KEEPING IT LIVE IN LOCKDOWN – Winter Wilson Live From The Lounge

Live From The Lounge
Photograph by John S Wright

I was thinking of writing this review in seven weeks’ time – which is both unusually precise and about five weeks ahead of any planning I normally do for Reviews.  Why so precise? In eight weeks’ time Winter Wilson will be on Week 52 of Live From The Lounge – a weekly concert from their living room which they started on April 2nd 2020 to keep us going for the week or two that lockdown was going to last. That evening is still on their website, so you can still hear and watch the ten covers they played.

As Spring moved on, Live From The Lounge settled into a routine: alternating between a week of covers and a week of Winter Wilson songs. Dave Wilson is not only a great songwriter, he’s also a prolific one. No song was repeated – from April 2nd until after November 12th, week sixteen of original Winter Wilson songs.

The impact of knowing there’s been a place to turn up on Thursday is such that it’s almost as though lockdown hasn’t been total. I haven’t counted, but I reckon we’ve been able to listen to over a hundred Winter Wilson songs and well over another hundred covers.

And the covers? There are gems that I’d forgotten all about (John Prine’s ‘Angel From Montgomery’ which I’d not heard for years; ‘Step It Out Mary’ which vague memory tells me was one of the regular songs from my first folk club days almost fifty years ago; a lovely version of ‘At Seventeen’) and a mix of old favourites from the likes of Bob Dylan, Sandy Denny, Jackson Browne, Joan Armatrading et al.

Winter Wilson have asked for requests, then worked them out and played them. I guess most people reading this will have borrowed or worked out the chords and lyrics to songs over the years and tried to play and sing something. So you know that this isn’t always as easy as it sounds.

At the same time, they’ve kept us entertained, chatted, sung gloriously, played a mix of instruments (to the delight of the audience – you probably have to be there to read the text comments to fully appreciate this), shared their living room and lives ….and provided an element of certainty through three lockdowns and a long winter. Like going to a weekly club on a regular evening, it’s a place to catch music, humour and company – and, in the fuzzy days and weeks enveloping us all, it’s an anchor of stability.

Live From the Lounge is a music event, but it’s become more than that over the past ten months or so. If you know the duo, it will come as no surprise that there is a wider sense to the sessions. There is also an opportunity to donate to a couple of charities via their website – the (local) Sleaford Community Larder/the MU Musicians Hardship Fund. Last night’s session has now been uploaded and, as well as songs from the first album, you can hear a heartfelt tribute to the late and much-admired Mick Peat.

Many thanks then, not just to Winter Wilson, but to all those musicians and folk clubs who have gone virtual and who have thereby helped keep us feeling a little bit better about things.

And finally, why didn’t I wait until week 52? Last night, January 28th, Winter Wilson played tracks off their first album.  I think the plan is that next week will be covers again, and then over the coming alternate Thursdays the plan, I think, is to play music from each album in turn. Whether you already know their music or not, it’ll be well worth a listen – and I suspect it might just be the build-up to a rather fun anniversary party in eight weeks’ time.

Mike Wistow

Artist’s website:

Live From The Lounge #44:

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