We continue with our series of guest posts from The Shee who over the coming weeks will introduce us to their nominated collaborators for their tenth anniversary Continuum project. This week Rachel Newton talks about her choice – Karine Polwart.
Rachel Newton talks about Karine Polwart
I’m Rachel Newton and I sing and play electroharp in The Shee. I mainly provide the bass lines in the band and my favourite thing is a big meaty traditional ballad with a good story.
I’ve been a fan of Karine Polwart‘s ever since I first heard her singing with the band Malinky. I listened to the songs ‘Whaur Dae Ye Lie’ and ‘The Dreadful End Of Marianna For Sorcery’ on repeat! Since then, I’ve been impressed and influenced by Karine’s ballad-style songs and by her more personal songwriting as well. Behind all of her material is so much thought, intelligence and honesty.
A couple of years ago, Karine asked me to fill in for her brother on tour with her trio while he was on paternity leave. I really enjoyed learning their music and felt an affinity with the way they built up a song arrangement. On the tour, I was so inspired by Karine and Inge [Thomson], not just as musicians, but as people. We had many long van conversations that I’ll never forget and they have both influenced me in so many ways. Having worked with Karine and spent time with her as a pal, I know that we share similar musical tastes and I really look forward to hearing her ideas for The Shee.
My favourite Shee gig was probably at Larmer Tree Festival a few years ago. The band were playing really well together and when we successfully pulled off a stop in the music at one point and leapt into another section, I remember seeing a man in the audience throw his hands up in the air with a look of such utter joy. For some reason, that memory has stuck with me. The warmth and enthusiasm from a crowd like that is one of the best feelings ever and with The Shee I’ve been fortunate to experience that many times. I’ll also never forget the mud… especially Shona walking through the mud in her tights and then having to put her boots back on. I think there’s video footage somewhere!
I’m very grateful for the 10 years I’ve spent with the band and am proud of the music we’ve made together. It’s the longest relationship any of us has ever been in and long may it continue!
For more information about the Celtic Connections Continuum launch event, where these original compositions will be performed by The Shee for the very first time, and to book tickets, please click here.
Photo Credit (main image) Louise Bichan