Episodes

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0403Stephanie Phillips20190722

Growing up in Wolverhampton, Steph Phillips was a quiet girl, shy to the point of wanting to vanish during social occasions and conscious that as a black teenage female she was, anyway, invisible to most of society. These days, she's found her voice in a space where she can be what she describes as her "full self'" - she's the guitarist and lead singer with the black feminist punk band Big Joanie.

In a lineage of music-making with attitude that can be traced back through Riot Grrrl to the original punk icon, the late Poly Styrene of X-Ray Specs, Steph now commands a stage on which issues of identity, of race and gender, of political activism and artistic expression collide in joyful, noisy creativity.

Presented and produced by Alan Hall
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio 4

An intimate portrait of Steph Phillips from black feminist punk band Big Joanie.

Musicians talk about their life and work.

0404Richard Dawson20190729

For a man whose musical demeanour comes across as rough-hewn with a potency that's barely contained, Richard Dawson in person is gentle with a soft smile and opinions that are precisely worded though almost tentatively shared. He admits to a high level of everyday anxiety, yet has left a mark on contemporary folk music in England that testifies to an innate confidence in his musical vision. His albums (notably Nothing Important of 2014 and Peasant in 2017), as well as being critically acclaimed, have taken folk music into new territory that's at once ancient and avant-garde.

Speaking at his home in the north-east of England, Richard reflects on the particular qualities of his voice, the life that music has opened up to him and his ever-present companion, Trouble the cat.

Presented and produced by Alan Hall
A Falling Tree production for BBC Radio Four

An intimate portrait of folk musician Richard Dawson.

Musicians talk about their life and work.