The Fitzgeralds @ Assembly Hall, Barton on Humber, 23rd June 2017
The beautiful Assembly Hall tucked away in the backstreets of Barton on Humber was packed last Tuesday night (May 23) for an incredible show of both musical and visual entertainment. The Fitzgeralds are a four- piece band from the Ottawa Valley in Ontario, Canada. They perform on three fiddles, two guitars, one keyboard and four pairs of very fast feet. They have the stage chemistry that you only get with siblings who are rooted in the traditions of their hometown and a fresh approach to performance that comes from the fact that this is their very first tour outside of North America and Canada.
As a step dance fan I was fascinated by the mixture of steps used in both their freestyle and choreographed routines. Elements of traditional English Clog, Irish hard shoe dancing and modern tap dance all flowed together topped off by some big grins and some cracking tunes from multiple instruments. And yes – they do play and dance at the same time, not all the time but enough to leave most of the audience gasping for air!
The Fitzgeralds hands are as capable as their feet. They swapped between instruments a little but the main focus was three fiddles played beautifully with some clever arrangements and a little humour thrown in. The tunes were picked carefully for variety with traditional Canadian tunes (with Celtic roots of course), Scottish reels and some more modern Irish tunes and the band’s own compositions. They also sang some bluegrass songs and played a couple of numbers from the American Songbook. Maybe not my ‘thing’ but there was something for everyone and this had obviously helped to ensure the sell-out audiences both at Barton and their next gig in North Lincolnshire, at Worlaby Village Hall in June.
I took a friend who “isn’t into folk music’ and she thoroughly enjoyed herself. I would challenge anyone to find a single soul in that audience who didn’t leave the room wanting more of the Fitzgeralds and their amazing hands and feet!
Julia runs @FolkRoundEre Twitter account and kindly agreed to guest blog. Follow her for folk music and dance news in North Lincolnshire.
If you need to get in touch with us to find out about anything that we do, please use the contact form and we'll get back in touch with you as soon as possible