Hilary Pavey and Jim Reynolds

No mosh pit, no trying to get on stage, or mob the singers for autographs but instead a sensitive and a listening audience at the Almshouse Tea Shop in Axbridge for a concert by song writer and musician Hilary Pavey and her collaborator Jim Reynolds.

Introduced by Barry Walsh the show was billed as a ‘Folk & Acoustic’ evening in the upstairs of the café where Hilary played to an audience of around 60 for about 90 minutes. More acoustic than traditional folk she opened with a song about the Blue Smoke Bar and a story of unrequited love about Billy and Ruby which had a slight Country and Western tone.

There were songs about alcohol and lost love, notes about domestic abuse and loneliness – and life in general – mostly with a melancholy feel. And there was a certain black comedy in some of the songs that featured murder – introduced by Hilary with a broad grin. In contrast, together with Jim, there were numbers by The Seekers, Sam Cooke and Radio Head.

A low key and intimate performance with Jim Reynolds, the early evening gig created a feeling of togetherness from a supportive audience who joined in with some of the numbers. Her songs about the cold and ‘turning your collar up’ and ‘I’m alright Jack, I’ve got clothes on my back’ consolidated the messages of social support for the disadvantaged in the era of a cost of living crisis.

Harry Mottram

Originally from Middlesex Hilary has been a fixture in the Bristol music scene for many years. She has a Facebook site and there are videos and news of her gigs on the internet.