21 January 2015
Malc and Gill
Malc and Gill have more than 80 years experience between them of singing on the folkscene and, although they have only been performing as a duo for about seven years, have been an integral part of the Midlands’ folkscene singing solo and in various other line-ups since the sixties!
Malc Gurnham is an excellent singer, plays quite a variety of instuments (most of them with strings!) and is a highly regarded solo performer. He also can be found running singarounds and acting as an MC at many festivals throughout the country.
He has played in numerous bands as well as being a solist, in both the “popular” and folk music scene. Currently, in addition to singing with Gill, he is also is part of Glorishears Ceildh Band, and The Men In Black (the only Folk/60s band specially put together for a Folk Festival!). Latterly, he has also played in The Katherine Fear Band and appeared on recordings by a number of well-know performers, including the late Johnny Collins.
As well as performing, Malc promotes many folk events; he is Festival Director of Bedworth Folk Festival; the Organiser of Bedworth Folk Club, one of the longest running clubs in the country; runs his own small recording studio fat Sam Music; and has presented his own Folk Music show on BBC Local Radio.
Gill Gilsenan started singing at The Corner House Folk Club in the 70s (run at the time by Malc) with her partner, and later to be husband, Bryan Sunderland. As a duo, they became quite popular around the Midlands folk scene under the collective name of “The Flying Sunderlands” performing close harmony Contemporary songs and traditional songs, particularly those from Bryan’s native North-East of England, and regularly visited Newcastle’s popular Bridge Folk Club. Sadly Bryan died in the 90s and, although frequenting the local folk venues, Gill did very little singing for some years.
She met up with Ace guitarist Dave Bennettt and formed both a musical and personal partnership and, performing as Spirit Measure, became an integral part of the the Coventry Folk Music scene, running clubs and sessions at a multitude of venues around the City.
Over the last few years, Gill has got more involved in Malc’s folk music promotions and now helps look after much of the administration of Bedworth Folk Festival.
As a duo Malc & Gill, not surprisingly with their backgrounds, have a wide diversity of material, both traditionally and contemporary based, and ranging from clever harmony work to humour and even a serious ballad or two, performed either a-capella or with Malc’s pleasantly understated guitar accompaniment.
Much of their material uses their own unique approach to arranging and adaptation of tunes to help emphasise the meaning or sentiment of the lyrics.