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4 Music

Successful musicians live in city

PERFORM: The Smugglers

THE Smugglers have played a large cross-section of major UK festivals (including Glas- tonbury, Cornbury, Cambridge Folk Festival, Secret Garden Party & Bestival), headlined festivals in Europe and sold out venues across the country al- ready this year. Now following their recent appearance live in sessions for both BBC 6Music and BBC Ra- dio2, the bods at the BBC have released the ‘road map to UK Country music’. The ‘info-graphic’ (available

on the Radio2 website) shows CC Smugglers not only along- side five of their peers in the UK Country music scene but also compares them to the Carter family, labelling them as New Traditionalists. The CC Smugglers stage show comes to The Yard, Cardiff on May 2. Visit for more details.

Band is set to impress


THE band, Pinkshinultrab- last, take their name from an Astrobrite album, an act who were, according to the band, instrumental in how they “re- searched spaces between am- bient, heavy guitar and pop music”. The spaces are what stand

out, the production creates a dream-like affair, while space to breathe and reflect on the beauty of the music is accom- modated. There is a sparseness to the album that in turn gives spa- ciousness, even expansiveness. The first single, Umi, was re- leased last October. The song is indicative of an album full of melodic gems. Tracks spirit you away in a blissful manner, while underpinned with a com- plexity that both beguiles and entrances. Catch the band at Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff on May 6.


Album is return to tradition

SCOTS Singer of the Year 2014 Emily Smith is back on tour throughout the UK in May and June. Having celebrated over a decade as one of Scottish music’s most distinctively sublime voices, Emily began a fresh chapter in her illustrious, award- winning, TV-appearing ca- reer with the launch of her fifth studio album Echoes in 2014. On Echoes, Emily returns

to her first love of tradition- al song. Her gift for finding a personal connection in these passed-down, anon-penned words is still at the heart of her craft. But this is a bold new phase in Emily’s music and with it comes what she describes as “a new Scottish sound”. Recorded over the space of

a year (interrupted by the ar- rival of a small person) Ech- oes expands the core group of musicians with whom she’s previously played by adding a guestlist of true greats. Joining multi-instrumen- talists Jamie McClennan and Matheu Watson, bassist Ross Hamilton and percussionist Signy Jakobsdottir are none other than Jerry Douglas, Aoife O’Donovan, Kris Drev- er, Tim Edey, Natalie Haas and Rory Butler. Together they’ve created an album with one foot planted firmly in Emily’s home of Dumfries and Galloway and the other in the unspoiled heartland of Nashville.

Echoes is unshakeably Scot-

tish but with farther, wider horizons. From remembered ballads like the murderyTwa Sisters and the mythical King Orfeo to contemporary but no less timeless songs such as Bill Caddick’s gorgeous John O’Dreams and Darrell Scott’s The Open Door, Emi- ly’s voice eases tired ears and lifts weary souls with its sim- ple beauty. Time has passed ridicu- lously fast since Emily was named BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year back in 2002. The accolades continued

as she won the USA Song- writing Competition in 2005, Scots Singer of the Year at the Scots Trad MusicAwards in 2008 and 2014, and she re- ceived two nominations in the 2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. In that time she’s toured

the world, thrilling audi- ences from Cambridge Folk Festival all the way down to the National Folk Festival in Australia, via Europe, Rus- sia, Canada and New Zea- land. Her face has been all over

the television thanks to BBC Four’s Transatlantic Ses- sions, BBC One’s Songs of Praise, Scotland’s Hogmanay Live,BBCUlster’s Santer and an exclusive performance for Sky Arts Channel. In 2013 Emily toured as part

of the Transatlantic Sessions extended family, singing


with the likes of Mary Chap- in Carpenter, Eric Bibb and Teddy Thompson – adding to an impressive list of onstage collaborators which also in- cludes Richard Thompson, Eddi Reader and Beth Neil- son Chapman. Her albums A Day Like

Today, A Different Life, Too Long Away, Traveller’s Joy and 2009’s sparkling take on

lesser known Robert Burns compositions Adoon Winding Nith (released as a duo with husband Jamie McClennan) established Emily as both an adroit interpreter of old songs and a dazzlingly ac- complished crafter of origi- nal material. In 2013 Emily released her best-of collection Ten Years (coming up with titles is harder than it looks) mark-

ing a journey that’s already seen her described by The Guardian as Scotland’s “most impressive young songwriter”. Emily visits St David’s

Hall, Cardiff on May 12 Tel 029 2087 8444 or visit.stdavid- for ticket details

Electronic artist lands Elton John support slot

ELTON John, undoubtedly one of the top-selling solo artists of all time, has an- nounced that very special guest Bright Light Bright Light will join him for his forthcoming live shows, in- cluding at Cardiff Motor- point Arena on Wednesday, June 10. Bright Light Bright Light is

STRONG SUPPORT: Bright Light Bright Light will be supporting Elton John (inset) on his current tour

the moniker of Rod Thomas, a Welsh-born, New York & London residing electronic- pop artist. Referred to as “completely irresistible” by Alexis Petridis of The Guardian and “A songwriter of extraordinary dexterity” by the Sunday Times Culture

with his dream-like and club friendly blend of music. “When I was growing up in

the Welsh Valleys, hearing Elton’s music on the radio, TV, in films, in shops and ca- fes, I always wondered what it would be like to travel the world and play music. I never dreamed that one day I’d be doing it with the same person who shaped so much of my musical landscape. He’s an inspiration – musically and as a person. Nobody else goes out of their way like he does to help new musicians. So many peo- ple owe their kickstart, or at the very least a lot of their op-

timism, to his tireless love of music, and getting to watch his set every night after I play is the best reward in the world!”

Undeniably one of the most acclaimed and adored art- ists of all time, Elton John’s spectacular stage shows are sought after by audiences worldwide. Since his career began in 1969 he has played more than 3,500 concerts in over 80 countries. Elton John with support

from Bright Light Bright Light 10th June Tickets are priced from £70.00 plus booking fee. Call the Box Office 029 20 22 44 88.

Follow us on Twitter @Argus_The Guide Friday, April 24, 2015

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