The launch of Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker's wonderful Fire & Fortune at The Forge in Camden last night was one of those evenings with a little bit of magic about it. Not least for the support act, Samantha Whates, who - when she sang harmonies during the main set - had a crystalline voice that could have been Josienne's overdub.
Her own set included something that she said she'd written for Josienne's wedding a year ago. "It doesn't really have a title," she said later. "Although at the moment it's going by I Am A Tree. I always think songs are a bit like pets, in that once you've named them they are truly yours."
Since this one was written for Josienne and her mystery man - who until last night, despite having been to lots, I'd never seen at one of their gigs - I guess that makes sense. Name the song and it will be Samantha's rather than theirs.
"Yes. I am the mystery man, " the mystery man agreed. "I stay in the background and am mysterious. But this suits me in some ways because I can't bear to come to the gigs. I get too emotional listening to Josienne sing. I wish I didn't but unfortunately I do."
On the bright side, when he's overcome by emotion, it might not be immediately apparent to onlookers...
* You can listen to Fire & Fortune here and then - bearing in mind that these early CDs may be worth a bit one day - buy your own copy.
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