Magical 25 years’ celebration for renowned folk singer


Soulful singer-songwriter Kate Rusby will be bringing her acoustic folk magic to Norwich Theatre Royal on October 24 with an evening of stories, songs and laughter.

With a career spanning 25 years in music, Kate is already a firm favourite with Norwich audiences having played the Theatre Royal on five previous occasions between 2005 and 2012.

Her 2017 concert will celebrate her two and a half decades of delighting fans with her mix of traditional folk songs combined with new original material.

Joining her on stage for this special evening will be the British folk musicians who form her band – Damien O’Kane on guitar, electric tenor guitar and banjo; Duncan Lyall on double bass and moog; Nick Cooke on diatonic accordion; and Steve Byrnes on bouzouki and guitar. The programme will include tracks from her 14th studio album, Life in a Paper Boat, alongside carefully selected much loved classics from her extensive back catalogue.

A Mercury Prize nominee and a four times winner at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards (Folk Singer of the Year, Best Live Act, Best Album and Best Original Song), in 2014 Kate received the prestigious British Academy of Songwriters, Composers & Authors’ Gold Badge Award in honour of her ‘unique contribution to music’.

Her love of singing started early with sing-alongs in the back of the car with her siblings as they accompanied their parents to folk gigs around the country with their ceilidh band. She went on to perform as a solo artist, as a duo with friend Kathryn Roberts, plus stints as singer with Equation and the all-female Celtic folksters, The Poozies.

She says: “My parents passed on so many songs and continue to do so. They are always humming and singing things I’ve never heard before and from time to time I also remember lines from songs they used to sing. I always pop round and ask them about it and then sneakily pinch the song!

“What appeals to me about the old songs are the stories and the simple way they were written. Some are painfully sad and it is those that draw me in the most.”

The crossover between the traditional and the new has brought her accolades such as from Q Magazine which said ‘Folk Music doesn’t get any cooler than Kate Rusby’. It has also brought her the opportunity to branch out into other areas such as appearing on ‘Later With Jools Holland’ or, in 2006, recording the Top Ten duet ‘All Over Again’ with Ronan Keating, and other collaborations with artists beyond the folk scene such as Eddi Reader, Blur’s Graham Coxon, Idlewild’s Roddy Woomble and Ella Edmondson.

She has also enjoyed forays into film music (Heartlands) and television soundtracks (the BBC’s animation of Jack Frost and recording Ray Davies’ The Village Green Preservation Society as the theme tune for the series Jam and Jerusalem).

She says: “I play the music I want to play, work with incredibly talented musicians and make a living from doing something I love.”

And she is relishing the chance to once again bring her talent before a local audience: “I’m looking forward so much to returning to beautiful Norwich. I haven’t been in a while and I always adore the gigs we do there! Can’t wait!”

Kate Rusby performs here on 24 October. Buy tickets now at Norwich Theatre Royal.