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5th Jul, 2022

Take your finger out of your ear, this is 21st Century Urban Folk at Artrix

Ross Crawford 24th Nov, 2017

HIGH energy folk music forged in the UK’s Second City will be taking to the Artrix stage this Friday, November 24.

However be warned – Dan Walsh, Paloma Trigás, Tom Chapman and Joe Broughton of the Urban Folk Quartet aren’t your traditional finger in the ear folkies.

Much of their sound is self-penned, although percussionist Tom Chapman admits they lean on the folk vaults when the occasion demands it.

“We love traditional music, but it’s not really us,” he said.

“We play what we feel is our folk music – we’ve gigged all over the place, we listen to a lot of music, and being based in Birmingham with all its influences has a huge impact.”

They’re all cutting edge musicians too – Dan, on banjo, is a nominated folk awardee, Paloma, from Galicia in North West Spain, has played fiddle with the likes of folk luminaries The Chieftains, Altan and Sharon Shannon as well as the biggest trad star in Spain, Carlos Nunez.

Tom is widely regarded as the UK’s number one cajon or beatbox player, while the mighty Joe Broughton, fiddle player, producer, arranger and Fairport Convention and Albion Band veteran is the man who brought them all together.

And it all began at Birmingham’s internationally regarded school of classical music, the Conservatoire.

“Paloma and I were studying at Birmingham Conservatoire and both Joe and Frank Moon, our original fourth member, had been there together, in fact Joe still teaches there.

“He runs the Conservatoire Folk Ensemble which is open to anyone with any instrument and last year it celebrated its 20th anniversary,” said Tom.

“Newcastle does a folk degree but Birmingham Conservatoire is unique in what it offers students.”

From such an unlikely background blossomed the Urban Folk Quartet.

“We’ve all played at the Artrix with different bands, and we’ve all been there to see gigs, but this is the first time we’ll have played there,” said Tom.

“We’re really looking forward to it, we know the venue and it’s going to be a great night of high energy music.”

The Urban Folk Quartet plated the Artrix in Bromsgrove on Friday, November 24 at 8pm. Tickets are £14/£12 on 01527 577330 or visit http://www.artrix.co.uk/.

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