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June Tabor & Oysterband, Queen's Hall, Edinburgh

Two weeks ago, the English folk scene's current darlings, Bellowhead, appeared on this very stage and presented a set of traditional songs with arrangements so vibrant and interesting that they all but swamped the songs themselves.

That was never going to happen with June Tabor. For Tabor, the song's the thing and her delivery here, with every word given due weight, ensured that every tale was clearly told. We could, however, have done with just a smidgen of Bellowhead's adventurous spirit.

Tabor's collaboration with folk-rockers Oysterband has passed into legend, with their 1990 album, Freedom & Rain, widely rated as a classic and their reconvening after 21 years for the follow-up, Ragged Kingdom, resulting in them hogging this year's BBC Folk Awards.

Tabor is clearly chuffed to be reunited: she was chipper, prefacing songs with ribald observations and recollections, slipping in a mirthful version of Les Barker's banjo-savaging Roseville Fair parody and complying with Oysterbander John Jones's invitation for her to become Nico to their Velvet Underground on the Velvets' All Tomorrow's Parties.

It has not always the easiest of marriages, though, and while Oysterband would certainly pass their folk-rock proficiency test, there's a stodginess about much of their work.

Jones's singing of Blackwaterside was a mite overwrought and their united voices behind Tabor's rendering of When I Was No' But Sweet Sixteen suggested choirboys playing Scrabble more than ploughboys having their wicked way.

Together they cover much musical history, from the centuries-old Son David through to soul classic Dark End Of The Street and Joy Division's Love Will Tear Us Apart, but a brighter, lighter approach generally would enhance Tabor's singing much more.

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