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Bedworth Folk Club, June 2018

Just gotta say, what a fantastic night!
Karen & Paul were really quite amazing, great songs all presented with style and a gentle capturing manner - I don't think I have ever seen our audience so "spellbound"!

They delivered two 40 minute sets of excellence. Paul Walker & Karen Pfeiffer - This pair are a real class act and soon had the audience eating out of their hands, a great mix of trad, contemporary and self-penned songs delivered in style. A totally great night from beginning to end, great entertainment.

Malc Gurnham

(from Bedworth Folk Club Facebook page. Review shortened)

Hungry Horse Folk Club, Ellesmere Port March 2018

Woodman Folk Club, Kingswinford 2017

    Reviews 2017

Woodman Folk Club - Reviews

Paul Walker & Karen Pfeiffer

Chris Irving 12 May 2017

Click on photo to
 

I’m wondering if Karen and Paul think I am stalking them? This is the third time I’ve seen them in as many months. First at Bromsgrove Folk Club, then at The Red Lion Folk Club and now at The Woodman. Each time has been a wonderful experience…. Music to make you feel happy, music to make you reflect…. Marvellous, melodic vocal harmonies complimented by skilful guitar accompaniment, you can’t help but enjoy their wonderful on-stage magical, musical chemistry.

They sang a selection of songs, some self-penned and some covers, from their two albums ‘One by One’ and ‘Marble Town’ plus a couple of extras. They started with a dramatic interpretation of Dougie McLean's ‘Turning Away’ followed by a song ‘Lift This Weight’ written by Paul, about his home town Stoke.

Karen is from Sachsenheim in Germany and I suggest you Google images of it to see how lovely it is. She sang a German Folk Song, popular in that region….. and I think many of you may have been familiar with it…. ‘Muss I denn’………some American chap had a hit with it in 1960, fifty seven years ago! Another song which moved me was ‘Marble Town’. A love story set in Kilkenny, where the streets are paved in the local limestone. When it rains the pavements shine like marble. It reminded me of my visit to ‘Granite City’, Aberdeen… also known as Furry Boots. The locals ask “Furry Boots ye fram ?” The set also included Richard Thompsons deeply disturbing ‘Galway to Graceland’ a very different love song about an obsessional love. The first half closed with another of Paul and Karen’s own songs ‘Tell the Folks back Home.” Written after an encounter with ‘Stokies’ … Down-under. (Residents of Stoke visiting Australia and not what you thought!) We were all left to get our breath back after that and take a break.

The Second Spasm…..was opened by Bryn Phillips, our worthy M.C., with two songs…. And ‘The Raffle!’

On with the show… Karen and Paul re-opened with a song made popular by Vin Garbutt, ‘What’s the use of Wings?’ but what an extraordinary interpretation… first class! ‘Play me a Love Song’ takes place in that seedy, smoky bar, The Six Pack, open dusk till dawn, where the clientele are the lost and lonely. Under the one bright spotlight and through the cigarette haze, hunched over the piano, a beer glass and smoking cigarette balanced on the piano top, sits the Tom Waits or Jaques Brel type musician…. When a voice from the darkness pleads….”Play me a love song….” And so on. We’re on a roller coaster ride of emotion, romance, humour and chorus.

Then all too soon the finale…. Galway Farmer…Karen and Paul take us on a sensational ride to the flying finish…. They win by ten lengths and we’re all left gasping for an encore. Which they oblige with, and we all go home singing ‘Caledonia.’ What a terrific night!

Bryn thanks everyone…….including those other stalwarts of the club, Velvet Green and Nothing to Prove who opened the evening and broke the ice. Then we all wander off into the night with those songs and memories in our heads.

Brewood Folk & Acoustic Music Club 2016

From Brewood Acoustic Music Club's Facebook page following Paul & Karen's gig in September 2016

From Brewood Acoustic Music Club's Facebook page following Paul & Karen's gig in September 2016

German reviews 2013 (from when we very first started together...)


Translated from a review by Bettina Nowakowski, Bietigheimer Zeitung , Germany, 29th October 2013.
 
The ‘Acoustic Song Night’ with ‘Westernberg Ost’ and the duo ‘Paul Walker & Karen Pfeiffer’ offered on Saturday evening in the ‘Alte Kelter’ in Besigheim a programme of contrast, with groove and goose bumps.

They are still in existence, ‘lucky bags’, the discoveries of precious pearls in the music scene. This is what happened at the ‘Acoustic Song Night’ at the ‘Alte Kelter’ in Besigheim to which the band ‘Westernberg Ost’ had invited the British-German duo ‘Paul Walker & Karen Pfeiffer’, who are on their German tour at the moment.

The duo opened the night and already the second song, a rousing interpretation of ‘Mercedes Benz’ by Janis Joplin, provoked a goose bump feeling. The extraordinary voice of Karen Pfeiffer would absolutely be worthy to take part in ‘The Voice of Germany’. The entire jury would turn around in their armchairs within seconds of her singing.

Sometimes powerful with groove, sometimes poetically tender, with or without harmonies from her singing partner Paul Walker who was also playing the guitar, Karen Pfeiffer presented a mixture of folk, rock and own songs that enthused the audience. Being from Ludwigsburg, she has lived in England for five years and for three years she and her partner Paul Walker have been playing on British music stages together. With ‘One by One’ they have just released their first CD together which can be purchased on their website.

Once a year Paul Walker & Karen Pfeiffer come for a short tour to Germany. ‘Year after year we have more gigs here’ said Karen Pfeiffer happily. And no, despite her musicality, she is not related to the, in this region, famous musician family of Thomas Pfeiffer.
The varied repertoire reached from folk songs like ‘The Galway Farmer’ via Bob Dylan to their own compositions such as ‘Play Me a Love Song’. This ballad did not only from a singing point of view touch emotionally, but it also perfectly highlighted the coherent stage presence and likable harmony between Paul Walker and Karen Pfeiffer.

The contrasting programme was after the break offered by ‘Westernberg Ost’ including Alban Wekenmann, Geoff Hoffmann and Matthias Eckert. The latter was suffering a croaky voice, but presented it from a singing point of view, spot on and with routine German songs by Marius Müller-Westernhagen, Udo Lindenberg and the Eastern-German bands Karat, Puhdys and City. Paul Walker and Karen Pfeiffer came back to the stage for three songs and it clearly showed again that the stage presence  of Karen Pfeiffer, in a duet with Matthias Eckert, ignited the audience.

Conclusion of the evening: Westernberg Ost offered solid casually interpreted ‘Deutschrock’ (German rock). But the British-German duo Paul Walker & Karen Pfeiffer was the real highlight of the evening and could as well on their own have made the ‘Acoustic Song Night’ into a first-class experience.

 
Photographs by Helmut Pangerl

Photographs by Helmut Pangerl

And even before that... 'Live @ Granvilles'