C o n c e r t s - 2020
January 22nd - Greg Russell & Danny Pedler
Danny Pedler & Greg Russell bring you the Field & Dyke project; a project combining traditional music with the sounds of industry. Grown out of an oral history research project conducted by Danny, the music incorporates samples of dialogue from Field & Dyke Interviewees as well as being based around factory machine rhythms. These innovative music making techniques create brand new songs that explore folk music as a vehicle to communicate the feeling behind the social and cultural themes present in 21st century England.
February 5th - Les Barker
Les Barker writes strange poems and comes from originally from Manchester, but he's now Welsh. He was an accountant before he became a professional idiot. He's written 85 books, which sell in large numbers at his gigs because people don't quite believe what they've just heard. His poems have spawned a number of folk heroes: Jason and the Arguments, Cosmo the Fairly Accurate Knife Thrower, Captain Indecisive and Spot of the Antarctic, to name but two.
Les began his career as assistant to Mrs Ackroyd, a small hairy mongrel who lay around in folk clubs, bit people and became famous. Mrs Ackroyd was the only dog ever to own her own record label. Since her sad demise, Les is mainly a solo performer, though he has taken to working with humans from time to time. The Mrs Ackroyd Band gradually evolved from an ever-changing who's who of the folk scene into a tightly knit, well-rehearsed group. The band are now playing as a trio, without Mr Barker, and will be far more tightly knit and well-rehearsed. Mr Barker's Welsh songs are occasionally performed by a trio of Welsh musicians who have had the good sense to keep him out of the band.
Not to be missed!
February 19th - Mishra
Winners of the inaugural Christian Raphael prize at the 2018 Cambridge Folk Festival, Mishra’s mission is one of captivation, of capturing the soul of the performers and bringing a delicate, yet responsive sound to the ears of the general public. It is a mission that has surely been fulfilled as Indian influenced songs such as Chase The Sparrowhawk, Beautifully Blind, Angeline The Baker, Keep Your Kindness, Scarlett Town and Morphology are released into the surrounding air with freedom, with care and genuine skill and precision.
The band, which originally comprised Kate Griffin on banjo, guitar and vocals and Ford Collier’s extraordinary guitar, calabash and tabla, has been taken a step further by the willingness of expanse provided by Joss Mann-Hazel on double bass and bouzouki and the energy of their University mentor John Ball on the tabla. It is a team they explore the fundamental belief of global folk, their Indian influenced music soars with psychological contentment, but also one that searches, that requires examination, to infuse their love to that of the listener; one they succeed in doing with resulting drive and a cool that is utterly divine.
March 4th - Alden, Patterson & Dashwood
Highly acclaimed folk trio Alden Patterson and Dashwood weave rich vocal harmonies, fiddle, guitar and dobro around beautifully written original songs and melodies. Their music takes influence from English folk traditions with uplifting instrumentals and self-penned songs depicting tales of young travellers, sleepy seas and their affection for home.
Their independently-released debut album ‘Call Me Home’ received widespread critical acclaim and was awarded ‘Editor’s Choice Album of the Year’ by fRoots, the UK’s leading publication specialising in folk and world music.
Over the last three years the trio have made a name as one of the best new acts on the scene and have toured the UK and Europe extensively including main stage slots at the UK’s most prestigious festivals and a tour with folk legends Show of Hands.
‘It’s lovely stuff’ – Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2 Folk Show
★★★★★ Album Of The Year Editors Choice – fROOTS Magazine
★★★★★ R2 – ‘Talented and poetic triumvirate’
★★★★ Songlines – ‘Obviously something of enormous promise’
April 1st - Allan Taylor
Allan Taylor is one of the last of the travelling troubadours who came through the social and artistic revolution of the nineteen sixties and carved out a career as a solo singer-songwriter. Born in Brighton, England in 1945 he experienced the Beatnik times, the Skiffle days, the Mods and Rockers and the early Hippy days, all played out on Brighton Beach.
At the age of twenty one he left home and became part of the vibrant folk music of London, playing all of the major folk clubs of the time (for example, the famous Troubadour Club) and then to Greenwich Village, New York, playing legendary clubs such as Gerde’s, The Gaslight, The Bitter End, The Mercer Arts Center. He embraced the issues, images and emotions of his time and used these experiences as the basis of his songs. Signed to the international record company United Artists and recording in London, Nashville and Los Angeles his albums were released world-wide. By the mid-seventies he returned to Europe to live and then started on the second part of his career, having now established his modus operandi – collecting the stories for his songs in the bars and cafes of Europe and throughout the rest of the world.
April 15th - Eilidh Steel & Mark Neal
“Eilidh Steel & Mark Neal are leading lights of the young folk/roots movement. Their charm on stage is as effortless and accomplished as their musicianship” – Masham Town Hall, 2018
”Traditional and contemporary Celtic music genuinely doesn’t get any better than the work of Eilidh Steel and Mark Neal. Simply put, they are players of astonishing quality, the length of their combined and separate CVs alone would be enough to impress the most jaded of critics. This will be one of the greatest gigs
of the entire year” – Leith Folk Club, 2018
“Both mature and deeply rooted in tradition” …”She [Eilidh] beautifully demonstrates her command of the fiddle and ability to ooze a tone so oftain associated with the sophistication of the North East style of playing or classical music” – Karen Steven, Box and Fiddle Magazine
“Renowned for delivering a refreshing mix of jazz and folk-sourced song with a smattering of their self-penned tunes” – The List Magazine
“Eilidh is one of the most respected fiddlers in the business” – Helensburgh Advertiser
April 29th - Other Roads
Other Roads are one of the finest contemporary folk bands to emerge in recent years. Based in the UK, they tour regularly in Holland, Germany, Denmark, Spain and New Zealand, and continue to gain an enthusiastic following wherever they perform.
Pete Abbott, Gregor Borland and Dave Walmisley draw upon their diverse backgrounds in Scotland, England and Africa to create an exciting and original sound. These talented multi-instrumentalists incorporate fiddle, bouzouki, guitars and mandolin with some extremely fine harmony singing. Their music is an exciting mix of traditional, contemporary and mostly original compositions, ranging from soft lilting ballads to foot-stomping Celtic fiddle tunes and choruses.
Expert musicianship, infectious enthusiasm and a touch of humour make their polished performances highly entertaining and extremely popular.
May 13th - Lucy Ward
Lucy ward is an award winning singer-songwriter from Derby. She plays guitar, ukulele and concertina but considers her voice to be her first instrument.
After getting her first guitar at the age of 14, Lucy ventured into acoustic clubs, it was there that she first heard the traditional music that she now loves. Captured by the lyrics and stories of traditional song Lucy delved further into the world of folk music, visiting clubs and sessions up and down the country before getting booked to play gigs in her own right.
In 2009 Lucy reached the final of the BBC young folk award and she hasn’t looked back since!
After winning the horizon award for best newcomer at the 2012 BBC radio 2 folk awards, her career has gone from strength to strength establishing her as one of the hottest performers on the UK folk scene, pulling a full capacity audience for her Cambridge folk festival debut.
In 2013 it was announced that she had been nominated for the acclaimed “folk singer of the year” at the 2014 BBC radio 2 folk awards, making her one of the youngest people ever to be nominated for this most prestigious award.
May 27th - Shackleton Trio
A highly original and energetic musical force just as likely to move you to tears as to move you to your feet.
Frequently referred to as one of the hardest working bands on the scene, The Shackleton Trio is gaining significant UK and International exposure, becoming an in demand name on the folk circuit. They have been featured on Mark Radcliffe's Radio 2 Folk Show and BBC Radio 4, with 5 star reviews, and an appearance on Cambridge Folk Festival's main stage alongside a host of UK and European festivals and international tours.
The trio feature Georgia Shackleton (fiddle, vocals), Aaren Bennett (guitar) and Nic Zuppardi (mandolin). Natural talents of the folk tradition, their self-penned material blends seamlessly with their imaginative yet authentic re-workings of traditional folk standards, influenced by British, American and Scandinavian folk traditions, with a regional twist from the group's native East Anglia.
The unique, distinctive songwriting style of Georgia Shackleton, combined with the vibrant instrumental brilliance of Aaren Bennett, Nic Zuppardi and Georgia’s pure and original voice have developed and matured through two critically acclaimed albums: The Dog Who Would Not Be Washed and new release Fen, Farm and Deadly Water.
June 10th - Tom Kitching "Busk England Tour"
In a successful thirteen year career, Tom has worked with numerous singers and bands, including Pilgrims' Way, Gavin Davenport, Jon Loomes,
Gren Bartley, Zoe Mulford, and Albireo. He has tutored at several Summer Schools, and has lead numerous workshops around the country.
Heavily involved in the dance scene, and veteran of over 1500 gigs, he stands at the leading edge of the English folk scene. His style is English at heart, whilst encompassing elements of many other traditions. It is a unique, vibrant style full of exuberance, energy and wit, yet capable of expressing extraordinary emotional depth.
In March 2015, he released his solo album, 'Interloper', a deeply personal project to capture the state of the English instrumental tradition and define the role of the fiddle within it.
Tom is also a much in demand fiddle teacher in the North West of England.
Busk England. 18 months of getting to know my own country better. I'm currently in the process of turning these 46 blogs and countless notes into a book and an album. Pre-orders available soon! Tour dates to be announced by the New Year. I'm enormously grateful to the EFDSS for their support in creating the album through their award of an 'Alan James Creative Bursary', and to the Arts Council for their support via a lottery grant across the whole project.
Jun 24th - Dan Wilde
Dan Wilde has been performing his own brand of richly observant folk both in the UK and around the world for the past nine years. In that time, he’s developed a growing fan-base and a reputation amongst those who know as "a fantastic songwriting talent who without a doubt will deserve and demand your attention” (Eclectically Challenged).
Three albums in, the evidence is clear he’s an extraordinary songsmith, while his ‘stunning’ guitar playing (Maverick Magazine) has led to an endorsement from Fylde guitars. Previous releases, ’This Is The Place’ (2010), ‘With Fire in Mind’ (2013) and Rhythm On The City Wall (2016), have cemented his reputation as a fine songsmith. He is currently working on a new release that is expected sometime in 2020.
It is his profound lyrics, melded with a unique melodic sensibility, which shows the writer maturing into a poetic commentator and keen observer of everyday life’s patterns and tapestries in his songs akin to Damien Rice and David Gray. Dan’s words have been described as “deeply personal and introspective but engrossing and charismatic” (Folkwords) and they reflect his peripatetic restlessness.
Originally from Blackpool, Dan now lives in Cambridge — but his wanderlust has taken him touring through the USA, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, the Czech Republic and Russia.
Dan has supported Rick Astley, Ethan Johns, Cara Dillon, Karine Polwart, Sam Carter, John Smith and Martin Taylor to name a few, and performed at some of the UK’s best-loved folk festivals — Cambridge Folk Festival, Kendal Calling, Beverley Festival and Galtres. Intimate and moving, Wilde’s work has a lyrical grace which is hard to match. Allow the song ‘Pieces’ to pin you to the wall and you won’t want to come back down.