The clarsach is an interesting alternative to the popular choices of guitar or piano; I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon listening to the soothing voice of Pauline Vallance against hers. It’s a smaller version of the harp for those of you not in the know. Entertaining us with a mixture of traditional Scottish ballads, comical country folk and personal compositions, it was far removed from what would normally be expected from this delicate instrument.
She delighted her audience and we were all singing along to the fun, catchy tune of ‘You Rub Me Up The Wrong Way On The Cheese Grater Of Life’ but the versatility of the clarsach meant that we were soon swaying with equal vigour to the comforting, romantic melody of ‘Call of Spring’. Combining the range of a piano and the sound of the guitar the clarsach was the perfect accompaniment to Vallance’s voice as she delivered a varied performance with insightful and personal introductions to many of her songs.
It wasn’t a perfect performance and Vallance’s chatty and friendly attitude stole most of the show, but without it there wouldn’t have been the relaxed, rested atmosphere which made the audience feel so at home. For her first time performing at the Fringe Vallance did well and her confidence can only grow to produce a slicker and more focused show.