'THE KELPING' TAPLAS
Tom Napper and Tom Bliss are an enigmatic duo, both treading very different paths - Napper as an acoustic musician, playing pretty neat tenor banjo, mandolin and guitar, and Bliss in a new-wave band, which had a deal with pop guru Pete Waterman. Bliss grew disillusioned with amplified music, recogising that only a duo could provide the flexibility he needed to bring his songs to a wider audience. Napper and Bliss, a freelance TV director, had mutual friends who kept each other abreast of what was happening - and it only took a phone call to seal up the business.
Now, sadly, they're going their separate ways in October.* Fans and club organisers should try to see them quickly, if only for Bliss' heartstopping songs and Napper's excellent tunes. If a fault is to be found, something's lacking in the vocals department**, which doesn't quite do justice to the quality material - if you get the time, go through it again and again and you will be rewarded.
Highlights? The Convenience Reel, God Speed, Lily of the West, Campbell the Rover - all pretty satisfying stuff, nurtured and grown from experience of life itself. It will be a shame to see them go.
* Not actually true!
** Actually true!