Cambridgeshire locals Megson return to Cambridge for the first leg of their ‘Contradicshun’ tour, supporting their latest album released on 8 February. Folk music is abound with duos, but Megson have proved adept at advancing their style and pushing what instrumentation and harmonies are possible with their set-up.  

Their set at Cambridge’s Junction 2 is a fitting “homecoming”, seeing as they’ve been sharing videos of them performing new songs from their home in Melbourn. They received a great welcome from the venue’s packed audience, as they introduced their support for the evening.

Luke James Williams is a singer-songwriter from Cambridge who released his debut EP ‘Rabbit Role’ last year. His songs were sensitive, intimately placed musings on his own experiences. Every song had its own ‘hook’, enhanced by his edged vocal stylings. Highlights included Snares and Traps, You Are the Captain and a cover of Stevie Nick’s ‘Dreams’. This newcomer found a welcoming supportive audience at the Junction, so I hope we hear more from him in the future.

Megson have been performing together for over 15 years, meaning they’re well versed in both performance and storytelling. In true British fashion, they apologised in advance if their new songs had a few mistakes in them, given that this would be their first outing. If anything, this made the audience more intrigued, to be the very first to hear these new songs live. Tracks such as the title track ‘Contradicshun’ continue their more socio-political-charged approach of 2016’s ‘Generation Rent’, a perfect complement to their more stomp-driven, dare I say ‘poppier’ style. Yet songs such as ‘Two Sides in Every Conversation’ explore the humour reminiscent of 2010’s ‘Longshot’, the conversational interplay between the husband and wife duo really delving into the storytelling and real-life experiences we all look for in folk music.

Both sides to the evening demonstrated the continued excellence of the UK’s Bright Young folk movement. Long may it continue!

Words by James Proctor