Benji and Blair line up for Unicorn gig

Singer-songwriter Benji Kirkpatrick

Singer-songwriter Benji Kirkpatrick

First published in This week by

THE next concert in the Folk at the Unicorn series will be a special dual-act evening.

Dubbed The Future of UK Folk by organisers Seahorse Promotions, the gig at the Unicorn Theatre, Abingdon, on Thursday, June 7, will feature 45-minute sets from young folk musician Blair Dunlop and multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Benji Kirkpatrick.

Blair, 20, a rising star in the folk world, was one of only four finalists this year in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and is a member of the latest version of the Albion Band — its first line-up not to feature folk stalwart Ashley Hutchins — alongside his solo work.

He will play the first half of the Unicorn concert.

Benji, co-founder of Bellowhead and a member of the Seth Lakeman Band and Faustus, will take to the stage for the gig’s second half, demonstrating his mastery of the guitar, bouzouki, mandolin and banjo.

From an early age, Blair was encouraged to take to the stage by his parents and has blossomed into a singer, guitarist and actor. Among the highlights of his performing career to date, he played Little Willy Wonka in the blockbuster movie of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, toured last autumn in a new production of the play Lark Rise and and appeared at festivals including two in Oxfordshire — Towersey and Cropredy.

At the end of January, Blair and American group Larkin Poe spent four days in the studio of Rooksmere Records where they recorded the first three tracks for Blair’s first full-length album. The latest album produced by Benji and his fellow Bellowhead members, Hedonism, is proving popular with folk fans.

It was recorded at Abbey Road and produced by John Leckie, who has produced albums for such names as Radiohead, Muse and the Stone Roses.

Tickets for the concert are £10 in advance and are available from the Folk at the Unicorn box office or Remade Guitars, Coxeter House, Abingdon. Doors for the gig open at 7.30pm, with the performances from 8pm to 10pm with an interval.

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