“bravely original Indian-folk-jazz fusion” – ★★★★ Guardian
Yorkston Thorne Khan bring their live show to Ramsgate Music Hall on Wednesday 29 March as part of their UK tour, promoting their second album Neuk Wight Delhi All-Stars released by Domino on 7th April.
The album represents a confluence of currents, among them the north Indian sarangi; jazz-tinged bass, reminiscent in places of Danny Thompson; acoustic guitar that owes a debt to Elizabeth Cotton, Dick Gaughan and Mississippi John Hurt; and three very different vocalists. – James Yorkston (East Neuk of Fife), Jon Thorne (Isle of Wight) and Suhail Yusuf Khan (New Delhi).
A collection of traditional Indian and UK folk songs, beautiful originals and idiosyncratic covers, Neuk Wight Delhi All-Stars does not only bring together Indian classical music and jazz, then, but kosmische too; Yorkston also cites dub reggae, Uilleann pipes and the Madagascan guitarist D’Gary as influences. That breadth, says Thorne, is critical: ‘I think YTK is a fine example of how music operates without boundaries as a common international language and a source of cross-cultural unity. It’s an important message in the times that we live in.’
The combination is unusual: YTK’s Everything Sacred, released in 2016, may be the only precedent. Yet while, on paper, the constituent elements might seem disparate, the new album is, if anything, even more coherent than its predecessor.
Yorkston’s 2002 debut was named Rough Trade’s album of the year and he has gone on to work with everyone from Kieran Hebden (aka Four Tet) and Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor to Martin Carthy and Bert Jansch. He has also released a total of seven acclaimed solo albums for Domino alongside many other Fence Records releases. There’s also been a book of tour diaries and, in 2016, the novel Three Craws. The bassist and composer Jon Thorne, who came to prominence with Lamb, has also worked with Iron And Wine, Robert Fripp, Donovon, Sam Lee, Vashti Bunyan and Green Gartside. He and Yorkson have been playing together since 2009. YTK took root when Yorkston met Suhail Yusuf Khan, the award-winning sarangi player and singer from New Delhi, backstage at a gig in Edinburgh. Khan is part of several groups including Advaita, an eight-piece Indian band recorded by John Leckie. His grandfather, Ustad Sabri Khan, played with George Harrison, Pandit Ravi Shankar and Yehudi Menuhin.
Together, they walk on untrodden ground.
Supported by the Arts Council of Wales, Welsh Government and the National Lottery, and the Arts Council of England. This concert by Music for Change is supported by Arts Council England and PRS for Music Foundation.