"IT would have been easier on that side," quips Peggy Seeger, seating herself after negotiating steps and a tangle of wires and equipment. "But I couldn’t bear to come on stage right."

It sets the tone for an evening which, accompanied by son Calum MacColl, will take the packed venue through a lifetime of campaigning, for which she is famous, coupled with a pin-sharp sense of humour, for which she is equally famous.

Ostensibly promoting her new memoir, The First Time Ever, and its accompanying album, the set is low on sales pitch and high on communication with the audience: "The choruses are for you, whether you like it or not,” she informs us early on, and that’s the way it goes.

York Press:

Calum MacColl and Peggy Seeger: "Pushing and goading each other with nods and grins". Picture: Oz Hardwick

Whether it’s Ewan MacColl’s incisive Ballad Of Accounting or the light-hearted duet of The Mountaineer’s Courtship,’this is still – as it’s always been – about bringing people together to sing.

While any number of artists of Seeger’s vintage may appeal to nostalgia or curiosity, songs such as the acerbically witty Donald’s In The White House show that her finger’s still on the pulse. And what nimble fingers! Still a dazzling banjo player at 82, her lightning runs, playing against MacColl’s guitar and mandolin, pushing and goading each other with nods and grins, are as joyous as ever. Likewise, the mother/son harmonies are clearly as much a pleasure to the performers as to the audience.

Poignant, passionate and playful, Seeger seemingly effortlessly demonstrates that, after a career spanning nearly seven decades, her artistic spark burns as bright as ever.

Review by Oz Hardwick