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Karine Polwart



Karine Polwart is a singer-songwriter who first picked up a guitar before she reached double-figures.  It took another 20 years before she became a professional musician, but a long and varied apprenticeship has allowed her to develop her own style, and at her own pace.

Karine Polwart; Photo: Andy Buchanan Her edgy and evocative songwriting and vocal skill have been steadily winning her respect and affection on the UK and international folk-roots scene.  For the past few years she has been a member of traditional groups Malinky and Battlefield Band.

But her first endeavour as a solo artist has earned an extraordinary five nominations across four categories in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2005.  In addition to Best Album, she’s up for Best Singer, The Horizon Award for Best Newcomer and has an unprecedented double nomination for Best Original Song.  She is also nominated for Songwriter of the Year at The Scots Trad Music Awards 2004.

Since leaving her work in the field of domestic abuse and child protection in early 2000, Karine has absorbed her musical and social interests into her thoughtful writing.  With an academic background in philosophy, she succeeds in her aim to communicate personal and sometimes political messages without polemics.  Her thoughtfulness and sense of justice, as well as her warmth and wit, shine through.  She says,

"I've got big ideals and love big ideas.  And I'm really fascinated by the power and limitations of song as a way of changing how we feel or look at things.  But I'm always looking for the wry, sideways view.  It's much more effective and makes for better music." 


'Faultlines' album cover; Photo: Andy Buchanan

Written and recorded with assistance from the Scottish Arts Council, Karine's debut album 'Faultlines' was released in January 2004.  The album is one of four nominated in the 'Best Album' category at the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2005.

The songs on 'Faultlines' feature roots influences, are contemporary in feel with intelligent lyrics.  They also borrow liberally from indi and alt-country, as well as folk music.


Karine's upcoming performances include:

  • 3 December 2004 - Cambridge Folk Club, performing with Malinky
  • 4 December 2004 - Ashcroft Arts Centre in Fareham, with Malinky
  • 5 December 2004 - Highcliffe Hotel in Shefield, with Malinky
  • 10 December 2004 - North Edinburgh Arts Centre
  • 25 January 2005 - Glasgow Royal Concert Hall at Celtic Connections, with Malinky
  • 11 February 2005 - Pleasance Caberet Bar in Edinburgh, with Malinky
  • 12 February 2005 - The Lemon Tree in Aberdeen, with Malinky

For more information on her, the gigs, and to hear clips of 'Faultlines' have a look at her Karine's website.

Supported by the National Lottery through the Scottish Arts Council.

Related links
* Karine Polwart
* Malinky
* Battlefield Band
* BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2005
* Scots Trad Music Awards 2004
* Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
* Celtic Connections
* Current music features
* Music home
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