mon 08/08/2022

folk music

Folk, Hampstead Downstairs review - thoughtful play about folklorist Cecil Sharp

Cecil Sharp, heritage hero or imperialist appropriator? If you attended school in the first half of the 20th century, you would have sung from his collections of English folk songs, and probably gritted your teeth and performed the country dances he...

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Albums of the Year 2021: Eliane Elias - Mirror Mirror

After watching so many gigs through a computer screen, it was a joy to hear live music again in familiar haunts – from Ronnie Scott’s and the Southbank to Grand Junction, Paddington – in 2021. It made you appreciate anew not only the high-wire...

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Albums of the Year 2021: Katherine Priddy - The Eternal Rocks Beneath

Katherine Priddy’s debut album came out in the summer, and it’s remained a high point for the rest of the year as 2021 plays out to the sombre drums and drones of resurgent pandemic warnings, fresh lockdowns, closed venues, silenced auditoriums. Her...

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First Person: Harpist Rachel Newton on creating music to accompany two well-loved books celebrating nature, poetry and magic

I am fortunate to be one of the musicians involved in Spell Songs, a musical companion piece to both The Lost Words and The Lost Spells by acclaimed author Robert Macfarlane and award-winning illustrator and author Jackie Morris.There have been...

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The Men They Couldn't Hang, Powerhaus Camden review - raucous farewell to the fallen

To clarify: this is less a review, more a dispatch from a raucous wake. We all have a band that means something extra. Mine is The Men They Couldn't Hang, who I saw on Saturday night at the Powerhaus in Camden for the umpteenth time.I first came...

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Album: Kathryn Williams & Carol Ann Duffy - Midnight Chorus

Liverpudlian singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams has always had a literary bent. This doesn’t just manifest in overt ways, like writing a concept album about Sylvia Plath in 2015’s Hypoxia, but in perfectly potted narratives, microscopically...

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Album: Justin Adams & Mauro Durante - Still Moving

Adams has long been Robert Plant’s guitarist in bands including the Sensational Space Shifters, as well as working with fellow Space Shifter Juldeh Camara in the band JuJu. He is steeped in American Blues as well as its West African and Desert Blues...

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Grace Petrie, Summerhall, Edinburgh review - songs of solidarity

“How to explain Theresa May?” Grace Petrie muses from the Summerhall stage as she introduces decade-old opener “Farewell To Welfare”. “Well, in 2010, she was as bad as we thought it was going to get.”That is, on the face of it, the problem with...

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Black String, Grand Junction review – storm-force intensity

If you were looking for a word to describe Black String in performance at Grand Junction in Paddington, before the high altar of the church of St Mary Magdalene, itself a pinnacle of Victorian neo-Gothic bravura, then that word would be “intense”....

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Williams, City of London Sinfonia, Southwark Cathedral review - a British Isles cornucopia

A year ago, the City of London Sinfonia’s quietly different concerts in Southwark Cathedral were a lifeline in the twilight of semi-lockdown; I’ll never forget how we treasured the last, on 17 November, knowing that everything would be closed again...

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Laura Marling, Roundhouse review - simple and compelling

Laura Marling was one of the most active lockdown performance artists, doing her bit to play solo streams to a captive and culturally starved virtual audience.The simplicity of her uninterrupted sets, low production values and absence of small talk...

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Album: The Specials - Protest Songs 1924 - 2012

When The Specials returned with their chart-topping 2019 album Encore, it was a wonderful surprise. As well as being their first in nearly four decades (excluding material by alternately named intermediary incarnations), it proved they were more...

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