Wed 12th Mar at 7:30pm - 10:00pm
Southern Tenant Folk Union
@ Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre, Walton-on-Thames
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One of the most highly acclaimed folk/bluegrass bands in the UK today, Southern Tenant Folk Union are about to release their seventh album ‘What Kind Of Worker Do You Want To Be?’ and since starting out in 2006 have toured their exciting live show all over the UK, Ireland, Netherlands & Germany.
An all acoustic band with banjo, fiddle, double bass, acoustic guitar, percussion & harmony vocals they perform an eclectic mix of high energy atmospheric folk and have received airplay from Bob Harris & Steve Lamacq on BBC Radio 2 and made live appearances on BBC One TV (The Andrew Marr Show), RTE TV (The Late Late Show) & Radio 4’s Loose Ends twice. Praise in The Sunday Times, Guardian, Irish Times and Independent has seen the band light up the folk music scene. Artistically successful, award winning and with an exciting live act worked around a single microphone they have performed at Celtic Connections, Orkney Folk Festival, Belladrum & The Electric Picnic and now sell out arts centres across Europe.
“Gun control, ideological extremism, fiscal greed and unfair labour laws are picked over in an ambitious suite of songs which though deploying the band’s all-acoustic blend of guitars, double bass and strings, expands STFU’s folk origins by drawing on funk (“Delta Force”), deep soul (“Martial Law” is Isaac Hayes taking the high road) and film-score atmospherics.” Graeme Thomson, 7/10, Uncut Magazine
“Thrilling folk rock at its best, with the Union unafraid to adopt funk & soul into their sound” David Esson, 4 stars, Daily Express
“Music of delightful invention, slipping in and out of genres with a surprising deftness…this is ambitious music in Punch Brothers vein with only flickers of STFU’s bluegrass origins.” Joe Breen, 4 Stars, The Irish Times
“Southern Tenant Folk Union are a folk band for the Occupy era – passionate, political and mischievous. Album six fixates on the American right and its death cult, the Chuck of the title being a Christian Republican as well as the veteran screen action hero. Never failing to pile on the irony this is STFU’s least action-packed, most thoughtful – even sorrowful – offering so far. The septet’s banjo/fiddle/mandolin/guitar/string-bass prowess now stretches far from their folk/country roots beyond even the artful twang of John Peel faves The Mekons towards Robert Wyatt’s mournfulness.” Mat Snow, 4 Stars, Q Magazine
“The Scottish folk group Southern Tenant Folk Union presents its most potent offering since 2010's excellent The New Farming Scene” Andy Gill, 4 Stars, The Independent
“Now pushing their art a fair bit further, they’re filtering a succession of minor chords through arrangements that, in terms of ambition, look to a hybrid of Kronos Quartet and Punch Brothers.” Alan Morrison, Sunday Herald
“It’s epic like the best of Pink Floyd or Arcade Fire. After years of critics complaining that music has stopped being political, this is an album that takes umbrage with much in society. A fantastic idea brilliantly executed and what a way for Scottish music to start 2015. The bar has been set. Very, very high.” Rick Fulton, The Daily Record
“Going to inordinate lengths to emulate Krautrock gods such as Can, the five-string banjo of Pat McGarvey is harnessed to a tea towel to recreate the arpeggios of the analogue sequencers pioneered by Tangerine Dream, and it sounds fantastically dreamy” Colin Somerville, 4 Stars, Scotland On Sunday
“Southern Tenant Folk Union find themselves attracted to the horror realm on this atmospheric album – to horror film soundtracks and to the horrors of modern society…which makes a bright, Beatlesy response to shadowy authority figures, or to both in the case of Crash, which recreates the creepy synth arpeggios used in 1970s horror scores on a five-string banjo” Fiona Shepherd, 4 Stars, The Scotsman
“These 12 songs creep into your psyche. On the surface they may seem like pretty folk tunes, with the banjos and fiddles skipping merrily along, yet the grim and gloriously morbid tales give an otherwise well-worn musical genre a bit of a twist” Olivia Schaff, Digital Fix
“The band knock up a fierce, raw and earthy music that is the stuff of Mumford & Sons' dreams…the results are as compelling as they are oppressively bleak” Maddy Costa, The Guardian
“A Fascinating union of Celtic and American influences” Simon Cosyns, The Sun
“More than simple roots-music revivalism” Stewart Lee, The Sunday Times
“Offering an alluring Scottish folk/old-time string band mix, it’s still stamped with a provocative charm that makes it an effective slow burn…beautiful recording quality, subtle arrangements and involving, melancholic songs are powerfully persuasive” Colin Irwin, MOJO
Southern Tenant Folk Union tour dates