Karine Polwart is well known for her contributions to folk music – she has after all won six BBC Folk Awards and was 2018’s singer of the year. Her newest project has an interesting slant on popular song, and particularly the popular song of Scotland. With her band, Karine Polwart has re-imagined and reshaped a host of songs originally by artists such as the not surprising John Martyn to the rather less obvious choices of Chvrches and Biffy Clyro.
On ‘Karine Polwart’s Scottish Songbook’ the titular artist has worked with regular band mates Steven Polwart and Inge Thomson, alongside Graeme Smillie (bass and keys), Calum McIntyre (kit and percussion) and Louis Abbott of Admiral Fallow (vocals, guitar & percussion). The first fruits of this collaboration can be heard below with the band taking on ‘Chance‘ by Dunfermline’s Big Country. It is a song that has a particular resonance with Karine Polwart’s experiences in the late 1990s working for the Scottish Women’s Aid charity, supporting victims of domestic abuse. As she explains ” ‘Chance’ is – as I read it – about getting pregnant too young, about domestic abuse and unemployment, which was all around me growing up in the Thatcher era. There’s this undercurrent of despair and violence. But the song is also vulnerable and beautiful. I hope we’ve captured that.”
Karine Polwart will be taking the music out on a short tour this Winter, with the following dates planned:
14 November ABERDEEN Music Hall
15 November PERTH Concert Hall
16 November EDINBURGH Usher Hall
27 November LONDON Barbican