March 11, 2010
St. Ann’s Church
Breamish St and City Road
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 6PY
Emily Portman’s album launch will be a very special occasion in a very special venue.
An extraordinary musician from the tips of her English-concertina-playing fingers to her tapping-toes, Emily has the stamp of approval of Radio 2’s Mike Harding, Shirley Collins, and Louis Killen, possibly the most influential of the English folk-song revivalists of the sixties.
Her first solo album on the new Furrow label, The Glamoury (a ‘glamoury’ is described an “enchantment that may reveal beauty where before there was none”), is themed around “ballads and folk tales” says Portman.
Ballads (like fairy tales) are famously violent and unforgiving, and this is something that Portman has been keen to explore, with a uniquely feminist edge. “My songs are often about relationships between women, how they relate to each other, sisters, mothers and daughters” she says.
“A lot of my songs are about metamorphosis and shape changing. And also about voices, and their persistence, even when the body is transformed” explains Portman. “They’re about women, their voices and stories, even when they can’t speak or be heard”.
Portman’s songs are truly gothick, mysterious and otherworldly, and her influences are as likely to be the novels of Angela Carter and Marina Warner, as the ballads collected by Francis James Child in the 1880s.
Hailing from New York State, Christi Andropolis is a singer and fiddler whose musical inspirations range from the Southern States of the US to the UK, exploring connections between traditional music on both sides of the Atlantic. From delta blues to Appalachian tunes, she combines the influence of her American roots with a flair for Scottish and English fiddle, establishing a new voice for transatlantic folk music. Having already toured extensively in her native U.S., Christi is fast becoming acclaimed on the UK folk scene with expressive vocals, dynamic fiddling and on-stage charisma.
Soon to be released on Furrow Records (www.furrowrecords.co.uk) is Christi’s new album ‘Rust & Holler’. A showcase of Christi’s own compositions alongside music from Appalachia and the UK, ‘Rust & Holler’ effortlessly blends the traditional with the contemporary, firmly establishing the breadth and diversity of Christi’s talent. Varying from sparse duets to seven-piece band arrangements, this album combines vocals, fiddle, piano and organ, guitar, bass, banjo, and drums for an individual and creative performance that still shows its roots.
THE HORSE LOOM
“Northumbrian guitarist and singer Steve Malley would doubtless be extremely embarrassed to read that anyone had called him a ‘genius’. That says a lot. It’s also one of the reasons why he might well be one” says a recent review.
Steve is a veteran of over 500 gigs over 3 decades. Has promoted and organised countless shows over the years – from the miner’s strike benefit festival in the early 80’s to the legendary 9×9 all dayers and beyond. All non-profit. All for love. Understands all the workings and what IS practical and what is NOT. Steve has recorded four albums, six EPs, recorded two (that’s TWO!) John Peel sessions, and has shared a stage with Meat Puppets, Fugazi, Blur, Alasdair Roberts, Sir Richard Bishop, Stereolab and many, many more.
Steve describes himself as “self-effacing, friendly, non-egomaniac and with a desire to treat everyone with dignity, fairness and respect. He hopes that one day he is afforded the same courtesy”.
The Horse Loom debut album will be released in the Autumn of 2010.
ST. ANN’S CHURCH
St Ann’s was built in 1767-1768 in a dignified English Renaissance manner from designs by William Newton, the most successful Newcastle architect of his day.
Stones from the nearby old Newcastle town wall were used in its construction, and the church was consecrated by Bishop Trevor on Friday 2nd September 1768.
The church then stood much as it now exists except that the interior was furnished with the usual three-decker pulpit and ‘box’ pews, and the windows were wider than at present.
Emily Portman, with a supporting cast of Lucy Farrell, Rachel Newton, Dave Newey and Christi Andropolis, will launch The Glamoury at St. Ann’s Church on City Road, Newcastle on March 11 2010.
Tickets: £6.50 / £5.00 concessions.