Traditional music at its very best

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TWO of the sharpest young talents on the folk scene visit Sheffield tomorrow.

Fiddler Ross Couper, who hails from Shetland has teamed up with guitarist/flautist Tom Oakes, from Devon.

The musicians are deeply rooted in the traditions of Scotland and Ireland but bring a vital modernity to their shows.

Originally from the small town of Totnes in South Devon, Tom was one of the first students to enrol on the pioneering Folk and Traditional Music degree course at Newcastle University.

A finalist in the BBC Fame Academy in 2004, he graduated the following year with a first in performance and a sell-out final flute recital at The Sage Gateshead.

Now based in Edinburgh, Tom is founder member of the Auvo Quartet, with Roope Aarnio and Suvi Oskala from Finland and Newcastle-based Julian Sutton, who has worked with Kathryn Tickell, Kate Rusby and Sting.

As well as one of the UK’s leading exponents of the wooden flute Tom is growing in demand as a guitar accompanist on the Scottish, English and Irish trad scenes.

Ross Couper is an explosive fiddler who has developed a formidable reputation through his work with Bodega, Peatbog Faeries, singer Damien Barber and Norwegian/Gaelic band Samling.

Between them Tom and Ross produce a highly dynamic mix of power and sensitivity.

They bring warmth and humour to performances, delighting audiences.

Anyone who had doubts about the future of traditional folk music should get along to Sheffield’s Live@215 venue, in Sharrow Vale Road, tomorrow night.

The show starts at 7.30pm and tickets are £5.

THE Rock folk club at Maltby brings the current season to a close tomorrow night with a special seasonal treat.

Veteran folk scene players Maggie Boyle, Chris Parkinson and Pete Morton will present their Magical Christmas Tree show, complete with tree! But not just any Christmas tree. This has the the power to make these unsuspecting performers do things they wouldn’t do for the rest of the year. During this festive treat, audience members select scrolls from the tree which has a song request on it, making every night a unique occasion.

But the trio are up to the challenge, being a superb singer/songwriter, an amazing traditional singer and one of the folk scene’s most sought-after instrumentalists. Together they deliver a richly textured collection of vibrant new songs, beautiful old carols and stunning instrumentals, plus three voices in three-part harmonies.

The Rock@Maltby meets at the Wesley Centre, Maltby. The club reopens on January 6 with a singers and musicians night.

SHEFFIELD Folk Chorale will perform on board the Folk Train next Tuesday. This is the Hope Valley service leaving Sheffield at 7.14pm, with music continuing at the Rambler Country House Hotel, Edale.

GUESTS at the Low Wood WMC, in Deepcar, Sheffield, next Wednesday will be String Theory.

DAVE Burland is at Chesterfield Folk Club on Jan 13.