They say that collaboration is the mother of invention. Well, that couldn’t possibly be more true when it comes to mystical trio Yorkston/Thorne/Khan.
As you may have guessed, the project includes Scotland’s finest peddler of off-kilter folk, James Yorkston, and the new group sees him teaming up with New Delhi vocalist and sarangi virtuoso Suhail Yusuf Khan as well as Lamb bassist Jon Thorne. If that sounds like a heady mix, their new track “Sufi Song” is positively intoxicating.
The song is taken from their forthcoming album Everything Sacred, which is slated for release on 15 January via Domino Records. And by the sounds of things, the album is all set to be a ride into some enlightening territory.
Yorkston’s well-weathered guitar is unmistakable in the song, supplying some sprightly, blues driven melodies before breaking out into a rash of eastern-inspired riffing. But Yorkston takes a back seat as far as the vocals are concerned; the track is driven by Khan, who shows of his soaring traditional range. The addition of Thorne gives the track a warm back bone and “Sufi Song” coalesces like a reined-in version of Ash Ra Tempel.
Speaking about the new group, Yorkston says: "Two years went by, ourselves as a trio and Lisa (O'Neill) going our separate ways and working on our own music. We kept in touch, always looking for windows where we could all appear together, but it only became possible in 2015, when the Alchemy Festival asked Yorkston, Thorne, Khan to play and the British Council helped sort out the logistics of it all.
"We built a small tour around the Alchemy shows, this time without Lisa. The opportunity to record again was there and we ended up in Analogue Catalogue in Northern Ireland. Lisa came up from Dublin and joined us for the session and that was that - the second half of the album was made."
“Sufi Song” sees Yorkston/Thorne/Khan embracing all manner of eastern spirituality and injecting it with a turbo-charged energy that’s as potent as a cumulonimbus of narcotic incense.
Jan 18th - Anstruther Dreel Halls
Jan 19th - Glasgow Celtic Connections
16th Feb - Bicycle Shop - Norwich
17th Feb - the Junction 2 - Cambridge
18th Feb - Warwick Arts Centre
21st Feb - Yellow Arch - Sheffield
23rd Feb - Belgrave Music Hall - Leeds
24th Feb - Deaf Institute Manchester
25th Feb - Old Queen’s Head - London
27th Feb - St John’s Church - Cardiff
28th Feb - Komedia - Bath
29th Feb - Phoenix - Exeter