Back to school for Montrose Folk Club

Old Dance School.
Old Dance School.

The Old Dance School will be the guests at Montrose Folk Club on Thursday, May 8 at the Links Hotel, Mid Links, Montrose.

The Old Dance School is an innovative young seven-member folk band who have just released their first studio album, ‘Chasing the Light’.

Championed by Bob Harris of BBC Radio 2, the provocative songs of the band and their expansive cinematic sound have received plaudits throughout the UK.

The sound of the band combines flavours of folk, classical, electronica and jazz, one minute rip-roaring, the next beautifully delicate.

Duelling fiddles, soaring brass crescendos, foot-stomping grooves and ambitious arrangements make up their trademark sound.

The members of the band are Robin Beatty on guitar and vocals, Helen Lancaster on violin and viola, Samantha Norman on violin, Jim Molyneux on drums, accordion and vocals, Aaron Diaz, who plays trumpet and electronic instruments, Laura Carter on woodwind and vocals and double bassist, Adam Jarvis.

Originally from the Peak District of Derbyshire, leader and guitarist Robin Beatty has been described by National Geographic Magazine (how many musicians get to quote that in their promotional blurb) as “the Nick Drake of the mountain world”.

Whatever that means, Robin Beatty did appear at the World Environment Concert at Camden Palace, has composed numerous scores for nature films, listens to a lot of jazz and Scandinavian music and lists jazzers, Bill Frisell and Ian Carr, as his primary guitar heroes.

The rest of the band have similarly disparate tastes and backgrounds.

Violinist/viola player, Helen Lancaster, studied with the great Israeli musician, Rivka Golani, and has many awards for her work with the Nero String Quartet. Samantha Norman spends much of her time in the pit at the Royal Shakespeare Company; trumpeter, Aaron Diaz, has played with endless jazz/fusion outfits, including the legendary Destroyers; singer/whistle player, Laura Carter was tutored by William Lyons, director of the early music group, The Dufay Collective; and double bass player, Adam Jarvis, is also a member of pop trio, Buzzard Lope.

The one thing that the founder members of the band have in common is that they all studied at Birmingham Conservatoire in 2006, when they sat in the garden of Betty Fox School of Ballet, discussing their mutual interest in traditional music forms and decided to form a band.

They named the band as The Old Dance School, in reference to the building where they were sitting at the time.

The Old Dance School are appearing at Montrose Folk Club as part of their Scottish tour, during which all the other dates are in much larger venues and with much higher ticket prices.

The appearance of The Old Dance School at Montrose Folk Club is a great opportunity for everyone in Angus who enjoys inventive and exciting music and song to hear a band who would not normally play in Angus. Everyone is welcome. The doors at the Links Hotel will be open at 7.30 pm with The Old Dance School on stage at 8 p.m.

The club meets every fortnight at the Links Hotel. However, it is taking a break on Thursday, May 22 on account of the Montrose Music Festival.

The next gig will be on Thursday, June 5.

The club enjoys a relaxed atmosphere with members of the audience being given the opportunity to take the floor for their own spot. This gives local talent the chance to shine.