Northern Sky are an acoustic/electric quartet featuring the talents of blues guitarist Matt Thorpe, the keyboards and vocals of Julian Crook, together with the violin of Ursula Colville and viola of Mike Johnson (both of Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra). Taking their name from one of their favourite Nick Drake songs, “Northern Sky” play a number of Drake songs plus their own takes on other material from the period Drake was writing and performing – as well as original material. The combination of these classical trained musicians together with the blue-eyed soul of Crook and Thorpe make for something special, not to be missed.
Northern Sky are an acoustic/electric quartet featuring the talents of blues guitarist Matt Thorpe, violinist Ursula Colville, viola of Mike Johnson and the keyboards and vocals of Julian Crook. Old friends for many years, each have quite diverse musical backgrounds, Ursula and Mike in Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra, Matt steeped in blues and rock and with some of the biggest sales records on the Internet, and Julian part of the acclaimed band “The Cohen Brothers” http://www.thecohenbrothers.co.uk
Northern Sky formed following an invitation to take part in the 2011 Nick Drake Gathering http://nickdrake.moonfruit.com/ in Tanworth in Arden, an annual festival that celebrates the work and life of Nick Drake, a legendary Island Records artist of the late 1960’s / early 70’s who died in 1974, aged just 26. Although only recording and releasing three official albums, Drake’s work has gradually achieved wider notice and recognition and he now ranks among the most influential English singer-songwriters of the last 50 years. For the last 10 years the annual Gathering has attracted fans and artists from across the UK as well as Europe and USA. In 2011 the village hall and church host performances from visiting artists all of who play selected songs by Drake or songs influenced by him.
Taking their name from one of their favourite Nick Drake songs, “Northern Sky” play a number of Drake songs plus their own takes on other material from the period Drake was writing and performing – as well as original material. Playing around Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Birmingham during the summer of 2011, the group delighted audiences who persuaded them that “Northern Sky” should be far more than just the originally intended “one off” collaboration.
So, from all of us in Northern Sky, we look forwards to seeing and playing for you very soon.
Ursula, Mike, Matt & Julian xxxx