Folk Artists performing in the Music Room at Liverpool Phil in 2021
Folk and traditional music fans in Liverpool are in for a treat with a busy line-up of shows being programmed for the Music Room at the Philharmonic Hall this year.
Like theatre and festivals, live music and performance has been hard hit by the measures brought in to control the Coronavirus pandemic over the past 12 months.
Shows have been postponed, and then many of them postponed again. But there are still a host of musicians who are determined to bring some much-needed tuneful joy to live audiences in the city.
And while the main Philharmonic stage is due to welcome some major pop, rock and classical names, the Hope Street hall’s smaller venue has also got a striking, must-hear series of shows planned.
Here are five folk favourites who are due – Covid restrictions depending – to visit the Music Room between now and December.
Peggy Seeger with Calum MacColl – May 21
Folk royalty Peggy Seeger and her son Calum MacColl hope to be entertaining Liverpool audiences in the intimate surroundings of the Music Room after having to postpone their show – part of The First Farewell Tour - from May 2020.
The 85-year-old singer-songwriter, activist and muse of her late husband Ewan MacColl, will read from her award-winning memoir The First Time Ever, as well as performing some favourite songs with son Calum – a first-class musician in his own right.
Madison Violet – June 15
Juno-nominated Canadian singer-songwriters Lisa MacIsaac and Brenley MacEachern first met in Toronto in 1999 and have been making music together ever since.
Expect an evening of ‘heart-wrenching’ song-writing and luscious harmonies combined with the natural storytelling of folk, rhythms of Americana and catchy pop hooks.
Their other accolades include a Canadian Folk Music Award and the John Lennon Song-writing Grand Prize.
Siobhan Miller – September 28
Singer-songwriter Siobhan Miller was due to play at the Music Room this May but with ongoing uncertainty over pandemic restrictions she has, thankfully, found another date in her diary.
Four-times winner of best singer at the Scots Trad Music Awards, Miller is also a BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards winner and frequently performs at Celtic Connections.
She released her fourth album, All Is Not Forgotten, in 2020, signalling a return to her acoustic roots and combining traditional songs with original material.
Karine Polwart – October 10
Scottish songwriter, musician, theatre maker and storyteller – and seven times BBC Radio 2 Folk Artist winner – Karine Polwart comes to Hope Street in October.
The 50-year-old’s songs combine folk influences and myth with topics as diverse as Charles Darwin’s family life and the complexities of modern parenthood. She also sings traditional songs while her Scottish Songbook reimagines Scottish pop.
Polwart, who brings her trio to the Music Room, says: “For me, music is one of the most powerful ways of making sense of the world. It’s for celebrating, grieving, sharing, wondering.”
Skerryvore – November 21
It’s third time lucky for the eight-strong Skerryvore with this show rescheduled first from November 2020 and then from this April.
The award-winning Scottish band – whose latest single You & I is out now - offers a feel-good fusion of folk, trad, rock and Americana with bagpipes, accordion and fiddle and rhythms of guitar, bass and drums.