I once found my daughter sitting forlornly on her bed. When I asked her what the matter was, she burst into tears, saying ‘I just know I’ll never become a Princess. Not like in my books’. Turns out that, at the age of four or so, she had come to the conclusion that as I wasn’t a member of Royalty, at least as far as we were aware, then she wouldn’t ever have the opportunity to mix in the vicinity of (handsome, presumably) Princes – you know Great Balls, and Tall Towers and things like that, and so her life as an ordinary girl had begun. Although it was no consolation to her at the time, I told her that as she grew older she would get other dreams and hopes, and anyway, for every Handsome Prince there was probably a Woodcutter that would suffice (I’m not sure if that last bit helped).
I should have her the story of Katherine Blamire and Jessica Davies, who as best friends at school, dreamed of escaping their hometown and driving across America, the place of their dreams. This was further fuelled by the school choir, Jessica’s mothers record collection filled with classics such as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and the discovery of the rich tradition of folk music from their home Island, they set off on a journey that has ended with the Smoke Fairies.
Fast forward to the present, and the duo have lived in New Orleans (as well as Vancouver) recorded with both Jack White and Richard Hawley, and released one of the albums of 2011 in ‘Through Low Light and Trees.’
The pair are releasing a two-cd set ‘Ghosts’ on September 23rd. It’s a retrospective of what the girls have achieved so far. The first cd contains their early studio sessions from back in 2007-8, their debut single Living With Ghosts (the one that fist attracted Jack White, who insisted on their coming to Nashville to record for his Third Man Records label) as well as the Frozen Heart EP, and the single Sunshine. The second cd is tracks that were either only ever available at gigs, or never released at all.
From that second cd. the band have leaked the track Good Man. It’s all the hallmark of the girls output. These dark lyrics, and tension filled atmospheric music, defined by their harmonies, and this intoxicating picked slide guitar, and droney accompaniment. It’s both lovely and unsettling at the same time.
The girls are touring the release of GHosts in October in the UK, with support coming from US pioneers of ‘Cello-Rock’ (yes, I said Cello -Rock….what of it?) Rasputina.
So, turns out dreams do come true. I’ll have a word….
OCTOBER TOUR DATES
18 – MANCHESTER – ST. PHILIP’S CHURCH – £9
19 – LEEDS – LCM CONCERT HALL – £9
21 – BRISTOL – COLSTON HALL 2 – £9
22 – GUILDFORD – HOLY TRINITY CHURCH – £10
23 – LONDON – ST. PANCRAS OLD CHURCH – £12