Pavilion hosts classic reunion

ONE of the most talked about events of the year in folk music circles has been the reunion of June Tabor and the Oysterband which has seen them release their first album together in 21 years.

They perform at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill tonight (Friday) from 7pm.

Their first album Freedom and Rain still enjoys iconic status.

The concert to launch their acclaimed new CF Ragged Kingdom at London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall sold out well in advance.

Their output ranges from traditional English folk songs and ballads, that have been sung for hundreds of years, to versions of Lou Reed’s All Tomorrow’s Parties and Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart.

English folk singer Tabor was born in Warwick in 1947. She had no musical education but was inspired by traditional singers and went on to establish a prolific solo career, recording 19 albums.

Over the years she has worked in various genres including jazz and art song, but generally with a sparse and sombre tone to it.

Her 2003 album An Echo of Hooves marked a return to the traditional ballad form after concentrating on other styles for several years, and was highly acclaimed.

The Oysterband are an English electric folk rock outfit that formed in Canterbury, Kent, in the late 1970s. They have been based around the melodeon playing and strong vocals of John Jones and include cello and fiddle in their line-up.

They have headlined at music festivals all over the world and continue to have a huge and devoted following.

In the nineties the band adopted a more overtly political stance, recording the harder The Shouting End of Life and collaborating with Chumbawamba to record Farewell to the Crown, released as the b-side of the Tubthumping single.

Recent releases Deep Dark Ocean, Here I Stand, Rise Above and Meet You There have seen the band return to a softer, more melodic sound while recent tours under the banner The Big Session have seen the band offer exposure and encouragement to several young, emerging folk musicians.

They describe themselves as making a ‘kind of modern British, folk based music which is acoustic at heart’.

When the Oysterband and June Tabor came together a few years ago to perform at fRoots Magazine’s 30th birthday party at The Roundhouse, they felt the chemistry spark again.

And now, 21 years on, they’ve made the brand new Ragged Kingdom, a brilliant, belated follow-up that mixes the traditional with the contemporary in startling fashion.