O’Hooley. Tidow. Sorted.
If you’re looking for a pair to sing Jack Frost away this Christmas, then no one will warm your soul more than Belinda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow. The duo have released some startlingly good albums over the last few years and their latest, ‘WinterFolk Vol 1’, is as beautiful a seasonal offering that you’re ever likely to hear. It features reworkings of some of their earlier work (‘The Last Polar Bear’ is a quiet show-stopper) as well as some traditional carols and the odd modern classic (I know what you’re thinking: ‘Fairytale of New York’ – yup). It also features a jaw-dropping ‘Whitethorn’, an O’Hooley song that originally appeared on The Unthanks’ album ‘The Bairns’ (O’Hooley was once in the band). The pair have been compared to everyone from early Simon and Garfunkel to Kate and Anna McGarrigle, but, in truth, they have carved out a real niche of their own. I’m not saying that this will be the best gig you’ll see this December, but it’s got to be in the top one.
O’Hooley & Tidow: WinterFolk, Thursday 20 December, The Cumberland Arms, Ouseburn, Newcastle, 7.30pm, £12/£15. thecumberlandarms.co.uk