The Trials of Cato
Live at Poole Lighthouse
In the recently updated Sherling Studio in Poole’s Lighthouse arts center, The Trials of Cato played a set full of old favourites and material from their forthcoming album, Gog Magog.
The songs from Hide and Hair appeared with adjustments, not just by incorporating Polly Bolton’s voice and skillful mandolin playing, but also with adjusted instrumentation; you’ll find some keyboard and a very brief bit of electric guitar in their performance, amongst the familiar bouzouki, banjo, mandolin, and acoustic guitar. Both ‘Gloria’ and ‘Tom Paine’s Bones’ were good enough to raise hairs, the latter additionally elevated by the Poole Casual Scratch Choir, who were in full voice.
The new material also shone. The vocal performance in ‘Paper Planes’ sounded particularly special in a room built for richness and clarity.
Whether they are playing a complex instrumental tune or singing a stomping folk song, The Trials of Cato are superb in terms of music and atmosphere. They also have a volume of material which means we sometimes miss a favourite. ‘These Are The Things’ didn’t make it into the set. It’s my top TTOC song as it has political teeth and a firm bite. Nevertheless, the set was stuffed full of great stuff and you’re missing out if you don’t go and catch them live.
The Trials of Cato are on tour across the UK right through to the end of August, when they play Beautiful Days Festival in Ottery St Mary.
Written by Fenton on