IT was a first for Bournemouth to have folk sensation Heidi Talbot and her band in town. With a warm welcome, the large audience of the Bournemouth Folk Club quickly put the Irish musician at ease.

Clearly impressed by the grandeur of the Shelley Theatre, Heidi had the room under her spell in no time at all with her achingly beautiful voice and irreverent anecdotes.

Heidi first came to prominence as a member of Irish-American female group Cherish the Ladies, before embarking on a successful solo career that saw her release her fifth solo album last year.

Opening with two tracks, Time To Rest and A Song For Rose from that recent album, Here We Go 1, 2, 3. The singer-songwriter has clearly hit a rich creative vein at the moment and tells us that more new material is on its way later this year with a collaboration with husband and respected folk musician John McCusker.

Accompanying Heidi on stage was the very talented young multi-instrumentalist Toby Shaer who’s performed with Cara Dillon and plays harmonium, fiddle and whistle. Also, Innes White who is another brilliant young composer on mandolin and guitar.

Toby and Innes were given several showcase moments during the show where Heidi would sit side of stage while they impressed the audience with their musicianship. There was also a live exclusive when the trio performed the song Grace Darling together for the first time with the crowd happily joining in with the chorus.

Heidi’s delicate voice sounded utterly compelling and strong, especially on A Stranger To Me with its themes about post-natal depression and the powerful Motherland. The ethereal quality of her voice also carries an underlying steel and wisdom that made the evening so captivating.

The encore finished with a lovely cover of Sandy Denny’s At The End of The Day. It’s nights like this that make you appreciate how special the intimate setting of the Bournemouth Folk Club is at the Shelley Theatre.