It's not often an artist on President Obama's playlist gigs in a Guildford pub.
Impressive support came from local outfit The Hope Convention, with Americana-influenced folk and a lovely sound with great lyrics including: "If you want me I'll be here - but I may disappear".
Aoife O'Donovan played a totally unplugged set lit only by candles. This was a truly intimate and magical evening for those who had braved the blustery bonfire night weather. A 'cosy atmosphere' as O'Donovan described it. This trip she played only two gigs in England, with London's Bush Hall and Guildford's The Keep sandwiched between gigs in Tokyo and San Francisco.
Opening her 16 song set with Lay My Burden Down, she mixed songs from her acclaimed album Fossils, with new tracks from her forthcoming album including Stanley Park and the title track In The Magic Hour. which bore a passing resemblance to the Punch Brothers, whose Chris Thile is a good friend and musical collaborator. Her guitar playing is relaxed and her vocals beautiful. O'Donovan's style could be described as progressive folk with undertones of Rickie Lee Jones and Joni Mitchell. Engaging well with the audience, she described summers she spent in Ireland and was at pains to say that she definitely did not support Donald Trump.
O'Donovan didn't even mention that her track Red & White & Blue & Gold, was on President Obama's playlist when she performed it. She finished her set with the whole audience singing along to Oh Mama and returned for an encore of Lakes of Pontchartrain. And then she left for the train to Clapham Junction.