It was one of my rare London visits, although in 2017 I had already made trips more frequent than is my usual want. This journey specifically to attend a performance of a musical duo from Stratford. I am in truth a provincial, I am far from being at home in London. It is too busy, too crowded and too noisy. I am not so much a country bumpkin but nor am I a townie. I like to visit London but the city does not suit my temperament. So my making the effort to journey south to attend a musical soirée is not a small thing. It is time consuming and by train, expensive.
The Darling Crew are a musical duo, one male and one female. The male guitarist is a handsome young man, the female vocalist has a striking waiflike beauty about her. Presenting themselves in the basement of Treadwell’s, one of London famous bookshops, they had a visual presence. Dressing in a unique interpretation of an unspecified period costume, in lace, in gauze and in the case of the vocalist, a basque. Both were masked, creating their own Gothic masque ball
The object of the evening was to launch their album (links below), presenting and performing, samples from their repertoire acoustically. This they were able to do in a competent, professional and stimulating manner. Their songs have a certain mysterious quality, mixing Paganistic themes of a traditional classical origin, with something quite contemporary and fresh
It is difficult for me to describe the music of the Darling Crew, it does not fit easily into a pre-existing box. Should the music and the vocalisations in particular, be described as haunting or ethereal? A difficult question and one I find impossible to answer. My own musical tastes are varied, preferring traditional, classical and folk today. I do not listen to contemporary popular music and I am totally ignorant of modern celebrity culture.
The music of the Darling Crew is neither contemporary pop nor traditional folk. Their music is in a style of their own making and that I think, is the best review one can ever give. The music was enticing, skilled and varied. The music perfectly complemented the mysterious, otherworldly and unearthly vocals.
The performance in the acoustically challenging basement, was entertaining and a delight. The Darling Crew competently took the opportunity to exploit the intimate atmosphere, to present themselves are their work with remarkable artistry. The performance was the highlight of my trip and remains a memorable experience.