For two very special evenings in January the beautiful Scarborough Spa Theatre hosts a unique event celebrating the “grande dame” of British folk music Norma Waterson MBE along with the extended Waterson/Carthy dynasty (who are, of course, widely acclaimed as the first family of British traditional music) and some very special friends and guests.
Generally exceptional “one-off” evenings of this nature are restricted to a few major concert halls in large urban areas so it is a particular pleasure for the organisers Musicport to be able to present such a star studded line up in their local region and close to the Waterson/Carthy family home in Robin Hoods Bay.
The two very different but complimentary nights have been programmed by the family and Musicport and will include headline performances on Friday from The Gift Band featuring Norma, her husband Martin Carthy, their daughter Eliza Carthy, Neil MacColl (son of the celebrated icon of British Folk music Ewan MacColl) and the highly acclaimed musical virtuoso talents of Kate St John. Special guests on Friday are the much lauded 5 piece from Essex Mawkin whose blistering and bold blend of folk, blues and rock is sure to kick start the weekend’s festivities.
Starting the evening will be The Devil’s Interval who have worked with Norma Martin & Eliza over many years and comprise the remarkable vocal talents of Jim Causley, Emily Portman and Lauren McCormick. Saturday night at The Spa will feature a rare appearance by The Waterson Family (including Norma) and a set by the Marry Waterson Band. Marry’s brand new album “Two Wolves” is a collaboration with David A Jaycock and although it has only been released this week it has already received rave reviews in Metro and The Guardian (“a gently exquisite album, her best yet”). By special invitation from the Waterson/Carthy family the Saturday night will close with a headline performance by the joyous Scottish songstress Eddie Reader who’ll be appearing alongside renown singer/songwriter Boo Hewerdine.
Mother and daughter duo Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy are two of the UK’s finest exponents of traditional song. Their rich, distinctive and authentic voices have gained them audiences and admirers across two generations, as well as three prestigious Mercury Prize nominations between them. Their first duo release, ‘Gift’, won them the Best Album award at the BBCRadio 2 Folk Awards 2011, where both have previously been named BBC Folk Singer of the Year. Audiences will be treated to a mix of folk classics and jazz infused, old-timey gems brought to life with Norma and Eliza’s great musicality and wonderfully compassionate voices.
Eddi Reader “a unique and powerful figure in contemporary British music” has a track record dating back to the mid 1980s when as singer with Fairground Attraction she had a number one hit with Perfect. Now firmly established as one of the finest singers of these islands and equipped with a diverse back catalogue that includes a whole series of recordings of the songs of Robert Burns(one of which was Nicola
Sturgeons must have track on BBC’ s Desert Island Discs recently). Eddie has recorded with Eliza Carthy and perhaps her most productive collaboration has been with Boo Hewerdine "one of Britain's most consistently accomplished songwriters" who joins her here for a set that will be as entertaining as it is diverse.(don’t be surprised to hear an Amy Winehouse number or a Cilla Black song thrown into the mix).
Tickets for “Normafest” are £16 for each evening or just £25 for a two evening ticket and are available online from Scarborough Spa www.scarboroughspa.co.uk or from Musicport 01947 603475