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‘The Darkening’ is the Northumbrian name for twilight, but this band’s music blazes fiercely…
Kathryn Tickell – Northumbrian smallpipes, fiddle
Cormac Byrne – percussion
Joe Truswell – drums, programming
Kate Young – fiddle, vocals
Amy Thatcher – accordion, vocals
Kieran Szifris – octave mandolin
Musicians from Northumberland, Scotland, Ireland and England invoke the dark, powerful, shamanic sounds of Ancient Northumbria and broadcast them to the modern world.
Their inspiration comes from the wild, dramatic, weather-bitten countryside along Hadrian’s Wall, which seems so quintessentially Northumbrian…and yet, almost 2000 years ago that same landscape was inhabited by people from around the world, worshipping different gods and following different customs.
Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening embrace that global perspective, bringing some of the oldest Northumbrian tunes and songs throbbing to life, intermingling them with new material and binding it all together with contemporary resonance and attitude.
Fresh sounds merge with ancient influences. Expansive sonic textures are created. Dazzling duets from Kathryn’s pipes and Amy’s accordion contrast with the dark and dirty riffs and rhythms of Kieran’s octave mandolin. Intrepid world-traveller Kate adds her fearless explorations and the inventive use of drums and percussion unites the ensemble.
“I can’t remember feeling so exhilarated by such a match of music and landscape.” Richard Morrison, The Times (on Kathryn’s Northumbrian Voices).
Band members are also known for their work with: Seth Lakeman, Sting, Soumik Datta, The Shee, Monster Ceilidh Band, Songs of Separation, Carthy, Oates, Farrell & Young, Moulettes, Uiscedwr, Kathryn Tickell Band and many more
Rachel Unthank & Paul Smith
Two North East Mercury Prize nominees from The Unthanks and Maximo Park come together to explore new territory and common ground using traditional song as a starting point.
As one of two lead singers of The Unthanks, Rachel Unthank has dedicated much of her career to celebrating folk songs by writers little known beyond the North East, such as Graham Miles, Joe Wilson and Alex Glasgow
Paul Smith is a North-East-based musician best known as the singer for Maximo Park. The band has released six consecutive Top 20 albums and been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.
Away from the band Smith has released two solo albums and a collaborative record with Peter Brewis of Field Music. He has also collaborated with poet Lavinia Greenlaw, as well as composing a 26-minute a cappella piece of music for Great North Run Culture.
He currently hosts the Penguin Podcast, interviewing best-selling authors about their work.
Born in Sheffield before moving around various parts of the British Isles and then settling in Moss Valley – an abandoned and forgotten area on the edgelands of South Yorkshire and North East Derbyshire – it makes perfect sense that 26 year old Jim Ghedi’s music feels both fluidly transient yet also deeply rooted to a sense of place.
His current solo work explores connections to the natural environments and heritage of rural communities and landscapes across the British Isles, including the village in which he grew up. Drawing musically from some genre-crossing ideas combining 6 & 12 string finger-style guitar composition, orchestral arrangments and traditional folk song..
Nature permeates through his second solo album ‘A Hymn For Ancient Land’ (released this winter to much praise on Basin Rock) He will be heading out on tour throughout the year with his band, good friends Neal Heppleston on Double Bass and Dbh on Violin, very much anticipating a busy year ahead.
The Great Exhibition of the North 2018 is a summer of amazing exhibits, inspired technology, vibrant street performance, cutting edge culture and magical experiences. Get out and explore! 22 June – 9 September Find out more about the Great Exhibition of the North.
Lauren Laverne curates a week of gigs, featuring some of the best musical talent to come from across the North. There’ll be concerts celebrating music from Newcastle to Manchester and Sunderland to Sheffield.