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Review by Terry Keeler
23 October 2016
Bertie and the Bandits

This being the first concert of the new season for both Cromer Music Evenings and the COAST festival, turned out to be an historical and musical experience focussed on Poppyland.

The Bandits, being an ensemble of superb young artists produced an afternoon of informative content and compositional expertise by Anderson-Haggart, who set many of the poems and songs to music, soon captured the delight of the capacity audience.

In a relaxed manner Anderson-Haggart explained the origin and history of each item recorded by local historian, Kit Hood, who did not record the tunes. Being set to music brought Hood's writings alive.

Evie Anderson, mezzo soprano soloist, excelled in her performances producing a beautiful rich timbre truly professional in her vocal skills.

This artistic ensemble with Anderson-Haggart (viola, guitar, voice), Evie Anderson (cello, voice, piano), Anne-Marie Kirby (violin), Rhiannon Lock (cello) and Emma Price (flute, accordion). The musical introductions to the songs were so very impressive, sometimes sombre, mystique and joyful, preparing the listener for the mood of the texts, using pizzicato effects, deep sonorous cellos, flowing melodic phrasing from the flute, with the accordion highlighted in all the right places, not forgetting the very close harmonic effects of the vocal duets in many of the songs.

Arthur Windridge paid tribute to the performers, saying the concert was summed up in just one word UNIQUE! A very apt statement indeed.

Terry Keeler
Tel 01263 513273