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Sam Lee

"Sam singing solo and unaccompanied was magical ... a great contrast to Sam's recorded materials, which are complex and magnificent ... you could have heard a pin drop ... incredibly moving."

Thursday 30th October 2014

The Lantern Theatre, Sheffield


Thanks Sam Lee for a spell-binding performance at the Lantern Theatre on Thursday. Sam was in conversation with Simon Keegan-Phipps from Sheffield University – punctuating and illustrating the conversation with a wonderful selection of collected and traditional songs. Sam singing solo and unaccompanied was truly magical.


He spoke about his introduction to folk music through Forest Schools camps, his work at Cecil Sharp House, his ‘apprenticeship’ with Stanley Robertson, his extensive song collecting activities with traveller communities and the development of the Song Collectors Collective. He openly explored the process and ethics of song collecting … giving a really thoughtful answer to an audience question about what goes back to the communities themselves.


But, as ever with a TalkingGigs event, the essential element was hearing him singing the songs. I loved the way that for each he told where the song had come from, the story told by the song … and then sang the song. It seems wrong to give away the ‘punchline’ of a song ... but really it’s absolutely right to let the song have the last word. The simplicity of the arrangements was a great contrast to Sam's recorded materials – which are complex and magnificent. But the simplicity was really powerful – you could have heard a pin drop – and incredibly moving.


Sorry that there are no pictures of the event on stage ... instead, a picture of Sam talking with some of the many people who wanted to have a word afterwards. Thanks again, Sam

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