"a passionate, perceptive songwriter" Uncut 2008
"exceptionally subtle and melodic" Q 2008
"takes the heart to places few singers even know exist" WORD 2008
Karine Polwart draws from folk music’s long tradition while keeping pace with the ceaselessly changing times. Her talent for crafting unique, enduring melodies, her gift for saying just enough without overstating her case, the range and dynamism of her arrangements, all come together in songs of powerful contemporary relevance. She also has the purest and most approachable of singing voices, drawing the listener towards her in the same way one might lean towards a late night tale by the fireside.
Her songs deal with humanity in all its many guises: there is tenderness, triumph and sorrow, raised flags of rebellion and independence, flashes of anger at power abused and misused. Perhaps most frequently she deals in spare, unsentimental empathy, often with those who have been dealt the least playable hands in the game of life.
The results have rarely failed to strike a chord. Her debut album Faultlines won three awards at the 2005 BBC Folk Awards, including Best Album. Its follow up, Scribbled in Chalk (2006), contained “Daisy”, a gentle word to the wise to one of life’s givers and truth-tellers who can’t quite comprehend that “there are people in this world who don’t think like you do”. The song won Polwart another BBC Folk Award for Best Original Song in 2007.
But her achievements can’t simply be measured in terms of industry acclaim. Having studied politics and philosophy at university and later worked in the area of women’s and children’s rights, Polwart has always wanted her music to perform some useful social function. In that, too, she has succeeded time and time again.
“For me” says Polwart, “music is one of the most powerful ways of making sense of the world. It’s for celebrating, grieving, sharing, wondering. Nothing inspires me more than the realisation that any one of my songs means something to someone else”.
Karine tours most often as a trio with her brother Steven Polwart (acoustic and electric guitars, ukulele & vocals) and singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Inge Thomson (accordion, percussion, loops & vocals).
Her fifth studio album is due for release in Summer 2012.
2nd Oct 2014
BURY - THE MET
The Met Market Street Bury Greater Manchester BL9 0BW
PHONE: 0161 761 2216
3rd Oct 2014
GATESHEAD OLD TOWN HALL
GATESHEAD Old Town Hall West Street Gateshead NE8 1HE
4th Oct 2014
PEEBLES EASTGATE THEATRE
Eastgate Theatre & Arts Centre Eastgate Peebles EH45 8AD
PHONE: 01721 725 777
5th Oct 2014
SETTLE VICTORIA HALL
Victoria Hall Kirkgate Settle North Yorkshire BD24 9DZ
PHONE: 01729 825 718
15th Oct 2014
SOUTH PETHERTON - THE DAVID HALL
The David Hall Roundwell Street South Petherton TA13 5AE
16th Oct 2014
LONDON CECIL SHARP HOUSE
Cecil Sharp House 2 Regent's Park Road London
17th Oct 2014
HAILSHAM Pavilion George Street Hailsham BN27 1AE
18th Oct 2014
OXFORD WESLEY MEMORIAL CHURCH
Wesley Memorial Church New Inn Hall Street Oxford OX1 2DH
19th Oct 2014
NEW BRIGHTON FLORAL PAVILION
Floral Pavilion Marine Promenade New Brighton Wirral CH45 2JS
PHONE: 0151 666 0000
20th Oct 2014
PAISLEY ARTS CENTRE
Paisley Arts Centre New Street Paisley PA1 1EZ
PHONE: 0300 300 1210
1st Nov 2014
THE ABERFELDY FESTIVAL - ABERFELDY TOWN HALL
Aberfeldy Town Hall Crieff Road Aberfeldy Perthshire PH15 2EB
21st Nov 2014
LONDON - CUTTY SARK
Michael Edwards Studio Theatre Cutty Sark London
29th Nov 2014
GERMANY - KULTURHAUS LUDENSCHEID
Kulturhaus Lüdenscheid Freiherr-vom-Stein-Straße 9 58511 Ludenscheid GERMANY
PHONE: 02351 171299
31st Jan 2015
DUBLIN - TRADFEST
Tradfest St Michans Church Dublin
PHONE: +353 1 7030709