Tilston & Lowe

Thu 28th March, 2019
8:00 pm - 10:30 pm (Doors: 7:30pm)
Tilston & Lowe

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“(Steve Tilston)… is a fine guitarist and lyricist… his (most recent solo album ‘Truth To Tell’)… is full of beautifully delivered, personally touched compositions” (Jude Rogers, The Guardian)

“(Jez Lowe) … there is a deep integrity embedded in this album (‘The Ballad Beyond’) and the man who wrote them” (Fatea)

“(Steve and Jez together)… A masterclass in songwriting from two of the folk world’s finest” (The Living Tradition)

“They work so well together – two of our best songwriters and singers, understanding and enriching each other’s songs. The audience loved them” (Mike Harding, Folk DJ/podcaster)

STEVE TILSTON and JEZ LOWE are two of the UK’s finest singers, songwriters and guitarists. They have performed together successfully on previous occasions but this is the first time they have written songs together, a radical change for two such singular artists. As Steve says: “Initially we were both wary of the process of co-writing, as for the most part, we are both firmly entrenched in a solitary approach to the creative process. That said, once we had a go at one song, and were pleasantly surprised by the results, we found ourselves on a bit of a roll and out came an album’s worth of material”. That album is the upcoming brand new release ‘The Janus Game’. The title takes its name from the ancient Roman god, Janus, the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, doorways, passages, and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, on the same body but pointing in opposite directions, since he looks to the future and to the past. Steve and Jez’s music does that too, looking back at the past to extract the best ideas but to the future to let the music develop anew.

Biographical backgrounds

STEVE TILSTON released his début album An Acoustic Confusion on the Village Thing label in 1972. The Melody Maker newspaper made it Album of the Month and Rod Stewart liked it enough to order a box of the albums to give to his friends. In the intervening decades, Steve has recorded numerous albums for such labels as Transatlantic, Cornucopia, Flying Fish, Fellside, Run River and Hubris. His songs have been recorded by the likes of Fairport Convention, Dolores Keane, The House Band, Peter Bellamy, North Cregg, Bob Fox and John Wright. His first novel, All for Poor Jack, an historical tale set in Bristol and the “New World”, was published by Isthmus Books.

Last year, he became the subject of a media frenzy when a letter sent to him by John Lennon, back in the early 1970s and not received until forty years later, was used as the basis for the acclaimed Hollywood movie Danny Collins with Al Pacino playing the ‘Steve Tilston character’. Steve found himself on the red carpet in London with Pacino and sharing The One Show (BBC 1 TV) as DJ Andy Kershaw interviewed them both about the Lennon letter and the movie. Several excellent features in such major newspapers as The Guardian, Daily Mirror and the Express, and radio interviews with the likes of Mark Radcliffe for The Folk Show (BBC Radio 2) have not only discussed this but also looked at Steve’s excellent musical career since his first album back in 1972.

In October 2011, Steve performed “Oil & Water” from his album ‘The Reckoning’ on ‘Later… With Jools Holland; (BBC TV). He was subsequently interviewed by presenter Jools “at the piano” and the pair paid homage to the late Bert Jansch who had died earlier in the month. In February 2012, the title track from ‘The Reckoning’ was awarded Best Original Song at the BBC Folk Awards (shared with Bella Hardy who polled equal votes).

JEZ LOWE is an English folk singer-songwriter. Lowe was born and raised in County Durham, in a family with Irish roots. He is known primarily for his compositions dealing with daily life in North-East England, particularly in his hometown of Easington Colliery.

A double nomination in the 2015 BBC Folk Awards – for best singer and best new song – was a timely reminder of Jez Lowe’s standing in the UK folk and acoustic music scene. Not only he is one of the busiest live performers in the country, but his songs are among the most widely sung by other performers, whether by long-established acts like Fairport Convention, The Dubliners and Bob Fox, or by the new breed of stars like The Unthanks, The Young Uns and The Duhks.

Jez’s own long-established band The Bad Pennies (featuring Kate Bramley, Andy May and David De La Haye) continue to attract a huge following, and his other collaborations with The Pitmen Poets (with Billy Mitchell, Bob Fox and Benny Graham), The Broonzies (alongside fellow-veterans Maggie Holland, Chris Parkinson and Roger Wilson), Men at Words (with James Keelaghan and Archie Fisher), the BBC Radio Ballads and with fellow-songwriter Steve Tilston, show a willingness to push boundaries and venture boldly into pastures fresh.