Sunday 28 October 2018, 7.30pm
“Folk moves into a new era with Cath and Phil. Their combination of earthiness and grit, raw yet heartfelt and beautiful singing and immaculate playing makes this one of the most exciting and most moving albums I’ve heard in a long while.” – Fiona Talkington, ‘Late Junction’, BBC Radio 3
“United Bible Studies have honed an original and at times unmistakable sound in their prolific recording history… full of natural grandeur and musical inventiveness.” – Folk Radio
Cath & Phil Tyler play Anglo-American folk music using guitar, banjo, voice and fiddle. Cath was a member of the band Cordelia’s Dad in the 1990s when she lived in Massachusetts, USA. Phil, from Newcastle upon Tyne has played in various folk, rock and ceilidh bands for many years. Coming together musically through a shared love of traditional narrative song, full voiced sacred harp singing and sparse mountain banjo, they have performed on stages as diverse as the Royal Opera House in London and a dank tower in the old city walls of Newcastle. Taking a more minimal approach to their material than some, they have been described as ‘one of the most compelling musical partnerships on the scene’, their music being ‘a highly concentrated and intimate musical experience that penetrates to the very rawest essence of folktradition’.
For more than 15 years United Bible Studies’ folk-rooted sound has spanned spectral trad, krautrock-influenced improv and cosmic drones in a restless quest from atmospheric innerspace deep-dives to shamanic explorations of the outer wyrd.
Over 200 people have performed as members of the amorphous outfit since its inception in 2001, with the current performing roster including Alison O’Donnell from legendary 1970s Dublin psych-folk group Mellow Candle, Dom Cooper ex Owl Service, Matt Leivers of Awkward Formats, and Irish underground mainstay David Colohan of Raising Holy Sparks.
Hailed as ‘musicians who tackle folk in the best way possible; by taking the past, revering it and then injecting a modern perspective’ (Dusted) and ‘a mesmerising group sound, the sense of journey is epic on many levels’ (The Wire), United Bible Studies are always 'compelling, expectation confounding’ (fRoots Magazine) and ‘one of Europe’s finest when it comes to free folk’ (Evening Of Light).