Kathryn Tickell – Northumbrian Voices

I was attending the Apex for an unrelated purpose the night Kathryn Tickell was due to perform. To give the complete picture, I knew she was in concert on the night but a question I had raised about photography had gone unanswered and so I had assumed my offer had had not been received or it was not of interest.

Kathryn Tickell at the Apex Bury St. EdmundsKathryn Tickell at the Apex Bury St. EdmundsKathryn Tickell at the Apex Bury St. EdmundsKathryn Tickell at the Apex Bury St. EdmundsKathryn Tickell at the Apex Bury St. EdmundsKathryn Tickell at the Apex Bury St. EdmundsKathryn Tickell at the Apex Bury St. EdmundsKathryn Tickell at the Apex Bury St. EdmundsKathryn Tickell at the Apex Bury St. EdmundsKathryn Tickell at the Apex Bury St. EdmundsKathryn Tickell at the Apex Bury St. EdmundsKathryn Tickell at the Apex Bury St. Edmunds
Well, I was there… and as the hour approached, I had finished the earlier task and could see members of the local organisers of the concert had begun to arrive. “Nothing ventured” I thought so I approached a member of the team and asked about photography. “Oh yes, please!” came the reply… I was surprised and seriously happy about the prospect of another gig.

I had, more in hope than anything else, brought the necessary gear with me so I was ready in plenty of time. I remembered there was some literature about the concert on a table in the foyer.. The performance had been given an evocative name: “Northumbrian Voices”. I was intrigued – enough to do a spot of digging to see what I could find on the net. Kathryn Tickell’s website added real substance to the title – there would be music combined with tales going back over three generations.

I went into the auditorium and looked at the stage. Places for 6 including, on the extreme right, an easy chair that seemed a little out of place.. Soon enough the concert organiser walked on and Kathryn Tickell was introduced. The first onto the stage however, was a tall man with long, flowing white hair… As it turned out, this was Kathryn’s father, Mike. Five others walked on and as Mike settled down onto the chair, the others launched into their first melody.

Of the five musicians, three were fiddle players (including Kathryn) one guitarist and one accordion player. Kathryn would alternate between fiddle and the Northumbrian Pipes – an instrument that produces a wonderfully soft sound and should not to be confused with the more strident sound of the pipes found north of the border…

Only a few days before, I had photographed Feast of Fiddles but while the fiddle featured prominently in both bands, the experience was very different. With FoF, there was an energy.. a sound that jazzed the blood. Here, the performance was altogether very different and that connected in a very different way. The melodies held all kinds of tempos and moods – uplifting in one moment and casting a more melancholic shade the next.

It was all beautifully tied together by the narrative. This was why Mike was there – to act as the story teller although all the band related elements of a tale from time to time. One in particular holds in my memory.. about the Kielder Valley. It is about the flooding of that place and how it affected the lives of the folk that lived and worked there. Beyond that, I’ll say no more – half the magic in the tale is how Kathryn relates it. The stories were of loss and hardship but also humour. All in perfect measure and I have to say that for a southerner at least, the native accent deepened the whole experience.

As for the photography, there was plenty of deep, deep shades of blue and red and bright yellow in the lighting that made post processing a challenge but I hope the results will speak for themselves.

If you want to find out more about Kathryn and her music: Kathryn Tickell

Wandering River provides professional photography and videography services. Find out how Steve can help you – view his portfolios or contact him for more information

If you enjoyed this article, please share it!
Article posted in Cultural and tagged , , . On

2 Comments

  1. Steve Stoddart December 8, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    It can be a pain trying to find what you are looking for on the ‘net… So I am very glad to read any ‘diversion’ to Wandering River was one you have enjoyed 🙂 I hope any further visits prove no less engaging…

  2. Annya Stoddart November 17, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    I really like how the characters of the different players come through, particularly the black and white one of Kathryn’s Dad.

Add your comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>