Caroline Trettine

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Caroline Trettine
Birth nameCaroline Anne Halcrow
Born (1958-09-04) 4 September 1958 (age 65)
Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, England
GenresFolk rock, hip hop, classical
Occupation(s)Singer-songwriter, musician
Instrument(s)Vocals, guitar
Years active1983–present
LabelsUtility, Oporto Records, Tuition, Evensong, Generous

Caroline Anne Halcrow (born 4 September 1958), known professionally as Caroline Trettine is an English folk singer-songwriter.[1]


She was born in Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, England,[1] and spent the early years of her life in Nigeria. She began composing songs while still at school. After gaining a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degree in English with French at Bristol University,[1] she joined a folk-rock band and was discovered by Gerard Langley in 1983, who invited her to join The Blue Aeroplanes.

Music career[edit]

Caroline Trettine sang and played guitar with the Blue Aeroplanes who comprised at that time: Gerard Langley, Nick Jacobs, John Langley, Angelo Bruschini and David Chapman. She then left the Blue Aeroplanes in 1985 to pursue a solo career.[1] Securing a contract with Billy Bragg and Peter Jenner's Utility record label, she recorded the Be A Devil album in 1990 at the Cathouse studios of Grant Showbiz.[2] Successful tours with Bragg and Christy Moore,[1] and appearances on regional and national BBC radio were met with critical acclaim.[2] "Like [Sandy] Denny, Trettine hovers over great melancholy with an almost detached air that only cuts closer to the quick. To be worthy of such a comparison this early on is no mean feat".[citation needed] In the intervening years, Trettine continued to record material, experimenting with different styles and working with a range of collaborators. Though an acoustic artist, she worked closely with hip hop in the early 1990s. In 2001, she released her second album, Ten Light Years. It was recorded and produced by Richard Bell (The Blue Aeroplanes) at the label Evensong's studio. The main musicians on the album were multi-instrumentalist Ian Kearey (Oyster Band, and The Blue Aeroplanes); bass player David Chapman and guitarist Nick Jacobs (both ex Blue Aeroplanes); her father Laurence Halcrow on concertina; and her brother Ian Halcrow on vocals; plus featured producer – Gerard Langley (The Blue Aeroplanes).

In 2005, Trettine released her third album, Trail in the Sky on Oporto Records run by Spencer Roberts. She was then invited by Spencer Roberts to join The Winnebago Orchestra with whom she made two albums – Fifteen and Born in the Sun – on the German label, Tuition (Schott International), in 2006 and 2008. At the same time, she started up her own poetry band, Mirabeau, with Richard Price (a novelist and poet) and Ian Kearey. They played two introductory gigs at the Edinburgh Festival and the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, Scotland, before releasing their first album Golden Key in May 2011. Their follow-up, Age of Exploration, was launched at the Ritzy Upstairs in mid 2015.

Since 2004, Trettine has written a number of solo chamber musicals, two of which – The Silver Machine, Learning to Walk – she performed at the London's Rosemary Branch Theatre, in 2007 and 2009. Trettine has also begun writing classical pieces: a string quartet – My Mother's War – in 2010; a guitar quartet – The Love bridge, 2011; and a violin/cello concerto – Conversations with Ian, 2012.

In December 2011, she released her album, Tears, which comprised 'sudden sonnets', rap-blues pieces and her guitar/bass/drum arrangements of poetry by Lorca. This was followed in 2014 by Gay Demo: Field Recordings of the Audio Underground in which she encapsulates her experiences of the lesbian and gay community.

In 2015, Trettine formed the band Koral Society, in which she combines talents with the double bass player and composer, Alison Rayner, and the Guinean griot composer, kora player and multi-instrumentalist, Mosi Conde. Their album Waters Wide was played on BBC Radio 6 Music and met with critical acclaim: "wistfully sweet...excellent" (Gideon Coe, BBC Radio 6 Music) and "wonderful and really lovely" (Peter Culshaw, The Arts Desk).[citation needed]



  • Be a Devil, Utility, 1990
  • Ten Light Years, Evensong, 2000
  • Trail in the Sky, Oporto, 2006
  • Fifteen, The Winnebago Orchestra, Tuition, 2006
  • Born in the Sun, The Winnebago Orchestra, Tuition, 2008
  • Golden Key, Mirabeau, Generous, 2011
  • Tears, Generous, 2011
  • Gay Demo: Field Recordings from the Audio Underground, Generous, 2014
  • Age of Exploration, Mirabeau, Generous, 2015


  1. ^ a b c d e Gregory, Andy (2002). The International Who's Who in Popular Music 2002 (Fourth ed.). Psychology Press. ISBN 1-85743-161-8.
  2. ^ a b Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 2531. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.

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