Friday 8 March 2002
review by ?????? - db Magazine
Past the cat-calling buskers, the fire jugglers and the masses milling on the dusty lawns, a respectable gathering filed in to the Spiegeltent and out of the cool night air. Stephen Cummings was right on time to greet them, and assisted by the deft fingering of Shane O'Mara, he went on to play an incredibly rewarding and emotive ninety minute set.
By the time the second song When Love Comes Back To Haunt You began, the mood was definitely set: acoustic and mostly mellow with some incredible energetic bursts in songs such as Wishing Machine and Hell. A great number of Cummings' gems were aired, from the recent Skeleton Key (a favourite from last year's album of the same name) to She Set Fire To The House, Fell From A Great Height, The Big Room and numerous others.
Stephen Cummings is also renown for his lengthy chats to the audience, and his Spiegeltent performance was no exception, as he expounded on various tumultuous experiences from his life, often using them as extended introductions to the next song.
Although most songs were predictably steeped in the blues, when Cummings felt his choice of songs so far had been a little negative, he rewarded us with a beautiful version of The Half Light and a delicate stripped-bare cover of Ain't No Sunshine.
Shane O'Mara's faultless guitar accompaniment strengthened each song, whether with careful arpeggio, acoustic blues slide, or rocking strums. With all that was played, no Stephen Cummings devotee should have left the tent dissatisfied.