Tarras choose Ancrum over Cambridge for album launch

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TARRAS are a Borders-based band formed in 1996 who took the folk world by storm with their debut release Rising, described by Mojo magazine as “an absurdly fine album”.

Tarras stole the front cover of folk Roots Magazine and were then signed to Topic Records in London, the oldest independent record label in the World, before embarking on a worldwide tour.

Tarras’s second album Walking Down Mainstreet (2000) won more critical acclaim, but the band split two years later to embark on new projects.

Louise Peacock (fiddle) found herself touring with Roxy Music, Ben Murray (accordion) did his solo album, as did John Redfern (drums), while Joss Clapp (bass) became firmly installed in the Kathryn Tickell Band.

Founder member Rob Armstrong (cittern), who hails from Langholm and who now lives near Denholm, always dreamt of reforming the band for a third album.

And that offering, Warn the Waters, will be launched at Ancrum Village Hall with a special gig on Saturday.

“I felt we had unfinished business, having been forced to split by financial pressures and the industry just getting on top of us,” recalled Rob.

“The break had been good for the band and the industry has changed dramatically in the last 10 years.

“Musical tastes have also moved on and comtempary folk is now mainstream. The new album will sit well among bands like The Decemberists, Mumford and Sons and Midlake.”

Tarras, in fact, reformed in 2009 with a slight line-up change and have spent the last two years writing their new album which is a blend of traditional and pop-laced music drawing from their 1970s influences.

“There was pressure on us from Topic to release the album at this year’s Cambridge Folk Festival or a theatre somewhere miles from home,” admitted Rob. “But village halls supported us in the early days and now we want to support this most important of institutions in our own area”.

Saturday’s gig, which features support, starts at 8pm. Tickets are available from the Ancrum Pantry or by calling 01835 830259.

For more information on Tarras go to www.tarrasmusic.com