Monday, 3 June 2019

Theme Time: Gentleman Jack - O'Hooley and Tidow

I love it when the mainstream wakes up to the beauty of good folk music. And that's certainly what has happened to Yorkshire folk act O'Hooley and Tidow in the wake of Sally Wainwright's new BBC drama series, Gentleman Jack.

Back in 2012, Heidi Tidow and her wife Belinda O'Hooley released their second album The Fragile which featured on it a track called Gentleman Jack, recounting the life of 19th century Yorkshire gentlewoman, Ann Lister. Fast forward to 2019 and Wainwright has created a drama series about Lister, using O'Hooley and Tidow's song as its closing theme tune. The result? A surge in sales for a seven-year-old album that has seen it reach number 3 in the Amazon folk and songwriter charts, behind no less than Adele's 21 and George Ezra's Wanted on Voyage!

I've previously blogged about Anne Lister, or rather a previous adaptation of her life starring Maxine Peake, here, ahead of the opening episode of the new series. Whilst Sally Wainwright's take is very enjoyable and quite the rollicking, lusty romp, I must confess to preferring the earlier film. Peake created a more sympathetic heroine, whereas Suranne Jones can be a bit too haughty and frankly rather snobby. Then again, perhaps Miss Lister was somewhat unlikeable - after all her decision to leave one childhood lover sent the poor unfortunate to a lunatic asylum for the remainder of her life. Whatever, the exploits of Gentleman Jack are certainly brightening up these Sunday evenings and it's great news for O'Hooley and Tidow.

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