To the uninitiated, Saltfishforty are Douglas Montgomery (fiddle/viola) and Brian Cromarty (guitar/mandola/vocals), a duo hailing from Orkney. To those who are familiar with this powerhouse of a partnership, they are quite simply one of the best live acts on the folk scene. With their focus on Orkney music taking in traditional, contemporary and original material, boldly cross-fertilised with influences from Americana to East European folk, plus a high-octane whiff of heavy metal, there is simply no-one else like Saltfishforty.
They will be joined for this Northern Arc session by Basco, a fiddle-scraping, box-belting, cittern-smacking folk/roots band with members from Denmark, Sweden and Australia. Their music is complex and varied, from hard hitting, high-speed reels full of rosin dust and sweat, through sweet and melancholy tunes that tell of loves won and lost, of fitful fever-dreams of fractal complexity and fascinating texture, to songs that when you come down to it, are really just about sex.
Basco’s original material steals shamelessly and frivolously from Scandinavian, English, Celtic and American idioms to create a kind of organic, soupy stew. Together in this unique Northern Arc coupling, Basco and Saltfishforty will create quite a stir.
Suitable for ages 14+