Emily to Present BBC Radio Merseyside’s ‘Folkscene’

April 06, 2014

Emily will present BBC Radio Merseyside’s long-running folk show on Sundays at 4pm.

Emily’s first radio show will be airing from 4-5pm on Sunday 6th and will introduce some current and all time favourites from her collection.
Emily is to take the reins from Geoff Speed, who has retired after 47 years of co-presenting Folkscene with Stan Ambrose. Stan and Emily will now present on alternate weeks, playing music from a range of local, national and international artists, with interviews and local folk news.

Musicians, promoters and listeners can suggest local listings, songs and artists to folkscene@bbc.co.uk.
Or write to :Emily Portman, BBC Radio Merseyside, 31 College Lane, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 3DS.

Folkscene will be available on iplayer for a week following the show.

Emily’s next show airs on Easter Sunday and will play music with spring themes.

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March 12, 2014

I’m excited to announce that OUTLANDISH NIGHTS  is drawing nigh! A mini series, co-curated by myself and Alasdair Roberts that runs at Kings Place from 27th-29th March. I am performing on 28th with The Furrow Collective and 29th with Mary Hampton and storyteller Debs Newbold.

Friday, 28 March 2014 – 7:30pm / Hall One

UNEARTHED – SONGS FROM THE ARCHIVES & NETHERWORLDS – This London debut by the much-anticipated Furrow Collective will see the talented quartet delve into an obscure world of balladry at its darkest and quirkiest. Special guest of the night will be Marry Waterson.

Saturday, 29 March 2014 – 7:30pm / Hall One

HER CONJURING VOICE – Emily Portman, current holder of BBC Radio Two Folk Award for best original songwriting, is joined by special guests writer-singer Mary Hampton and storyteller Debs Newbold.
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The Furrow Collective Launch Tour

December 30, 2013

At Our Next Meeting Front CoverThe Furrow Collective is a brand new venture with Alasdair Roberts, Rachel Newton and Lucy Farrell and we are all excited to be touring our new album of trad songs in February! Our shiny website is now live! Here are the forthcoming dates:

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December 29, 2013

-1 I’m pleased to announce I’ll be performing in a triple bill alongside Emma Sweeney and Lucy Ward in a tour of the North in January and February. We’ll all be performing solo sets, so I’ll be dusting off the banjo and concertina and bringing out some new songs and arrangements, alongside some collaborative pieces. Hope you can make it!

30th January – Manchester, Band On The Wall 

31st January – Clitheroe, Lancs., Clitheroe Grand

1st February – Stockton on Tees, ARC

2nd February –  The Liverpool Philharmonic




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February 01, 2013

HatchlingI am very excited to announce that I’ve won ‘Best Original Song‘ at the BBC Folk Awards! The song in question is ‘Hatchlings’, inspired by the myth of Leda and the Swan, a lullaby from Leda to her two sets of twins, hatched from eggs. it was a brilliant night and a highlight was when my 7 month old daughter shook the hand of Alex Salmond! I’d particularly like to thank the musicians who played with me on ‘Hatchlings: Lucy Farrell, Rachel Newton and Lucy Deakin..And also thanks to everyone who comes to my gigs, supports my music and has given me encouragement over the years – it’s all very much appreciated!!
Emily x

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Mossy Coat, Marina Warner and Grimm Thoughts

December 22, 2012

I’m very happy to say that Mossy Coat from The Glamoury is featured in Marina Warner‘s Grimm Thoughts on BBC Radio 4. Marina Warner is one of my idols, so this has made my Christmas. You can hear the programme here (until 2PM Tue, 25 Dec 2012): Grimm Thoughts: Episode 2.

When the Grimm brothers first published their Children’s and Household Tales in 1812, in a scholarly effort to collate a national identity of the people, it was the beginning of an obsessive project of two intricately interwoven lifetimes.

To mark the bicentenary of the first edition, writer and mythographer Marina Warner explores the many compelling and often controversial aspects of the tales in a 10-part series, revealing new insights into the stories we think we know so well, and introducing us to the charms and challenges of those that we don’t.

Alongside beautifully narrated extracts from the tales themselves, renowned academics and artists who work closely with the Grimm’s rich heritage add to our understanding of these deceptively complex stories…

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Folk Awards Nomination

December 16, 2012


I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been nominated for a BBC FOLK AWARD for BEST ORIGINAL SONG for ‘Hatchlings’, the title track of my latest album Hatchling. `Hatchlings’ is inspired by the myth of Leda and her egg-hatched twins, which I first came across depicted on the frescos of Pompeii. Banjo and
bells accompany interweaving strings and harmonies from Rachel Newton, Lucy Farrell and Lucy Deakin. The winner will be announced at the BBC folk award ceremony on 30th January ’13, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed!
Hatchling was nominated for BEST ALBUM in the prestigious FROOTS CRITICS POLL of 2013 and came in at number five, with the marvelous Sam Lee winning with his mercury nominated album.
Meanwhile I’m busy preparing for a concert of lesser-known ballads which I will be performing alongside Martin Simpson and Jim Moray on 26th January at Cecil Sharp House, followed by a trio concert at the same venue on 27th and then the Be Good Tanyas Tour. But first…
Merry Solstice and a Happy New Year!

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November 16, 2012

Hatchling is Emily’s latest release and enters a carnival-esque world of fallen angels and fantastical metamorphosis.

“Marvelous”: Observer.

“Casts a powerful spell”: 8/10, Uncut.

“Less a set of songs than an entire looking-glass world”: 4 Stars, Financial Times.

“Eerily magnificent, bizarre and wonderful: fRoots.

“One of the year’s most distinctive folk releases”: Songlines.

“Rich and eloquently worded … I loved it”: Living Tradition.

“A fearlessly imaginative second album”: Taplas.

4 Stars: R2.

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Hinge of the Year

November 15, 2012

Hinge of the Year is a special limited-edition vinyl and digital EP release with free digital download. The title track is an intoxicating New-Year’s tale of a fledgling flyer, inspired by Angela Carter’s burlesque character ‘Fevers’ in Nights at the Circus. Also featuring a brass band, guitarist Jonny Kearney and with bewitching harmonies from Lucy Farrell and Rachel Newton.

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The Glamoury

November 14, 2012

Debut album The Glamoury received two BBC Folk Award nominations and overwhelming critical acclaim, with BBC Radio 2 describing it as ‘the raw stuff of the great ballads’


Selected Quotes:
‘[Emily] recasts antique folk and myth into stunning shapes … remarkable and original’ Observer.
The raw stuff of the great ballads’ Mike Harding, BBC Radio 2.
‘rampantly imaginative’ fRoots.
‘Intricate, beautiful and brittle, entrancing’ ***** R2/Rock & Reel.
‘A unique and fantastic concept, perfectly executed and realised’ Shirley Collins.
‘It’s quite odd, full of twisted folk fairytales and it’s brilliant; it actually scares my children, they can’t listen to it’ Orbital.

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