Haunting voice from a stylish Irish singer 
Author: Indranee de Silva 
Date: 1998-10-1  

Coming in from the cold to be a warm-up act sounds a pretty thankless task but Chris Conway and Dan Burton had their own inner glow - a new CD hot off the press - taking them closer to top billing.

That should not be long for this highly individual duo. Their own songs really held me, in particular Burton's I Wish I Could Feel Like Some People Feel and Conway's extraordinary Carousel.

With fabulous instrumentation, they also turned in some timeless ballads, including my favourite, the Fairport Convention version of Matty Groves.

And as for the big star, Frances Black - for a first-timer she had a lot of class. First time in Swindon that is, for this performer has climbed to the top of the tree in Ireland. Even In a country thathas a high ratio of talent to population, Frances Black would stand out. Her pure, golden-toned voice and warm non-showbiz style is definitely moreish.

Skyroad, a girl's lament for her lover emigrating to America, also epitomised Ireland's grief for the young men leaving her. Poignant and hauntingly sung, Frances swept us across the Irish sea with this starter.

All through the evening, she personalised her lovely choices for the two sets with introductory anecdotes in that beguiling Irish voice.

Her accompanist, Declan Sinnott, was not only pretty riveting on the guitar but dazzled stylishly in Putting On The Ritz.

This singer has so much appeal, each song became an instant favourite.

And to hear Frances Black singing Nanci Griffiths' Graftan Street and Christie Hennessy's All The Lies You Told Me was something to die for.