Time travellers

Early music meets folk. From my review of the Emily Askew Band’s date in Clerkenwell:

Perhaps some things never change. Miri It Is, one of the songs in Emily Askew’s opening set, written in Middle English, dates from the 13th century yet deals with a topic that modern audiences will have no difficulty understanding: the vagaries of the weather. It didn’t take a great leap of the imagination to picture ourselves huddled over a fire in some hostelry in ye olde London.

The quartet’s programme carried us much farther afield, from France to Germany, Spain and Portugal, blending wistful introspection with, occasionally, the raw energy of a ceilidh. Askew, as some readers may remember, was part of the Elizabethan Session, a glorious meeting of past and present that yielded one of the outstanding concerts and recordings of 2014. Anyone who was present at the Hatfield House premiere will cherish the memory of the petite musician corralling her arsenal of period instruments.

What makes her new project so intriguing is the instinctive approach it takes to bridging the gap between folk and early music. Her group, which includes another versatile soloist in John Dipper, deserves to catch the ear of non-folkies who have always made a point of keeping a couple of David Munrow albums in their collection.

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Chief theatre critic for The Times. Twitter: CliveDavisUK Facebook: www.facebook.com/clive.davis.10 Instagram: clivephotos
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