Having contacted Ex Libris over the summer about playing a show in Newcastle, Mike & Solveig were redirected to more folk-orientated promoters, on account of my declaration that "acoustic guitars now bring me out in a rash". I liked their stuff, though; it was quirky and different. Two years ago we would have jumped at the chance to pair them with McMullan or Jones. So I was glad to hear they had secured the same venue as Nathalie Stern's album launch: The Polite Room at The Tyneside Cinema, supporting Emily Portman.
In front of a packed audience they played some of the most original sounding folk music I've heard in some time: violin with guitar, banjo and glockenspiel, plenty of rich harmonies, time signature changes and odd tunings, with bonkers lyrics about howling at the moon, rolling around Berlin, and their favourite types of pasta. They duly went down a storm.
Afterwards, there was the customary insomniac convention at Libris Acres involving pints of white wine, pesto at seven in the morning and all the Fugazi albums.