posted March 29th, 2018

What News is Alasdair Roberts' fourth album focused exclusively on the performance of traditional songs, all of which aim to bring the auld songs forward, but also to re-imagine them for modern listeners. What News features David McGuinness on pianofortes and fortepianos of various vintages (plus the odd dulcitone) and Amble Skuse providing electronic embellishments, while Alasdair sets the guitar aside (with one or two exceptions) to focus on his singing. This is in part to allow the unique qualities of David and Amble's playing to transform the songs, as well as to focus his energies on the essential talents of the vocalist, which is sometimes the only instrument needed in the singing of such songs. "The Fair Flower of Northumberland" is one such Scottish ballad - based on certain Polish, Scandinavian and German songs and brought forth into this millennium via our intrepid band of collaborators!

The video for "Fair Flower of Northumberland" was filmed within the historic confines of the University of Glasgow (where David had the opportunity to play the well-tempered and aged pianos he plays on the record) and features performance artist Sgàire Wood, whose elaborate costume, makeup and movements provide a ruminative dimension to the song itself! Whimsical and ethereal with a stream of breathless moments, "The Fair Flower of Northumberland" shines as one of Alasdair's finest moments - along with David, Amble and Sgàire. Watch it, why not? Then catch Alasdair at the shows below:


Apr. 14 The Wanstead Tap in London, UK (Solo)    
Apr. 21 Nalen in Stockholm, Sweden    
With Current 93 (as part of Current 93 and solo set)
May 5 High Forest Community Centre in Sinderhope, UK (Solo)
Sept. 14 Campfire Club in London, UK (Solo)

Artists in this story: Alasdair Roberts