THE first series of Gentleman Jack may have ended in the cobbled streets of York last Sunday, but that is not the end of the story for folk duo O'Hooley& Tidow.

Their song of the same name from their February 2012 album, The Fragile, formed the closing theme for the BBC/HBO drama, picked up by writer-director Sally Wainwright seven years after its initial release.

O'Hooley & Tidow's Gentleman Jack can be heard once more, live this time at Thorganby Folk in tomorrow's 7.15pm concert at Thorganby Village Hall, near York.

York artist Sue Clayton, artist in residence at Thorganby Folk, will take the opportunity to unveil her new portrait of the folk duo: the wife-wife couple of pianist Belinda O'Hooley and fellow singer-songwriter Heidi Tidow.

"As the artist in residence, I usually sketch away quietly as the musicians perform, to then work on a painting later, with back-up photos taken on my phone too," says Sue.

"In the case of O'Hooley and Tidow, however, I've jumped the gun and used a selfie from Instagram, so they haven't seen their portrait yet!"

When they do so tomorrow, they will come face to face with a painting in watercolour on gesso-coated board, measuring 50cm by 50cm.

"They're great lasses," says Sue. "I've seen them perform three times so far at Thorganby. The second time I saw them, I was thunderstruck by the love they obviously felt for each other as they sang together. It was almost palpable. Amazing. I hope the portrait shows this."

O'Hooley & Tidow were approached by Sally Wainwright at a gig in Hebden Bridge to ask if she could use Gentleman Jack for her new drama, reveals Sue.

"It's been wonderful to follow O'Hooley and Tidow's success," she says. "Shows are sold out months in advance now.

"To pay homage to their success, I felt it was important to incorporate Anne Lister's code from her diary within the piece. Translated back, it's an extract from 'I love and only love the fairer sex and thus be loved by them in turn, my heart revolts from other love than theirs'."

Full of praise for Belinda and Heidi's songwriting, Sue says: "I love their music, the stories within the songs and the celebration of 'local'. Importantly for me, the celebration of strong women who history may otherwise forget.

"Another favourite of mine is their song Beryl, in celebration of Beryl Burton, the record-breaking Leeds cyclist, who was also a working mum. I feel O'Hooley & Tidow are strong role models too."

Sue previously featured in The Press in 2017when she launched her York Heroes project to paint six of the city's great and good, selected from public nominations.

The results were revealed at the York Residents' Festival in January 2018: Theatre Royal pantomime dame Berwick Kaler; Huge singer, charity fundraiser and dementia care campaigner Big Ian Donaghy; "unsung hero" Andrew Fair, a Sainsbury's staff member for three decades and charity fundraiser; York Against Cancer co-founder Steve Leveson; Mary Chapman, who runs the Nuzzlets animal charity at Great Ouseburn, and the late Suzanne Asquith, the police constable who was awarded the Gold award for Inspiration at the North Yorkshire Police Annual Awards and a BEM in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her work with young people.

Looking ahead, Belinda O'Hooley will return to a York stage on September 18 when she plays at the National Centre for Early Music, in Walmgate, with tickets on sale on 01904 658338 or at

Her Inversions concert will showcase Belinda’s abilities as a composer and pianist with many of the piano pieces inspired by the songs and tunes her father inherited from a long line of male musicians in the hills of the West coast of rural Ireland.

With the passing of her father in 2017, Belinda – the first woman to be handed the tradition – has "found the freedom to express the music of her ancestors in her own, unconventional way, evolving and migrating into an inversion: a reversal of the norm".

Add a new portrait to a celebratory Summerfolk show at Thorganby, and a profile heightened by Gentleman Jack, could O'Hooley & Tidow have any more good news? Yes, they are expecting their first baby.

Charles Hutchinson