Next week, 12 incredible artists from Britain’s folk and world music scene will be touring as part of Band of Burns. There first stop is Union Chapel in London, on 23 January, with additional dates in Glasgow, Dumfries, and Bristol.
This unique collaboration includes Dila Vardar of Dila V and The Oddbeats fame, as well as members of such prestigious groups as The Breath and The Langan Band, and 2019 BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the year Ríoghnach Connolly, collectively creating the “powerful and compelling sounds of Folk and World music”.
They have come together to perform a truly distinct show, celebrating the life, works and philosophies of eighteenth century Scottish poet Robert Burns, who championed equality, social justice and the power of love, values which remain as relevant in today’s troubled times as they were 250 years ago.
The birth of the Band of Burns came after several years of one-off Burns Night gigs in London’s famous Wilton’s Music Hall. The team behind the band – musicians Alastair Caplinand Dila Vardar– put together a more permanent group of musicians in order to expand the scope of the project. Thus, Band of Burns was born.
Bringing elements of the musical traditions of their homelands – Scotland, Ireland, England, Wales, and Turkey. According to the band’s press statement, “the final selection of the 12 musicians was an easy choice to make: all had played together at some point in the past, all had shared the highest level of mutual respect for each other’s musical skill, and all had a deep regard for the works of Robert Burns.”
This tightly-knit ensemble of musicians all “shine bright in their own right, with a string of awards and an admirable list of previous shows”.
After the success of their debut album ‘Live at Union Chapel’ the band released their first studio album ‘The Thread’ in Autumn 2019. Recorded by the 12 members of the band in Watercolour Studios last year, The Thread is a true representation of the band’s international influences, and their poetic endeavour to interpret the works and philosophies of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns.
Since their inaugural concert at Union Chapel in 2017, members of the band have always held the venue dearly in their hearts. The perfect acoustics and stunning beauty of the building itself make it the perfect venue for the band’s return to London for the opening date of their four-stop national tour.
Dila Vardar sings with Band of Burns at Union Chapel in 2017
For those going to see Band of Burns, expect a night of stunning music that flits from the reflective to the raucous. Enjoy!
Title: Band of Burns Jan 2020 Tour – London – Union Chapel
Date: Thursday 23 January 2020
Time: 7pm to 11pm
Venue: Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, Islington, London, N1 2UN
Admission: £25, as well as special packages at £45 + £60 that include vinyl editions of The Thread.10% of proceeds from this event will go towards Music Action International, which uses music and creativity to overcome the effects of war-related trauma. More info here.
Tickets available via Eventbrite.
Main photo, top (L-R): Mark Radcliffe, Dila Vardar and Alastair Caplin at BBC Radio 2, 16 Jan 20. Photo © Facebook/Dila Vardar