Black*Scarr: East End Country music + Dan Sealey

Date/Time Sun 30 Oct 2022 7:45 PM

Price Online - £9 + 90p fee; On The Door - £10


Black*Scarr is an East London duo formed by two singer songwriters with different styles and influences, but whose co-writing has collided to produce a collection of songs that move audiences to laughter and tears.

Black is Johnny Black, a Nuneaton-raised Geordie who was once frontman of now cult 80s Midlands pop outfit The Kidda Band and whose CV also includes work as an album sleeves model, newspaper columnist and 90s TV personality. He also has a website featuring his frequently satirical songs about a variety of media celebrities and wannabes.

The other half of the name is Leytonstone’s Emma Scarr who, raised on a diet of Steve Earle, Emmylou, Kristofferson, Fairport and The Dubliners shares Black’s musical affections and sounds a lot like a fiddle-playing (not to mention banjo, accordion and mandolin) Kirsty MacColl. Emma was the winner of Watford Folk Club Song Competitions in 2013 and 2015.

The duo have developed a Country/Folk hybrid, not from Nashville, but from the more tucked-away streets of East London and the coal-dust tinged open spaces of the North East of England.

Many of the songs celebrate middle-aged relationships – failed, suffered or survived. Sensitive lyrics are given an upbeat push by lively driven rhythms and tunes. Splattered amongst the bitterness and sadness are bits of hope and tenderness.
Honest and gritty, this urban folk/country duo produce songs full of stories and themes that are modern but classic-sounding and timeless, personal and everyday, still universal. Black*Scarr have become known for live performances bursting with energy and chemistry. Prepare to tap your toes to upbeat melodic country tunes and be touched by hard-hitting, yet poetic lyrics that will stay with you, documenting the trials, contradictions, fears and delights of middle-aged life and love.

“Incredible songs performed with enthusiasm and musicianship… so entertaining” “The duo that puts the FUN into FOLK!” Helen Chinn WATFORD FOLK CLUB

“…sporting vapour trails of The Pogues, Kitty Wells, Hank Williams and Elvis Costello. The lyrics are smart and witty… although numbers like The Internet Dating Song may be playful, there’s also a wealth of sharply poignant observations on the disappointments of life. And yet, such is the exuberance of the music and the delivery that it’s impossible not to tap your feet and join in and sing along with the misery. If you ever wished there had been a whole album to go with Fairytale of New York, this is your perfect unhappy ever after.” FOLK RADIO UK Black Scarr – Middle Aged Love by Mike Davies on 3 February, 2015 in Album Reviews

The videos on this page are taken from the duo’s previous visits to The Cabbage Patch, and are courtesy of Eugene.

Dan Sealey started his career with folk rock band ‘Ocean Colour Scene’ touring the world and playing headline slots at major festivals for over a decade.
He co-founded the band ‘Merrymouth’ with Simon Fowler. Merrymouth released two critically acclaimed studio albums that  featured award winning musicians, John McCusker, Andy Cutting and even a guest appearence from Chas Hodges (Chas and Dave).

Dan went on to found the ‘Merrymaker’ project, making music about the big events that are going on in the world right now. A musical commentary on the times we are living in and an artistic push back.
Recently, Dan re-formed the legendary Music Hall double act ‘Cosmotheka’ with his father Dave. Rubbing shoulders with comedy giants like Gus Elan, Harry Champion, and the rest, they’ve picked up the trail first blazed by Dave and his late brother Al, leading to the great Music Halls of yore.

Now, Dan is taking his own show on the road. The show features music from all the bands he’s been involved with, the often hilarious stories he’s amassed along the way and new materiel from the album he is working on due for release early next year.