Posts Tagged ‘karine polwart’

BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards available to live stream

Posted on January 30th, 2013 in News, Recent posts by .

Now in its 14th year, the annual Radio 2 Folk Awards will be broadcast this evening from Glasgow Royal Concert Hall as part of Celtic Connections. Celebrating newcomers and old-timers alike, this year’s awards will feature performances from Billy Bragg, Karine Polwart and Lau.

Hosted by Radio 2’s Mark Radcliffe and Scottish folk singer Julie Fowlis, the awards will be broadcast live on Radio 2 from 7.30pm tonight, and available to view and live stream on the BBC Radio 2 website or by pressing the BBC Red Button.

For further details and to live stream the event, click here


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Celtic Connections Round 2

Posted on January 17th, 2013 in News, Recent posts by .

Following on from yesterday’s blog, here are some more Celtic Connections recommendations for the latter half of the festival.

The Angolan-Portuguese DJ Pedro Coquenão, aka Batida (pictured left, photo by Manuel Lino), released his debut album on the hip Soundway label (a Top of the World in #84) and he’ll be supporting French Gypsy-swingers Caravan Palace (January 24, O2 ABC).

The premiere of a sea-themed collaboration, Dán, by some top-notch Celtic and Breton musicians including band members from Kan and Guidewires and Gaelic singer Alyth McCormack (January 24, Old Fruitmarket).

Burns Night sees a specially-commissioned evening of music, courtesy of Scots Trad Music Award-winners Breabach and Kathleen MacInnes, together with Blazin’ Fiddles and Dougie MacLean (January 25, Concert Hall).

If anyone has mastered the art of cloning, it’ll come in very handy for the night of January 26 when there are no less than 13 artists who I’d go and see without any hesitation. They include: Sarah Jarosz, Baloji, Katy Carr, The Be Good Tanyas, The Halton Quartet, Mike McGoldrick’s band and Duncan Chisholm (whose latest release Affric was one of my favourite albums of 2012) (Various venues).

Last issue’s cover star Bassekou Kouyaté and his band Ngoni ba team up with fellow Malians Sidi Touré and Tamikrest for Sahara Soul (January 27, Concert Hall).

The Radio 2 Folk Awards will be broadcast live from Glasgow for the first time, hosted by Julie Fowlis and Mark Radcliffe, plus performances by some of the winners (January 30, Concert Hall).

Songlines faves Anda Union are bound to go down a treat in Glasgow. They’re on the same billing as the equally impressive Frigg who have a Top of the World review in the next issue, #90 (January 30, Old Fruitmarket).

The highly-acclaimed Scottish singer Karine Polwart and US stars Anaïs Mitchell and Jefferson Hamer (also with a Top of the World in #90) (February 2, City Halls).

The final day sees singer-songwriter and guitarist Sorren Maclean from Mull take part in the New Voices initiative that showcases new talent (February 3, Mitchell Theatre).

On top of all that, there are workshops galore, an open stage and a late-night festival club – so many reasons why I wouldn’t want to be heading anywhere else this month. Now, how quickly can I get myself up to Glasgow…

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BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2013 Nominees Announced

Posted on November 24th, 2012 in News, Recent posts by .

Voting is now open for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2013 after the nominees were announced earlier this week. 

This year’s event will be taking place for the first time in Glasgow, at The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on January 30 2013, as part of the Celtic Connections festival. Fiddler Duncan Chisholm (whose album Affric was one of Songlines Best Albums of 2012), Mercury Music Prize nominated Sam Lee and trio Lau have all received two nominations each.

The full list of nominees are…


Nic Jones
Sam Lee
Jim Moray
Karine Polwart

BEST ALBUM [Public vote with five nominees]*
Broadside – Bellowhead
Ground of Its Own – Sam Lee
Race the Loser – Lau
Skulk – Jim Moray
Traces – Karine Polwart 

Katriona Gilmore & Jamie Roberts
Hannah James & Sam Sweeney
O’Hooley & Tidow
Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman

Treacherous Orchestra
The Unthanks

Blair Dunlop
Luke Jackson
Maz O’Connor

Ross Ainslie
Duncan Chisholm
Sam Sweeney
Kathryn Tickell

Luke Jackson
Graham Mackenzie & Ciorstaidh Beaton
Grey Russell & Ciaran Algar

‘Lord Douglas’ – Jim Moray
‘Tha Sneachd‘ air Druim Uachdair’ – Kathleen MacInnes
‘Unknown Air’ – Duncan Chisholm
‘Wild Wood Amber’ – Sam Lee

‘Hatchlings’ – Emily Portman
‘King of Birds’ – Karine Polwart
‘Tailor’ – Anaïs Mitchell
‘The Ballad of Andy Jacobs’ – Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman 

*Voting closes at 7pm on November 30 2012

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Top of the World Review: Karine Polwart – Traces

Posted on September 12th, 2012 in Recent posts, Reviews by .

Words by Billy Rough

Political and personal become one and the same

Traces is Polwart’s fifth studio album and her talent for responsive and emotive lyrics combined with sweet melodies is just as strong here as on her previous outings. Traces makes allusion to a wide range of sources including Charles Darwin, the works of Robert Burns and even the reputation of Bonnybridge as a magnet for extra-terrestrial visitors, but it is Polwart’s reference to current events – both political and personal – that shows her at her most effective.

A perceptive social consciousness continuously feeds the pulse of Polwart’s work. It’s most evident here in ‘Cover Your Eyes’, inspired by the controversy surrounding Donald Trump’s golf development on the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire, and ‘King of Birds’ which confirms Polwart’s solidarity for the Occupy Movement’s 2011 protest at St Paul’s. More personal, yet universal, emotions are explored in the tender rawness of ‘Strange News’ and ‘Half a Mile’; both deal with heartbreaking loss through a sensitive yet powerful voice. ‘Don’t Worry’ sees Polwart in a consoling mood; full of soothing words and sweet accompaniment, whilst the homespun paean of ‘Sticks ‘n’ Stones’, sees Polwart aided by Inge Thomson on wistful accordion and backing vocals. 

Joining Polwart on Traces are her brother Steven on guitars and vocals and Thomson on accordion, percussion and vocals. The trio manage to weave a sound that is both orchestral yet intimate; full of rich swirling tunes and fragile instrumentals which perfectly complement Polwart’s intelligently sincere lyrics. An occasionally elegiac yet resiliently beautiful and bittersweet album.

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