Thursday's concert marks the beginning of an exciting new partnership with Music Action International, with ticket proceeds going to fund their 'Everyday People' project, working with young refugees and asylum seekers in London.
Martha Tilston has grown up immersed in music. Her singer/songwriter father Steve Tilston and renowned folk singer Maggie Boyle (step-mother) were obvious influences on the young Martha. Musicians of the 70s folk-revival such as Bert Jansch, John Rebourn and John Martin would often gather and sing in her kitchen.
Her subsequent musical journey has taken her from the acoustic stage at Glastonbury to touring the far reaches of the globe. She has also earned a nomination for Best Newcomer at the BBC Folk Awards while releasing six albums and featuring on the Zero 7 album 'Yeah Ghost'.
Tilston began her musical tenure in folk duo Mouse (alongside Nick Marshall) and built up a dedicated word of mouth audience playing the London underground music scene, often sharing stages with the likes of Kate Tempest, Damien Rice amongst others. Her first lo-fi solo album released in 2003 then accompanied extensive touring with Damien Rice.
Her earthy compositions and delicate melodies swiftly attracted a sizeable fanbase and considerable record label interest, which she eschewed in favour of starting her own label, Squiggly Records. This led to 2004's 'Bimbling' album and the free to download 'Ropeswing' two years later, the latter of which was credited to Martha Tilston & The Woods.
A period with The Woods established a musical relationship with Matt Tweed that has endured to this day via the albums 'Milkmaids & Architects' (2007), 'Lucy & The Wolves (2010) and 'Machines of Love & Grace’(2012). In 2014 her highly acclaimed folk album 'The Sea' was named by BBC 6 Music’s Cerys Matthews as her album of the year.
With a voice like spider-webbed hollows and lyrics that inspire and captivate, Martha has built a large captive audience worldwide via her astute lyrical observations and mesmerisingsongs that range from stripped down acoustic arrangements to textural electronica with sparkling melodies and her beautiful crystal-clear vocals.
Folk trio TEYR evolved out of London’s thriving session scene, combining bothy ballads, focsle shanties, folk tunes and Irish poetry. Their unique blend of voices and instruments draws links between the many sounds of the Celtic and British isles. Featuring close vocal harmonies, fiddle, uilleann pipes, guitar, low whistle and accordion, and influenced by the great folk musicians who've come before, TEYR (‘3’ in the Cornish language) have honed their craft and thrive on weaving their diverse threads together.
Their acclaimed debut release Far From The Tree is a distillation of two years of playing, writing and wrangling. Recorded with the assistance of celebrated producer Gerry Diver (Lisa Knapp, Sam Lee, Tom Robinson), the “Excellent debut album” (The Independent) blends originals and reworked ballads, displaying the full breadth of the trio’s innovative and distinctive sound.
Described by Folk Radio UK as “High-energy brilliance”, James Gavin, Dominic Henderson and Tommie BlackRoff are three of London’s finest new breed of folk musician. After extensive touring in England, Scotland and Ireland, they look set to establish their name and unique musical mix on the world in the year to come.