Thu 8th July, 20218:00 pm - 10:30 pm (Doors: 7:30pm)
Mark Harrison (National + 12-string guitars/vocals) with Charles Benfield (double bass)
There is no one in music quite like Mark Harrison. He is widely considered one of the most original and interesting artists currently operating in the UK. His highly individual, all-original music goes down very well with audiences of all kinds, and it has taken him to some of the top venues and festivals in the UK, attracting acclaim wherever he goes. Recent appearances on BBC Radio 2, as guest on Cerys Matthews’s show and on Anneka Rice’s Pick Of The Week show, have further added to his growing reputation.
Described at BBC Radio 2 as ‘quirky’ and an artist who ‘makes you think afresh’, and by one eminent reviewer as ‘approaching national treasure status’, Mark is a totally original songwriter, a stunning guitarist, and a master storyteller. Mark’s live shows are well-known not only for the music but also for his introductions and explanations of the songs, and audiences frequently comment on how big a part these play in their enjoyment of the shows. Delivered in a manner often described as ‘wry’ and ‘dry’, these mark him out even more as a unique artist.
Mark is a songster, and his songs cover all manner of non-standard subjects. With catchy tunes, lyrics than intrigue and engage, and striking rhythms, they make you smile, think and move. He takes elements of roots music, including folk, blues and gospel, to create something new that is very much his own genre. Each song is a snapshot of life or has a story to tell, like a 3-minute film or novel.
A thrilling, rhythmic, finger-picker and slide player, with a very distinctive style. Mark tours extensively. He has appeared at top festivals such as Celtic Connections, Bearded Theory, The Great British Folk Festival, Lakefest and Jazz FM Love Supreme and at prestigious venues all over the UK. He has released six albums which have been unanimously acclaimed across a wide range of areas of the music world, receiving a very great deal of airplay and highly enthusiastic reviews in the UK, Europe and the US.
Here are a few of the things that have been said about Mark and his music:
‘really excellent … he takes very real things, normal things that happen in life, and he writes about them in a way that makes you think afresh about them’ (Paul Jones, BBC Radio 2)
‘totally and absolutely original’ (Mike Harding)
‘Mark Harrison keeps getting better‘ (Classic Rock Magazine)
‘innovative …… if Top Of The Pops was still around, he might well be on it’ (Jazz FM)
‘The more I listen to Mark Harrison, the more I admire the man. He’s a fantastic musician, he’s got a great voice and what a songwriter! He’s kind of reinvented the blues in this country. What a glorious sound he makes’ (Frank Hennessey, BBC Radio 2)
‘the playing is of the sort of standard that most players take years to fail to achieve…… He is a unique musician, and I really don’t think that there is a musician that can hold a candle to him at this time’ (Music News)
‘fresh as morning sunshine and as sharp as a well-honed razor’ (Folkwords)
‘singular lyrics …an original take on song writing’ (Blues in Britain)
‘he has a wonderful ability to take unexpected subjects, twist and tune them up with humour, innovation and downright originality’ (Cashbox Canada/Elmore Magazine US)