1. 2014-05-10 Aberdeen May Festival

    Robin Robertson at Aberdeen May Festival

    Alasdair Roberts at Aberdeen May Festival

    Alasdair Roberts and Robin Robertson at Aberdeen May Festival

    Many thanks to Chrissie for sharing these pictures and words (and apologies for taking so long to pass them on).

    What a wonderful hour I spent at the Aberdeen May Festival, held at Aberdeen University  on 10th May. It was truly worth the near 8 hours travelling up and down from Edinburgh. Much as I love the album, a vocal and guitar rendition was quite exquisite and so eerie. I was rapt. Robin introduced each song with a brief explanation of it’s content, and also did the short poem “Well of Youth”. He didn’t tackle the much longer “Leaving St Kilda” though. Alasdair was in wonderful voice and his guitar playing so beautiful. To close the show, he did a medley consisting of the traditional ballad, “The Baron O Brackley”, which segued into “In Dispraise of Hunger”.

     
  2. Occasional links 2014-07-07

    This blog review captures just some of the wonder of the Sin-eater festival.

    As darkness falls, Alasdair Roberts (see photo) plays the first big set of the festival to a packed marquee, his clear, high voice channelling dark tales from a point seemingly outside time. 
    Beverley Puppet Festival next weekend features performances of Galoshins and The Horseman’s Word.
    Moving to West Yorkshire, Dark Northumbrian play the Re Con festival in September. The bill offers the tantalising prospect of Sun 0)))’s Stephen O’Malley bumping into Dark Northumbrian’s Steve Malley and setting off a chain-reaction of mutual incomprehension.
     
  3. Black Huts festival of writing, music, and film (Hastings, England, October)

    Thanks to Nicholas Johnson for sending in this information about the festival. As you may know, Shirley Collins grew up in this part of the world, and the festival boasts the venerable Andrew Kötting as its patron.

    THURS 30 OCT  An evening with Timothy Neat 7.15 FOR 8 Two films The Summer Walkers (Timothy Neat & Hamish Henderson, Scot, 53 mins, 1976) and Rathad Nan Ceard (The Road of the Tinkers) (Scot, 28 mins, 1995) in Gaelic (with subtitles)
    Timothy Neat will also present his photographs, including those of 1960s Spain, and Scotland’s travelling people
    Special guest, Nicholas Johnson, presenting 3 short films as a background to his Collected Longer Poems, And Stood upon Red Earth All A Round 
    plus
    Here We’m Be Together (Eng, 13 mins, 2014)
    A field-recorded encounter with some of the more eccentric folk rituals of the Norfolk Broads - through the eyes of one homegrown fabulist. Rob Curry and Tim Plester’s long-awaited follow up to Way of the Morris features music by Sam Amidon as well as iconic Norfolk artists Billy Bennington and Sam Larner. 
    They have recently started production on The Ballad of Shirley Collins, a lyrical response to the life and work of Hastings-born folk legend Shirley Collins.
    ELECTRIC PALACE, HASTINGS 7.15 FOR 8
    FRI 31 OCT  Alasdair Roberts (solo concert) & Meg Bateman, Two sets by Alasdair Roberts, and two sets by Meg Bateman, one of her Gaelic poetry, and the second, of her translations from Gaelic poetry, Song of the Pillagers
    THE BEACON, 67-68 St Marys Terrace
    (opposite steps of 12 St Mary’s Terrace)
    HASTINGS Doors open 6 for supper menu. Performance 7.30

     Looks to be worth a trip.

     
  4. The Black Flowers cover Polly on the Shore

    As part of the Kickstarter project for the Shirley Collins doc in the making here are The Black Flowers doing Polly on the Shore.

     
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  6. From last night’s performance at Sam Lee’s Campfire Club in Bethnal Green, London. Alasdair is joined by Rachel Roberts (Alasdair: “We’re not related…” Rachel: “…yet”)

     
  7. image: download

    Ed (left) made these t-shirts for himself and Lee (right). They arrived at the glorious Sin-eater Festival on bicycles from their homes in Liverpool and London respectively. Next project: an animated ouroboros mandala for their bicycle spokes. Nice work.

    Ed (left) made these t-shirts for himself and Lee (right). They arrived at the glorious Sin-eater Festival on bicycles from their homes in Liverpool and London respectively. Next project: an animated ouroboros mandala for their bicycle spokes. Nice work.

     
  8. 2014-06-22 Shirley Collins film benefit, Cafe OTO, London

    Anybody have any news from this gig last night in aid of the crowdfunding of a film about Shirley Collins.

     
  9. Occasional links 2014-06-16

    All I’ve been able to find so far about Alasdair’s performance at last week’s Daniel Lanois tribute gig:

    Scottish folkie Alasdair Roberts was given three tunes, and performed pleasantly but unremarkably (his accent didn’t quite fit the Quebecois-themed “The Collection of Marie Claire”). [source]

    Apparently Alasdair contributes once again to Naomi Bedford's new album, A History of Insolence, due out in a few weeks’ time.

     
  10. Somehow I missed this last year. Better late than never. Listen/purchase: Erie Canal by Alasdair Roberts