Cara Dillon

The Apex, Bury St Edmunds

Cara Dillon is a multi-award-winning folk artist from Northern Ireland.  Last night she brought her ‘Upon a Winter’s Night’ tour to The Apex in Bury St Edmunds. In complete contrast to another winter tour I reviewed in Cambridge two days previously Cara’s performance was all about Christmas songs.

The stage at The Apex was set with glittering white Christmas Trees and flickering candles as Cara, dressed appropriately in a long white dress topped with a winter hood, joined Sam, Toby and Ed to begin the first half of her set.

This was my first-time hearing Ms Dillon sing. Testimonials about her voice abound:  “..word’s most beautiful female voice…” (Mojo Magazine), “…sublime, heavily recommend…” (Ed Sheeran), “…one of Ireland’s truly great singers…” (The Guardian) … But you know what?  They are all true.

Playing to a knowledgeable and respectful audience – you could hear a pin drop during her unaccompanied rendition of ‘Oh Holy Night’ –  Cara was obviously pleased to be playing in what she herself described as ‘this beautiful venue’.

It was a family affair, for Christmas is all about families, Cara & Sam’s children Noah, Colm and Elizabeth played their part musically, vocally and in dance.  This the second time in two gigs where I have seen young people immersed in live music. I sincerely hope that this becomes a growing trend.

This was the third date of their winter tour and already they had managed to lose Luke Daniels.  Luke was taken ill after the first show of the tour, called himself an ambulance at silly o’clock in the morning and was taken to Macclesfield District General with a kidney infection.  We wish Luke a speedy recovery.

Highlights of the night’s set were perhaps Sam Lakeman’s composition ‘The Huntsman‘, Toby Shaer’s fiddle work, but if you forced me to choose a favourite it would be Cara’s cover of Joni Mitchell’s ‘The River’.

If you are a folk fan and have somehow managed not to catch Cara Dillon live, I highly recommend that you do so.