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Hannah Martin

May 13th 2017 @ The Craven Arms

Skipton, United Kingdom
I Was There
Saturday, May 13th, 2017
7:30 PM
The Craven Arms
Skipton, United Kingdom
BIOGRAPHY

Winners of 2014's BBC Radio Two Folk Award for Best Duo, Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin, have come a long way on their journey.

In 2009, Phillip, one of the UK's finest slide guitarists and harmonica players, moved into a tent in south Devon. He had just returned from studying Indian classical guitar in Calcutta with world expert Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya. He had his tent, his car, and a five year plan to earn a living through his music. Playing in alt-folk outfit The Roots Union, he met Devonian fiddle-singer Hannah Martin, and the pair instantly recognised a very powerful musical connection. When the band ended, they continued as a duo, playing all over the country, from Glastonbury festival to busking sessions on the seafront at Sidmouth Folk Week.

It was during one of these busking stints that they were spotted in an encounter with Steve Knightley (Show Of Hands) that now goes down in folk legend. Recognising the potential of Henry and Martin's partnership, Knightley invited them to accompany Show Of Hands on a nationwide tour, culminating with a show at the Royal Albert Hall at Easter 2012.

The pair's first album, Singing The Bones, was released in 2011 to warm praise, "I was completely knocked out by this duo...just a terrific album...absolutely great, wonderful" (BBC Radio Two). Constant touring followed, including an Arts Council funded tour of south west arts centres in autumn 2012. The duo went on to win "Best Folk Act" at the 2012 South West Music Awards, and began 2013 by being voted "Best Duo" by the public at the Spiral Awards. Their second studio album, Mynd, was released to great acclaim in September 2013, appearing in end of year best-ofs for The Guardian, The Telegraph, fRoots Critics Poll, Mark Radcliffe's Radio Two Top Ten, and Songlines. They were voted Best Duo at the Radio Two Folk Awards almost exactly five years since Phillip sat in his tent and made his five year plan!

The last 18 months have been their busiest to date. They recorded a concert, Live In Calstock, to make a record of their sound during these initial years; the resulting album once again went down a storm with the critics, "utterly inspired and magnificent" (Spiral Earth). They toured with folk legend Seth Lakeman. They attended Folk Alliance in Kansas City, and bookings for Canada and Australia in 2016 swiftly followed. As well as around 130 UK dates, they have also played in South Africa, France, Norway, Japan, The Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium during this period.

Watershed, Henry and Martin's keenly anticipated third studio album, is their most emotionally charged, personal and pertinent work to date. A collection of 12 inspired original songs and tunes, recorded live with The Watershed Band in Devon's Blackdown Hills, it centres around the idea of turning points. Moving away from the historical figures and events that peopled their highly acclaimed previous album Mynd they explore the idea of a modern folk tale - drawing on personal experience to create edgier, grittier material whilst retaining an 'everyman' empathy.

Kith and kin inspire many of the tracks, from foundlings to mill workers, all bonded by a theme of split second decisions and forked paths that shape sliding door destinies.

The alchemy of Martin's ever evocative songwriting, fiddle and banjo playing and the much extolled skills of Henry on dobro, harmonica and lap steel fuse into a wholly distinctive world sound - songs of lament, tunes of hope, and totally unpredictable twist and turn music, burgeoning with deft double bass from Matt Downer (Jamie Smith's Mabon) and the textured percussion of James Taylor.

A mesmerising release to further endorse the reputation of a duo who have deservedly gained a rapid and sure foothold in the higher echelons of the roots genre.


"Subtle, atmospheric... Bravely original"
Robin Denselow, The Guardian ****

"Keen, curious and concerned intellects are at work here. Hannah Martin
is an enthralling singer; Phillip Henry plays all manner of guitars and the
harmonica, terrifically."
Julian May, Songlines
***** Top of the World album

"Rich and complex - there is something of June Tabor about Hannah's vocal performance - a voice that is strong and flexible and which, coupled with Phillip's instrumental virtuosity, suggests we're hearing stars of the future"
Dai Jeffries, R2 ****

"This duo has a combination of virtuosity, intensity and charisma
that merits a slot on much bigger stages"
John L. Walters, The Guardian

"An imaginative and innovative album - songs that linger in the memory
held together by the fine musicianship of Henry and Martin.
Strong and original - an unusual treat"
Martin Chilton, Daily Telegraph ****

PLUMHALL are Michelle Plum and Nick B Hall, a feisty Yorkshire based duo whose award winning self-penned songs are already winning them plaudits from the likes of R2 Magazine (4 stars), Miles Hunt (The Wonder Stuff), Steve Knightley (Show of Hands) and many more. The pair deliver guitar and harmony driven textures of folk, Americana and pop, and have have been wowing audiences on the live acoustic circuit in the UK. Winners of the Yorkshire Gig Guide Outstanding Songwriters award 2014, PLUMHALL were recently joined on stage by Bob Dylan's legendary guitarist Larry Campbell for a performance of Senor (Tales of Yankee Power) at the BBC Radio 2 award winning folk club The Black Swan in York. PLUMHALL's debut album THUNDERCLOUD was released on 1st September 2014 through Splid Records and Proper Distribution, and is already BBC radio playlisted. The album has just been hailed one of The Guardian and Observer's Hidden Gems of 2014. Plans to tour Canada, the US and South Africa are in the pipeline.

Michelle Plum is a former member of Chumbawamba, Waking the Witch and The Accidental Tourists, and in her own right has supported Aimee Mann, Capercaillie, Ralph McTell, Nerina Pallot, Texas and Shane MacGowan to name but a few. She also provided guest vocals for Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts' UK spring 2013 tour.

Nick B Hall has been a member of the Hall Brothers band nearly all his life, and has supported Fairport Convention, Hugh Cornwell, Show of Hands, Kate Rusby, Glenn Tilbrook plus many more. He also provided session guitar for Magna Carta on their 2010 South African tour.

Together as Plumhall Michelle & Nick have supported Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls of The Wonder Stuff, Larkin Poe, Dan Donnelly & Jon Sevink, The South, Andy White, Henry Priestman, Chas & Dave, Graham Gouldman, Albert Lee and Peter Tork of The Monkees among many others. Peter Tork even invited them onstage to perform Daydream Believer with him. A very special moment!

Nick & Michelle are proud to endorse Tanglewood Guitars and use a wonderful Evolution series 12-string electro-acoustic guitar with a Fishman pickup, as well as a gorgeous rosewood reserve electro-acoustic 6-string, again with a Fishman pickup.

Press kit: a full EPK can be found at www.sonicbids.com/plumhall