Mogg Forest

@ The Marr's Bar, Worcester - 14/9/03

Shropshire based Mogg Forest, comprising Emma Heath (vocal, guitar), Lucie Harrison (fiddle, backing vocals) and Mark Davies (bodhran) brought a little bit of quality folk to 'The Bar' tonight. A hint of the traditional (without the fingers in ears stuff I'm glad to say!), beautifully arranged and performed, a couple of more modern covers and several 'home grown', contemporary 'folksters' made up their excellent set.

Initially Emma performed solo and kicked things off with an acapello trad arr number, 'Quiet Joys Of Brotherhood'. What an introduction to her superb voice! The next half dozen numbers featured that great voice with her own, finger style, guitar accompaniment; the self penned and thought provoking, 'Miss You' followed by a superbly arranged version of 'Summertime' - possibly the cleverest and most enjoyable working I'd ever heard of this classic! Two more originals in the excellent, 'Read On' and 'Messages To No One' before another superbly performed cover, Joni Mitchell's, 'Urge For Going'. Her solo spot ended with a fine version of 'Scarborough Fair'.

We were then introduced to bodhran player, Mark for the trad arr, 'Blackwaterside'. Mark's playing showed a feeling and touch seldom seen on his instrument of choice - all too often the bodhran is allowed to almost overwhelm the vocals but Mark's playing added a soft percussive element to support and enhance the vocal - nice! The third Mogg Forester, Lucie, was then introduced. Fiddle being her 'weapon of choice' and another beautiful (God given) voice was thus added to the mix. Half a dozen or so 'Mogg' originals followed with, for me, 'The Mast' being the outstanding song. Lucie's fine fiddle playing looped in and out of Emma's vocals, further enhancing the overall sound. For me, Lucie's real strength in Mogg Forest is in her vocals - she works so well with Emma; it's as if they were born to sing together.

So, Mogg Forest's genre is contemporary folk with undertones of traditional. Instrumentally their sound is quite soft with the subtle bodhran and fiddle. Their power comes from the big voice of Emma Heath. She has a great vocal range, a lovely silky quality and power to die for but can be equally just as gentle. Think Joni Mitchell, think Sandy Denny, mix up those two voices, now mix up their folksy styles - contemporary Joni, traditional Sandy, add in some power and what you have is Emma Heath. Now add soft fiddle, subtle bodhran and quality backing vocals, Finally, add a set of finely crafted songs and you have Mogg Forest.

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