Tramlines 2017: Yorkston/Thorne/Khan @ Folk Forest


Folk Forest, Saturday

It was nothing more than a chance backstage encounter between these three – James Yorkston, Jon Thorne and Suhail Yusuf Khan – that led to this cultural and instrumental cross-pollination. The sound they make is unusual, as you might predict from the combination of double bass, acoustic guitar and the sarangi. The sarangi? Yes I know, I’d never heard of it either, let alone seen one.

It’s a sort of sitar but smaller and you bow rather like a violin, so perhaps now the scene is set. The Folk Forest was well into its Saturday afternoon reverie by the time the three of them strode on stage and impressed the crowd with some highly original music. The instrumental opener was dominated by the swirling and hypnotic sound of the sarangi, but the more gentle ballads were given greater depth by the bed of sound that only this unusual combination of instruments could give.

Just about the last artist I would have expected to hear covered in their set was Ivor Cutler. It delighted those of us who are fans of the much missed poet/musician, and possibly even converted those who heard of him for the first time. Folk Forest, we continue to salute your commitment to bring the folks of Hunters’ Bar something special.

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