FULL HOUSE - The Dragon’s Breath Acoustic Folk Club
Nick Mitchell – guitar and vocals
Claire (Fluff) Smith - violin, maracas, vocals
Chris Lee – Bass guitar, mandolin
Mark Woolley – Boron, Cajon drum, low C and low D whistles
Ian Jones – Flute, melodion
An enthusiastic audience came together on Tuesday night at the friendly Dragon’s Breath Folk Club at the village hall in Treuddyn, to enjoy the experience that is Full House. We were royally entertained by this long established and hugely talented band who are one of the safest pair of hands in the business. They started their set with All Fall Down which one of their best known numbers with Nick on vocals and guitar and Fluff and Ian supplying solid solos on violin and flute.
That led us into the steady slow beat of Old Rock and Roll and then, by contrast, on to Nick Mitchell’s own Terra Incognita which is one of my favourites of Nick’s songs and has a very catchy hook that drove this up- beat song along at a jaunty pace.
Bean Stew presented us with fine musicianship from Fluff on violin and Ian on flute producing a bouncy and veritable cascade of notes that made this instrumental a delight to listen too.
Chris picked up his mandolin to provide a virtuoso performance as the group rattled a very lively and original arrangement of Blackleg Miner with Fluff on violin giving the song a flavour of Ireland and also, for me, Turkey as every foot in the room was tapping out the rhythm.
A lively couple of hornpipes kept the audience participation at a high level as we clapped and tapped to the high paced music and now that we were fully engaged the band blasted out Rout of the Blues and straight onto Trad Sandwich, penned by Fluff on violin and Mark on low C whistle.
Then, in this beautifully put together set, the mood was dramatically changed with Sandy Denny’s seasonal lament, Winter Winds the arrangement of which had an interesting mix of the medieval with a modern rhythmic twist. After this we were invited to join in with The Weight which once again, was offered with a Full House special arrangement that gave us a fresh view of an old classic.
From the heavy beat of The Weight, the band swung the tables and floated us on the delicately played strains of Fluff’s, Loth to Leave. One of the highlights of the evening this haunting soundscape started with Chris’s bass foundation overlaid with Fluffs exquisite strings which soon developed still further when Mark and Ian joined with low D whistle and flute. This incredible music came about because Fluff had to leave Glastonbury early, and to her great frustration, had to miss some great music. I for one am grateful that this was the case because, if she hadn’t, we would not have this gift to enjoy and savour. If she writes nothing else in her life, this is a precious legacy.
The finale started with Nick’s Mitchel’s own up beat Shadow in the Rain which changed the pace and led us into their last song of the night This Wheel’s on Fire which had the audience lustily singing along and clapping.
So in summary, we were treated by this close knit band, whose tight playing comes from a combination of excellent musicianship, and shared experience to a well balanced set, and skilful arrangements. Full House constantly demonstrate that longevity doesn’t diminish commitment and can be trusted to deliver high end performances every timeVisit the website