Last year, Manchester’s Ferocious Folk Foursome 4Square released Fuel. A Featured Album of the Month on Folk Radio UK, Neil McFadyen who was keen to point out in his review that besides being a delightful album, Fuel was a perfect example of patient and careful growth resulting in a blossoming of creativity.
From today you can soak up that creativity still further as the band announce the release of their new EP called ‘X’ to celebrate their 10th year as a touring band. It is a collection of five tracks from earlier albums, updated and re-arranged to show how the band have progressed to their current form. The EP release coincides with a gig at The Harrison Bar in King’s Cross, London tonight (tickets here). Throughout the rest of March, the band will be taking their music to all corners of the Country as part of their ’10 year anniversary tour’ (see dates below). We have the pleasure in featuring their beautiful cover of Richard Thompson‘s Farewell. From Nicola Lyons gorgeous vocals and the band’s supporting three-part harmonies, the song’s sentiment is heightened still further through a moving instrumental break and sweeping arrangements. It contains all the ingredients that make 4Square stand out as a band at the top of their game. Needless to say, Farewell is also our Song of the Day.
Since their formation in a freezing farmhouse in 2006 in North Manchester, the band has released four full-length albums as well as their new EP. For the first seven years of their touring life, 4Square balanced education against gigging, with Nicola, Jim and Dan all studying music to a high level at University. Around the release of album number three – HEARTH & HOME – in October 2013, graduation had been completed and the band, along with its members all turned professional. In early 2014, the band had a line-up change with Michael adding his skills on the mandolin. All of the tracks on this EP were on previous albums that were released before Michael joined.
4Square’s trademark live show features the spectacle of Nicola Lyons’s simultaneous fiddle playing and clog dancing and virtuosic mandolin from Michael Giverin, galvanised by the driving sounds of Jim Molyneux’s piano and Dan Day’s percussion. The result is an infusion of folk, jazz, Latin, and any other musical style they feel the inclination to absorb. As well as formidable chops on their chosen instruments, singing plays a large part in any 4Square set with the lead parts shared between Jim, Dan and Nicola. When one is taking the lead, the others provide harmony creating a rich tapestry of gorgeous three-part harmonies, hand in hand with their instrumental prowess.
10 Year Anniversary Tour – March dates
3rd March Blue Sky Cafe
4th March Bishop Wilton Community Hall
5th March Bedlington Community Centre
8th March The Harrison, London
10th March The Prince Albert, Stroud
11th March Pebbles Tavern, Somerset
16th March Alexander’s, Chester
18th March The Globe, Glossop
For more information and the latest tour dates, please visit www.4squaremusic.co.uk