Born in Liverpool, and now living in Newcastle after doing an art degree in that town, Kathryn Williams is one of the UK's most respected and critically acclaimed singer-songwriters.
Kathryn released her first album, Dog Leap Stairs on her own Caw Records label in 1999 (making it one of the first DIY albums to be released on any scale). Famously made for the princely sum of £80, the NME declared it “jaw-droppingly beautiful”. The follow up, Little Black Numbers, garnered a Mercury nomination, bringing her to the attention of a wider public. A spell with EastWest / Atlantic followed (Old Low Light, 2002 and the Relations covers album, 2004), before she returned to her independent roots with 2005's Over Fly Over. She released her sixth album, Leave To Remain, on Caw in 2006.
Caw Records is a family affair, run by her husband Neil le Flohic, while the album artwork is a series of original oil paintings and pencil drawings by Kathryn. She is also hand printing a limited number of prints for sale. Kathryn and Neil take their 2-year-old son on tour with them.
Though Kathryn has collaborated with the likes of John Martyn, Badmarsh and Shri, Thea Gilmore, Tobias Froberg and Ted Barnes, Two will be the first project to be released under joint names.
Kathryn and Neill co-wrote most of the album, with the exception of Innocent When You Dream, which is a Tom Waits song. Neill was singing and playing that song as a warm up in the studio- Kathryn told the engineer to hit the record button and went in to join him on a harmony. This first time through the song is what you hear on the record. Two further songs on Two are written solely by Kathryn- 6am Corner and Blue Fields.
Kathryn plays guitars, melotron, hammond and harmonium on the album
Was born into a hugely important family in the world of folk-accoustic music. His father, Ewan MacColl and mother, Peggy Seeger, were the famously purist pair at the heart of the British folk revival of the early sixties. Whilst nobody is purely the product of their parents, the influence of a father who wrote such classics as “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and “Dirty Old Town” and a mother who is a supremely talented multi-instrumentalist is undeniable. Neill was part of his parents' touring band from the age of 15.
Then there were the siblings- Callum MacColl is a well-respected musician, and Kirsty MacColl's reputation speaks for itself. Kirsty was Neill's half-sister- they were seperated in age by only six months, which meant “we had a very close relationship, but also a very strange one”. Kirsty was in Neill's first band, Spring: “we threw her out, because we didn't need a girl singer”.
A series of bands followed: new romantic fops The Roaring Boys, The Liberty Horses with brother Callum, and The Bible with Boo Hewerdine, before Neill turned to a career as a guitarist, singer and producer (he rightly rejects the phrase “session guitarist”) His career has included long spells in Eddi Reader's band, several years with David Gray, as well as Nanci Griffith, Boo Hewerdine, David Gilmour, Lou Rhodes, Beth Gibbons, Steve Earle and KD Lang, amongst others.
The other side of Neill's work for the past few years has been as a film and TV composer.
Interestingly, The MacColl legacy continues, as both of Neill's sons are in successful bands of their own, (Bombay Bicycle Club and LoFi Culture Scene), which has given Neill a new job: “i'm a roadie for 2 teenage bands”.
Neill plays guitars, autoharp, dulcimer and hammond on the album