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Music Editorial

ewanmclennan19.jpg There IS such a thing as society

One of the UK’s most progressive (and most brilliant) folk artists is playing Durham in February. Get ready for Ewan McLennan.

Ewan McLennan is no stranger to Durham playing the city back in 2016 when he and the Guardian’s George Monbiot premiered their ‘Breaking The Spell of Loneliness’ project. The album that grew out of the collaboration sought to address one of the real scourges of modern life: a crowded planet that is stricken by people who feel all alone. The first track on it, ‘Such a Thing as Society’, pointedly refutes Margaret Thatcher’s claim that there was no such thing, and elsewhere he maintains: Alone we are weak, together we are strong. It was an album praised to the high heavens but, then, McLennan should be used to receiving such plaudits by now. His debut album, ‘Rags and Robes’, saw him winning the 2011 Horizon Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. His second release, ‘The Last Bird To Sing’, led to a Spiral Earth Award and the Alistair Hulett Memorial Prize for Political Songwriting, while his third long-player, ‘Stories Still Untold’, saw the national press climbing on-board (“A wonderful album” – The Daily Telegraph). He will be supported by Teesside’s Ian Bartholomew, a member of the truly excellent folk outfit Peg Powler.

Ewan McLennan + Ian Bartholomew, Sunday 17 February, The City Theatre, Durham City, 4pm, £10/£8. facebook.com/downbytheriverdurham