Ian Waller enjoys a night of quality live music at a wonderful Wiltshire arts theatre

What an absolute joy to be out again to listen to live music with a real crowd at a cracking venue! Pound Arts in Corsham is perhaps best known for hosting a wonderful variety of arts groups, exhibitions and workshops for families to enjoy, but it also has a well deserved reputation for hosting a range of musicians, comedians, talks and other events that are just perfect for a mum and dad evening out.

And last night was just one of those occasions – with the babysitters booked, drinks ordered from the bar and the chance to enjoy an evening of stunning music from The Breath, an almost unfeasibly talented and engaging duo, spinning stunning songs and displaying musical talents in a way that both enthralled and entertained.

The Breath are singer and flutist Ríoghnach Connolly and guitarist Stuart McCallum, who intertwine their music with a clear joy and friendship that is impossible not to find appealing. With Ríoghnach’s huge personality and infectious laugh making you wish for the chance to enjoy a few glasses of wine and a story or two with her after the show, alongside Stuart’s quieter but equally engaging character, it’s impossible not to like these two before even a note is played.

However, when they do play, it’s a musical joy, weaving Irish folk with jazz and modern looping, all over laid by Ríoghnach’s emotive, soulful, simply gorgeous voice, presenting songs combining stream of poetic consciousness, alongside political statements and undoubted melancholy. The result is beautiful and at times quite magical. The depth of the singing alongside the Stuart’s stunning playing offers a unique musical treat, quite unlike anything we’d heard before.

Watching the performance within the intimate setting of Pound Arts only added to the atmosphere, with the masked and socially distanced crowd happy to join in the banter with the performers, creating a feeling of almost friends meeting up rather after a long time apart rather than a paid for concert.

I’ve been along to a good few events at Pound Arts, both as a family and just a couple for a grown-ups night out, and I’ve always enjoyed the venue, the quality of the performances and the friendly welcome too. To check out the list of what’s coming up next, click here.