NEWS: Burd Ellen @ Bobik’s | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Scotland is rarely short of illuminating traditional interpreters, but that’s not prevented Burd Ellen from carving a niche of their own in the nation’s renowned folksphere. Consisting of founder Debbie Armour and cohort Gayle Brogan, this sublime, adaptable duo channel the stories and language of yesteryear with reverence and rare flair, setting wondrous harmonies against a deft, drone-heavy palette coalescing fragile beauty with unnerving noir. These intimate, deeply atmospheric methods enriched a multifaceted mine of women’s narratives on their stellar 2018 debut Silver Came, but it was with last winter’s icy carols collection Says The Never Beyond that they really began to gain traction, drawing streams of plaudits including a glowing five-star review from The Guardian.

Although they’ve not performed in the North East since February 2019, the duo did pay a visit back in August to partake in Sage Gateshead’s 2021 Summer Sessions. Selected from a field of around 170 applicants, the initiative offered Burd Ellen a week-long residency in which to hone their craft and develop fresh material – the fruits of which are to be shared before an audience during this Saturday’s much-see show at Jesmond venue Bobiks.

There’s a treat in store for early birds too in the form of box-fresh local support Amateur Trepanning. Conceived by Newcastle musician Ben Lowes-Smith (Slow Decades), this delightfully DIY project has already spawned one of the year’s finest under-the-radar gems in July’s eponymous mini-album – a cluster of generous, bite-sized nuggets spawned from a pandemic-induced creative burst and burgeoning fascination with 1970s West German kosmische. Now expanded to a full band, the quartet went down a storm at last week’s maiden live outing, opening for Field Music at a packed-out Cluny. Missed that one? Don’t make the same mistake twice!

Burd Ellen play Bobik’s, Newcastle on Saturday 2nd October


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