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Launching a coracle [Jun. 30th, 2015|09:13 pm]
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Sunday was the afternoon of the Big Lunch, a very local (two streets? or maybe one and a half) version of a street party which one of our neighbours has been organising for a couple of years now. If you go up the lane opposite our house, and turn left at the top, you come to a space between two houses which backs onto a couple of garages: it belongs to one of the houses, so at their invitation we gather there, one one of the rare areas of flat ground. People bring whatever contribution they can, and I am always amazed at their generosity and their organisation: there are salads and deserts and plates and cutlery and chairs and tables... There was almost, but not quite, rain, but it decided to be blowy instead, and we spent a certain amount of time holding down tablecloths which wanted to billow madly and throw plates and dishes into the air and onto the ground - and then it calmed down and the sun came out. It was all very pleasant, and after a cup of strong coffee and a lazy afternoon, I was ready for the evening's concert at the Sage.

Which was the Emily Portman Trio (Emily Portman aided and abetted by Lucy Farrell and Rachel Newton) touring to promote their new CD of Emily's songs, Coracle. Last night of the tour, and they were bringing it all back home, back to Hall 2 of the Sage where they had met as students on the Folk Music degree: the first time we played together, said someone, probably Lucy, was at Emily's final recital. A beat, then, squinting into the back of the hall: I hope no-one's marking us tonight... I don't think anyone was, and I don't think they had anything to fear from appraisal, but I recognised plenty of Folkworks tutors in the audience. So there was a happy atmosphere. The video on the Sage's advance description of the concert catches the faintest suggestion of the interaction between the trio:

They didn't perform The Hinge of the Year on Sunday, they they did open the show with some older songs, in particular a very spooky Stick, Stock:

Ebullient stage presence, chilling songs - Stick, Stock is Emily Portman's take on The Juniper Tree - no, I don't know how they get away with it either.

I'd like to share more from the new album, and I'd like to deepen my own acquaintance with it, too, these aren't songs to be grasped at first hearing, but the only thing that seems to have made it online so far is this rather elaborate set piece (animated by Marry Waterson):

It's not the song that most impressed me at first hearing, and I find the visuals distracting, but your mileage may vary. And while I was looking, I found a video from the concert we went to in 2011 as part of the Brass Festival, so the search was rewarded, not with what I had hoped to find but with what I had not hoped for.

[User Picture]From: sartorias
2015-06-30 08:40 pm (UTC)
Oh, they are quite good!
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-07-01 09:05 am (UTC)
I can see that this isn't to everyone's taste: but I like them very much!
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[User Picture]From: sam_t
2015-07-01 01:36 pm (UTC)
I've listened to the new album on Spotify after reading a review in the Guardian, and it was a pleasant experience but it hasn't really grabbed me yet. I'll give it another go in better circumstances - could be that it's not quite my thing, but it could equally be that it needs more listening.
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2015-07-01 02:40 pm (UTC)
Fair enough.

I seem to have missed the Guardian review, though I read it online: I don't know why they call it "her first solo set of exclusively self-written songs", though...
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