Husband and wife duo, Will Finn and Rosie Calvert, are singers first and foremost. Their voices complement in that way family performers do – aural choices made by gut before ear, instinctively knowing when to twist and turn for listener intrigue – honed through years of singing about the house, in the car. Their harmonies live in as close quarters, too, which, of course, is as much down to their being part of a capella quartet The Teacups, favourites of the live folk scene for their rousing performances and patter. Their unaccompanied prowess is, unsurprisingly – and thankfully, for fans of The Teacups – on show here, with ’Paddy’s Lamentation’, a contemplation of the new North American home of Irish immigrants, and ‘Scampo’, a sung tune of Rosie’s composition.
Will Finn and Rosie Calvert’s approach to orchestration is informed by their singing, too, seeking out the empty spaces and filling them, gently broadening their palette to a deceptively full sound. And it’s no mean feat when one of those instruments is a steel pan. It’s a self-proclaimed ‘party of one’, the decision to play European folk tunes on an instrument so well known for another, sunnier genre of music, but such is the sensitivity of approach that Beneath This Place is far from a novelty or lab for experimentation. Instead, it demonstrates a confidence: taking the tradition and pushing it on; feeling the songs and tunes and interpreting them with new and different tools to hand.
Will Finn and Rosie Calvert are graduates of the Folk and Traditional Music BA at Newcastle University and have been taking the festival circuit by storm with their a capella harmony quartet The Teacups for the past eight years, performing all over the UK and beyond. Their duo work is met with accolades wherever they go, and their debut album, 'Beneath this Place' (which was fully funded following a successful kickstarter campaign) is being critically lauded as 'Distinctive' and 'Excellent'.