When you set about naming bands that have stayed the course to the present day, the field thins out dramatically the further back you go. Go back ten years and you're going to be down to a few dozen. Yes, there's big names like the Stones, or even Fairport Convention, who have spanned the decades with changing line-ups. Then there are those bands that re-form with one or two original members for a last hurrah – like the Monkees, the various versions of Pentangle, the Incredible String Band or Steeleye Span.
But it is really not often that a band can lay claim to a consistent, continuous gig sheet that goes back to the 70s. That's rare. And it is exceptionally rare to see a band grow in status, adding new members with great skills and eloquent musicianship, and developing in new and adventurous directions.
But that is exactly what's happened with Quill.
Joy Strachan-Brain has been there from the start. She now leads Quill, who hit the stage as a six-piece, fronted by three women. Quill in recent years has been bursting with fresh creativity, driven by members old and new. Wonderfully, Quill's loyal audiences have ridden the changes with them. The music has morphed and twisted; it bubbles with craft and eloquent musicianship. A Quill set takes you on a journey through an unexpectedly wide range of powerful story telling material. The songs are delivered with imagination, muscular confidence, and lyrical beauty, all shot though with the presence and ease that only real stage craft can bring.
It's not easy to sum up any band in a few words, but Quill make it especially tricky. When you draw on deep and diverse musical sources from many areas, and when long lifetimes of experience inform your stage craft and presentation, interesting things can and do happen.
Saturday 3rd June 2017 at 7.30pm