Get ready for a packed season ahead at The Philharmonic Hall from folk to funk, through soul, roots, jazz and pop.
James Hanks, Liverpool Philharmonic spokesman said, ‘We are announcing some genuinely exciting new concerts between now and the end of Summer. Our commitment to folk music continues with a number of the genre’s best artists visiting us including Mawkin, The Imagined Village, the Unthanks, Andy Irvine, and we are delighted to welcome Nora Guthrie, Woody Guthrie’s daughter, for a Woody Guthrie Folk Night Special. We are able to announce shows by some of the world’s finest country and Americana musicians. The Ladies of Country in May sees five of the genre’s leading ladies all on the same bill. We bring Alison Krauss and Union Station up from the Olympics celebrations and we are currently putting the finishing touches to our Americana Night on the 28 July which will be a celebration of all things bluegrass and Cajun.'
Michael Eakin, Chief Executive of Liverpool Philharmonic said,‘We are delighted to be working with DaDa Fest for the first time this year as a host venue. The festival has become an important part of Liverpool’s arts calendar, attracting international artists as seen in the return of an artist of the calibre of Evelyn Glennie to the city for the first time in a decade. Liverpool Philharmonic last worked with Evelyn in 2002 when she gave the world premiere performance with the Orchestra of Ignition, a percussion concerto written especially for her by David Horne, our composer-in-residence at the time. We are looking forward to welcoming her back for what will undoubtedly be an inspiring solo recital and talk.’
Tony Christie, Friday 27 April 7.30pm, £22.50, £25, £31
Christie has had an illustrious career spanning 40 years. He has sold over 10 million records including the hits I Did What I Did For Maria, Is This the Way to Amarillo and Avenues and Alleyways. His recent chart successes include Sweet September, the Jarvis Cocker song Walk Like a Panther and the Comic Relief version of Is This the Way to Amarillo which became the biggest selling No1 single of 2005. Last year Christie released another charity single, Steal The Sun, with all proceeds going to Afghan Heroes, a charity supporting the British Forces in Afghanistan
The Ladies Of Country, Thursday 10 May 7.30pm, £19.50, £22.50, £28.50
Featuring: Lynn Anderson, Jeannie C Riley, Sandy Kelly, Ann Williamson and Sarah Jory. This heart-warming show brings together five of country music’s leading ladies. Lynn Anderson performs her hit songs including (I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden. Anderson has won virtually every award in country including the Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year, the Academy of Country Music Female Vocalist of the Year (twice), the American Music Award for Favourite Female Vocalist, Billboard’s Artist of the Decade and a Grammy Award. This remarkable show also features 60s icon Jeannie C Riley who is celebrated for her worldwide No. 1 hit Harper Valley PTA. Ireland’s Sandy Kelly, one of Scotland’s finest country singers, Ann Williamson, and joining them on stage is the British Country Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year for nine consecutive years, Sarah Jory, and her band. It’s a fabulous line up that promises to be an extraordinary night.
Dionne Warwick, Plus support, Monday 4 June 7.30pm, £28.50, £32.50, £37.50, £42.50, £75
Scintillating, soothing and sensual best describe the familiar and iconic voice of five-time Grammy Award-winning singer Dionne Warwick.With a career spanning 50 years, selling over 100 million records, she is a cornerstone of American pop music and culture. To celebrate 50 years in entertainment she comes to Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, accompanied by her band and a 12-piece string section. The evening will include her signature songs I Say a Little Prayer, Walk On By, That’s What Friends Are For, Alfie, WhattheWorld Needs Now is Love, Then Came You and I’ll Never Fall in Love Again, and much more.
The Unthanks with Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band, Sunday 17 June 7.30pm, £18.50, £24.50
‘Haunting,original and magnificent.’ The Guardian
Drawing on The Unthanks’ unique interpretations of traditional song and the folk music of the northeast, this is a new commission with the National Brass Champions of Great Britain, Brighouse & Rastrick Brass Band, regarded by many as the best public subscription band in the world. The concert features newly written pieces and arrangements of traditional material for folk and brass
Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival, Sunday 15 July 7.30pm, £15, £22.50
A new project presented for the Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival and commissioned for the London 2012 Festival, the finale of the Cultural Olympiad. The outstanding oud player Khyam Allami brings together a group of musicians, from both traditional and contemporary backgrounds, from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt and Iraq for a beguiling blend of inspiring new acoustic and electronic music.
‘[Khyam Allami] epitomises the best of the new generation of oud players whose roots lie in the Eastern tradition but who also judiciously draw on a wider range of contemporary influences...his compositions are utterly bewitching. 5 out of 5 - Top of the World’. Songlines Magazine. Alif Ensemble
Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas, Saturday 14 July 7.30pm, £32.50, £39.50, £45.50
Part of singer, songwriter and fiddler Alison Krauss' incontestable talent is how effortlessly she bridges the gap between rootsmusic, country, and rock & pop. She is possibly one of the greatest living performers in her field today having won 27 Grammy Awards, the most for any female and the third most of any artist ever. Her hauntingly delicate voice coupled with the emotive instrumentals of her band Union Station make for an incredible live experience.
Americana Weekend 27–28 July
Lazy Lester, Friday 27 July 8.30pm, Rodewald Suite, £15
Back when blues was king and South Louisiana was the breeding ground for some of the most memorable American music ever recorded, at the heart of it was Lazy Lester. This key figure of US blues music has been making his laid back swamp blues for over six decades. Starting out as Lightnin’ Slim’s harpist of choice, perhaps his most famous hits in his own right are I'm a Lover Not a Fighter and I Hear You Knockin. The very embodiment of the American blues tradition Lester’s voice has enriched with age and his harmonica playing has lost nothing.
Saturday 28 July 7.30pm, £16, £22
A night of quality Bluegrass and Cajun music from a line up of special guest artists led by the four-time Grammy-nominated band Pine Leaf Boys. Hailing from southwest Louisiana, this band have breathed new life into Cajun music, reviving ancient songs. Playing Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco, their mission is to present the beautiful, powerful music of their ancestors to the world and prove that it is still thriving and full of life
Marc Almond, Saturday 22 September 8pm, £24.50, £30.50
With Soft Cell, in partnership with Dave Ball, Almond achieved a string of international hits - biggest of all, their version of northern soul classic Tainted Love, while Memorabilia is cited as the first techno record ever. 10 million-plus worldwide record sales later, Soft Cell are a British icon, influencing generations of musicians - from Pulp, The Pet Shop Boys and Suede, to Goldfrapp and Antony & The Johnsons.
This concert coincides with the release of Almond’s new greatest hits double album. On stage Almond comes alive, his songs too, whether they are synth-pop, 60s-inspired kitsch-arama, bare-naked acoustic ballads or orchestrated splendour the experience is unique
Season Highlights at The Rodewald Suite
Jim Moray, Wednesday 18 April 8.30pm, £15
‘Along with an effortlessly melodic voice, Moray’s willingness to experiment has made him one of the brightest, if most controversial, young talents in English folk’ The Observer
Moray’s re-imagining of English traditional music saw him awarded the unprecedented combination of Best Newcomer and Best Album at the 2004 BBC Radio2 Folk Awards.After notching up a live reputation with performances at Glastonbury, Cambridge Folk Festival and WOMAD, his 2008 release, Low Culture picked up 'Roots’ Critics Poll and Mojo Magazine’s Folk Album of the Year. He joined forces with Saul Rose (Waterson:Carthy) and William Bowerman (La Roux) to headline summer festivals through 2009 and released his fourth album In Modern History. He also produced his sister Jackie Oates’ award-winning Hyperboreans album. Still in his twenties this acclaimed singer, songwriter and guitarist is at the forefront of a new folk revival in the UK. This is his second After 8 appearance.
John O’Connell, Saturday 5 May 8.30pm, £12
‘Absolutely stunning. Johnny is one of the most talented musicians I have come across’ Peter Hooton, The Farm
As co-founder of the celebrated Liverpool band Groundpig, O’Connell has his name indelibly written into the tapestry of the city’s music scene. Born and raised in Everton, his early influences were rooted in acoustic, folk and classical guitar. Grossman, Jansch, Renbourn and Carthy all inspire O’Connell and ignited his passion for music. It is these early influences that delicately resonate through his performances, where he mixes his own original songs with timeless instrumental guitar classics.
Mawkin, Friday 11 May 8.30pm, £12
‘Unconditionally mighty’ MOJO Magazine
Fresh off the back of the three-times BBC Folk Award nominated collaboration Mawkin: Causley, who we featured in the After 8 Series back in 2009, Mawkin are now forging a bold new sound that strengthens their instrumental roots and embraces a new, exuberant exploration into the traditional folk canon. Expect the mesmerising guitar playing of David Delarre, the beats of long-time producer and percussionist Lee Richardson, underpinning richly textured bass lines from Danny Crump.
Add a host of wild and emotive melodies from the frenetic fiddling of James Delarre inter-playing with the bellowing of Nick Cooke’s melodeon.
The Imagined Village, Friday 25 May 7.30pm, £19.50, £25.50
Featuring: Andy Gangadeen & Simon Richmond (The Bays), Eliza Carthy, Martin Carthy, Jackie Oates, Simon Emmerson & Johnny Kalsi (Afro Celt Sound System), Ali Friend(Clayhill/Red Snapper),Sheema Mukherjee (Transglobal Underground), Barney Morse Brown (Duotone).
One of the most unusual collaborations of the past decade, we initially welcomed The Imagined Village to Liverpool Philharmonic back in 2007 in one of their first ever performances. This unique project has successfully updated the sound of modern English folk and has produced two critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums. Now there is a third installment.
The band have appeared on BBC Two’s Later…With Jools, won out at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and made a triumphant return to Liverpool Philharmonic in 2010. If they had initially developed as a loose collective of singers and musicians, the band has subsequently consolidated into a working, growing, organic group. This stability in personnel is shiningly reflected in the third album and the excitement of their live shows which go from strength to strength.
Woody Guthrie, Folk Club Special, Thursday 31 May 8.30pm, £10
Nora Guthrie, daughter of Woody Guthrie, gives a personal talk about her father’s life and music a hundred years since his birth. Woody Guthrie is still one of the most influential artists in music, counting Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Billy Bragg and Bruce Springsteen and a myriad of others as fans. You’ll also hear music from Alun Parry founder of the Woody Guthrie Folk Club and one of the UK’s leading political folk singer songwriters and Rich Man’s Ruin a radical folk trio who have built a fine reputation with their three-part harmonies and versions of Guthrie songs
Double Bill Amelia Curran and Lizzie Nunnery, Thursday 21 June 8.30pm, £12
‘One of this country’s finest singer-songwriters’ Montreal Gazette on Amelia Curran.
Newfoundland-born Curran describes song-writing as an act of ‘expressing the inexpressible’; her achingly beautiful songs sneak up on you, little bits of the lyrics stick in your head. Witness her perform them live and you’ll understand why, although relatively unknown in the UK, she is making waves in Canada.
Nunnery has stories to tell, and a voice that makes you listen. She released her debut album Company of Ghosts in 2010 when BBC Radio 2’s Mike Harding named it in his top ten releases of the year. She also appeared in the inaugural Irish Sea Sessions at Liverpool Philharmonic and her reputation as a captivating new voice in British folk continues to grow.
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