James Yorkston Presents: Tae Sup Wi' A Fifer: Ol’ Crabbit John / Serafina Steer / Alasdair Roberts
Tae Sup Wi’ A Fifer – Hosted and programmed by East Neuk songwriter & author James Yorkston.
Ol’ Crabbit John
Ol’ Crabbit John is the pseudonym of one of Scotland’s greatest partially-existing songwriters. Well known outside his home town of Selkirk, Ol’ Crabbit John has seen the world via the twin elements of National Geographic Magazine and touring continuously in his rock, pop and soul band.
Come November 1st, Ol’ Crabbit will remove his fantastic porcelain costume and announce his name to the Kirkcaldy massive. This show may well sell out and we advise you to buy tickets in advance.
“I can’t comment, to be honest, I’m not sure who he is….” – Simon Flintstone, Class Music
Serafina Steer is a freelance musician who was born and lives in London, via brief spells in Manchester and Suffolk. As a classically trained harpist, she works in contemporary, improvised, collaborative and pop projects. After leaving music college, she started writing songs and went on to make 3 harp-based albums - Cheap Demo Bad Science (2007 Static Caravan), Change Is Good Change Is Good (2010 Static Caravan) and The Moths Are Real (2012 Stolen Recordings). The latter being produced by Jarvis Cocker and receiving very positive reviews across the board.
After harp, Serafina started writing with (at the same time as teaching herself) the bass guitar. This lead to the formation of Bas Jan, an all-female post-punk-esque trio. Serafina is the main songwriter and the band is now on it's second line-up but it's bumping merrily along with a Lost Map vinyl release of their eponymous EP recorded by Leo Abrahams and Leafcutter John due in autumn 2017.
She has recently played in Sean O’Hagan’s ‘Mind On The Run’ a tribute to Basil Kirchin at Hull Festival, performed with 7 harps under the direction of Steve Mackey for a Gucci fashion show in Florence, contributed to two soundtracks in collaboration with Jarvis Cocker for filmmakers’ Iain and Jane, broadcast live with Bas Jan from Maida Vale on Marc Riley’s 6 Music. This summer she was touring harpist with Karen Elson (1965). Last year there were two performances of ‘Medea’ mini opera drama for two voices & midi. This was commissioned by Brighter Sound for Manchester International Woman’s Day 2016 and performed again at Supernormal with Natalie Sharp (AKA Lone Taxidermist) in the lead role.
“Steer is an astringent, droll, sometimes touching narrator; it's easy to hear why Cocker was so bewitched.” – MOJO
“The Moths Are Real is a crisp and atmospheric set of idiosyncratic and finely crafted pop songs” – The Wire
Alasdair Roberts is a Scottish musician, born in Germany, who was raised near Callander and has been based in Glasgow since 1995. He is primarily a songwriter/composer, singer and acoustic fingerstyle guitarist as well as an interpreter/arranger of traditional songs and ballads from Scotland and beyond.
Alasdair Roberts is one of a rare breed of musicians whose work has found favour with aficionados of both experimental/avant-garde music and traditional/folk music – as such, he has been the cover star of both Wire Magazine (March 2010) and fRoots Magazine (October 2003 and January/February 2017).
Since 1997 Alasdair has produced several full-length albums of music (initially under the name Appendix Out and later under his own name), primarily working with Drag City Records of Chicago. His most recent Drag City album is Pangs, a collection of ten original songs recorded with bassist Stevie Jones (Arab Strap, Sound of Yell) and drummer Alex Neilson (Trembling Bells, Alex Rex)– it was released to critical acclaim and a successful UK tour in February 2017.
Over the years, Alasdair has collaborated with a wide variety of fellow musicians (such as Will Oldham, Jason Molina, Josephine Foster, Mairi Morrison and Karine Polwart) as well as with other artists including poet Robin Robertson, puppeteer Shane Connolly of Sokobauno Puppet Theatre and film-maker Luke Fowler. In 2013 Alasdair became a member of the Scottish/English folk group The Furrow Collective, along with Lucy Farrell, Rachel Newton and Emily Portman. The Furrow Collective has released two albums on Hudson Records, the most recent being Wild Hog in late 2016; the quartet won the accolade of Best Group in the 2017 BBC Radio Two Folk Awards.
'One of our most talented, important and relevant songwriters and song-adapters.' - Folk Radio UK
'Quietly escalating towards Scottish national treasure status' – Mojo
'An artist in consummate control of his art' - Uncut