The British duo's fourth album has a strong thread of stories, settings and characters. It's a folk-pop concept album with some really catchy choruses that address conflicts personal, political, territorial, universal. The distinctive fiddle and guitar of Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts have been joined by a cracking rhythm section of double bassist Matt Downer and percussionist Mark Tucker, who also programmed some effective drum patterns. That mix of accomplished acoustic musicianship and subtle electronics works well on the likes of Jack O Lantern, Roberts' take on the origin of the Halloween tradition.
Multiple-award-nominees and a perennially stylish 'hot property' act, Katriona Gilmore & Jamie Roberts have latterly spent a whole year touring while at the same time writing a new batch of songs, which, it soon became apparent, tackle head-on the common theme of conflict (notably our personal dramas and internal struggles and tensions) to which they prove expert guides for the musical tourist.
“They can go home and tell their friends, ‘I was on the border and I saw a battle.’” Marom, retired Colonel, Israel Defence Forces (now working in tourism). The Atlantic: July 2014
‘Conflict Tourism’, the fourth album from Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts is due for release on 18 September 2015 and it’s something so powerful that to miss it would be verging on criminal.From the outset, Gilmore & Roberts created a sound that became and remains unquestionably their own. Folk in its many gilmour and roberts conflict tourism 001guises has many exponents that blaze unique paths through the genre, folk in this case has a duo that writes songs with a distinctive edge, the combination of instruments and voices making each song make a hard-hitting statement.
Well, it has to be the oldest building I’ve ever seen a gig in; The Blue Boar in Maldon is about 650 years old and I think The Stones played the opening night. This time it’s folk duo Gilmore and Roberts bringing their blend of fascinating narratives, powerful vocals and constantly changing instrumental arrangements to rural Essex. The Blue Boar gig is the second night of their UK tour in support of the new album “Conflict Tourism”, which was reviewed here a couple of weeks ago, and it’s obvious that after a few weeks in Europe, Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts are up to speed and raring to go.
On their third album as a duo, Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts take English folk and scuff it up with indie rock drama, adding drums, bass and dobro to the mix. Traditional folk is going through a rare transitional makeover, and as part of a new generation of performers orbiting around the revived Albion Band, Gilmore & Roberts are at the forefront.
I’m sat in a cow barn in Dorset with Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts sat opposite. The barn is transformed into a stage every year for the intimate Purbeck Folk Festival at which Gilmore and Roberts are to play along with running a fiddle and guitar workshop. Jamie’s face sparks into a big grin as he completes the final tune of their set for a Folk Radio UK session (coming this week) beating the sound check about to kick off behind us with the Old Dance School.