GIG Review: Chris Wood at The Forge 03/06/11

Chris Wood at the Forge, Basingstoke 03/06/11

It is always a good sign when a concert is sold out. I went to see Chris Wood unconvinced by his recorded material which I found cryptic, sombre and generally depressing.  So it was quite a surprise to see a bouncy and smiling man come into the Forge through the audience door, guitar in hand.  I took an immediate liking to his humorous and thought provoking comments which accompanied each of songs.  He was very relaxed but totally involved in working on his intricate finger picking on six and twelve string guitars and voicing very personal lyrics.  He made every story he told (They’re all true, he said) in turn, touching, ironic and so close to real life that it was a pleasure to sit back and enjoy. One particularly stays in my mind; “One In A Million”, recounting the tale of a fish and chips waitress dealing with a pretender whom she assumes is not “good enough for her” and ends up throwing away the wedding ring he offers her into the sea, thinking it is a fake one... But as the story goes, when the ring turns up in the entrails of a fish she is cleaning, she has to succumb to his charms...Well worth a listen. A perfect balance between traditional English folk songs and Chris’ own nicely crafted material made for a very memorable evening. 

I can now listen to Chris’ CDs and enjoy them ad infinitum.  One last thing, his voice at times reminded of a cross between that great American singer songwriter David Crosby and the amazing and unforgotten Nick Drake: nothing less. Thank you, Mr. Wood, for being in touch with the real world.

Joel Roszykiewicz