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Artists (A-Z)


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Artists (A-Z)


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BETH ORTON


BETH ORTON


Music broke out in all kinds of directions in the 90s, throwing up unlikely electro-acoustic hybrids of folk and electronica. Many tried and failed in this field but Beth Orton mined a seam that still resonates loud and pure today, with work that includes recording John Martyn songs with William Orbit, working with artists including Bert Jansch and the Chemical Brothers, and having her tracks all over episodes of Dawson’s Creek and Grey’s Anatomy. Recent album Kidsticks was co-produced by Andrew Hung of F*ck Buttons and just as she “broke new ground mixing acoustic and electronic music on her debut album Trailer Park back in 1996, on Kidsticks she tears up the rule book again.”

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BLOCKHEADS


BLOCKHEADS


Still revered as one of the best live acts on the circuit, The Blockheads somehow imply the loucheness of pub-rock, within the framework of steaming hot funk, as a backdrop to poetic social commentary - a surreal recipe for black comedy that could only have been crafted in a dilapidated 1970s London. Back then, Ian Dury was the storyteller and The Blockheads gloriously soundtracked his rhythmic tales. Dury is of course sadly departed but The Blockheads roll on, Dury’s best mate and minder Derek Hussey now at the helm, with the original band still largely intact, and live at Home Gathering to celebrate 40 years since the release of their classic New Boots And Panties album. Hit me!

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BUSH GOTHIC


BUSH GOTHIC


All the way from Australia, this vehicle for the multi-talented fiddle-singing Jenny M Thomas, perform songs of criminal women and desperate men from an era of transportation, adventure and gold. The trio’s latest release, The Natural Selection Australian Songbook, was chosen as a runner up for fRoots 2016 Album of the Year and BBC Magazine’s Best World Music Albums of 2016. Concerts in Australian gaols, concert halls and goldfields have been reviewed as ‘outstanding’, ‘mesmerising…utterly riveting’.

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CHRIS WOOD


CHRIS WOOD


The music of Chris Wood and Andy Cutting could regularly by heard in the Unthank family household when Rachel and Becky were growing up, and as a solo artist, Chris Wood has continued to be an artist that the band feel aligned to. Wood and Cutting perhaps did for English music, what Hayes and Cahill did for the Irish tradition, by using the restraint of minimalist music to reveal simple, unassuming dance tunes as works of great beauty and musical depth.  Chris’s songwriting is no less captivating, and he has such compelling delivery that even those not normally penetrated by lyrics will hear every word of his beautiful love songs and cutting social commentary, which have given fRoots cause to say that Chris Wood “might be the Ken Loach of songwriting”.

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DAOIRI FARRELL


DAOIRI FARRELL


In a former life, Daoiri was an electrician, but following an epiphany brought on by witnessing Christy Moore live on Irish TV, he downed tools and went headlong into a music career. Championed by Moore and others, his troubadour stylings - somewhere between a young Paul Brady and Nic Jones - have made him one of the most talking about acts in the Irish folk scene, and earned him two prizes at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017, one of them presented with great pleasure at the Royal Albert Hall in April by Rachel and Becky Unthank!

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DUTCH UNCLES


DUTCH UNCLES


6 Music favourites hailing from the sleepy village of Marple near Stockport, Dutch Uncles are said to be influenced by Kate Bush, King Crimson, Steve Reich, XTC and Talking Heads. Much like local favourites Field Music, they distill their complex influences into an intelligent pop music, with more rhythmic twists than a Paul Auster novel.

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GRAHAM FELLOWS


GRAHAM FELLOWS


The singular comic creation John Shuttleworth seems to have been with us forever, bordering perhaps on being a surreal national treasure. Beneath John’s ironed-flat hair and leather car coat is Graham Fellows, the man who also alleged that Gordon was a moron in his previous guise of Jilted John. At Home Gathering, Graham comes as himself with a clutch of his own new songs, some of John’s that he’s reclaimed and a smattering of stories from his life, on and off stage.

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HENRY NORMAL


HENRY NORMAL


Comedy royalty doesn’t come much more royal than Henry Normal, co-writer on Alan Partridge, The Royle Family, Mrs Merton and more. He’s also a stand-up and poet and he brings both elements to Home Gathering, following the publication of Staring Directly At The Eclipse. 'A mixture of the absurd and downright wacky...a gentle giant of stand-up poetry' The List.

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JOAN AS POLICE WOMAN


JOAN AS POLICE WOMAN


We are extremely excited and honoured to have at Home Gathering a rare solo performance by Connecticut’s Joan Wasser - an artist loved by every member of The Unthanks. Her musical versatility is shown through working partnerships with Antony & The Johnsons, Lou Reed, David Sylvian, John Cale, and most recently and perhaps most surprisingly, as producer for label mates Lau. Joan has been a friend of The Unthanks since she heard the Winterset in a Brighton record shop over 10 years ago, and she was the only other female artist on the trip when Rachel Unthank went to Ethiopia with Daman Albarn’s Africa Express. With a rhythmic sensibility influenced by the soul and funk of Al Green, coloured with an exquisite musically that started in childhood with a classical education on the violin, Joan Wasser is one of the finest musicians working today.

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JULIE MURPHY


JULIE MURPHY


Julie’s arresting voice has brought collaborations with John Cale and Robert Plant, and comparisons to Sandy Denny, Joni Mitchell and Lal Waterson. The sometime singer with the band Fernhill has a growing catalogue of vastly underrated solo albums, recorded at her home in the Welsh countryside.  “One of Britain’s most distinctive voices” Uncut.

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THE KEELERS


THE KEELERS


The Unthanks are proud to present their most undeniable influence! The Keelers formed in 1986 to record a series of sea shanties for the BBC’s coverage of the Newcastle Tall Ships Race, expanding their oeuvre over the years to include many North Eastern songs. Unthanks regulars will recognise at least two of the four motley crew: George Unthank - Rachel and Becky’s dad, and Jim Mageean, much loved and depended on at The Unthanks singing weekends for his endless songs and knowledge. If you recognise some of their repertoire, it’s because we steal songs from them, not the other way round!  The Keelers offer a timeless slice of social and musical history that’ll still ring in your ears long after Home Gathering.

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KING BEE


KING BEE


King Bee are a Newcastle sextet, heavy on the languid funk and laid-back intensity, complete with horns, vibraphone and soulful chants that Roy Ayers or the Average White Band would be proud of. Get ready to kick up some late night dust with them at Home Gathering.

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LISA KNAPP


LISA KNAPP


The spirits of old originals Shirley Collins and Anne Briggs are evident in her  singing, but Lisa Knapp has a star quality of her own, and in husband and producer Gerry Diver, a multi-instrumentalist accomplice who brings rich new colours to her ancient intensity. Live, Lisa is captivating. Jaw-droppingly good. Her new album Till April Is Dead – A Garland Of May is described by The Observer as “a masterful creation” and will surely bring the wider audience she deserves.

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NEVILLE STAPLE BAND


NEVILLE STAPLE BAND


Legendary ska toaster / vocalist and ‘original rude boy’ Neville Staple was a founder member of The Specials, whose political and socially astute songs Ghost Town and Too Much, Too Young became number one hits. If Simon Emmerson’s Imagined Village project was a dream of multiculturalism, The Specials, more than 30 years earlier, were a real life West Midlands melting pot, embodying in their kitchen sink drama folk tales, all things positive and vital about multiculturalism in turbulent late 70’s / early 80's Britain. Neville Staples brings those classic songs to Home Gathering, along with new songs from new album The Return of Judge Roughneck.

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SIR JAC’S BANTAMACS


SIR JAC’S BANTAMACS


You may not know the name but you may recognise the face. If you came to the first Home Gathering, you will have seen Rob Heron with The Tea Pad Orchestra, and last year, Rob closed the festival with a DJ set. Fast becoming something of a Newcastle musical institution, Rob Heron makes it three years running with his new, fully be-quiffed trio, pumping out early rock’n’roll classics, rockabilly rarities and hillbilly boogies to set your feet skating across the Hoults Yard floor.

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SCOTT MATTHEWS


SCOTT MATTHEWS


Wolverhampton singer-songwriter Scott Matthews has toured with Foo Fighters and Rufus Wainwright and been lauded by Radiohead, Simon Raymonde and Guy Garvey. Early comparisons to Jeff Buckley and Nick Drake while complimentary, have given way to distinctive talent and songwriting that in 2007 earned Scott an Ivor Novello Award.

 

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TWELFTH DAY


TWELFTH DAY


Twelfth Day’s genre-defying sound is a breath of fresh air - equal parts fierce and playful. Orcadian fiddler Catriona Price and Borders harpist Esther Swift are classically trained, bringing outstanding technical ability to their adventures through folk, jazz and classical influences. Fans of Lau and The Unthanks will find a bounty of musical treasure with Twelfth Day - unique vocals and an ever-evolving sound, rich with rhythm, harmony and texture. “Boldly brilliant.. suffused with dark humour and wildly inventive musicianship” (fRoots).

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THE UNTHANKS


THE UNTHANKS


Well, this is embarrassing. We take hosting and curating the festival seriously enough to introduce you to each artist in our own words. Great, but where does that leave us with introducing ourselves?! A bit stuck. But you know already, right? Geordie this, Diversions that…. go to www.the-unthanks.com if you need to know more…

Oh, but there is something we can tell you without shyness - seeing The Unthanks at Home Gathering can be a little different. Amongst the audience, are impostors. Not all is what it seems. In the winter, we run singing weekends on the coast of Northumberland, and during Home Gathering, 100 of our singing weekenders get the chance to attend workshops over the festival weekend, in readiness to sing with us for one song only, during our headline set on Saturday night. The workshops are vocal only, with Rachel and Becky Unthank, so come performance time, the band haven’t heard what the weekenders are going to sing and the weekenders haven’t heard how the band are going to accompany. The ‘choir’ are not assembled. They’re just dotted about in the audience, and the chosen song is always simple enough for the rest of the crowd to pick up on. Whatever happens is a one off. The first two years of this experiment have been very memorable, spine tingling moments for us. We hope to raise the roof with you all again in September! 
 

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WORLD SERVICE PROJECT


WORLD SERVICE PROJECT


Fittingly, World Service Project have taken their very British punk-jazz (their description) to audiences all over the globe. They cite Frank Zappa, Weather Report, Stravinsky and Meshuggah as major influences and their live shows deliver every bit as much cacophonous exhilaration as that implies.