The Tolmen Centre is thrilled to be presenting world renowned guitarist, singer and songwriter Martin Simpson. The remarkable intimate solo performances Martin gives go from strength to strength – every gig is a masterclass. He travels the length and breadth of the UK and beyond, giving rapt audiences passion, sorrow, love, beauty, tragedy and majesty through his playing. In this show, he will be playing songs from his brand new album, ‘Trails and Tribulations’, to be released on September 1st, as well as older material.
40 years after he recorded his first album, Golden Vanity, in 1976, Martin is known as a guitarist of formidable talent. Equally at home playing English traditional folk, American folk and blues and his own compositions, he is consistently named as one of the very finest fingerstyle guitar players in the world. He is listed in Gibson Guitars’ Top 30 Acoustic Guitarists of all time, and Acoustic Guitar readers voted him number 12 guitarist in the world in 2005.
Universally acclaimed as one of the finest ever acoustic and slide guitar players, and a fine banjo-picker to boot, his solo shows bear witness to an artist at the very top of his game. Whether interpreting material from tradition or singing his own potent self-penned songs, Simpson is a remarkable storyteller: captivating and profoundly moving. His own songwriting produced the poignant ‘Never Any Good’, from Prodigal Son, 2007’s Folk Album of the Year.
Martin continues to collaborate with a dazzling array of people from across the musical spectrum: Jackson Browne, Martin Taylor, June Tabor, Richard Hawley, Bonnie Raitt, Danny Thompson, David Hidalgo, Danú, Richard Thompson and Dom Flemons are among the great musicians he has worked with.
He has had the most nominations of any performer in the 15 years of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, an astonishing 31 times, 12 of those as Musician of the Year, winning that particular accolade twice.
A virtuoso player without question, but above all Martin Simpson conveys his diverse treasure trove of material from the heart, performing with rare subtlety, intensity and honesty. A true master of his art.
“Martin is in a class of his own. He is such an expressive player; he is ingenious in his use of the guitar. You can listen to one of his songs and three or four minutes in, he has only used the top four strings and not even played a bass note yet, and when he does, it feels like an orchestra coming in. His clarity of playing is just amazing.” Jackson Browne
“One of the virtuoso instrumentalists of the English music scene” ‘Sounds better than ever’ **** 4 Stars The Guardian
“Simpson has become a fine interpreter of traditional and other songs, as well as a notable writer of his own.” The Times
‘Simpson’s latest is a potent blend of the highest calibre…Simpson has never sung or played better’ Acoustic MagazineBook Online
Nominated for this year’s Mercury Music Prize the Portico Quartet play melodic, rhythmic music that mixes the inspiration of Philip Glass and Steve Reich with a very contemporary kind of improvisation – engagingly chiming themes delivered by steel pan-like Hang drums, saxophone and bass. “A singular talented outfit, pivoting on a beautifully lithe rhythm section and foregrounding Jack Wyllie’s fluent saxophone to a meditative and mesmerising effect ” Time Out Tickets £8, £7 Children £4
Founder members of modern folk icons Bellowhead, Spiers and Boden are described by the Guardian as “the finest instrumental duo on the traditional scene.”
Together they have made the genre of spontaneous, punky English folk very much their own stomping ground.
“Joyousness reigns.” …The Observer
Tickets £12, £10
A pared-down version of her 8-piece band Gabby Young and Other Animals, the duo consists of Gabby Young and guitarist Stephen Ellis, who present their unique blend of jazz, burlesque, gypsy folk and swing. Gabby says “we call it circus jazz, but you have to come and see us to know what that means”. Gabby’s quirky and colourful couture is as daring and different as her music.
The Duo has toured the Middle East. Europe, Japan, Australia and the USA. They have recently supported top international French stars Bridget and Zaz, and the girl band Katzenjammer from Norway. Now working together on their third album, they are engaged to be married in Spring 2016.
“Elements of music hall, opera, big band jazz and foot-stomping folk are all poured in to the mix with Gabby’s incredible vocal gymnastics holding it all together” (The Sun)
“Words cannot describe the plethora of varying sensations Gabby bestowed upon her salivating audience. Gabby Young must be seen live and in full technicolour.” (Kentishtowner)
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