The Roving Crows delivered their own very particular brand of rock/folk fusion on Saturday at the Corn Hall, rousing the crowd into dancing away an unusually sweltering evening.
Front man Paul O’Neill, with occasional nods towards Dylan, for the most part snarls his way through a set somewhere between Roger Walters and Mark Knopher.
O’Neill’s dry wit is best summed up by the mordant humour of Long Time Dead and President Garfield’s night out - though tellingly it was in the song about his recently deceived brother that he showed where his heart was.
His laconic guitar playing is complemented perfectly by the elfin voice and the accomplished fiddle of fellow founder member, the statuesque Caitlan Barret.
It is their able backing, however, that gives the Crows their distinctive sound. Greg Wilson-Copp parps on his horn with a feel more usually associated with ska, while the rhythm section of Tim Tollhurst and Loz Shaw have something of the dark arts of jazz about them.
Their feet may be firmly planted in the folk tradition, but with shades of Penguin Café Orchestra, the Levellers and even New Model Army, it makes for an exotic musical cocktail.