A BROTHER and sister duo from Robin Hood’s Bay are to play a home town gig next month (April) before they embark on a national tour.
Marry Waterson and Oliver Knight – of the famous Waterson/Carthy folk dynasty have grown up immersed in traditional song.
The siblings have thrived on communal music making while developing highly original and distinctly English performance styles of their own.
Marry and Oliver have an intuitive partnership but it was a long time in gestation before the sudden explosion of beautiful, evocative, mysterious songs which have blossomed on their debut album The Days That Shaped Me, which was born of circumstance rather than design.
Marry’s singing had been on the back burner since she left the family farmhouse where the whole Waterson family then lived to pursue a career in graphic design, which escalated into sculpture, renovating houses and raising a family.
Oliver, meanwhile, had been working as a gardener, but his inventive input on the Once In A Blue Moon and A Bed Of Roses albums with his mother Lal, alerted the wider world to his skills and many of folk’s leading figures started beating a path to his Panda Sound studios in Robin Hood’s Bay to engage him as arranger, producer and sound engineer.
Their mother’s influence is self-evident – one of the tracks Angels Sing which is not only about Lal but includes some of her own lines, as does the song, Rosy.
Oliver said: “Marry doesn’t have a musical training or any grounding in how things should be done so there are no rules and that creates its own quirkiness – something that was also there with mum.”
And Marry added: “I just sing whatever comes into my head and Olly helps me structure.
“Songs are about personal experience, about childhood memories, love, death, the various things we all experience.”
Now signed to One Little Indian – the same label that Bjork is signed to – the pair release The Days That Shaped Me, their first album next month. It is already receiving excellent reviews including a four star review in the Johnston Press owned daily, The Scotsman.
Marry Waterson and Oliver Knight will perform live at Whitby Coliseum on Saturday 9 April at 8pm.
Tickets are priced £10 or £8 in advance from The Port Hole in Skinner Street by calling (01947) 603475 or from The Coliseum at www.musicportfestival.com