Introducing the Coracle Band...Rachel Newton

Introducing the Coracle Band...Rachel Newton

Rachel Newton, harpist, fiddler and singer extraordinaire, has just been nominated for 'Folk Musician of the Year' in the BBC Folk Awards 2017 - Congratulations Rachel!!! So in the final instalment of my series introducing the Coracle Band, we say both hello and goodbye to Rachel Newton, as this March Tour will be her last with The Coracle Band and The Emily Portman Trio. We'll miss her, and wish her all the best in this new chapter!  

Sophie Parkes interviewed Rachel, to find out more...

Introducing the Coracle Band...Lucy Farrell

Introducing the Coracle Band...Lucy Farrell

Ahead of the Coracle Band Tour in March I've been introducing each member of the Band with an interview...And now it's the turn of Lucy Farrell!  This viola maestro possesses a lark-like voice, a superb ear for harmonies, an uncanny knack of remembering lyrics and super human saw-playing thumbs...What more could I want from a band mate?! 

Lucy’s recently been very busy with Eliza Carthy’s Wayward Band and their album, Big Machine, which recently hit number 25 in the official album charts. Impressive stuff!

 

Sophie Parkes had a chat with her to find out what else she’s got going on.

March Tour and a Farewell

March Tour and a Farewell

Wishing you a very Happy New Year! 2017 brings a spring tour with the Coracle Band; Pete Flood (drums) Rachel Newton (harp, vocals, fiddle) Sam Sweeney (strings) (Lucy Farrell) (viola, saw & vocals) and M G Boulter (acoustic, electric & pedal steel guitars) will be joining me on the road in March, dates below.

23/03   Ropetackle Arts Centre    SHOREHAM
24/03   The North Wall,                 OXFORD
25/03   Bridgwater Arts Centre    BRIDGWATER
26/03 Blackheath Halls                 LONDON  
27/03   Ludlow Assembly Rooms LUDLOW
 

Introducing...Andy Bell

Introducing...Andy Bell

Welcome to the second instalment of my ‘Introducing…’ series of blog posts that intends to shed light on the new line-up of The Coracle Band.

Although Andy Bell is a sound engineer and record producer extraordinaire, and not technically part of The Coracle Band, he’s been just as instrumental to the sound of Coracle and the wider band as the rest of us. As a result, I thought you might like to know what makes him tick.

Read on for a short interview between writer, Sophie Parkes, and the producer of Coracle.

Introducing...Pete Flood

Introducing...Pete Flood

You'll be familiar to many as the man behind the Bellowhead percussion. When did you first meet Emily, and how did she approach you with regards to playing on the forthcoming tour?

I know Emily's work from way back in the Devil's Interval. It was very nice to get an email from her out of the blue one day asking if I'd consider depping for Toby Kearney. Since then, Toby has become busy with CBSO, so I'm hoping to be a worthy successor to him.

When you think of Emily Portman's music, you don't necessarily think of big beats and rousing drum fills. Does this make it more of a challenge for a percussionist?

Getting the dynamics right is always a challenge, and the Coracle Band uses the full range, from whisper quiet to poundingly loud. I've been focusing on the quieter end of the scale for years in my practice, but as you can imagine, I didn't get much of a chance to show off that side of my playing with Bellowhead, so I'm really looking forward to bringing the delicacy to the fore with Emily.

Introducing....Sam Sweeney

Introducing....Sam Sweeney

In the second instalment of my  'Introducing the Coracle Band' series, meet Sam Sweeney! 

Many of you will know leaping fiddler, Sam Sweeney, from Bellowhead, Leveret, The Full English, his duo with Hannah James, and his early forays into the English folk music scene with the band, Kerfuffle. He’s also in demand as a session instrumentalist and I’m so delighted he’s joined us in The Coracle Band - it's a real privilege. 

Sophie Parkes caught up with Sam ahead of the December tour to find out how he’s finding the job so far.

Introducing...The Coracle Band

Introducing...The Coracle Band

Introducing… The Coracle Band!

For my final tour of 2016, I’m delighted to announce that the all-new Coracle Band will be on tour with me, giving my songs a new, bigger, bolder twist…And we're really excited to be heading out on our first tour together in December! 

BBC FOLK AWARD NOMINATION - FOLK SINGER OF THE YEAR 2016

BBC FOLK AWARD NOMINATION - FOLK SINGER OF THE YEAR 2016

I'm delighted to announce that I've been nominated for Folk Singer of the Year in this year's BBC Folk Awards! It's a particular honour to be in the fine company of Eliza Carthy, Sam Lee and Rhiannon Giddens in this category. The BBC Folk Awards will be announced at The Royal Albert Hall, London on 27th April. The Furrow Collective are also up for Best Traditional Track for Rachel Newton's beautiful rendition of The Unquiet Grave, so it's going to be a good party! 

SEED STITCH SINGLE, VIDEO & TOUR

SEED STITCH SINGLE, VIDEO & TOUR

Dear Friends, 

Here's some news to blow those cobwebs away. To lighten the mood after Halloween I have some November treats in store in the form of a single, a video and a tour.
Seed Stitch will be released as a digital single alongside a new video by Laura Sparks a fellow Liverpool-based artist, and this will coincide with a live  'Emily Portman Trio' tour from 6th-15th November. 
 I will be joined by special guests to play a BBC live session for Mark Radcliffe’s Folk Show on 4th November, which will coincide with the Seed Stitch video premier by Folk Radio UK.

 Five Star Review & Folk Radio UK Interview

Five Star Review & Folk Radio UK Interview

Thanks to everyone who joined us in celebrating the launch of Coracle on tour! Whilst we were on the road, photographer Rob Bridge came along to our gig at The Musician, Leicester. He took some photos and we had a chat over pizza - you can read the resulting Folk Radio UK interview HERE (munching omitted). 
The Morning Star have given Coracle a great review, saying 'Fans of Portman should get to the front of the queue to check out her third album Coracle'. So for those of you who need a bit of persuading you can read the full review HERE ! And more good news on the Coracle front: a five star review has just arrived in the latest issue of Songlines who say 'Coracle is without doubt one of the folk albums of the year'. Songlines have also included 'Darkening Bell' as one of their Top of the World tracks - read the full review below. BBC Radio 3's Late Junction have been giving Coracle lots of airplay and the trio was very excited when Fiona Talkington came to one of our launch shows ! Verity Sharp features '`Seed Stitch' HERE 

fROOTS Cover, New Video & Reviews

fROOTS Cover, New Video & Reviews

Coracle will finally be officially launched on 22nd June with a live UK tour  kicking off on 19th June. Today I'm excited to be able to reveal Marry Waterson's masterful video for 'Darkening Bell', Coracle's opening track, which is premiering on Folk Radio UK's site. Jarvis Cocker Played 'Borrowed and Blue' on his Sunday Service which made my week! It's about 1hr 44 min in - LISTEN HERE.

Coracle - Pledge

Coracle - Pledge

'A vivid tour de force of finely-crafted songs, Coracle is Emily Portman’s first entirely self-penned release that subtly spins together folk motifs with deeply personal reflections on motherhood and bereavement. Coracle shrugs off pigeon-holing and dances deftly between angular weird-folk and intricately-woven contemporary pop. Signaling an adventurous new direction for this critically celebrated singer, Emily treads fresh ground following the success of her BBC Folk award-winning release Hatchling.'

As the Hinge of the Year Swings Around

As the Hinge of the Year Swings Around

Thanks to everyone who braved the dark nights and made our last tour of the year into a magic one.  We’ve enjoyed trying out new songs on you and will be heading to the studio straight after New Year to sing off the Christmas pudding and make a new record! Here’s a sneak preview of our album photoshoot, created by the supremely talented Elly Lucas and Karen Le Roy Harris. It involved lying on a forest floor in midwinter but we hope you’ll agree it was worth it!

It’s been a year of firsts: My first ever solo voyage to Finland, the launch of The Furrow Collective, curating Outlandish Nights with Ali Roberts at The Kings Place,  a lovely Women Folk Tour, a trio trip to Ireland and a Norwegian festival adventure with The Furrow Collective, singing with Eliza Carthy’s Arms Wide Orchestra…Not to mention learning how to write songs with a two year old in tow! In-keeping with my resolution to be brave and do solo gigs this year, my final concert of 2014 will be supporting Paul Smith (Maximo Park) & Peter Brewis (Field Music) at The Sage Gateshead on 20th December. The Furrow Collective will be starting 2015 with a tour of Germany and rehearsals for our next album. But first, here’s to a Merry Yuletide!

Thank you all for your support in 2014, it’s massively appreciated…Wassail!!

Emily x

November Tour

November Tour

The Emily Portman Trio are shortly to be (over)loading the boot with harp, fiddles, banjo, musical saw, concertina and our warmest woolies for our final tour of the year – we hope you can join us! We’ll be bringing you sparkling NEW music, alongside our favourites from Hatchling and The Glamoury – and we welcome requests.

Spring Outings and Summer Festivals

Spring Outings and Summer Festivals

A Spring Outing

The Emily Portman Trio are visiting the South-West this week to consume cream teas and sing murder ballads…

* 23rd April: The Grain Barge, Bristol @ 7.30pm.
* 24th April: The Exeter Phoenix @ 8pm.

Happy Easter Everyone!

Myself, Rachel and Lucy are looking forward to returning to the South-West to air a few new songs and put some old ones to bed before the trio takes a little rest while I write for the next album, out in 2015. Egg-citing times! (sorry couldn’t resist!). Later in the summer the trio are coming to SHAMBALA FESTIVAL! The Furrow Collective also have a busy summer ahead, so hope to see you at some of the festivals listed HERE

Emily x
PS you can listen to my Spring-themed show on BBC Radio Merseyside HERE

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Emily to present BBC Radio Show

Emily to present BBC Radio Show

Emily to Present BBC Radio Merseyside’s ‘Folkscene’

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.

Outlandish Nights

Outlandish Nights

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.

  • The Furrow Collective + special guest Marry Waterson

  • 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.

 

Find out more

The Furrow Collective Album Launch Tour

The Furrow Collective Album Launch Tour

The 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: