Stew Simpson and Danny Hart (guitar/vocals and violin respectively) have been busy touring the length and breadth of England promoting Hadrian's Union CD 'Trapped in Time', so there is a sense of homecoming as they join forces with Mike France (bassist) and take to the stage. Their opening number, 'He was',is jauntily upbeat and gets the crowd in the mood for the musical tapestry to follow. There is no percussionist and yet the band's timing and rhythm are flawless as the beat is laid down via France's six string bass and Simpson's rhythm guitar. These ears have never come across this combination of instruments before and so a unique blend is concocted with the aid of a host of influences including folk, bluegrass and even punk. It is on the slower numbers where Hart's tasteful violin runs weave a particular charm, mesmerising the audience. There is a lot of space in the musical backdrop which leaves room for Simpson's lyrical poetry to shine through. The material draws on a range of topics, from Simpson's experience in a nude group modelling session (body to body) to his chance encounter with the playwright Alan Bennett (Mr Bennett). At times the performance veers off in a comedic direction as Simpson executes a John Cleese 'Basil' walk accompanied by Hart's brief rendition of Fawlty Towers. 

          It is during one of the encores however, a 'unionised' rendition of an old Leadbelly blues classic, where the emotion and quality of Simpson's voice really make an impact.  He hits the high notes with superb accomplishment.

          The band have recently signed a record deal with Cumbria based 'Fellside' label and a new CD is scheduled for 2012. Fans of HU can hardly wait.