Something for the Weekend

Take a break with some lovely music from Steeleye Span.

Maddy Prior looks like the mousey librarian who’s had a bit too much sherry at the staff Xmas party.

Something for the Weekend

I’m pretty sure 16-year-old me hated this in 1978, but in my old age I’ve developed a thing for that “clear as a village church bell” voice that a lot of female English folk singers have. Though I wish they wouldn’t all dress like a serving wench at a Renaissance Fair.

New Monday

I must admit I haven’t heard much by Geordie folk group The Unthanks since their amazing 2007 album The Bairns but after hearing this new single I might have to go back and check out their other records too. Though this is based on a traditional Dorset folk song, The Unthanks merge the sound of Olde England with Jazz flourishes, particularly the cool sound of Sketches of Spain-era Miles Davis, to create something quite beautiful and new.

Something for The Weekend

Apparently a lot of people want this song played at their funeral, but personally I think it’s so grandly beautiful it’s fit only for the deaths of Emperors, war heroes, gods, and angels.

It’s Pretty Oop North

I’ve heard it can be anyway. Being one of those Londoners who got a nosebleed (and cultural panic) if he ventured north of Watford I couldn’t tell you myself. Short trips to Manchester and Newcastle are my only experience of that part of the country.

This is a really gorgeous track by British folky Catherine Howe from her “lost” 1971 album What A Beautiful Place. Apparently it’s about her hometown of Halifax which I’ve never been to either, but I doubt if it’s as pretty as this song.

Download: Up North – Catherine Howe (mp3)

Something for the Weekend

There’s a fine line between looking like a folk singer and looking like a crazy homeless person, and I think one or two of the Lindisfarne boys may have crossed it here. Or it could just be that they’re Geordies.

New Monday

Angel Olsen is a folk singer from St. Louis with an extraordinary voice that goes from the soft rustic warble of Vashti Bunyan to the operatic intensity of a female Roy Orbison. Her raw vocal style can make her an acquired taste at times but at her best she sounds heart-stoppingly beautiful. This is from her album Half Way Home which came out last year. Gorgeous video too, and Angel is rather easy on the eyes herself.

As a bonus here she is singing another song from the album live. Prepare to be blown away.

New Monday

A band with a name like Keston Cobblers’ Club could end up being insufferably twee, but this lot manage to stay the right side of being charming in a very English, folky, Village Green Preservation Society sort of way.

What’s it all about?

The sentimental musings of an ageing expat in words, music, and pictures. Mp3 files are up for a limited time so drink them while they're hot. Contact me: lee at londonlee dot com