“With every record I’m getting closer to what I want to achieve and I think this is comfortably my best album to date.”
From the start, Blair Dunlop’s albums have enjoyed critical acclaim, with each one expanding his musical horizons, his audience and his prodigious songwriting gifts. Now, with the release of his fourth album, Notes From An Island, it’s obvious that he remains consumed by the urge to make music. “I’m kinda buzzin’,” is how he describes his enthusiasm for this album. “The initial reaction has been so amazing.”
Coming from a man still in his mid-20s, whose debut album, Blight & Blossom, won the coveted Horizon Award at the 2013 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, whose 2010 debut EP is now a collector’s item and who was declared the “vital bridge between Brit folk’s first and latest flowerings” by Q magazine, these are strong sentiments indeed.
Featuring close collaborations with Ed Harcourt, Dave Burn and Gita Langley, plus his long term band mates Fred Claridge and Jacob Stoney, ‘Notes From An Island’ sees the singer, songwriter and guitarist more than living up to that previous promise.
‘Blair is a true artist in his prime, as is wholly evident on this beautiful record. He has it all; a wry turn of phrase in his words, barbed & moving within a second, seriously demonic guitar skills that belie his youthful looks (curses under breath) & a voice like some sort of melancholy angel. But most of all you will hear just great songs. It’s been my honour to help him realise these sonic diamonds; I believe the world is his for the plundering!‘ Ed Harcourt
With its timely mix of socio-political insights, tender love tales and impressive virtuosic guitar playing, Notes From An Island is very much an album which reflects the age in which it has been created. Nevertheless, as with everything Blair does, it is fuelled by a desire to keep moving forwards, break down barriers and maintain the integrity which has established him as a favourite of not just a growing body of fans but of radio programmers and critics.
His guitar playing, always impressive, has taken another quantum leap, at least in part because of his love affair with his new Gretsch, on which he wrote most of the songs.
The album opens with Spices From The East, superficially a lovely song about a young couple cooking a meal together, but as is so often the case with Dunlop, there’s a sub-text for those who look closer. “There’s references to our colonial past, and how our control of the sea networks to the east mean that we can today go down to the supermarket and enjoy those spices from the east, as a result of violence. Also, the drum sound on that track is flippin’ massive, I love the kick drum.”
Feng Shui he describes as “my favourite sonically” and the first single, Sweet On You is “a happy medium between commerciality and authenticity. It’s the first single I’ve done that is 100% me. It has humour, references to the music I grew up loving, and it gives me a bit of a wry smile.”
Asked what hopes he has for this fourth album, he says, “Commercial success and money have never been my prime motivations but, if it goes platinum, I really won’t mind.” He’s already thinking about the next album, some of whose songs are already sketched out in a list he maintains on his phone, but before he gets to that he’s looking forward to his second Australian tour, some select gigs and festivals in the UK and a major tour in the autumn.
Blair Dunlop’s new album ” Notes From An Island” out May 2018
SUPPORT JACK CARTY
Jack Carty is an Australian Singer-Songwriter who has just released his 4th album (Hospital Hill) to rave reviews in the UK and Australia. Jack has now cemented his place as one of the Australia’s leading writer performers and is currently residing in London to build his loyal audience further afield.
Book a table for pre-concert dining
Acapela Studio provides pre-concert dining between 6.00pm and 7.30pm from our wood burning pizza oven. To view the current menu visit here.
Please purchase your concert tickets first before booking a table. We will not accept any table bookings that do not have a corresponding ticket purchase.
Then return to the event page to book your table, by selecting the date of your event, number of diners and time you require table. The times shown are the only vacancies left. Please complete your email and phone number as this is required to ensure your table is allocated. You will receive confirmation of your booking by email and text.
If on the date you have chosen no tables are available - no times will be shown and the booking system will revert you back to todays date - PLEASE ENSURE YOU BOOK THE CORRECT DATE!
PLEASE NOTE THE VENUE RELIES ON THE INCOME FROM DINING TO ENSURE WE CAN BOOK ALL THE GREAT ACTS PERFORMING.
Income from the provision of pizzas is very important to the venue and if you have booked a table it is a requirement that all people sat at tables order food - a salad alternative is available to pizzas. Please do ensure that all individuals will be ordering on your table - if this is not the case please cancel your table so others who are looking to dine can do so. Our apologies to raise this but recently we have had many tables (some very large) where less than 50% of those sat at tables have ordered food. Financially this is a real problem to the sustainability of the venue.
- All seating at tables must purchase a pizza - so please do not book a table if everyone is not eating.
- Please ensure that you arrive 10 minutes before the time slot allocated to order your pizzas prior to your booking time.
- Tables not seated within 15 minutes of the allocated time may be lost and allocated to other audience members wishing to order pizzas.
- If you wish to book a table for 6 or more please email email@example.com
Please note that all of our pizzas are made fresh to order and cooked in an authentic wood-fired oven. It may take up to 45 minutes to be served during busy periods.
IF YOU ARE UNABLE TO BOOK A TABLE YOU CAN STILL ORDER PIZZAS ON THE NIGHT (USUALLY ON BUSY NIGHTS NO LATER THAN 7.15PM) AND WE WILL SERVE THEM TO YOU WHEREVER YOU ARE SAT IN THE VENUE - IN A PIZZA BOX.