Belinda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow are different; difficult to characterise, they have a pretty unique style, both singing/playing style and songwriting style. Typically morose, sometimes maudlin and, at its bleakest, positively black, – who would write a song dedicated to all children buried in mass graves, inspired by an Irish grandmother who had 17 babies, only two of whom survived to adulthood? Yet they clearly have an enthusiastic following, some of whom travelled long distances to be at this concert.
This concert was based around their new WinterFolk album with an essentially Christmassy theme running through It, as it began with “Fire and Wine” about the good things we enjoy in the winter months.
Most songs were accompanied by Belinda’s keyboard playing, but some were simple a’capella and acoustic, no microphone in sight, their voices blending effortlessly with occasional deliberate discordance to make a point. Their social conscience was pre-eminent in several songs; “One More Christmas” and “The Last Polar Bear”.
Nearing the concert’s end Belinda played a wonderful piano solo, “Coventry Carol” and the encore of “The Bells are Ringing Out for Christmas Day”, brought the house down.