Superband Alaw to play rare local gig

Three of Britain’s greatest folk musicians are to play a rare pair of intimate concerts in Shropshire next month. 

Dylan Fowler, Oli Wilson-Dickson and Nia Lynn are, together, Alaw - feted as one of the new supergroups of modern folk music. They will appear at Bitterly Village Hall on December 3 and Wem Town Hall on December 5. Both promise to be sell-outs as Alaw mix old favourites with material from their long-awaited forthcoming album, Drawn To The Light. It’s the ideal way to get back into the swing of concert-going, especially in the run-up to Christmas, without the pressure of huge venues.

Expect folk tunes and songs with mesmerising rhythms, blistering, jaw-dropping technique and haunting melodies.

Guitar maestro Dylan Fowler has played with Nigel Kennedy and Richard Thompson among others But after spending most of his life touring the world, Dylan couldn’t be more delighted to get close to his audience.

“It’s fantastic to play big capacity concert halls, but in smaller venues you get a real intimacy,” says Dylan. “Both venues look to be great spaces, and there’s a real opportunity to connect with people in the audience. It’s both humbling and thrilling.”

Dylan, who spent three years in a duo with Sting’s guitarist Dominic Miller (and co-writer of the international mega-hit Shape Of My Heart) is in exalted company with his Alaw bandmates.

Oli Wilson-Dickson is one of folk music’s most charismatic violinists - in demand as a performer supporting the likes of Jools Holland, José Carreras and Jamie Cullum. BBC’s Radio 2 magazine describes Oli as “an exceptional fiddler” and the folk magazine Taplas calls him “a master musician who can make his violin sit up and beg.”

The third, and newest, member of Alaw is singer and multi-instrumentalist Nia Lynn. With a performing career effortlessly spanning folk and jazz, Nia has graced some of the great stages of the world - from Ronnie Scott’s to The Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall and The Barbican.

Now she is central not just of the live act but also to Alaw’s much anticipated album Drawn to the Light. It is a bilingual masterpiece (in their native Welsh it’s Denwyd i’r Goleuni) with an accompanying booklet you read from one end in Welsh and from the other in English.

“Playing and recording with Dylan and Oli, you need to be right at the top of your game,” says Nia. “And in a live show, no matter how much we rehearse, they’ll always throw an unexpected piece of extra brilliance into the mix. My job is to keep them on their toes as well. This is going to be a great, great night.”

TICKETS for both concerts are available from artsalive.co.uk. Booking, as you might imagine, is essential. Both concerts start at 7.30pm. For more info on Alaw visit alaw-band.com and click on the YouTube button to hear them in action.

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