Alan Reid and Rob Van Sante

Live Review | The Salutation, Doncaster | Review by Allan Wilkinson

We had the pleasure of a bone-fide Battie at the Sal tonight and had him all to ourselves it would seem.  Doncaster is obviously completely unaware as to the privilege it is to have such a notable folk luminary come visit, but hey, that’s Doncaster for you.  The Showaddywaddy tribute band was probably playing elsewhere and is of course a much stronger draw.  That or Coronation Street. Alan Reid and Dutch guitarist Rob Van Sante played a couple of delightful sets during the course of the evening and made me ponder once again why I love acoustic music so much.  It’s that intimacy that I crave, the communication between singer and listener.  Alan’s distinctive delicate vocal, very much in his own Scottish vernacular, is reminiscent – and I mean this most sincerely – of Ivor Cutler, but instead of surreal poetry, it was all pretty much Scottish balladry, even though it was juat about all self-penned contemporary material.  Alan included several Battlefield Band standards in the set, accompanying himself on guitar, piano and accordion, whilst Rob embellished it all with his Martin guitar, which he claimed was a sod to keep in tune!  That’s the first time I’ve heard the sacred Martin blasphemed in public.  Chatting to Alan at the bar tonight was made all the more easy by the fact that he’s such a warm and good-natured individual.  It made a change to meet a long time stalwart of the British folk music scene who just happened to be completely devoid of ego. A top night.  It’s a just a shame everybody missed it.