The Old Church, Stoke Newington
Tuesday 13th June
Doors 7:30pm, Live Music 8:00pm
Advance tickets £16.50 £18 on the door
Two of the UK folk scene’s finest guitarists, are touring in support of their self-titled, second collaborative album, released in May on on Topic Records.
Originally to be recorded in 2020, “before the world made different plans,” the album was finally brought to life in February 2022 after the duo headed into Giant Wafer Studios, tucked away amongst the farms, rolling hills and silence of rural Mid-Wales. With very little rehearsal time, they recorded the entire album live, over three days with no edits or overdubs. As a result, this album is the sound of two men in conversation, yet speaking in one voice. Jim plays a six-string, Toby plays twelve-string but the sound they make is of a third entirely new and other-worldly instrument; vast, burnished, delicate, intricate, ancient, modern and utterly unique. It’s a record that, on first listen, you can hear as one single immersive, spiralling track, a long walk through a strange landscape where the new is familiar, the familiar utterly changed. The perfect place to start, then, is the tumbling album opener ‘Bright Edge Deep’ which beguiles and foxes with its shape-shifting elegance.
Ghedi explains that “‘Bright Edge Deep’ was taken from a Seamus Heaney poem ‘Digging’ and was the first track we wrote on this album. The nearly two year break we had from playing together because of the pandemic.” This is their second collaboration after 2018’s The Hawksworth Grove Sessions, the record which brought their sounds together for the first time. Jim Ghedi and Toby Hay are both prolific, praised and established artists in their own right. Hailing from South Yorkshire, Ghedi’s previous work has often been instrumental, exploring the natural world and his relationship to it, as seen on 2018’s A Hymn For Ancient Land but also developing into using his voice, songwriting and traditional material on his more recent album, In The Furrows Of Common Place. Toby Hay, hailing from the Cambrian mountains, professes likewise, that the landscape serves as eternal muse and the spiritual groundwork of his entrancing guitar playing which has dazzled critics and listeners alike. All of this makes their collaboration with the world’s oldest independent label and custodians of UK folk music, Topic Records, a natural home for this record.