Stichting Folk Groningen
- Concert archief
zondag 10 december 2006
Het Kruithuis , achter de Stadsschouwburg
||kassa de oosterpoort 050 - 3680368 www.de-oosterpoort.nl
||Het Schots-Ierse Malinky kende in 1999 een droomstart; hun debuut CD 'Last Leaves"werd in bladen als Irish Music magazine en Froots alom geprezen en al spoedig was de groep een graag geziene gast op festivals in Europa en in de VS. Met het verschijnen van de tweede CD "Three Ravens' maakten ze definitief naam.
Onder aanvoering van zangeres Karine Polwart bouwden ze hun podiumcarriëre verder uit en in die periode waren ze in 2003 ook bij de Stichting Folk Groningen te zien. Het vertrek van Karine Polwart -ze begon een solo carriere - en dat van trekharmonicaspeler Leo McCann was een forse tegenslag maar,er werd waardige vervanging gevonden in de persoon van de jonge zangeres en celliste Fiona Hunter en de veelzijdige snarenman Ewan MacPherson complementeert het groepsgeluid. Malinky is niet de zoveelste Schotse band met een stereotiep geluid van harde en snelle doedelzakken en/of accordeons. Zij kiezen voor fraaie songs die in meerstemmig gezongen arrangementen neergezet worden en uiteraard is er in het repertoire veel ruimte voor Schotse en Ierse dansmuziek.
Fiona Hunter - vocals, cello
Steve Byrne - vocals, bouzouki, cittern, gitaar
Jon Brews- fiddle,vocals
Mark Dunlop - bodhrán,whistle,fluit,vocals
Ewan MacPherson - mandoline, mandola, banjo, gitaar, vocals
Last leaves (2000)
Three ravens (2002)
The Gilmore Sessions (2004)
The Unseen Hour (2005)
Scotland's leading young folksong group
JON BEWS - FIDDLE, BACKING VOCALS
STEVE BYRNE - BOUZOUKI, CITTERN, GUITAR, LEAD & BACKING VOCALS
MARK DUNLOP - BODHRáN, WHISTLES, FLUTE, LEAD & BACKING VOCALS
FIONA HUNTER - LEAD VOCALS, CELLO
EWAN MACPHERSON - MANDOLIN, GUITAR, MANDOLA, TENOR BANJO, JEW'S HARP, BACKING VOCALS
MALINKY - biography
"Absolutely fabulous" Mike Harding BBC Radio 2
Few new bands of recent times have made such an impact as Malinky. From winning an inaugural Danny
Award for their open-stage performance at the 1999 Celtic Connections festival, to the all-round rave
reviews garnered by their sophomore album, 3 Ravens, in 2002, this Scots/Irish five-piece have emerged as one of the hottest properties on the international Celtic scene. Their song-centred repertoire combines a deep appreciation of tradition with a vibrant freshness of approach, taking in both classic ballads and outstanding original songwriting, alongside sparkling instrumental sets. "3 Ravens simply shouts "class" from the minute you open the sleeve" (Songlines)
Malinky's current line-up features founding members Steve Byrne (vocals/bouzouki/guitar) and Mark Dunlop (whistles/bodhrán/vocals), together with later arrival Jon Bews (fiddle/vocals), and new members for 2005, rising star Fiona Hunter (vocals/cello), along with multi-instrumentalist Ewan MacPherson (mandolin/guitar/mandola/tenor banjo/vocals).With three of the five sharing lead vocal duties, and the entire group contributing backing vocals,the richness and breadth of their song palette is second to non,leaving listeners spoilt for choice between Fiona's cool lyrical clarity, Byrne's Angus-accented resonance and Mark's soulful, Ulster-style delivery.
"Magnificent vocal talent" (Scotland on Sunday)
All five, too, are noted as sympathetic and imaginative accompanists, responding fluently to the intrinsic mood and shape of a song, while weaving in colours and rhythms borrowed from a wide swathe of traditional and contemporary sources. Steve has also been hailed as one of Scotland's talented young songwriters, while Mark and John contribute strong original tunes to the mix.
"A 24-carat belter. . . tune sets as tight as the proverbial duck's behind" (fRoots on 3 Ravens)
A year on from winning the Danny Award, Malinky released their debut CD, Last Leaves, to widespread
acclaim. The album spent six months in the US Celtic Radio Chart Top 10, while fRoots magazine called it "one of the most memorable and refreshing debuts to have passed this way in a long time" This success paved the way for a steadily accelerating tour schedule that has since taken Malinky throughout the UK and Europe, with headline gigs including the Tønder, Lorient, Cambridge and Sidmouth folk festivals, as well as
several return visits to Celtic Connections, and the prestigious Scottish Folk Festival tour of Germany, where the band now tour annually in their own right.
"Fast-rising stars Malinky gave a sterling send-off to their new second album, 3 Ravens, with their
all-acoustic Scots/Irish marriage of tight, vibrant instrumentals and outstanding lead vocals" (The Independent, on Cambridge 2002)
Malinky headed into the studio in early summer 2005 to record their third album, once again on leading Scottish independent label Greentrax Recordings, with release due on 1st November.
JON BEWS Having first picked up the fiddle aged four, Jon is a prize-winning graduate of The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. A former member of popular Scottish folk-rockers Búrach, and a talented composer of tunes, he has recorded two albums with the Basque singer-songwriter Mikel Urdangarin. Jon has recently taken steps into the mainstream with his contributions to the albums
of acclaimed singer-songwriter James Yorkston, including 2004's Just Beyond the River, widely lauded in the UK national press, including a five-star review in The Times. He has recently turned his hand to producing, with a number of album projects in the pipeline. Jon currently juggles his Malinky commitments with the all-instrumental band Cantrip, and is a well-kent face around
Edinburgh's lively session scene.
STEVE BYRNE From Angus, in Scotland's eastern lowlands, Steve has been immersed in traditional music since early childhood, and continues to write
and arrange songs in his native dialect. After graduating from Edinburgh University's School of Scottish Studies, he was a finalist in 2001's inaugural Young Traditional Musician of the Year competition, and was subsequently appointed as Traditional Arts Officer for the City of Edinburgh Council. An experienced folk music tutor, he appears on Linn Records' monumental Complete Songs of Robert Burns, and has been a regular guest with top Scottish folk band Deaf Shepherd. He has also featured as a session musician on recordings by the renowned Scots singers Jim Malcolm and John Morran. Since summer 2004, Steve has also been a member of Emily Smith's touring band, 2002's BBC Young Scottish Traditional Musician of the Year, appearing on her acclaimed second album A Different Life. His solo project of Angus songs
and poems set to music is due for release in 2005.
MARK DUNLOP Originally enlisted for his skills on whistle and bodhrán, Antrimborn Mark has subsequently added his considerable vocal gifts to Malinky's lineup, emerging as a wonderfully sensitive interpreter of traditional Irish songs. The former quiet man among the five, he has developed into a witty onstage raconteur, whose compositions form a staple of the band's instrumental repertoire. Mark has featured in Dr Fred Freeman's live performances of The Complete Songs of Robert Burns series, and is developing his solo repertoire with regular appearances during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the nightly Folk at the Oak series. In 2002, Mark recorded with American mandolin ace Ben
Winship on the album Fishing Music, playing whistle and bodhrán on tracks featuring bluegrass legend Tim O'Brien. Mark has also worked extensively as a bodhrán tutor for adults, with the Glasgow Fiddle Workshop, Edinburgh's ALP
Scots Music Group, and the Celtic Connections festival.
FIONA HUNTER Still in her early twenties, Glasgow-born Fiona is a graduate of the Scottish Music BA course at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and
Drama, where she was a student of the renowned singer Alison McMorland. She has travelled widely, including appearances with RSAMD course leader
and former Battlefield Band stalwart, Brian McNeill, at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. While in the USA, Fiona undertook an internship at the illustrious Smithsonian Institute, home to decades of invaluable folklore study. A great enthusiast of the singing of the Scottish Travellers, she has been working with the Stewart family, learning her trade from some of the
last members of the celebrated Traveller folksong dynasty. A gifted singer with a strength of voice that marks her out from her peers, Fiona also brings her skills on cello to the Malinky lineup, further diversifying and enhancing the band sound.
EWAN MacPHERSON Born in Liverpool, Ewan was one of the first ever intake of students at Paul McCartney's Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. His recording credits include the latest release from Croft no 5 and The Complete Songs of Robert Burns. He also appears on a new album by
contemporary Scottish trio The Unit, with Paul Jennings & Amy Geddes, and the forthcoming solo album by Alasdair White of Battlefield Band.
Ewan has performed with a wide range of artists including BBC Radio 2 Folk Award-winner John Spiers (Spiers & Boden), Dàimh, Emily Smith, Bùrach, Cantrip, and All-Ireland champion Claire Mann. He regularly guests with Edinburgh trio Fine Friday for Live Music Now! and has a strong interest in Scandinavian music, working with Fribo (with vocalist Anne Sofie Linge Valdal - Jim Sutherland's Cold Weather Dancing - and
fiddler Sarah-Jane Fifield), and pan-European six-piece Althing. Ewan is also one of the organisers
of the Northern Streams Scandinavian music festival in Edinburgh each spring and works for
Stoneyport music agency. An active member of the Edinburgh session scene, Ewan is becoming
recognized as one of Scotland's most versatile multi-instrumentalists.
26 January 2005
GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL
FOR the incredibly talented Malinky, the loss of Karine Polwart and Leo McCann is a huge blow, but they were on top form at the Royal Concert Hall last night for the original line-up's last ever gig together. After an impressive support spot from Tacan, a young six-piece catering in warm jigs and reels, melancholy traditional songs and endearingly nervy banter, the headliners took the stage to thunderous applause. The fivesome broke into a haunting lament to kick-start a set of infectious tunes fuelled by intricate fiddle lines, pulsing rhythms, playful flutes and fiery acoustic guitars. After the exhilarating first half, the replacements were revealed as Fiona Hunter and Ewan McPherson, who then took their
places behind microphones for a sneak preview of the new Malinky, with added guitars, cello and vocals, and they fitted in immediately. The first part of their story may be over but a new exciting chapter has definitely begun.
30 January 2005
Old hands and young blood keep the connection alive
By Sue Wilson NOT only was it a cracking performance, but Malinky's gig at Celtic Connections 2005 also marked a few milestones
for the band. Now firmly established among Scotland's top traditional groups, they first emerged as winners in the inaugural Danny Kyle Awards, awarded to the best acts on Celtic Connections' Open Stage, back in 1999. Six years,
two excellent albums, and a heap of critical acclaim later, two-fifths of their membership are about to head for pastures new.Singer, songwriter and guitarist Karine Polwart is off to pursue a solo career, on the back of her debut album,
Faultlines, released last year - which has earned her a cool five nominations in next month's BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Button-box and whistle player Leo McCann, meanwhile, is reverting to a day job, having just become a dad.Their valedictory Celtic Connections show also introduced a sell-out crowd to their replacements: singer and cellist Fiona Hunter, and Ewan MacPherson on mandolin and guitar.
The band's original trump-card was unquestionably Polwart's huge talent, and she was in typically spellbinding voice as she sang through her greatest hits. These included Thaney, Follow The Heron and the heartbreaking Whaur Dae Ye Lie, from her own pen (the last having originally clinched that springboard Open Stage triumph), alongside
traditional classics such as The Bonny Lass O' Fyvie. Over the years, though, Polwart's remaining colleagues - Steve Byrne (vocals, guitar, bouzouki),Jon Bews (fiddle) and Mark Dunlop (bodhran, whistles) - have expanded their roles, substantially boosting Malinky's power. It's been for some time now that Byrne has merited joint-billing with Polwart as both a singer and songwriter, and he's also emerged as a gifted instrumentalist, whether plucking out a melody or slashing jagged, razor-sharp grooves from his strings.Dunlop has added vocals to his credits, here imbuing The Newry Highwayman with a potent blend of defiance and melancholy.
Malinky are thus well placed to weather the transition of personnel, but it must still have been a nerve-wracking moment for Hunter when she stepped up and into Polwart's shoes. You'd hardly have known it, though, as her lingeringly paced rendition of Clark Saunders offered ample opportunity to admire her voice's arresting balance of rawedged throatiness and cool lyrical clarity. With the arrival of her and MacPherson, there are also interesting changes afoot in the band's instrumental spectrum. The cello's dark-hued sweetness added new layers of harmonic colour,
while MacPherson is already engaged in some very tasty finger-picking duels with Byrne. And the one-off Malinky "supergroup" that closed the show, with all seven musicians onstage, was a memorable bonus treat.