“It’s great to ‘bee’ here”, as far as opening lines are concerned playing a venue like The Beehive is pretty much a pun lover’s gift. Somehow though Jim Causley resisted overdoing it (I’d have gone on about the place having a nice buzz and why doesn’t Sting play here etc etc...which is probably why I’m not allowed on a stage anymore) before playing a two hour solo set showcasing one of folk’s finest talents singing an equally fine selection of self penned, adapted (in the case of setting ancestor Charles Causeley’s poems to music) traditional tracks and covers (one particular highlight being a suitably wry rendition of Chris Wood’s version of Frank Mansell’s poem The Cottager’s Reply). Causley’s an utter delight from start to finish. A natural and instantly engaging performer, peppering his two sets with anecdotes and local history (like fellow young folkie Sam Lee Jim has a clear passion for preserving the material he sings and hopefully passing it on to future generations) you get the distinct impression that he could’ve played all night and most of the following day for that matter if he’d been allowed. With songs like the moving Honiton Lace and In The Sidings, plus a more Rambling Syd Rumpo style tune about some bloke mowing a young lady’s ‘field’ (ahem...), I’d have happily listened to him too. Jim-ply the best.
PS: As regular readers might know I’ve recently moved to an East Devon village called Whimple which, until recently, Jim called home and it was nice to be able to whoop and holler like loons whenever he mentioned the place (even if we’ve only been here for 5 minutes). Hopefully Jim’ll be back for the legendary Whimple Wassail (huge fun) on January 17th.
PPS: What a great venue The Beehive is! Thoroughly recommended for performers and punters alike.