Exmouth award-winning folk duo’s virtual tour during coronavirus crisis

PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 April 2020

Hannah Martin and Phillip Henry. Picture: Hannah Martin

Hannah Martin and Phillip Henry. Picture: Hannah Martin

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When touring folk duo Hannah Martin and Phillip Henry started getting gigs being cancelled due to coronavirus, panic began to set in.

Hannah Martin and Phillip Henry. Picture: Hannah MartinHannah Martin and Phillip Henry. Picture: Hannah Martin

The spring and summer months are when the award-winning duo from Exmouth, known as Edgelarks, would be their busiest, touring several venues and festivals.

However, due to the escalating Covid-19 crisis, they had to curtail their tour and return home.

Since then, they have been producing a ‘digital tour’ from their living room, streaming it across their social media accounts.

Miss Martin, 32, said it was a ‘scary situation’ when their tour was ‘abruptly’ cancelled, but it has opened the door to new opportunities.

She said she was initially sceptical about the virtual format, adding: “There’s something very special about live music and the connection you have with people in a room, but I think we are living in such exceptional circumstances that people feel so far from each other … the sense of connection it gives us is incredible.

“It’s less of a stage show but we get comments in real time and that’s actually quite special.”

The pair were on the Isle of Man when they started getting cancellations and were gearing up for a national tour as part of the Gigspanner Big Band.

Miss Martin told the Journal returning home has allowed her to see her garden ‘come to life’ and they have been singing songs for their neighbours.

As well as the live performances, the duo have also been teaching instrumental lessons online and holding workshops and a beer tasting thanks to a contribution from Exmouth-based microbrewery Crossed Anchors.

Miss Martin added: “This very strange time has been hugely improved by the support of our listeners, and our ability to connect with that community even when we all have to be apart.

“It has given us pause and made us think about new ways forward in the future.”

Edgelarks are set to perform an Easter concert via their Facebook page on Thursday (April 9) which will be an ‘informal’ gig from their living room.

The gig will begin at 7pm on Thursday.


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