Folk. Not as you know it.
Middlesbrough’s Amelia Coburn sent us into a collective swoon when she released her debut album Nuke last year, which features covers of classic indie/new wave hits played on her trusty ukulele, and she’s got two dates in the region this month.
Before I knew anything about Amelia Coburn I chanced upon a song of hers: My Favourite Dress. “Hey! Didn’t 1980s indie legends The Wedding Present also have a song called My Favourite Dress,” I thought before listening to it. And, what do you know, it’s the very same song. “What on earth,” thought I, “is this young creature doing cavorting around with The Wedding Present’s back catalogue?” But the song – knocked out on her ukulele – was superb and lead on to me checking out her fabulous Nuke album which is stuffed with some of my very favourite tunes. I’m talking a super sweet take on Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights, a feisty Down in the Tube Station at Midnight (one of the Jam’s finest), a strident This Charming Man (The Smiths), a soaring Mad World (Tears for Fears), a beautiful Life On Mars (Bowie), and, well, you get the picture.
She also takes on Blondie, Elton John, The Stone Roses and more to rather stunning effect, and her first forays into original material have also seen her garlanded with praise this year with the likes of BBC 6 Music already picking up on her particular talents (“Absolute genius” – Tom Robinson). The BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards Nominee (2017) is playing two dates in the region this month and if you can’t make both, then at least get yourself to one.Amelia Coburn + Friends, Saturday 2 December, ARC, Stockton, 8pm, £10 adv/£12 door, arconline.co.uk; Amelia Coburn, Sunday 17 December, The Exchange, North Shields, 7pm, £7. facebook.com/attheexchange