Queens Hall

In 2012, Dewar’s hosted an experiment when musicians from India and the UK were placed in a makeshift recording studio in Edinburgh for a week and asked to come up with an album of original songs. The results were rather special, and in the spirit of that album, three of those acts; James Yorkston, Jon Thorne and Suhail Yusuf Khan with Support – Lisa O’Neill will appear at The Queens Hall on Friday 1 November, playing together as a trio and performing a semi-improvised mix of traditional music from India and the UK/Ireland alongside their own compositions.

The vastly experienced and talented musicians are sure to attract a large crowd, and fans should book early to avoid disappointment.

Fife born James Yorkston is a well-known singer-songwriter in the Scottish music scene who started out as bassist for punk band Miraclehead before his solo career took off with a little help from the late John Peel.

His albums include ‘Moving Up Country,’ ‘Roaring the Gospel,’ ‘When the Haar Rolls In,’ Just Beyond the River,’ ‘The Year of the Leopard’ and ‘I was a Cat from a Book,’ and singles include ‘Shipwreckers.’ ‘Surf Song,’ ‘Tortoise Regrets Hare’ and ‘Woozy the Cider.’

Jon Thorne took up bass aged 23 and is a self-taught musician. His career as a double bassist and composer has seen him play at most of the world’s leading festivals including Glastonbury, Coachella, Roskilde, Wechter, Montreaux Jazz, North Sea Jazz and NYC Central Park Summerstage.

He has also recorded, performed alongside and appeared on albums by artists as diverse as Liam Bailey, Kathryn Williams, Jesca Hoop, Robert Miles, Trilok Gurtu, Robert Fripp, Donovon, John Smith, Lou Rhodes, Love Amongst Ruin, King Creosote, Sam Carter, Amos Lee, The Memory Band, Mr Scruff, Maverick Sabre, Delilah, The Accidental, Ryuchi Sakamoto and Martha Tilston. His debut album “Manchester Road” was released through SAM LTD/ EGEA records in 2006.

Suhail Yusuf Khan is an eighth generation sarangi player from the Moradabad gharana, who is the grandson of the great Ustaad Sabri Khan & nephew of Kamaal Sabri Jee. He began performing at the age of eleven and his greatest quality is his interest in and ability to adapt to musical styles from all kinds of musical cultures and traditions, including an avid interest in electronic music.

The Edinburgh Reporter spoke to James ahead of the concert and asked him about the background to the show. He said: “It came about as myself and Suhail were playing a concert for Dewars in the Caves, Edinburgh. Me and the Fence guys were all there and we’d heard Suhail may be coming, but nothing further was confirmed, so when it came to organising the running order for the evening we didn’t really consider him. Then, of course, he turned up. I asked if he’d like to play on my set and he agreed, so we learned a few songs and played that night. The seed was planted. He’s a friendly looking guy – nice smile and easy to warm to. If he’d come in scowling I may have retreated to a bar somewhere and never spoken to him. We had a lot of similar musical interests though and that helped bond us, both on and off stage.”

The event is sure to attract considerable interest, but what exactly can the audience expect on the night? James continued: “A lot of it will be improvised as that’s one thing myself, Jon & Suhail enjoy doing, but we’ll also be doing some new songs of mine , for which the Cairn String Quartet will be joining us. Suhail is a master of improvisation, as is Jon Thorne, the jazz double bass player who makes up the trio. Jon has played with some of Jazz’s greatest names – Herbert Maf Khazi, Jenkins Moroder – and he’ll be leading us to all sorts of daft places, I hope.”

“We’re going to be recording the tour, but immediately afterwards we’re going into a studio in North Wales to record some of the nonsense we’ve gotten up to. Who knows where it’ll lead? There’s talk of a tour of India, which may be fun. As a musician, when things as interesting as this come up, you have to grab them and just see where they end up taking you.”

James is also delighted to be teaming up with songwriter Lisa O’Neill  from Cavan in Ireland who may also join the trio onstage for a ditty. He concluded: “I love her music and am delighted she’s on board – she’s my favourite songwriter of the last few years and has just recorded her 2nd album, which is a wee beauty.”

Show 8pm 1 November at the Queens Hall, Clerk Street. Tickets £15/£13 conc. Telephone 013 6682019


Other dates include:

30th October – Dunfermline – Carnegie Hall

31st October – Kingsbarns – Cambo House. 7pm to midnight, with hot food, ciders, real ales & spiced gin. A free dram o’ 18yr old Dewars whisky to those in fancy dress. With special guest Mary Erskine

2nd November – Glasgow – Oran Mor

3rd November – Aberfeldy Festival

6th November – London – Old St Pancras Church

7th November – Bangor – Hendre Hall