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Review: Sam Lee Wows at Newcastle's Cluny

What do you find at a Sam Lee gig? Rewilding. Beauty. Hope. The best whistles you'll ever hear. Folk you've never met before who'll talk to you like an old friend. Kindness. Bewick's birds flapping about in the eaves. Most of all? You'll hear Traveller songs kept alive and sung with heart - the same way my Granda Jack's pals sang on warm Appleby evenings. Air filled with fiddle scrape, bow top brake. The crackle of those fires. That Old Wow made Now Wow.

Didn't know it at the time but I'd booked this to fall on THE day. I played Goodbye, My Darling yesterday morning and was already teary because it felt so perfect to say a reluctant farewell to our Europe. (No, not forever.) Hearing Sam sing with the band for the first time was a balm. We sang together. A moment of cradled sense and harmony in hard, disjointed days.

And what a pleasure to set the album sailing here in Newcastle. Gorgeous. Cathartic. Needed. Thank you so much for collecting, performing and caring so diligently for the songs of my culture. Wowee, this album so deserves to fly.



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