Fiddle meets guitar. Foot-tappingly banging. Ear-pleasingly melodic. A beautifully rich combination of string on string that oozes with charisma. Ross and Tom keep their music simple – spine-tingling tunes with a sprinkle of banter.
Hailing from Shetland and Devon, Ross Couper and Tom Oakes have been playing together for nigh on a decade and have affirmed a telepathic performance style that has led to sell-out tours across Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the UK – including performances at Celtic Connections, Cambridge Folk Festival, Shetland Folk Festival, Tonder and many more.
Coupled with their blatant on-stage rapport, their music is honest, charming, and straight to the point. The sound of ten instruments emanates from only two, providing their audiences with a flabbergasting performance that is dripping with energy and boasts a broad range of influences from Shetland folk, to Arabic hip hop, to Irish trad, to Scandinavian jazz. Mental.
Performing in front of huge audiences of 5000+ whilst collaborating with Danish popstar Lukas Graham at Tonder Festival has armed them with a natural stage presence that they carry from strength to strength. They also featured in the BBC’s ‘Shetland’ drama twice, appeared on multiple TV broadcasts for BBC Alba, and provided the music for an advert by clothing giant Anthropologie. Their last tour of Australia saw venues fit to burst at the National Folk Festival in Canberra before entertaining crowds far and wide from Melbourne to Perth.
The duo come with some heavyweight credentials, on top of being shortlisted for Album of the Year in the 2017 Scots Trad Awards. Ross was nominated for Instrumentalist of the Year in the 2015 Scots Trad Awards and his explosive fiddle playing lies at the heart of the mighty Peatbog Faeries, whilst Tom was nominated for the same ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ in 2019!He is a multi-award-winning guitarist, flautist, producer and composer. His other musical talents are highlighted within his work as a founder of the genre-defying Auvo Quartet, head honcho of his own project – the Tom Oakes Experiment – and one third of the terrifically experimental OBT.
Without doubt – Couper and Oakes are a full throttle force to be reckoned with.