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At the heart of English folk
Gilmore & Roberts

Gilmore & Roberts review

A review of Gilmore & Roberts 26 October 2016 gig by Aaron Cuthbertson, EFDSS Youth Forum member

Gilmore Roberts is described as a contemporary folk/acoustic duo, which, while accurate, doesn’t even begin to describe their unique sound. The concert launched by diving straight into the first song; it was a strong start to say the least. Katriona introduced the show briefly over the music, before the first two songs continued. Between songs there were plenty of jokes and interesting stories, (mostly while they tuned their instruments of course) and it never felt like there was a lull in the concert. 

The songs themselves felt folky at heart, and the lyrics certainly drew on a lot of folk music for inspiration, but there were plenty of more modern overtones to the music as well. Jamie and Katriona talked to me about their influences, citing musicians such as Nancy Kerr and American roots music, as well as multiple rock groups. This comes through in their music; many songs have a very strong drive, and the connection between the two of them performing is incredibly intense to watch. That said, the entire concert felt very personal, and many songs drew from their own experiences. One song in particular was performed completely unplugged, and it felt like they were completely opening themselves up to the audience. 

Their songs all have a common theme: weird but brilliant inspirations. From Doctor James-a woman disguised as a man who was the 1st to perform a successful C-section-to an episode of American Horror Story concerning a nun and a few other things I don’t think I’m allowed to mention in this article, the premises for their songs usually shouldn’t work, but somehow manage to every time. My personal favourite is the fantastic The Stealing Arm; it’s a wonderfully silly premise (a war veteran who loses an arm, which is replaced by one from a thief) with some clever lyrics, a catchy chorus and the best guitar riff you’ve heard since before guitars were invented. 

Find out more about the Youth Forum


National Youth Folk Ensemble

National Youth Folk Ensemble


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