Observations: Canal desires for folk duo
Friday 25 September 2009
"Mystery Train'', "Route 66" and "Eight Miles High" – travel by almost every conceivable means has long had a pull on songwriters' imaginations. One exception seems to have been the leisurely, anachronistic narrowboat, until, that is, an unlikely duo set out to navigate a canal, compose music inspired by their journey and perform en route.
John Burton, aka Leafcutter John, is an idiosyncratic artist working not only as a folktronica pioneer, but also as a member of Mercury-shortlisted jazz outfit Polar Bear. Folk star Lisa Knapp is an exemplary fiddle player (among other instruments) and spellbinding vocalist. They would probably both agree, though, the star of their project is the Chiswick, a lovingly restored 1930s canal boat.
Together, Burton and Knapp are touring the Grand Union waterway between London and Birmingham, wherever possible using their craft as a floating stage with a specially built platform for their group. They take in a wide variety of surroundings along the way: Hatton Locks is one of the leafier, more unspoilt locales of Warwickshire, while they finish up outside the Flapper & Firkin. The pub is right in Brum's centre, with views of the flight of locks known as Farmer's Bridge.
The pair have unearthed boat songs from folk resource the Vaughan Williams Library, at Cecil Sharp House, and sampled sounds from today's waterway – Burton has fashioned his own hydrophone to record underwater noises. "Water music" is about to get a strange new meaning.
Canal Music play Hatton Locks, 27 September, and Birmingham, 30 September
film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 2 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Rashida Jones speaks out against male-centric porn saying 'women should have sex and feel good about it'
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
Hard line on immigration could cost Tories the election