Darlingside, Cecil Sharp House, Camden, London, 21st November 2019.

The English Folk Dance and Song Society are based in Cecil Sharp House, a large yet somewhat unassuming building in a quiet back street of Camden, North London. Opened in 1930, it is named after the English folk dance and song collector Cecil Sharp (1859-1924) and hosts a consistently high quality programme of music events, including courses and classes, lectures and conferences, visual art exhibitions and live performances by some of the very best artistes currently active on the ‘roots’ music scene. Continue reading “Darlingside, Cecil Sharp House, Camden, London, 21st November 2019.”

Darlingside “Look Up & Fly Away” (More Doug/Thirty Tigers, 2019)

Darlingside’s latest release is an EP of outtakes from 2018’s ‘Extralife.’ It’s fair to say though that any of the songs on ‘Look Up & Fly Away’ would have been well-deserving of a place on that album. This is an exceptionally delicate listen; the intricate wording and stories in the songs are like a peek into someone’s private life, into their passing through life and beyond. It feels a little intrusive at times, but ultimately you feel lucky to have been allowed into something so special. Continue reading “Darlingside “Look Up & Fly Away” (More Doug/Thirty Tigers, 2019)”

Darlingside + Wildwood Kin, Shepherds Bush Empire, 1st November 2018

Only the occasional faint clanging of the bar can be overheard whilst Darlingside play. The audience are fittingly pin drop silent to embrace all the intricacies the band offer. Huddled up shoulder tight to harmonize around a single vintage condenser microphone, the result is quite magnificent. Over the course of the evening, banjos, fiddles and upright bass are swapped by this multi instrumentalist Boston four piece and whilst that all may sound – so far – so bluegrass – this they are not. As evidence there’s the second song of the night, ‘Eschalton’, aided by loops and notes via a small keyboard sequencer plus some Peter Hook like Rickenbacker bass riffs. There’s more than a sprinkling in the set of their 2018 LP ‘Extralife’. A perhaps more brooding affair than previous releases which they explain as some of the album being written whilst on recent UK visits as they were looking back toward their homeland. “It’s over now, the flag is sunk, the world has flattened out” they sing on ‘Extralife’. Then there’s “Tomorrow’s beginning to take, an equal and opposite shape” from ‘Orion,’ performed whilst a simple spinning mirror ball works a perfect sky gazing ambience. For the stillness of ‘Hold Your Head Up High’ even the dry ice appears to hang onstage without movement. Continue reading “Darlingside + Wildwood Kin, Shepherds Bush Empire, 1st November 2018”

Darlingside head back to UK for more dates

The absolutely exquisite in every sense of the word Darlingside are returning to the UK at the end of this month to play headline shows – just 3 of them but they’re well spaced out, taking place as they are in Edinburgh, Manchester and London’s Shepherds Bush Empire. Their third album ‘Extralife’ was released in February via More Doug Records/Thirty Tigers, which found the band looking to the future, mourning the loss of our world with an almost post-apocalyptic view. Continue reading “Darlingside head back to UK for more dates”

Cambridge Folk Festival, Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge, 2nd-5th August 2018

While there are several “specialist” Americana festivals like Maverick and Ramblin’ Roots, for the Americana fan Cambridge Folk Festival has for many years always had much to offer.  It rightly prides itself on its eclecticism – both Joe Strummer and Nick Cave have played there in the past – and interpreting “folk” very broadly and this year was no different with Patti Smith, Songhoy Blues and St Paul & The Broken Bones all performing. Continue reading “Cambridge Folk Festival, Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambridge, 2nd-5th August 2018”

Darlingside announce UK dates, new single – Listen

The most impressive band I saw at the AMAUK conference last week weren’t performing at the awards or the showcases (although there were some fairly impressive acts there too) – they were a quartet called Darlingside who completely absorbed delegates over the best part of an hour over one lunchtime  and whose new record ‘Extralife’ arrives later this month.  They’ve also released a new Fleets Foxy single called ‘Futures’ which you can view the superb new video to below while you peruse the quintet of dates. Continue reading “Darlingside announce UK dates, new single – Listen”

Darlingside, Union Chapel, London, 3rd July 2017

Darlingside are an American folk band starting to make quite a stir after a bumped higher up the bill appearance at last year’s Cambridge Folk Festival earnt them a lot of new fans this side of the pond. They’ve been back for some tour dates and brought along a friend – the woman described as their “Big Sister” – who provided the opening support set. Caitlin Canty is a Vermont girl gone Nashville, and sings modern folk songs tinged with a fairly generous helping of country. She’s enjoying being in the UK – commenting that if she lived here she’d be writing train songs instead of ones featuring cars as an escape. Get Up is her standout song, with its thrumming guitar line and insistent lyrics “Get up get up get up / no time to rest or run for cover / Get up get up get up / before the road pulls you under” which restlessly hints at a chaotic scramble away from an unbearable situation. Continue reading “Darlingside, Union Chapel, London, 3rd July 2017”