Flats and Sharps 2

Bluegrass from Cornwall? Yes, really, and fantastically good too. A terrifically authentic bluegrass sound delivered with immense precision, brilliant harmonies and huge energy. These guys need to get out of Cornwall more and spread their joy around the rest of the country.

Five musicians, so young and so good, their stunningly authentic sound takes you straight back to West Virginia and Appalachia.

Even their sound setup was authentically old fashioned with a single, spring suspended, condenser microphone which they would gather around, moving in and out as each solo demanded.

Bluegrass is epitomised by its fiddle and banjo playing and Danny Hart and Kirk Bowman are highly accomplished purveyors of their art, they were brilliant to watch and a joy to listen to.

As well as covers of traditional bluegrass songs there were a number of their own Cornish style compositions which gave us a different take on bluegrass.

Bluegrass is a strange genre, as Flats and Sharp put it, bluegrass: morbid themes with happy instruments. No more so than “Ninety-nine Years and One Dark Day”, about murdering your wife – an amazingly bouncy and cheerful song.

The hectic bluegrass was interspersed with a few slow ballads to let the band recover their breath, one of the best being “Tall Buildings” rendered wonderfully by the duo of Danny and Liam.

The concert drew to a close with an encore of a ferocious “Blue Train” and rapturous applause.

We wish Flats and Sharp well for the future, which we are sure will be bright.

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