THE stage looked like a microphone sellers’ convention as we waited for an intriguing musical experiment to be brought to life.

Originally conceived as a festival project, eight leading figure from various branches of the folk family were put together in a house for five days and told to come up with a series of songs to celebrate one of the pioneers of English folk music.

The show is basically the resulting album given an added dimension.

Musicians from both sides of the Atlantic are represented in the nearest thing you’re likely to get to a folk supergroup.

From Show of Hands Steve Knightley to the multi-talented Jim Moray and from Mrs Sean Lakeman, Kathryn Roberts, to Canadian Leonard Podolak, the array of talent on stage is quite stunning.

Live the whole thing is so much more than an academic exercise.

It is a moving, joyful and often amusing show which leaves you tapping your feet (and hambone - you’ll see later) and marvelling at the musicianship and harmonies.

In spite of only playing six shows the all-star octet are very much a band rather than a collection of individuals.

The on-stage rapport is obvious so clearly their Big Brother-like experience didn’t create any major problems.

Traditional songs such as Barbara Allen and Lover’s Lament are given new life and new songs inspired by the work of Cecil Sharp are well rounded and well received.

Podolak is the class clown leading the audience in an exhausting - and painful - display of hamboning, basically turning yourself into a human beatbox.

And just to round things off, we got an encore of morris dancing and Appalachian step dancing.

It was a folk concert, but brilliantly not one as we know it.