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Sairie: one of the best folk acts these days



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Sairie at Hot Box

It’s not everyday that your music is wholeheartedly endorsed by the 41st best stand-up ever! But, as we know, these days aren’t ordinary days anymore. These days. But … Brighton-based psyche-folk Sairie received a nod from none other than the great Stewart Lee.

Stewart Lee. Photo credit Idil Sukan.

Some context. In a seemingly light-hearted departure from their “Original and traditional music, inspired by a shared love of folklore and nature”, Sairie last year released several of their favourite film songs, collected as The Cinder Sheet.

Stewart Lee wrote in The Idler: “The Cinder Sheet repolishes cultural touchstones … Sairie are too young to have experienced. Here, half-remembered songs … re-emerge as acoustically expansive, drone-deepened, acid-folk nuggets, suddenly as strange as our unreliable recollections.”

Sairie are placed firmly in the English folk tradition

Heady stuff indeed, like 100% pear cider, which the band fully deserves. I would add to that by saying Sairie’s music taps into the ancient and the modern. It will transport you to a place that is both close to your heart and far away in your memory. Indeed, The Wire magazine commented: “Their haunting style retains the English folk tradition nurtured by Anne Briggs and Shirley Collins.”

Another high-profile fan, champion of the freaky and the esoteric, Stuart Maconie, regularly plays Sairie’s music in his Freak Zone show on BBC 6 Music.

Stuart Maconie. Photo courtesy of BBC.

Emma Morton’s controlled vibrato leads most of the tracks; Jon Griffin’s raspy tenor backing vocals perfectly complementing her. He also plays acoustic and electric guitar; Emma’s occasional autoharp strumming lending medieval vibes. As much as I love their music, Andy Thomas’s electric bass clinches it for me. It grounds the sound in the here and now and reminds us that folk music is about the everyday human condition.

So much happening in their music; so much to be cherished and enjoyed. See the video below.

Don’t miss this chance to see them live

You can witness the magical, sumptuous sound of Sairie for yourself – and discover what is exciting both Lee and Maconie. That’s because the ever-loving people at Even Butterflies Make A Sound are promoting the group at Chelmsford’s Hot Box on 16 July 2023, as part of the venue’s occasional Folk Sunday events. These sessions aren’t letting themselves go. Please click here to book your tickets.

The bargain cover price guarantees an afternoon of outstanding music, including DJs spinning treasured folk platters and guest musicians. Do you fancy performing a song or two? Then book a coveted floorspot (if you play, you don’t pay!) by contacting

Check out Sairie’s Bandcamp page. Buy stuff! It’s a veritable treasure trove.

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