Thursday, 25 June 2009

Fantastic: Jo Hamilton and Urban Folk Quartet debut

Only slightly put off by a snotty post in today's Guardian about the decline of blogs, I'm happily resuming blogging here after managing to revive/retrieve my logins so I can post again. Lovely (and free) though this service is, you wind up going round in circles when Google sends retrieval information to your gmail address... which shares the same login as your blogger page.
No matter - I'm happy to be behind the tech curve. This month, I caught the full debut gig of the jaw-droppingly skilled Urban Folk Quartet at the Crown in Moseley. They don't sing; they play, and how. Birmingham has a wealth of fantastic bands, and this is just the latest development in the folk/world/jazz field. These bands swap musicians with wanton promiscuity - I could have sworn I'd seen the cajón player before. Two fiddles, bursts of mandolin and breathtaking guitar work, percussion and rhythm, and a crowd that went berserk. Lovely. See them soon.
UFQ supported the fantastic Jo Hamilton at her album launch gig a few weeks back. I've seen her twice since then, and she has blown me away each time. Watch out for a video podcast, which I'll post details on soon. On it, I had the extraordinary good fortune to interview her as she sang live in the studio, with a small band. it was thrilling to see her perfom live at close quarters, and to be able to talk to her, immediately, off the back of the peformances. Jo is super-smart, witty and sensitive; she has terrific songs; for me, the interviewing of an artist doesn't get much better than this.