LIVE REVIEW: Karine Polwart @ Sage Gateshead (04.11.18) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

As an established and acclaimed stalwart of the UK folk circuit, there’s little doubt that the bulk of tonight’s audience aren’t attending their first Karine Polwart show. In fact, given her obvious fondness for the Sage it’s a fair bet many have seen her in this very room, and it’s testament to her ability to keep things fresh that familiarity yields nary a hint of fatigue. Backed by multi-instrumentalist and regular collaborator Inga Thompson and guitarist and brother Steven Polwart, the Sterlingshire singer songwriter graces a packed-out Hall 2 with two sublime 45-minute sessions of music, with much of the focus inevitably falling on her excellent recent album Laws of Motion.

Streamlined through weeks of touring, the likes of Cornerstone and Suitcase are met with equal enthusiasm as her setlist’s staples, and exemplify the themes of immigration and displacement which run at the record’s core. Another standout, Crow on the Cradle, meanwhile, is among a clutch of expertly chosen covers, which also incorporate her penchant for a pop classic (Video Killed the Radio Star) and a touching tribute to Scott Hutchinson in Frightened Rabbit’s Swim Until You Can’t See Land. With a prolific output and a stamp of excellence adorning all she touches, there’s every reason to think those same faces will be back again come the next cycle.

Like this story? Share it!