The Scotsman Sessions #42: Lavinia Blackwall

Welcome to The Scotsman Sessions. With the performing arts world shutting down for the foreseeable future, we are commissioning a series of short video performances from artists all around the country and releasing them on scotsman.com, with introductions from our critics. Here, former Trembling Bells frontwoman Lavinia Blackwall performs Hold On To Your Love – a song from her new solo album Muggington Lane End.

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For Bert Jansch: Mike Hastings plays “Gnomelikedivas”

For Around the World in 80 Plays, Mike Hastings plays “Gnomelikedivas”, a piece inspired by Bert Jansch whose title is an anagram of the name of his folk duo Mike and Solveig. Mike has played with Trembling Bells for the past 10 years and also regularly plays with Mike Heron of The Incredible String Band.

Musicians around the globe are saluting Bert Jansch, the legendary guitarist and singer song-writer who would have turned 75 in November 2018. The Bert Jansch Foundation is sending a special guitar, the Yamaha TransAcoustic – the latest incarnation of Bert’s favoured L series – across continents from artist to artist, enabling musicians to connect with his timeless music and enduring legacy.

Lavinia Blackwall on her debut solo album Muggington Lane End

We’ve all been stuck inside for ages. Unless your one of our lovely key workers. What it has done is given us all time to listen to and appreciate music (that’s why you’re here, right?) and undoubtedly one of our favourite songs of the year, possible our absolute song of the year here at Backseat Mafia towers (I say that like I’m not sat in my kitchen and the ‘we’ is an editors whatsapp group where we bicker over where that extra menu should go and stuff like that) was John’s Gone – this classic, Kinks meets folk rock kind of tune that just melted our hearts.

With her album out tomorrow, we tracked Lavinia Blackwall down to speak of such things as (inevitably) lockdown, the record, where Muggington Lane End is and what she’s digging at the moment.

Hi Lavinia, thanks for talking to us. How are you coping with lockdown? Has it ruined any plans you had in place? Any positives?

I’m a Primary school teacher, as well as a musician, so I’m spending quite a bit of time trying to prepare lessons for my class, as well as going in to care for the children of key workers. There’s the daily exercise, going to the shops to get people’s shopping…It’s funny, I thought I’d have time to read books, paint, watch box sets, write another album… but I’m mega busy!!

I had a week long tour planned in early April that I had to postpone, along with a 6music session for Marc Riley. That was a real shame, as I had planned it months ago, but so many people are in the same boat.

On a positive note, as I’m self-releasing the album, Ive been able to start packing up all the preorders from home without any hitches. I’ve been doing some collaboration with other musicians remotely which has been fun. Hoping to get round to writing album no.2 before the lockdown lifts, here’s hoping!

We absolutely adored John’s Gone. Can you tell us a little about that? Continue reading

Review for Lavinia Blackwall’s latest: “There is not a single weak song here”

The album’s Rocket Cottage-style artwork stakes a kinship with the inward-turned folk of the 1970s, when the first flush of Fairport, Steeleye Span and Pentangle … There is more than a hint of Sandy Denny — whose songs Blackwall has performed memorably…

Financial Times

Read full review at The Financial Times