Bandersnatch to my attention, and I'm *very* impressed with your music. If you'd like to send a copy of your CDs to the station, I'd be very happy to give you airplay. Brilliant stuff.


The station's address is:
WHFC 91.1 FM
401 Thomas Run Rd.
Bel Air, MD 21015

Tim O'Neill

Maghull Folk Club

A great evening in the company of the excellent Bandersnatch. A superb repetoire and brilliant musicianship ~ what more could anyone want!

This was the first time of hearing but won't be the last!

Peter Mercer (Resident Performer)

Octagon, Bolton

A packed Octagon bar loudly showed their appreciation of this multi-talented band.   I specially enjoyed 'The Tree of Life' (on their new cd we were reliably informed once or twice).   Rebecca's singing all through the concert was lovely and complemented the harmonies of the other band members.   A full array of instruments all played with expertise.   Well done!   A superb evening out.

A. Bolton (audience)

{In fact, 'The Tree of Life' is on the Band's first CD, 'Round & Round': Editor}

Topic Folk Club, Bradford

Thank you for a wonderful evening at the Topic...top marks for choice of songs, arrangements, superb harmonies. A great performance by a supremely talented band.

Tony

Lymm Folk Club

Being something of an ardent follower of Bandersnatch, I was thrilled to hear their rendition of "Ain't no grave (gonna keep me down)". Rebecca Raw's vocals were fantastic and the instrumentals superb. This song has added to the Band's diversity. Well done, great night.

Shiela Murphy

Audience at the Lymm Folk Club Gig

This band continues to surprise me, each time I see them I like them more. Rich and varied not out of place on any folk club or festival stage. I look forward to seeing them back at Middlewich 2008, mainstage! Look out for them.

Liz Rosenfield

Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival

http://www.inanyevent.org.uk/joomla

Leigh Folk Club

AM LITTLE USE WITH WORDS,BUT HAVE GREAT NEED TO EXPRESS THE JOY BANDERSNATCH BROUGHT TO OUR LITTLE FOLK CLUB.THE VERY BEST HARMONIES WITH SUCH FINE MUSIC DELIVERED,WITHOUT AIRES or GRACES,TO AN APPRECIATIVE AUDIENCE.


I AM HOOKED AND HOPE THEY RETURN TO US.

Gloria

Sandbach Folk Club

Wonderful mixture of musical talent and voices in Harmony, a very relaxing and enjoyable evening - will keep a look out where your playing next. Thankyou

Louise Gibson

Leigh Folk Club

An excellent performance; with six members singing and a variety of voices and instruments Bandersnatch have very rich multilayer sound that easily filled the small venue.

The programme was varied [as is the content of their CD (Round + Round)] but with mostly contemporary acoustic folk. I was particularly please hear a song written by one of my favourite contemporary singer-song-writers Anthony John Clarke (the Broken Years), which Bandersnatch delivered flawlessly while giving it their own sound.

I have had the CD playing in my car for days now, their performance of 'North West Passage' written by Stan Rogers that stands out when I am listening to the CD, with the all six voices singing the choruses. But afterwards it is 'Over the Lancashire Hills" written by Stuart Marson that sticks in my mind, for its evocative lyrics.

Well worth seeing again and again, and don't forget to buy the CD.

David Welch [http://dwelch.me.uk]

New Bandersnatch Line-up previews at the Howcroft, Bolton

Having lost Clive Leyland and Steve Rothwell Bandersnatch have been rehearsing with two new members in Ian Kell and Rebecca Raw (Norman's daughter and the youngest member by a mile. Sorry Dennis!). This was their first gig with the "new" line-up. It would be nice to be able to say that there was no difference to their performance but that would be untrue. Ian Kell slips into the void left by Clive Leyland admirably and, I suspect, will improve further as he plays more gigs with the band and starts to join in the onstage banter. The addition of Rebecca Raw just goes to show that very good things can emerge from adversity. Being a fan of Steve Rothwell's vocals I was intrigued to hear that she was to take the lead on "Too Close To The Wind". I was truly delighted with Rebecca's performance of this song. I think that her inclusion in the band bodes extremely well for their future in that with her violin playing and vocals she brings a completely new and exciting dimension to Bandersnatch which will allow them to expand in their style in ways that perhaps the original line-up would not have allowed them to. A packed Howcroft thoroughly enjoyed their set which lasted almost an hour.

I believe that the club was their first gig with the original band and it was a privilege and a pleasure to be the venue to launch the new one. So there you have it. Bandersnatch have overcome the loss of two valued members but have chosen extremely well in their replacements. If you liked the group before then check out the line-up. You will not be disappointed.

(Ron Callow: Club Organser & Performer)


The Bothy Folk Club
The thing about "Folk" that makes it erm, "Folk" isn't to do with Musical brilliance, assured vocals, pulling power or whatever,(though goodness knows these fellers have all that in spades) it's that indefinable sense on leaving the gig, that says to you "Yes, it was good to have been in their company tonight, there's nowhere else I'd have rather been." I had that vibe 2 nights back, and I don't get it often enough these days- a sense of just-rightness that marks out Bandersnatch as a band with its heart in the right place, with a repertory that's rich in diversity; this is a band at its creative peak. Loved 'em. Quite simply, they hit the spot.

(Clive Pownceby; Club organiser, and performer
The Bothy Folk Club; Southport)

The Howcroft, Bolton

Within a very short time of Bandersnatch beginning their set it is obvious that here is a band who pay close attention to detail. Their harmonies are considered performances from each member of the group; never interfering with the lead vocal but complementing it fully. The arrangements of the pieces are a blend of their individual instrumental skill and the breaks are designed to lead the listener back into the song without ever distracting from the lyrical value. You also realise that here there is a pride in performance and that they have rehearsed often ………. but don’t be mislead; this band is not only professional in their approach, they are also fun as the banter drifts between members in the short break between songs. The makeup of the set is also well thought out. There are plaintive, haunting songs such as “The Deserter” and “Close To The Wind” married with rousing chorus songs like “Queen Of All Argyll”, “Hard Times” and “Slip Jigs and Reels”.

This is the second time they have played at The Howcroft and despite missing band member Clive Leyland due to illness they gave very
full value for money. If you are lover of music then catch one of their gigs. If you are a club organiser then book ‘em.

(Ron Callow; Club organiser
and half of resident duo 'MICRON' The Howcroft, Bolton)

Allerton Cricket Club

Bandersnatch will live on as the first and only band to grace the Allerton Golf Club with their beautiful music. Even without the benefit of a full PA they turned in a wonderful performance of songs old and new. The right amount of nostalgia to make the audience grin and smile over their pints was peppered with just the right amount of humour. Lovely arrangements courtesy of Clive Leyland and sweet vocal delicacy from Eddie McGurk sent the audience away happy they'd taken the time to come to this one off concert.


The club has moved on to the Conservative Club but we'll be having these guys back.

(Anthony John Clarke; Club Organiser and performer:http://www.anthonyjohnclarke.com )

Chorlton Folk Club

Not often these days, due to other committments, is it that I venture out just to watch a gig ... shame on me ... but hey, my friends and I knew our second Bandersnatch experience last night in Chorlton would be as inspirational as the first, a few weeks ago in Uppermill.

And it was; class boys, total class. Really really enjoyable, great musicianship and a superb range of songs played without stress, without ego ... see you next time, somewhere soon.

(Darren Poyzer)
performer:http://www.poyzer.com

Bacup Folk Club

Two thirds of Bandersnatch turned up at Bacup Folk Club last night out of the blue. When asked to kick proceedings off they took up their positions at the front and within two or three bars we knew we were in for a treat!

Bandersnatch are quite simply a delight! Very accomplished musicians they delivered half a dozen immaculately performed songs. The arrangements were great and the singing was fantastic - they all seem to have voices strong enough to take lead vocals and the harmonies were spot on.

I must admit I had never heard of them before but on the strength of that all too brief appearance they have been booked to do a full set at the club later in the year.

In the meantime, chaps, please come back whenever you have a free Monday night and delight us again - I'll settle for half, two thirds or any combination of the band!!!!!

Gavin Robertson

COPPULL FOLK FESTIVAL WEEKEND
at the Alison Arms

The third time they have visited us at Coppull for the Folk Festival Relics. A superb performance in a very select room. It seemed as if they were performing just for us.

Roger and Sheila Taylor, (audience)

Gregson Lane Folk Club, Hoghton

Bandersnatch first turned up (at Greggy Lane) about 18 months ago and did an extended floor spot. It was obvious to all present that these 6 blokes had something special and afterwards several members of the audience suggested that maybe they should do an evening for us.

It happened last night (sorry for the delay lads) but not only are good things worth waiting for but now the GLFC audience can appreciate how tight (musically) this group have become.

Although a performer myself, I'm not that technically minded when it comes to music and I don't really understand all the theory but I know a good well presented sound when I hear it and Bandersnatch come up with the goods in every category. Their excellent arrangements, which the band have a knack of making look very simple - when they are obviously not, are produced by combinations of three or four guitars (all playing different parts) interspersed with fiddle, mandolin and whistles. The rhythm section consists of a very skilful acoustic bass and bodrahn/bongos that play at a level that compliments the vocals and colors the bits in between.

When I hear 'Perfect Harmonies' I always wonder as to whether the singers involved have to practice for hours to achieve them or whether they just come naturally - from the lovely way that Bandersnatch deliver each song, I suspect the later.
My particular favorites were AJC's 'The Broken Years' and Stuart Marson's 'Close to the Wind' although I also thoroughly enjoyed Clive Leyland's own compositions too.
And if all that's not good enough the band proved that they are 'Game for a laugh' with their spontaneous patter that was perfectly pitched to please the punters at Greggy Lane.

When we were leaving the club one bloke said to me that the last time he had seen a large band as tight as Bandersnatch was when he had seen The Eagles in concert, I had to agree with him ; the musical styles may be a world apart but as far as the relaxed delivery and musical discipline goes they are on a par.
If you are a club organizer and have a space for a guest night in your diary, you could do yourself and your members a favour by booking Bandersnatch.

(Graham Dixon, Club Organiser)
Gregson Lane Folk Club, Hoghton

If I was trying to think of one word that summed up last night's performance from Bandersnatch at GLFC, I'd be thinking....serendipity.
Not just because I want to show off by using five syllable words, but because, for me, it's the correct one! I hadn't previously heard of the band, and on that basis, turning up for a gig on the strength of one of those "...oh, well, let's go and see..." decisions, the evening turned out to be a truly unexpected and delightful experience.

Bandersnatch encapsulated quite simply the very best of all the ingredients that promote this kind of music on this kind of evening. Exceptional talent with wonderful modesty, comfortable humour without being disingenuous, a range of instrument abilities that makes one wonder if they were once marooned for a year in the window of "'Eric Shuttleworth's Musical Emporium for the Discerning Performer";, and a range of songs including incisive self penned numbers that we could really relate to.

I wouldn't single out one band member, simply because everyone genuinely added to the whole, and the vocals worked effortlessly together.
Their performance was professionally entertaining, yet wonderfully warm. It felt like you were in their front room, stroking their cat and reaching for another chocolate Hobnob....


(Peter Hardman)

 

WIGAN 5th ANNUAL DAY of FOLK

I had luckily met Clive on one of the singarounds at Wigan Folk Club, and immediately became a fan. I am fairly new to the folk scene of the Wigan area, but when Joan Blackburn told me that Bandersnatch would be performing at the Day of Music, I made sure I was there.

I was not disappointed, in the slightest.

Prior to the band setting up, Dennis took the floor as part of the singaround, and played Blind Blake's Rag (at least I think that's the title). I was totally blown away. Fantastic.

Once the band had set up and started their gig, I could understand why they are so popular:- The songs were performed in what I call an "easy" way. The playing skills are obvious, the close harmonies blend together seamlessly, affection for the music goes without saying - the ease with which they perform lets you concentrate on the song; if that makes sense.

This was the first time I had seen them, I certainly hope it is not the last.
Bandersnatch, you have a new fan.

(Leighton Thomas: Webmaster: Wigan Folk Club)

 

Coppull Folk Festival

We saw you at the Alison Arms, Saturday, 7th June.
Quite a magical and moving experience.
We sat as close to the stage as we could and we were not disappointed.
Hope to see you again soon.
All power to you.

(Mike and Pat Fisher)

 

 

Bandersnatch: A superb six piece band of multi instrumental voice blending magic.

(The Ring o' Bells Folk Club, Widnes)

JUBILEE NIGHT AT THE RING O' BELLS FOLK CLUB, WIDNES

Following a brief impromptu performance at the Green Dragon, St. Helens one Monday night by Bandersnatch, I was convinced that these six in-tune men were the right people to make our Jubilee night at the Ring O' Bells, Widnes, go with a swing. I was right, the night was a resounding success, much enjoyed by all who attended. Being a bank holiday, many of our regulars were not there, which is sad, but I sincerely hope that there will be a next time.

The night was marred initially by having to announce the sudden hospitalisation of Clive Leyland, which forced the group to rehash their programme. They were understandably very upset by Clive's illness, but despite their comments relating to instrumental cues which were not there, the programme for the evening was wonderful, consisting of traditional and contemporary songs.

Dennis Dodds, Steve Rothwell, (Clive Leyland), Norman Raw, Alan Roscoe, Ed McGurk have a rich musical past (I am informed) which comes from folk, pop, rock, jazz, blues, theatre, and all stations east. Their instrumental talents are obvious from the liberal changing of instruments between songs including Guitar, mandolin, fiddle, whistle, bodran, bass and little eggy shaker. All five of their voices blend magically in and out of verses and choruses, led in turn by Dennis, Steve and Ed.

When I first saw them, I beheld six mature men, many instruments and no P.A. system, and I thought, "one man singing against that lot - no way. We shall not hear him." How wrong can a poor girl be!! They use the amplified bass sensitively, no-one 'bashes' and I am not the only one who marvelled at their acoustic balance.

Their programme was, of necessity, altered on very short notice to compensate for Clive not being with them, so we will never know what we missed, but I can relate a comment passed to me from a professional musician in the audience, who had never been to a folk club before "I didn't hear anything that I didn't like. I was very impressed. If this is what folk clubs are about, I shall be back."

May I wish the group much success, and a speedy recovery to Clive. I am sure we will hear much more of them all over the place in the future.

(Jean Finney, Club Organiser, Ring O' Bells, Widnes)

The quite brilliant group from Edgeworth, Bandersnatch, have kindly offered their services to us for a Saturday night concert. They popped across to see us last year, and they liked us. And believe you me, we liked them!

Multi instrumental, monumentally talented, they will set your evening alight with their mix of Traditional and contemporary folk.

(Coppull Folk Festival Relics)

 

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