Thursday, 18 October 2012

Karine Polwart Oran Mor 19th Sept 2012

Polwart is one of Scotland’s best loved songstress with her beautiful voice and relevant moving songs. 

Many folk artists fill the folk clubs but not so many can fill halls the size of the Oran Mor church auditorium. Her pure softly soothing voice captivated the full house in the clear acoustic church setting with its ornate stained glass windows and with Scottish artist Alastair Gray's colourful mural ceiling.
Karine sang the flowing harmonies and melodies of her story-telling and honest songs. She had her usual two backing musicians, her brother Steven on guitar and Inge Thomson on accordion, plus for this larger event - percussionist Iain Sandilands who added depth and energy to the new songs along with a wind section that included flute and clarinet.
She performed songs from her well received third album Traces - Strange News, We’re all Leaving, Tears For Lots Wife, Salters Road and Sticks and Stones.
One highlight was a lovely duet of the song Solstice with the guitarist Craig from the Scottish band Unwinding Hand. Another set highlight was a haunting solo song from Inge Thomson. 

The set included songs from Polwart's new album Traces. The song Tinsel Show was written about the lights of Grangemouth which shone in the night sky near to where Karine grew up in East Lothian. Karine also included a few of her classic well loved songs from previous albums - Daisy, Rivers Run.

She spoke of her fascination with birds and how many of her songs reflected this. One stand out song from Traces was the song King of Birds. For an encore she sang Follow The Heron. Her new album has her classy songs and a more intricate depth to it.  

Karine said that as she wasn’t an Indie artist she wouldn’t simply come on and play the album songs and leave and that as she had come up through the folk circuit she would play two full sets with an interval and a raffle! 

I’ve heard Karine at several of those smaller folk venues, as well as her leading a Celtic Connections concert on Scottish songs at the Glasgow concert hall. This was another perfect setting for her intimate songs. 

I have met Karine a couple of times and just a week later at the Lake of Monteith Hotel Bar the night before my son's wedding!  She recognised me by name which made me feel just that little bit famous!. She is such a genuine person and this reflects in her music. 

I recommend checking out Karine Polwart's fourth studio album 'Traces' -