Jim Moray – St George’s, Bristol

Wednesday 15th May, 2019

Jim Moray is partly responsible for me getting into folk music. Without seeing him and Sam Carter, as False Lights, at BBC6 Music Festival in Bristol a few years ago I may well have remained closed minded about a genre of music I’ve come to genuinely love. Subsequently I’ve seen False Lights rock out the folk, Sam solo but not Jim. Tonight was my chance to rectify that. Given that it was back in my beloved St George’s on a night I could make, well, you can see why I found myself sitting in the stalls for this gig.

It was a small but enthusiastic crowd. Perhaps it was timing, coming so soon after the Folk Festival, meaning Bristol’s folkie crowd were too tired out from all the amazing music there to have ventured out for Jim. It made for an intimate atmosphere and the level of applause and warmth Jim received demonstrated how appreciated the music was.

Why I love False Lights, and by extension Jim, is that he takes traditional folk and plays it on electric guitar, making it more accessible. His playing is subtle and gentle still, but has a different tone and adds something. He takes old music and makes it new is probably the best way I can describe it. Folk music has always adapted to the times it finds itself in, the old songs, the ones sung for generations, sound timeless and of their time all at once in hands like Jim’s.

We were treated to a mixture of songs from Upcetera, Jim’s previous album and tracks that will be out on his new one soon, False Lights tracks and traditional songs. Some of them were old (Jacobean), some 20th Century, one about the Sounds Of Earth. All told tales, this is folk after all, and all subtly and understatedly played. Joining Jim were two other fab musicians (sorry, I’m rubbish with names) on double bass and fiddle and they made a great trio.

This was a lovely, gentle gig that left me filled with a warm glow. Not bad for a Wednesday night, thanks Jim.




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