Trad-folk’s golden boy and one of the UK’s preeminent nature writers have produced a lockdown-borne collection of heroically upbeat musings
Of course trad-folk’s golden boy and one of the UK’s preeminent nature writers are pals. This lockdown project between Johnny Flynn and Robert Macfarlane is the Countryfile of collabs: a cosy, verdant thing that feels as restorative as a breath of fresh woodland air. And, if you listen closely enough, you might just learn something.
Though he might have spent the past few years setting out his stall as a master of both stage (a delicious, double-demin-ed turn in Sam Shepard’s True West in the West End) and screen (a period gent in Autumn de Wilde’s 2020 version of Jane Austen’s Emma and a louche shagger in STI sitcom Lovesick), Johnny Flynn will always be the bright-eyed and bushy tailed acoustic songsmith who broke through with 2008’s poetic ‘A Larum’. Preceding Mumford & Sons world-conquering sound by a full year, Flynn’s brand of folk was always a more rugged, complex beast, plugging into middle ages melancholy as much as it did the 1970s bounce of Fairport Convention.
Mark Kermode reviews The Dig. On the eve of the Second World War, self-taught archaeologist Basil Brown is enlisted by Edith Pretty to excavate what look like burial mounds in Sutton Hoo, sparking an unlikely friendship between the pair.