Featured Posts

<< >>

Comedy at Beverley Folk Festival

If you thought Beverley Folk Festival’s just about music, think again. The award-winning event, which moved to its new location at Beverley Racecourse last year, also has a history of

Bookmark and Share

Turin Brakes to play Purbeck Folk Festival

The latest addition to this year’s Purbeck Folk Festival, Turin Brakes join the festival’s strongest bill to date and confirm Purbeck continues to punch way above its weight. A decade

Bookmark and Share

Musicport Festival confirms Lo’Jo as Saturday Night Headliner

Discovered by Peter Gabriel  the irresistible Lo’Jo are a musical street caravan, an iconoclastic group whose fans include Björk, and John Zorn. With 30 years under their belt this collective

Bookmark and Share

Summer Season of Folk Education, Classes and Courses

The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) has unveiled its summer season of education activities at Cecil Sharp House in London including classes, courses and workshops based on traditional

Bookmark and Share

Blair Dunlop debuts new video with Clash / Announces Spring UK tour dates

Award-winning British songwriter Blair Dunlop returns this May 26th, with his brand new album ‘House of Jacks’. The follow up to 2012’s debut ‘Blight & Blossom’, one of the year’s

Bookmark and Share

Comedy at Beverley Folk Festival

If you thought Beverley Folk Festival’s just about music, think again.

The award-winning event, which moved to its new location at Beverley Racecourse last year, also has a history of serving up top-drawer comedy.

And 2014 proves to be no exception with three of the best known and best loved artists performing over the weekend of June 20-22 – Mitch Benn; Sean Hughes and John Hegley.

Described by The Times as “the country’s leading satirist,” Mitch Benn (Friday June 20) is a regular writer and performer on The Now Show (BBC Radio 4) and It’s Been a Bad Week (BBC Radio 2). Three series of his successful Radio 4 show, Mitch’s Crimes Against Music have been broadcast so far.

Despite a nine-year break from performing stand-up, Sean Hughes (Saturday June 21) was voted No. 40 in Channel 4′s ‘World’s 100 Greatest Comedians’ poll. Best-known to TV audiences for his long-running stint as team captain on the panel show Never Mind The Buzzcocks and acclaimed drama The Last Detective, his equally wide-ranging film and theatre career includes starring roles in the film adaptation of Spike Milligan’s Puckoon and, with Sienna Miller on the West End stage, in As You Like It.

John Hegley (Sunday June 22) is an Edinburgh festival regular. He has produced material about dog hair, potatoes and handkerchiefs in a philosophical framework.

He performed on the streets of London in the early eighties, fronting the Popticians with whom he also recorded two sessions for John Peel. He has since performed his words sung and spoken across the network for BBC radio, as well as producing 10 books of verse and prose pieces, two CDs and one mug!

The comedy line-up adds to what is already shaping up to be a great year for Beverley Folk Festival, which was recently named as a “Remarkable Tourism Event” in the 2014 REYTA Awards (Remarkable East Yorkshire Tourism Awards) , and shortlisted for Best Family Festival at the UK Festival Awards 2013.

With a series of ticket options for the full weekend or individual events, Beverley is a local festival with national and international appeal set in a family-friendly environment with plenty to keep visitors of all ages entertained.

For information and tickets:  www.beverleyfestival.com   Tel: 01377 217569

Bookmark and Share

Turin Brakes to play Purbeck Folk Festival

The latest addition to this year’s Purbeck Folk Festival, Turin Brakes join the festival’s strongest bill to date and confirm Purbeck continues to punch way above its weight.

A decade and a half since childhood friends Olly Knights and Gale Paridjanian formed Turin Brakes, they have just released their most acclaimed album to date, We Were Here, completed their most extensive tour of the UK and established a solid foothold in the States where their song, Inbetween, is featured in hit TV show Elemental, a contemporary Sherlock Holmes update starring Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu.

“I saw them play with the likes of Carthy & Swarbrick, Jackie Oates and The Albion Band at Lyme Regis last year and they were absolutely amazing,” says Purbeck Folk Festival director Catherine Burke. “Led by two acoustic guitars and harmony vocals, they played a chilled out set of beautiful, well-crafted songs, which still managed to have its rockier moments, and I knew they would be perfect for Purbeck.”

Having released their Mercury Music Prize nominated debut album The Optimist (2001), Turin Brakes’ second album Ether Song (2003) entered the UK charts at number four and spawned the top five single Pain Killer (Summer Rain). That was followed by the top 10 album JackinABox (2005) and Dark On Fire (2007). The band signed to Cooking Vinyl in 2009 and released Outbursts (2010).

Olly and Gale, now joined by long-term collaborators Rob Allum (percussion) and Eddie Myer (bass), will draw on their distinguished six-stringed past to play Purbeck, but also showcase We Were Here, which echoes with the pastoral psychedelia of Pink Floyd, the sunset soul of Laurel Canyon and the blues of the Mississippi Delta.

“Gale and I spent much of our teens getting stoned listening to old blues records in our bedrooms,” says Olly. “That informs Turin Brakes as much as my personal love of Laurel Canyon singer songwriters – we’re hugely inspired by artists like Joni Mitchell and more recently people like Laura Marling; brave female soul singers who aren’t afraid to leap into their own wells and come up spluttering, making something beautiful with what they find.

“With this record, the four of us brought in our own very different influences – everything from jazz to hip hop to ambient music and things like Pink Floyd. Their records have been there right since The Door, the first single off The Optimist. The records of the early 70s, they’re like extra limbs to us.”

Running over the Bank Holiday weekend, 21-24 August, on a 600-acre sheep farm in the heart of the beautiful Isle of Purbeck, the Festival – which won the Fatea Music Award for Countryside Festival Of The Year – is four days of fine music, great food, fancy dress, comedy, film and magic on Dorset’s stunning Jurassic Coastline.

Now in its sixth year, Purbeck Folk Festival’s inclusive booking policy ensures an eclectic mix of outstanding, original young folk, established roots, traditional and world music in a fun, family-friendly environment. The four stages are contained in the farm’s barns and a marquee venue that hosts the Purbeck Rising final and open mic sessions.

But there’s much more than music on offer with a host of additional entertainment that includes a comedy line-up, an on-site cinema programme, art interventions and workshops, a fancy dress parade, a poetry slam, kids’ activity pen and a beer festival with 40 local real ales, 20 ciders and even a Dorset pils lager!

Weekend tickets (Fri-Sun) include free camping are on sale at just £90 (£45 12-17 years, £10 4-11 years, under 4s free). Day camping is available on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at £10 a night on arrival. A limited number of Festival day tickets will also be available.

Located in the village of Langton Matravers between Corfe Castle and Swanage, the land at Wilkswood Farm is devoted to conservation and environmental protection of a wide range of habitats. There’s a handy bus to Corfe Castle/Wareham and Swanage every hour both ways, while Harmans Cross station is a 15-minute walk away where you can catch the steam train to Swanage or Corfe Castle.

Purbeck Folk Festival, 21-24 August, Wilkswood Farm, Langton Matravers, Swanage, BH19 3DU.

Box office: 023 8071 1818

www.purbeckfolk.co.uk

Turin Brakes new single Guess You Heard is out now, from the album We Were Here.

www.cookingvinyl.com

www.turinbrakes.com

www.facebook.com/turinbrakes

www.twitter.com/turinbrakes

www.youtube.com/theturinbrakes

Bookmark and Share

Musicport Festival confirms Lo’Jo as Saturday Night Headliner

Discovered by Peter Gabriel  the irresistible Lo’Jo are a musical street caravan, an iconoclastic group whose fans include Björk, and John Zorn. With 30 years under their belt this collective of musicians from the south-west of France confirmed their position as one of the world’s leading musical outfits when their tenth studio album Cinéma El Mundo topped many Best Of lists in 2012. They   were named as Best Group in international music magazine Songlines 2013 Awards.

lojo

Renowned for their astonishing live shows the bands music embraces North African song, African flavours and percussion, classic French chanson, dub, rock and Romany music. Leader Denis Péan’s songs are written in French, English, Spanish and often uses words that just sound right, even if they don’t really exist! The seven-piece band also includes two sisters of Berber origin, Nadia and Yamina Nid el Mourid, whose astonishing close harmony is one of Lo’Jo’s most distinctive features. With a Caribbean bassist and French drummer, the line-up is truly multicultural; and Lo’Jo, who are based in the western city of Angers in the Loire valley, are indefinably attuned to how each of their many influences fit into the overall weave of their compelling music.

Their tenth studio album, Cinéma el Mundo, betrayed no sign at all that they intend to slow down, and features prestigious musical guests such as the legendary Robert Wyatt (who opens the album intoning in French) and Ibrahim Ag Alhabib from Tinariwen. Thirty years of travelling with open ears has given Lo’Jo’s sound a unique richness. They play funky dubbed-up chanson, raw yet intricate, with a bewildering variety of influences. Their sound is full of melancholy, nostalgia, and empathy with the displaced, marginalised and lonely. The pride and strength of culture of some of these soulmates – the Touareg, Creole and Berber to name three – add further layers to Lo’Jo’s musical palette and instrumental line-up.

Poet-in-chief Denis Péan takes us on journeys, across the ocean, to inhospitable new places, sits with us on a café terrace, regards the displaced, engages with all those who speculate on what it means to be a human being in the 21st century, the limitations of choice and quest for liberty. Not only did they co-found the legendary Festival In The Desert, they’ve also collaborated with Tinariwen and worked with Robert Plant’s guitarist Justin Adams. Sometimes they let others into their glorious garden.

‘The hypnotic pull of finely detailed yet, paradoxically, boldly sparse arrangements, seems to stop time. Exquisite.’ The Independent 

Jim McLaughlin Musicport director said; “We are really excited to be bringing one of the most musically intriguing, intense and challenging groups on the International music stage to Whitby. We know that their live set is something to behold and very much look forward to the great reaction they will undoubtedly elicit from our wonderful audience.

Bookmark and Share

Summer Season of Folk Education, Classes and Courses

The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) has unveiled its summer season of education activities at Cecil Sharp House in London including classes, courses and workshops based on traditional English folk arts for children, young people, adults and families.

Cecil Sharp House, located between Camden and Primrose Hill, now has step-free access to all four floors and facilities within the house, making it fully accessible to wheelchair and disabled visitors as well as to people with pushchairs. The foyer has been opened up and revamped, along with improvements to the cafe area and creation of an outdoor terrace.

Education Director, Rachel Elliott, said: “We want everyone of all ages to feel very welcome at Cecil Sharp House and relish the opportunity to learn and participate in folk arts of all kinds.

“This summer term there’s a chance for children and adults to dance, sing, play music, take part in arts and crafts, learn about folklore and have a unique ‘behind-the-scenes’ view of some of the original manuscripts that are now online in The Full English digital archive. In May there’s our lovely annual May in a Day! family folk arts festival which is bursting with wonderful folk arts to watch, listen to and join with!”

A full list of classes and courses at Cecil Sharp House can be found at: http://www.cecilsharphouse.org/csh-whats-on

Classes


Monday Musicians
Mondays 12 May | 9 June | 14 July, 7 – 10pm

Play folk dance tunes from the British Isles and associated traditions! All instruments and levels welcome. This is most suitable for musicians with some knowledge of written stave notation.

Tickets £5, £4 concessions
More info: education@efdss.org | 020 7241 8953

Morris Dancing
Tuesdays 6 May to 15 July, 6.30 – 9pm

Beginners: 6.30 – 8pm | Improvers and advanced: 7 – 9pm

This mixed level class is based on the popular and lively Cotswold morris tradition, in which dancers perform with handkerchiefs and sticks. Please note: these classes are designed to overlap. This allows beginners to be taught on their own first, and then learn from more experienced dancers in a mixed session from 7 – 8pm.

Tickets £5, £4 concessions

More info: education@efdss.org | 020 7241 8953

Cecil Sharp House Choir
Summer term
Wednesdays 23 April to 16 July (no classes on 28 May), 7 – 9pm

Sing traditional songs from the British Isles and beyond, in a cappella harmony arrangements, by choir leader Sally Davies.
Fee
£78, £62 concessions
To enrol, contact: education@efdss.org | 020 7241 8953

English Country Dancing
Thursdays 1 May to 17 July, 7.30 – 10pm

Learn the steps for barn, American contra, English country dances and ceilidhs. Musicians welcome to join the live band. No previous experience needed and no need to bring a partner. (Please note: this class was formerly called Thursday Beginners+) 
Tickets
£5, £4 concessions
More info: education@efdss.org | 020 7241 8953

Saturday Folk Music Workshops
Saturdays 26 April | 17, 31 May | 14, 21 June | 5 July, times vary depending on workshop

Discover your inner folk! Fun, welcoming and expertly taught workshops at different levels in banjo, accordion, fiddle, song, melodeon and folk ensemble. Please note, we do not accept new beginner level students in the summer term
Fee £66, £54 concessions
To enrol, contact: education@efdss.org | 020 7241 8953

Family


May in a Day!

Saturday 10 May, 2- 5pm
Weave your way into Cecil Sharp House for our popular afternoon family folk arts festival celebrating seasonal traditions. Themed around all things textile this year, stitch and spin around the maypole with Liam Robinson and band, make arts and crafts, and enjoy an abundance of other folk fuelled fun including barn and morris dancing, stories, songs, live music and more.
Tickets
£6 adult, £4 under 18s, Free under 2s, family group £18 (a group of 4 including at least one child or one adult)
Advanced booking recommended
www.musicglue.com/cecilsharphouse
www.ticketline.co.uk | 0844 888 9991
Tickets can be purchased from the reception desk at Cecil Sharp House (in person only), Monday – Friday, 9.30 – 5.30pm, with no booking fee

Family Barn Dance
Sunday 15 June, 3 – 5pm

These high energy events give budding dancers of all ages a chance to take their first steps and spins. Live music inspires the dancing and expert callers guide the moves with simple instructions.

Dances are specially selected to suit children and adults of all ages, so everyone can take part. Groups should include a minimum of one adult for every four children. Children under 5 should be partnered by an adult and may need guiding or carrying through the dances. No unaccompanied adults.
Tickets £6 adult, £4 children, Free, under 2s
Advanced booking recommended
www.musicglue.com/cecilsharphouse
www.ticketline.co.uk | 0844 888 9991
Tickets can be purchased from the reception desk at Cecil Sharp House (in person only), Monday – Friday, 9.30 – 5.30pm, with no booking fee

Participation and performance


Museums at Night Yan Tan Tethera
Thursday 15 May, from 7pm (drop-in)
A making and singing event focusing on wool and led by Prick Your Finger, Aimee Leonard and members of Cecil Sharp House Choir. Come along to sing and stitch. Bring your needles and favourite textiles inspired song with you! This event is part of Museums at Night, Culture24’s festival of after-hours cultural events.
Tickets Free (advance booking recommended)
Book online via EventBrite http://bit.ly/1f1s6Up

Spinning Yarns
Saturday 5 July, 7pm
Join in the annual celebration of adult music-making at Cecil Sharp House. Experience music, song and dance inspired by the rhythms, activities and traditions of textile making and the work of artist in residence David Littler. Featuring the Cecil Sharp House Choir, Camden Clog, London Fiddle School, participants from the Saturday Folk Music Workshops, and other guests to be announced.
Tickets £6
www.musicglue.com/cecilsharphouse
0844 888 9991

Children and Young People


Fun With Folk Dance

A fun-filled week of folk dance and song
Monday 11 – Friday 15 August, 10 – 12.30pm

Enjoy a week of lively folk dance and learn some traditional English folk songs. This course concludes with participants performing their new skills to family and friends! For children ages 6 – 9 years.
Fee:
£40 | £32 concessions
To enrol, contact: education@efdss.org | 020 7241 8953

Get Your Folk On! Juniors
An exciting week-long introduction to folk music
Monday 11 – Friday 15 August, 2 – 4.30pm
A great opportunity for 9 – 12 year olds to join our folk music programme!  Instrumentalists of all levels are welcome to come and enjoy playing, singing, dancing and creating fantastic folk music. No previous experience of folk music needed.
Fee: £40 | £32 concessions
To enrol, contact: education@efdss.org | 020 7241 8953

Get Your Folk On!
A creative course of fabulous folk music-making
Monday 18 to Friday 22 August, 10.30 – 4.30pm (6pm on Friday)
For young people aged 12 – 18 years with varied levels of musical experience, from improvers to advanced players. Get Your Folk On! is open to both newcomers to folk as well as dedicated folk enthusiasts. Players of any instrument are welcome.
Fee: £50
To enrol, contact: education@efdss.org | 020 7241 8953

Courses 


Folklore in England: Level 1
Wednesdays 14, 21, 28 May | 4, 11, 18 June, 7 – 9pm
Another chance to attend internationally published folklorist Steve Roud’s new course, exploring aspects of the English folklore. The course will investigate customs and festivals, superstitions and beliefs, children’s folklore, narrative tales, legend and domestic and personal lore. Suitable for absolute beginners with no previous experience or knowledge.
Fee
: £66 | £54 concessions
To enrol, contact: education@efdss.org | 020 7241 8953

Folk Choir Workshop
Sunday 16 May, 10 – 4pm
Join choir leader Sally Davies and explore the vivid world of English folk songs through her wonderful vocal arrangements of traditional material.  Everyone is welcome to come and join this exciting day of heart-warming singing. All material is taught by ear.
Fee
: £30 | £24 concessions
To enrol, contact: education@efdss.org | 020 7241 8953

Library and archive open day and workshops


The Full English Archive Open Day (including Archive Workshops)

Celebrating The Full English digital archive and the collections within
Saturday 14 June, 10 – 4pm
The Full English digital archive brings together 19 rich and diverse manuscript collections including those of Janet Blunt, Lucy Broadwood, George Butterworth, Clive Carey, Francis Collinson, George Gardiner, Anne Gilchrist, Percy Grainger, Henry and Robert Hammond, Maud Karpeles, Ella Mary Leather, Cecil James Sharp, Frank Sidgwick and Ralph Vaughan Williams held at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML) – for the first time in the most comprehensive free searchable digital archive of early 20th century English folk songs, tunes, dances and customs in the world.

The day will include talks, demonstrations and manuscript displays:

  •         See original manuscripts
    • Listen to expert speakers: Malcolm Taylor OBE (Library Director, Vaughan Williams Memorial Library) and Steve Roud (folklore expert, lecturer and editor)
    • Learn about The Full English collections in the context of the first folk revival
    • See how The Full English digital archive works and can be used – ‘how to’ sessions will be available

 

This event is free (drop-in at any time)

Reserve your place on Eventbrite http://bit.ly/1ln3OHX

Archive Workshops

Workshop 1: 10.30 to 12 | Workshop 2: 2-3.30pm
As part of the Open Archive Day, come along and learn how you can look after your most treasured possessions, in a hands-on workshop led by an archive specialist.

In this free workshop you will learn how to easily arrange, describe and store personal archive collections, such as family photographs, letters or documents.

 

This event is free (maximum of 25 participants, so advanced booking essential) Reserve your place on Eventbrite

Workshop 1: http://bit.ly/1eyViNo
Workshop 2: http://bit.ly/1kmvEAM

Bookmark and Share

Blair Dunlop debuts new video with Clash / Announces Spring UK tour dates

Blair Dunlop

Award-winning British songwriter Blair Dunlop returns this May 26th, with his brand new album ‘House of Jacks’. The follow up to 2012’s debut ‘Blight & Blossom’, one of the year’s most revered folk albums, House of Jacks more than lives up to that early promise. A collection of beautifully crafted songs that are influenced, but not confined, by his folk roots, Blair’s trademark guitar styling is enriched with a broader palette of instruments to create a more contemporary sound. Here, the album’s first single ‘Something’s Gonna Give Way’ (May 5th) is revealed.

Blair comments:

“The song is a classic battle between strong and weak… or at least perceived weakness! Scratch Pictures’ great treatment of the video has brought this into a stark reality and it seems to be getting much discussion.  I’m pleased it’s getting the attention it is…if only to raise conversation around a difficult and challenging area.”

A free MP3 download for an acoustic version of the track ‘45s (c.14)’ has also been announced, which can be grabbed here: https://soundcloud.com/rooksmererecords/blair-dunlop_45s-c-14-acoustic/s-pZjDX

Full UK Tour details are below:

May

21st  The Basement, York
24th  Fruit, Hull
25th  Bearded Theory Festival, Derby
25th  Thelka, Bristol
26th  The Junction, Cambridge
27th  Hare & Hounds, Birmingham
29th  Bodega Social, Nottingham
30th  Band On The Wall, Manchester
31st  Cecil Sharp House, London

June

01  St Bartholomew’s Church, Newton Abbot
02  The Convent Club, Glos

Blair Dunlop’s new album House of Jacks is released on May 26th through Rooksmere Records

Bookmark and Share

Folk On The Pier gets Ashley Hutchings as patron

Seal of approval from folk-rock’s ‘Guv’nor’

Cromer’s popular annual folk-rock music festival Folk On The Pier has been given the seal of approval from the man accredited with founding the genre. Ashley Hutchings has accepted the role of Patron to the festival and will make two special appearances at this year’s event.

The festival takes place in the Pier Pavilion Theatre on 9, 10 and 11 May and Ashley will take the stage with his latest ‘Morris On’ show on the Saturday evening.

The show takes its name from an album released in the early 70s which ‘rocked up’ the Morris tradition bringing its appeal to the forefront of modern popular culture. The line-up, then as now, included many of the most respected and talented musicians on the English folk scene. As well as stunning music virtuosity from the assembled musicians the vibrant show at the festival will feature a performance by energetic young Cotswold Morris side Fools Gambit with a solo performance by Stefan Care .

Ashley’s second appearance will be as the genial host at an informal lunchtime gathering in the Cliftonville Hotel to talk about his new book ‘Words Words Words’.

This will be part of the Festival Fringe events and will be free entry. The book is a collection of his poems, song lyrics and other writings that have appeared in the repertoires of many of the bands and productions he has been involved in during his fifty year career. The 75 minute ‘audience with the Guv’nor’ will feature readings from his book and opportunity to questions.

Festival organizer Scott Butler is delighted that Ashley accepted the invitation to become the event’s Patron. “Folk-rock was the music genre that inspired me to start Folk on the Pier and Ashley Hutchings has been the pivotal person in genre’s forty seven year history” he explained. “His acceptance is the stamp of approval”.

Ashley, who has received a number of awards for his contribution to English traditional music said “when I was asked by Scott Butler if I would be Patron of hisCromer Festival I said I would think about it…Actually I thought aboutit for 60 seconds… I was delighted!”

Other acts appearing at this year’s festival include historical and up-and-coming acts of the folk-rock scene. From Michael Chapman, Chris While and Julie Matthews and Home Service to Fabian Holland The Young’uns, and Jamie Smith’s Mabon. With a colourful array of other top UK artists and duos and acts from further afield, Brittany’s Guichen Brothers from, and Canadians Eileen McGann & David K, there is something to appeal to every taste.

Full weekend tickets and tickets for individual afternoon and evening concerts are available for The Pavilion box office Box office 01263 512495. For more information visit: http://www.folkonthepier.co.uk/

Bookmark and Share

IDLEWILD to play Purbeck Folk Festival

Idlewild are to play their only mainland UK festival date at Purbeck Folk Festival in August. The Scottish band released their last album Post Electric Blues in 2009 and since then frontman Roddy Woomble has released two solo albums, while guitarist Rod Jones has released material under his own name and with his band The Birthday Suit, most recently the excellent A Hollow Hole Of Riches in March.

Idlewild

The band used Twitter to announce they were about to start recording a new album earlier this year and have since announced a date at the tiny Iona Village Hall Music Festival in July and a series of acoustic dates in the Highlands and Islands in October, making Purbeck their only English date confirmed so far.

Running over the Bank Holiday weekend, 21-24 August, on a 600-acre sheep farm in the heart of the beautiful Isle of Purbeck, the Festival – which won the Fatea Music Award for Countryside Festival Of The Year – is four days of fine music, great food, fancy dress, comedy, film and magic on Dorset’s stunning Jurassic Coastline.

Idlewild join previously announced headliners Lloyd Cole, Eddi Reader, The South, Chris Wood and Emily Barker & the Red Clay Halo.

“These are not ‘comeback’ gigs and I hope people don’t think that they are,” says Roddy Woomble. “To me anyway, it’s much more an opportunity to open the songbook again – to revisit and re-imagine old songs, to play new songs and ideas, and generally just have some fun singing and playing, in a relaxed, all-acoustic way in some lovely (and unusual) venues and places.

“We are still writing and recording the new album (it will be released in 2015) so it is a chance to take a break from that process, while also using the gigs as part of that process, if you see what I mean.

“We have had a line-up shift too, only to be expected when you all go and do other things for five years – Gareth Russell has left; he is semi-based in Australia now, so family and work commitments deem it impractical to say the least. Of course we wish him all the best. We’re delighted to be joined by multi-instrumentalist and friend Lucci Rossi. Lucci has made a big difference to the new record already, so it will be cool to get out and about and play some concerts together.”

Guitarist Rod Jones added the new album is “shaping up to be a really interesting record.”

Idlewild formed in 1995 and have released six studio albums to date including the breakthrough 100 Broken Windows (1999), The Remote Part (2002), which spawned the hit singles You Held The World In Your Arms and American English and Warnings/Promises (2005) with the top 20 single Love Steals Us From Loneliness.

Roddy Woomble released his first solo album My Secret Is My Silence in 2006. Produced by John McCusker and featuring the likes of Kate Rusby, Karine Polwart and his wife Ailidh Lennon, it topped the UK folk charts and was followed in 2008 by Before the Ruin, recorded with John McCusker and Kris Drever, featuring Radiohead drummer Phil Selway and Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub. His third album, The Impossible Song & Other Songs (2011) has a sleeve drawn by Mairi Hedderwick, creator of Katie Morag, and his latest solo record, Listen to Keep, came out in March.

Now in its sixth year, Purbeck Folk Festival’s inclusive booking policy ensures an eclectic mix of outstanding, original young folk, established roots, traditional and world music in a fun, family-friendly environment. The four stages are contained in the farm’s barns and a marquee venue that hosts the Purbeck Rising final and open mic sessions.

But there’s much more than music on offer with a host of additional entertainment that includes a comedy line-up, an on-site cinema programme, art interventions and workshops, a fancy dress parade, a poetry slam, kids’ activity pen and a beer festival with 40 local real ales, 20 ciders and even a Dorset pils lager!

purbeck-logo

Weekend tickets (Fri-Sun) include free camping and are on sale at just £90 (£45 12-17 years, £10 4-11 years, under 4s free). Day camping is available on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at £10 a night on arrival. A limited number of Festival day tickets will also be available.

Located in the village of Langton Matravers between Corfe Castle and Swanage, the land at Wilkswood Farm is devoted to conservation and environmental protection of a wide range of habitats. There’s a handy bus to Corfe Castle/Wareham and Swanage every hour both ways; while Harmans Cross station is a 15-minute walk away where you can catch the steam train to Swanage or Corfe Castle.

Purbeck Folk Festival, 21-24 August, Wilkswood Farm, Langton Matravers, Swanage, BH19 3DU.

Box office: 023 8071 1818

www.purbeckfolk.co.uk

Bookmark and Share

Shrewsbury Folk Festival has announced its final headline act

Shrewsbury Folk Festival has announced its final headline act for this year’s August event – Canadian band Blackie and the Rodeo Kings.

Shrewsbury Folk Festival has announced its final headline act for this year’s August event – Canadian band Blackie and the Rodeo Kings.

The Juno award winning group is flying over specifically to perform during the four day festival from August 22 to 25 at the West Mid Showground in Berwick Road.

The group joins Bellowhead, Lau, Seth Lakeman, The Full English and BBC Folk Singer of the Year Bella Hardy on the line up.

Festival director Alan Surtees said: “I am delighted that we’ve managed to entice Blackie and the Rodeo Kings to Shrewsbury, it’s a real coup.

“Although some UK audiences may not be overly familiar with the band, they are incredible live and will add even more variety to our amazing line up. Our audience knows that we always provide an eclectic and interesting line up where they can discover new artists as well as hear old favourites.”

Tickets to the festival are selling quickly with earlybird prices due to end on March 31.

Mr Surtees said: “Tickets always fly out of the door in the final days of the earlybird pricing so I would urge people to get their tickets at the cheaper price before the end of the month.”

Also on the bill are The Dhol Foundation, John Jones – festival patron and lead singer of the Oysterband, Four Men and a Dog, Karine Polwart, Martin Simpson, Miranda Sykes & Rex Preston, Andy Cutting, Huw Williams & Maartin Allcock, Moulettes, the Steve Tilston trio, Megson, the Duncan McFarlane Band, The Wilsons and The Young’uns.

The festival’s other patron, Steve Knightley from Show of Hands, will bring his Wake the Union show, which will see the group’s most recent album performed in its entirety – an exclusive show just for Shrewsbury Folk Festival.

Coming to the festival for the first time will be Molotov Jukebox, a six piece band headed by actress and musician Natalia Tena, who played Nymphadora Tonks in the Harry Potter film series and has also starred in Game of Thrones.

Other artists include Sunjay Brayne, Steve Turner, The Harvesters, Carole Palmer & Maria Barham, Sue Brown & Lorraine Irwing, Cupola, and Take Two

Former Wailin’ Jenny, Cara Luft from Canada will join the foreign artist contingent with fellow countrymen, singer songwriter J P Hoe, and duo Matt Gordon and Leonard Podolak also appearing. Toronto based duo Madison Violet, which was forced to pull out at the last minute in 2012, will also perform.

The festival has five music stages, a dance tent, dozens of workshops, a children’s festival, youth programme for 11 to 20-year-olds, onsite camping, a craft fair and food village, including real ale bars.

An adult weekend ticket will rise by £15 from April 1. Day tickets start at £32.50 for adults.

Children under four go free and family tickets are available. Onsite camping is available to all weekend ticket holders with prices held to the same as this year at £20 per adult.

Tickets can be booked through www.shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk or direct at www.gigantic.com/shrewsburyfolkfestival.

Bookmark and Share

House Of Hats debut album out this Monday

house of hats

House of Hats are set to release their debut album in a few days time on Willow Walk Records. Produced by Grammy award winner Pete Smith (Sting, Joe Cocker, Squeeze) the band combine harmonically rich, passionate folk, albeit juxtaposed with sharp, concise production values.

Only performing live since 2012 (you’d never tell from their polished live set-up) last year the band played, among others, Cambridge Folk Festival and Secret Garden Party. Zoe Ball was quick to realise the beauty of the live show, tweeting the band after the Cambridge Folk Festival set:
“@houseofhats your set was stunning. Such harmonies. Stayed with me.”

Recently a House of Hats track, ‘Across the Universe’, was used on a feature length film ‘Common People’ that was spotlighted at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. The band have also just returned from the Netherlands where they performed with Will and The People and played well received sessions for Radio 1  & 2. Comparisons with Fleet Foxes will undoubtedly arise, both bands share an innate gift for melodic overtones that make tracks feel at once fresh and new, but also evoke distant memories of camp-side sing-alongs and long forgotten traditions.

The band have, in the past, supported the like of: Roo Panes, Larkin Poe, Mark Mulcahy and Luke Sital Singh.

A five week UK tour has been booked for Feb / March 2014 to promote the new album, with shows from London to the West Country, to Scotland and back.

Ray Lamontagne, Johnny Cash and Gillian Welch have been name checked by the band as influences, all undoubtedly true, but House Of Hats have a signature sound of their own. A sound that is set to be unleashed upon 2014

Bookmark and Share

New Release from Merrymouth – ‘Wenlock Hill’ out May 5th

Merrymouth

Wenlock Hill is the new release from Merrymouth, the three piece folk-orientated band formed by Ocean Colour Scene’s frontman Simon Fowler along with long time OCS band member Dan Sealey and acclaimed keyboard player Adam Barry.

Wenlock Hill is the follow up to their critically acclaimed debut, Merrymouth, and will be released through Navigator Records on May 5th 2014.

The 11-track album sees a diverse range of songs with inspiration coming in many different forms. The title track was inspired by the series of poems ‘A Shropshire Lad’ by AE Houseman, though “I’m not sure Wenlock Hill actually exists!” remarked Adam.

The melodious first single, Without You, is a love song about being apart and the loneliness of a long-distance relationship.

He Was A Friend Of Mine is a tender, melancholic song about the murder of John Lennon. “Dan introduced us to Roger McGuinn’s version concerning the death of JFK and we wanted to relate that loss to our generation. So, we sat down and wrote the song to reflect Lennon’s death,” recalled Simon.

There is a remarkable ‘folked-up’ version of The Stone Roses’ I Am The Resurrection. “It was really interesting to strip this tune down to a piano, strings and three part harmony,” Adam described. “We have always felt that although Ian Brown is never associated with folk, there is an influence in his vocal and melodies. Since songs are kept alive by different singers interpreting them, we wanted to add our own touches to this tune.” For a similar reason, their inspired reworking of The Stranglers’ track Duchess was because “it too had a great melody and could almost be a Ray Davies song,” he added.

Guest appearances include the legendary Chas Hodges on Salt Breeze, and award winning violinist John McCusker assisted on several further tracks, both artists having been of great influence on Merrymouth.  Also guesting were Catherine Harper (cello), Andy Derrick (trombone), Hugh Thomas (clarinet), Anthony Jones (muted trumpet) and Nick Lyndon (double bass).

The album was recorded at Rockfield Studios in Monmouthshire and was produced by Dan Sealey and Adam Barry.

TOUR DETAILS:

Merrymouth will embark on a UK tour to support the release of Wenlock Hill, expect additional dates to be added:

Thurs. 8th May  The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
Fri. 9th May  Rothes Hall, Glenrothes
Sat. 10th May  Tolbooth, Stirling
Fri. 16th May   The Met, Bury
Sat. 17th May  The Mac, Birmingham
Sun. 18th May   The Glee Club, Nottingham
Sun. 1st June  The Glee Club, Cardiff
Mon. 2nd June  Kings Place, London

WENLOCK HILL. CAT NOs: NAVIGATOR089/NAVIGATOR089D

Bookmark and Share