Twice nominated for BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Kirsty McGee has been recording and touring to critical acclaim since her debut in 2002. Her style continues to defy categorisation and charm audiences around Europe, earning her the tag of ‘cult’ singer-songwriter in the UK.
Combining styles as diverse as folk, jazz, chanson and Americana, her work is held together by her distinctive lyrical style and astonishing voice, equally comfortable in dark, intimate ballads and up-tempo carny-shuffle numbers. Her shows explore a cross-section of these energies through an extensive range of subject matters and instruments. Reviews for her most recent album ‘No.5’ (recorded live in Manchester, in one take, with her full band The Hobopop Collective) have been unanimous in their praise for her skilled handling of words and impeccable taste in arrangements.
With a history of politics, homelessness and wanderlust, Kirsty McGee suffuses her work with a musical vagrancy that enriches her songs and styles, from “hipkat trilby swing” (Acoustic Magazine) to “exquisite and skeletal” (Q Magazine).
The Hobopop Collective compliment the full-bore sound of the Kirsty McGee Duo with contributions from a select chain-gang of revered and secretive illuminati (past guests have included Karine Polwart, Inge Thomson, and members of The Brute Chorus and Guillemots). These genial gamblers and innovative imagineers create a smoky and folky jazz fug of quietly militant and socially conscious music that is as dark as it is enlightening, as gloomy as it is optimistic, and as angry as it is in love. They crank like a banged-out Mustang ’57 pissing petrol the length of a winding Scottish B-road as an old tape crackles on loop. Think Corinne Bailey-Rae arm-wrestling Sinead O’Connor for a dram of whiskey at a disturbed banjo buskathon for burglars, blind folk and beatniks, then drop a few of those variables and cram in some of the bluest blues, the greenest greens, and the wobbliest wobbles imaginable, and you’re getting close.
Picturehouse Cafe Bar open from 5.30pm for delicious food and drinks.