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O’HOOLEY & TIDOW - Live At St George’s 

O’HOOLEY & TIDOW - Live At St George’s 
No Masters Co-operative NMCD55 

Although there are few positives in the musical landscape devastated by COVID-19, the release of live albums by various acts is a comfort for those of us who love the live experience.

Yorkshire duo O’Hooley & Tidow are masters of the art of musical communication, and are in their element in front of an audience. The songs tackle subjects as diverse as champion lady cyclist Beryl Burton (Beryl), female astronauts (Woman In Space) and boat people (The Tallest Tree). Throughout, their songs are personable, intimate and grounded – these two ladies have humour, conscience and ethics in their delivery. Perhaps the most sensitive and succinct song is Small, Big Love that Kathryn Williams handwrote for the couple’s wedding day.

Belinda O’Hooley’s keyboard/accordion accompaniments are the rock-solid driving force behind each song – able to produce the drama as required while also able to apply sensitivity for the more personal output. Heidi Tidow is her perfect foil and the pair harmonise as few can.

The humorous modern take on All For Me Grog is a brilliant adaptation – and loved by the audience – but what enthuses me is the honesty and tenderness of their own songs. Gentleman Jack, their calling card that was used in the BBC drama of the same name, is the icing on this musical cake. A thoroughly enjoyable album from my point of view.

Grem Devlin


This review appeared in Issue 136 of The Living Tradition magazine