Darlingside grasp headlining chance

Indie-folk band Darlingside in action
Indie-folk band Darlingside in action

The Cambridge Folk Festival often gives relatively unknown bands a helping hand up the ladder – and last summer a four-piece from Massachusetts took full advantage.

After performing on Stage 2 on the Saturday afternoon, Darlingside slipped into a prime spot on the main stage in the evening in place of a headliner who had fallen ill.

And they relished the opportunity to introduce the big audience to their engaging blend of 60s folk-pop, bluegrass, classical music and indie rock.

Three days later, it was Sheffield’s turn to fall for their charms thanks to a memorable appearance at The Greystones.

Now the indie-folk quartet are back in the city, this time at Sheffield Memorial Hall next Thursday (June 29), as they make their third trip to the UK and follow up the interest in their 
album, Birds Say.

Darlingside started as a five-piece indie rock band but parted company with their drummer as they found a more ethereal direction.

The results are richly textured, sometimes dream-like, with close harmony consistently at the fore.

Unsurprisingly, the vocal approach has evoked comparisons with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, The Byrds and Fleet Foxes.

Yet Darlingside have staked out their own distinctive territory in which they play guitar, banjo, mandolin, cello and bass.

Live and on record, they present a unified voice by clustering around a single condenser microphone, with each member taking turns to sing lead.

On stage, lively banter between songs helps to complete a rich and colourful musical tapestry.

lAmerican singer-songwriter Sam Baker returns to the Greystones on Monday (June 26).