FolkWords Reviews

‘Conflict Tourism’ Gilmore & Roberts - a sound that remains unquestionably their own

(July 27, 2015)

‘Conflict Tourism’, the fourth album from Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts is due for release on 18 September 2015 and it’s something so powerful that to miss it would be verging on criminal.From the outset, Gilmore & Roberts created a sound that became and remains unquestionably their own. Folk in its many gilmour and roberts conflict tourism 001guises has many exponents that blaze unique paths through the genre, folk in this case has a duo that writes songs with a distinctive edge, the combination of instruments and voices making each song make a hard-hitting statement.

They proclaim a common thread running through this latest collection of original songs – conflict. They work with internal struggles between positive and negative, from healthy body fighting disease, to the ultimate horror of ‘conflict tourism’, watching a battle in real time and returning safely home to tell the bloody tale as one would recount holiday stories. The strength of this album lies in its bare frankness, telling those tales personal and public, without fear of the words or need to dress-up the observations. The faintly disturbing power of ‘Cecilia’ opens, compelling hold of ‘Jack O Lantern’ follows, there’s the fascinating history of ‘Stumble On The Seam’ an ominous edge to the sullen ‘Balance/ Imbalance’ and the aching sadness of ‘Time Soldiers On’.

Alongside Gilmore & Roberts on ‘Conflict Tourism’ are Matt Downer (double bass, electric bass) Phillip Henry (lap steel, dobro) Mark Tucker (percussion, drum programming, keys) and James 'Hutch' Hutchinson (bass). Katriona Gilmore sums it up: "Conflict is universal - everyone, everywhere, experiences it every day, in its smallest forms. We liked the idea of being tour guides through a minefield of different decisions and drama." Job done with ‘Conflict Tourism’. Website: www.gilmoreroberts.co.uk

 Review: Charlie Elland

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