STORM warning! The trials of Yorkshire’s weather are driving The Trials Of Cato indoors for tonight’s gig in Pocklington.
Out goes an open-air acoustic session in the sylvan setting of Primrose Wood; in comes a 7pm concert at Pocklington Arts Centre (PAC) after the forecast of Macbethian conditions: definitely rain and possibly thunderstorms too.
An explanatory statement from director Janet Farmer and venue manager James Duffy reads: “Tonight’s Primrose Wood event with The Trials Of Cato is being transferred to PAC due to the heavy rain forecast – Met Office update at 10am – from late afternoon.
“This is to ensure artist, staff and customer safety and comfort before, during and after the event at PAC, which will not be socially distanced BUT will be at 50 per cent capacity and the auditorium will have medical-grade air purifiers in use throughout.”
The statement continues: “Face coverings are strongly encouraged but not a requirement. All venue staff will be wearing them throughout the performance and have undergone lateral flow tests in advance. Doors will open at 6pm and the show will start at 7pm, as originally advertised.”
BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners The Trials Of Cato were the third Primrose Wood Acoustics headliners to be confirmed for this summer, in the wake of sold-out shows organised by PAC featuring Scunthorpe-born virtuoso guitarist, singer and songwriter Martin Simpson and East Yorkshire singer-songwriter Katie Spencer on July 1 and Leeds indie-folk/Americana band The Dunwells and York singer-songwriter Rachel Croft a week later.
Hailed by Mark Radcliffe, The Folk Show host on BBC Radio 2, as “one of the real discoveries on the folk circuit in recent times”, The Trials Of Cato won Best Album at the 2019 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for their debut, Hide And Hair.
Formed in Beirut, when Tomos Williams, Will Addison and Robin Jones were working in Lebanon as English teachers, the trio had returned to Britain in 2016. Here, they set about performing tirelessly up and down the country with their stomping tunes and captivating stories that paid homage to the tradition while twisting old bones into something more febrile and modern.
Hide And Hair’s release in November 2018 was greeted with airplay on BBC 6 Music and Radio 2 and thumbs-up coverage in national publications, while mastering engineer John Davis, who worked with Jimmy Page on the Led Zeppelin remasters, memorably dubbed them “The Sex Pistols of folk”.
After a year of wall-to-wall touring across the UK, Europe and North America, however, the band’s march was halted by the stultifying silence of the global pandemic, but now they are emerging anew from their transformative chrysalis.
“The Trials continue,” they say, but this time, after Addison’s departure, Williams and Jones are joined by Leamington Spa multi-instrumentalist and singer Polly Bolton, from The Magpies, for their hotly anticipated second album.
Set for release later this year (precise date yet to be confirmed), Gog Magog is named both after the mythical giant of Arthurian legend and the Cambridgeshire hilltop, where the new album was birthed over lockdown.
Should ticket holders need to contact PAC, please ring 01759 301547.