National Folk Festival Interview: Black Market Tune

Black Market Tune
Image Courtesy of Black Market Tune

Austro-Scottish trad band Black Market Tune return to Australia this month for The National Folk Festival after wowing croweds over the 2014/15 summer. We sat down with fiddle player and singer Paul Dangl to talk through the band’s influences and what Australian audiences can expect from the band this time around.

Gareth Hugh Evans: Black Market Tune draws on a lot of European influences but as you say yourself, the backbone of the band is Scottish. What is it about this music that attracts you?

Paul Dangl: I have a deep relationship with Scottish music, as I spent one year of my life in Glasgow, to absorb the music from its source. The music can be really gentle and smooth, when it comes to ballads but also really ferocious and rythmically driving in strathspeys or reels – I really like the broad spectrum of expression and energy when it comes to Scottish Music.

GHE: When you’re playing music with influences from around Europe what similarities do you see in the way the songs and tunes are constructed?

PD: I found lots of similarities between Austrian and Swedish songs and tunes, both traditions have those driving, fast 3/4 tunes – in Austria they’re called “Schleunige”, in Sweden polskas. Also you find waltzes and polkas all over The European Folk traditions. I find it really interesting to look for similar kind of melodies from different folk traditions, and to combine them.

GHE: You were in Australia just over a year ago for the Woodford Folk Festival – how did you find that experience? What’s brought you back?

PD: We had a great time at Woodford Folk Festival, it was really stunning to see so many types of music and styles of playing in one place called Woodfordia – I think that’s the thing that made it really special, and one reason why we came back – to meet so many musicians, for jamming, chatting and laughing and of course, exchanging music!

GHE: The lineup is a little different from the last time you were here – can you talk us through all of the players in Black Market Tune for the Australian tour?

PD: Box player Colin J Nicholson from Orkney and myself from Austria (fiddle & vocals) were here last year. This year we’re delighted to have Scots singer & fiddle player Lori Watson on board, as well as Graeme Armstrong on guitar. Both musicians hail from the Scottish Borders (South of Scotland), enriching the repertoire of Black Market Tune with great Scots and Borders songs and tunes.

GHE: You’re playing at The National Folk Festival as part of their 50th Anniversary. This festival is well known for it’s jamming and sessions – will we likely see Black Market Tune jamming in the session bar?

PD: Yes, as I mentioned before, the exchange of music is an important aspect of this journey, so it’s very likely you’ll spot some Black Market Tuners around the session bar at any time of the night!

GHE: After your Australian tour what’s next for Black Market Tune?

PD: In May the festival season starts in Europe, and we have a few festivals lined-up so far, among them a very special one where I’ve been founding member – it’s called Wackelstein Festival and it’s from 22nd to 24th of
July, 120km north of Vienna. Our next big project will be our second CD, which will be recorded in Fall 2016 and released on Galileo Records by the beginning of next year.

The upcoming dates for Black Market Tune’s Australian tour, including their shows at The National Folk Festival, are below:

Friday 18th to Sunday 20th March – Yacandandah Folk Festival, VIC
Monday 21st March – Kedron State High School Auditorium, Brisbane, QLD
Thursday 24th to Monday 28th March – National Folk Festival, Canberra, ACT
– Friday 5pm – Marquee
– Saturday 12:50pm – Billy Moran Tent
– Saturday 2:20pm – The Terrace
– Sunday 9pm – Budawang
– Monday 10:30am – Budawang
Tuesday 29th March – Smith’s Alternative, Canberra, ACT
Wednesday 30th March – The Exchange Hotel, Sydney, NSW

1 Comment

  1. March 18, 2016 at 15:11

    […] “I have a deep relationship with Scottish music, as I spent one year of my life in Glasgow, to absorb the music from its source. The music can be really gentle and smooth, when it comes to ballads but also really ferocious and rythmically driving in strathspeys or reels – I really like the broad spectrum of expression and energy when it comes to Scottish Music” – Paul Dangl from Black Market Tune chats to Gareth Hugh Evans. Interview here […]


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