Mae & The Midnight Fairground, Live @ The Inn On The Shore, Cornwall – 28/10/2016 
Mae & Alex

When you walk in to a quiet country pub on an Autumnal Friday night to see a girl in a pointy hat tinkling the ivories accompanied by the rich, deep sound of a cellist you’d be forgiven for doing a double take. That said, there isn’t much about Mae & The Midnight Fairground that doesn’t stand out and make you think twice. In duo form tonight, Mae and Alex soothed and wooed in equal measure as magical melodies wound themselves around the venue sprinkled with humour, tragedy and a fair few references to cats.

It is fair to say that Mae’s songs can present something of a challenge to first timers with her often rapid vocal delivery making lyrical themes hard to catch on to, like fireflies flitting around your head. However, if you relax and let the melodies and interchangeable time signatures wash over you then you can’t help but be enchanted. Songs like ‘The Mortgage Song’, ‘Weasel’ and ‘One Animal’ show off the emotional range of Mae Karthauser’s song writing as well as her astounding vocal ability that is honestly one of the most raw, passionate and natural voices I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing in the live environment. New track ‘Umbrella’ (no, not that one) was a Regina Spektor inspired thing of sparse beauty while the duo had a lot of fun with a Mexican folk song that represented the only thing approaching a cover over the course of the evening.

‘The Persian Boy’ and ‘Georgia & The Tiger’ further proved that here we have a natural story teller in the old style, a fact compounded by the gruelling European tour that has seen Mae travelling the continent with her music from May until early October. This was an intimate show which would have seen some artists shy away but Mae revelled in the attentiveness and closeness of the audience which will surely have given each and every audience member a special memory of a very special evening. Technically, this pair are residents of Totnes but, despite whatever Theresa May says, they are surely citizens of the world and the world is a better place for their citizenship.

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