While much of their music is characterised by lush chamber ensemble orchestrations, what truly sets them apart is the combination of Josienne’s divinely nuanced, emotionally affecting voice and Ben’s intricately expressive, adroit guitar technique. They cite Sandy Denny, June Tabor, Nic Jones and Pierre Bensusan as respective influences but theirs is a captivating sound that’s all their own.
Although Ben Walker (who grew up in Worcestershire) studied classical guitar from childhood and Josienne Clarke (from West Sussex) is a classical music degree dropout, both are keen to stress that they’re “bog standard comprehensive school kids” who didn’t benefit from a conservatoire education. The elegance and sophistication of their music comes entirely from their own discipline, rigour and craft. To emphasise the point, Josienne has been known to quip: “We’re not posh, just pretentious!”
This self-deprecating humour is key to their much-loved live shows. Given Josienne’s often devastatingly sad and poetic lyrics, and the frequently death and doom-laden nature of the songs they interpret, she feels it’s only fair to lighten the mood. The misery, mirth and sheer beauty of their performances has taken them to such auspicious stages as Cambridge Folk Festival, Bristol’s Colston Hall and London’s Purcell Rooms. A far cry from the pub backrooms and sparsely attended acoustic nights where they began.
Doors open at 19:00
Running times TBC