Here we have listed some of the recent performers that we have promoted at North Shropshire Folk which  demonstrates that we have many of the best musicians in the folk world at our gigs.

February 2020 The Paul McKenna Band

Scotland’s Paul McKenna has long been ranked among our finest younger singers and songwriters, armed with a powerful yet intensely emotive voice and passionate social conscience, often expressed through his songs, a combination that’s brought frequent comparisons to the great Dick Gaughan.

He and his band – comprising Robbie Greig (fiddle), Conal McDonagh (pipes/whistles), Conor Markey (banjo/bouzouki/guitars) and Ewan Baird (percussion) – draw on both Scottish and Irish roots, in a dynamic, full-bodied array of original and traditional material, along with songs by like-minded authors including Peggy Seeger, Alistair Hulett and Jim Reid. Following 2016’s tenth anniversary release Paths That Wind, they’re currently at work on their fifth album.

December 2019 A Winter Union

A WINTER UNION - Jade Rhiannon (Vocals, Shruti Box), Katriona Gilmore (Vocals, Mandolin, Fiddle), Jamie Roberts (Vocals, Guitar), Hannah Sanders (Vocals, Guitar, Dulcimer) and Ben Savage (Vocals, Dobro, Guitar).
Five leading lights of the British roots scene join forces to create a festive folk band like no other. Expect soaring harmonies and exquisite musicianship as the 5-piece blast through a repertoire of brand new, specially written songs, fresh arrangements of traditional carols both well-loved and little-known, and seasonal classics from both sides of the Atlantic.

Originally formed in 2015 for a one-off yuletide concert, A Winter Union returned in 2016 for more shows including London’s Cecil Sharp House and a live session on BBC Radio 3. This year brings the band’s first line-up change with BBC Folk Award nominees Gilmore & Roberts joining members of The Willows and Hannah Sanders.

November 2019 and 2016 Daoiri Farrell

A former electrician, who decided to become a musician after seeing Christy Moore perform on Irish TV, Dublin-born traditional singer and bouzouki player Daoirí (pronounced ‘Derry’) Farrell has been described by some of the biggest names in Irish folk music as one of most important singers to come out of Ireland in recent years.

After a promising debut album, ‘The First Turn’, back in 2009, Daoirí spent several years studyin
g traditional music and performance at respected colleges across Ireland. While at the University of Limerick, Fintan Vallely introduced him to the singing of the late Liam Weldon, an encounter that was to prove formative to his sound and his approach to folk song.

Daoirí had cut his teeth as a singer in Dublin’s famous Góilin Singers Club and at other sessions across the city, many of which he still visits regularly. Following his studies he quickly found work accompanying artists including Christy Moore, as well as a list of names that sounds like a who’s who of folk music: Dónal Lunny, Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Alan Doherty, Danú, Dervish, Julie Fowlis, Arty McGlynn, The John Carty Big Band, Kíla, Sean Keane, Gerry O’Connor (Banjo), Gerry O’Connor (Fiddle), Lankum and more. In 2013 he won the All Ireland Champion Singer award at the Fleadh in Co. Derry, and in 2015 won the
prestigious Danny Kyle Award at Celtic Connections in Glasgow with the line-up FourWinds.

Daoirí finally stepped into the limelight in his own right, launching his own solo live career at Celtic Connections, in January 2016. In May the same year he was invited to fly to Manchester to do a live session on the BBC Radio 2 Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe just a week before his first UK tour. His name was suddenly everywhere and festival and show dates started to stream in from across the world.

His long-awaiting follow-up album to ‘The First Turn’, ‘True Born Irishman’ was released in October 2016. The following spring his won two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards – Best Traditional Track and Best Newcomer – and performed with a six piece line-up at the awards ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

He has since performed in Australia, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, The Czech Republic, USA, Portugal and more and played festivals including Cambridge Folk Festival, Milwaukee Irish Festival, Vancouver Island Folk Festival, the National Folk Festival of Australia and many more. In 2018 he toured the UK with Transatlantic Sessions and recorded his next album with Dónal Lunny in the producer’s chair. His new album was released in February 2019.

October 2019 and 2017 The Leylines

We welcomed back the The Leylines who entertained us wonderfully n 2017.
West-country collective established in 2013, with a genre-defying, eclectic sound that ranges from traditional folk to full blown festival rock. The Leylines are: Steve Mitchell (Vocals/Guitar), Hannah Johns (Violin), Dan Thompson (Electric Guitar), Sean Booth (Bass) and Dave Burbidge (Drums).

The Leylines was founded by a group of musicians in Weston-super-Mare (via Bristol), wishing to combine their individual musical styles into something that isn’t quite folk, sort of punk, 100% heart-pounding revelry. This unique sound, combined with Steve’s lyrics centred around life on the road and the state of society, has launched the band into the heart of the live music community and made them firm favourites of the festival circuit.

The band released their debut album, ‘Along The Old Straight Track’ in June 2016, produced by Sean Lakeman, recorded at The Metway studios in Brighton and mixed by Al Scott. With this team on board, inevitably the record has drawn strong comparison to the likes of The Levellers, Mad Dog Mcrea and Ferocious Dog, whilst remaining an album by a band which have forged their own sound and identity.

In the following years The Leylines went on their first of many national tours, and were booked for Glastonbury Festival, where they performed six sets in as many days. They also played stages at Beautiful Days, Goldcoast Oceanfest, Something To Smile About Festival, The Godney Gathering and Big Feastival, as well as many other music festivals across the UK.
The band then released their second studio album Recover Reveal, in March 2019.
Starting work on it almost immediately after the release of ‘Along The Old Straight Track, their second record was nearly three years of honing and crafting, with a number of tracks crowd-tested at numerous venues and festivals across the UK. The result is a collection of sincere, straight-from-the-heart performances, constructed with care, and played with passion.
The Leylines then took Recover Reveal across the country, before heading into festival season to play everyone’s foot stomping favourites from both their albums.
With a fiercely loyal and ever-growing fan base, The Leylines guarantee to have their audiences up on their feet – and they will be having as much fun as their audience while they’re doing it!

September 2019 Tannara

Bold, creative, and original; Tannara (Owen Sinclair, Robbie Greig, Becca Skeoch and Joseph Peach) have established themselves as one of the UK’s most interesting and unique contemporary folk groups.
Formed in 2014, the band came about as a natural extension of the four members’ love of making music together. Fuelled by this, they’ve covered considerable musical ground over the past five years. With a background in Scotland’s native traditions, their ceaseless musical development is a melting pot of ideas, genres and sounds: From indie rock to electronica, as well as Scotland’s vibrant and diverse folk scene. Unafraid to experiment, their music is an electrifying

meeting place for a world of sounds: Punchy and clean, riotous and gritty, tender and honest. On fiddle, harp, guitar, accordion and vocals, Tannara make an intensely considered musical world which is uniquely theirs. Their debut album “Trig” was released in 2016. Produced by Rachel Newton, their first offering as a band was a raw, joyous, reflection of a band finding its sound. It was received to great acclaim, from critics and audiences alike. Described by Living Tradition Magazine as “Simply Outstanding”, it was longlisted for “Album of the Year” at the 2016 Scots Trad Music Awards, the same year in which the band were nominated for “Up and Coming Artist of the Year”. From open air festivals, to intimate housconcerts, and everything in between, the band love playing live. A fact that’s reflected by their so far busy schedule of performances and radio appearances across Europe, with highlights including Cambridge Folk Festival, and Festival Interceltique de Lorient, a performance described as “Fiery and Graceful” by The Herald.
The year ahead will be the biggest yet for Tannara, with the release of their second album “Strands” at Celtic Connections Festival 2019. The album represents a significant development for the band, who’ve spent the past two years writing and recording it.


 April 2019

Josie Duncan and Pablo Lafuente

2017 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award Winners Josie Duncan and Pablo Lafuente are a vocal/guitar duo like no other. Calling the Isle of Lewis and Glasgow/Spain home, it's no wonder their music doesn’t focus on one place or on one of the many strands of Scotland’s web of traditions. They are well travelled, and well versed in music from across the land. On guitar and vocals in Gaelic, Scots and English, their music is a round tour, where centuries old ballads meet Gaelic Puirt A Beul, songs from the mines and cotton mills, as well as some original writing. Josie's voice, crystal clear with its slight island twang, is equally at home in any of these domains. Accompanied by Pablo's dynamic, sensitive guitar playing, they illuminate the lyrics. Their music, at times sparse and haunting, at others driving and all consuming, leaves audiences stunned. They are both accomplished musicians in their own right. Josie is a recent graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where she studied with some of the masters of the Scottish and Gaelic traditions. She has toured extensively, performing at festivals and venues in Europe, Canada and America. Her other projects include a collaboration with innovative Gaelictronica band Inyal, and Blasta, a showcase of singers of the Isle of Lewis commissioned by this year's Festival Interceltique de Lorient. Pablo's experiences are no less varied. Of Spanish origin, he has put down cultural roots in Scotland, exploring the tradition to its deepest core. Since completing his studies of guitar and fiddle at the National Centre for Excellence in Traditional music Pablo has been in high demand, playing, recording and touring internationally with artists including: The Outside Track, Barluath, Sketch and Spanish Gaita extraordinary Anxo Lorenzo. Since joining forces in 2016 Josie and Pablo have taken the scene by storm, quickly becoming one of Scotland’s most in-demand live acts at festivals and venues across the country and in 2017 were nominated for ‘Folk Band Of The Year’ at the ‘MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards’. In their short time together they’ve delighted the audiences of BBC Radio 2, Celtic Connections, BBC Proms In The Park, Cambridge Folk Festival, Sofar sessions, and a host of venues across Scotland.

March 2019 Jackie Oates


Jackie Oates is a singer and fiddle player hailing from Staffordshire. Her unique treatment of English ballads and songs, and pure, haunting singing style has established her at the forefront of the new English folk revival.

Since appearing as a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards 2003, she has performed extensively at festivals and venues across the country and beyond, in a solo capacity and with her band. She was a founder member of Northumbrian group and Mercury nominated Rachel Unthank and the Winterset, Jackie is now a permanent member of the folk super-group The Imagined Village as well as touring in her own right.
In 2008 she released her second album ‘The Violet Hour’ which was followed by a swathe of glowing national reviews, with the album going on to be one of Mojo’s top ten folk albums of the year.


Megson, February 2019

Three times nominated in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and double winners of the Spiral Earth Awards Megson draw heavily on their Teesside heritage to create a truly unique brand of folk music. The husband & wife duo bring an infectious mix of heavenly vocals, lush harmonies and driving rhythmic guitars. Comprising Debs Hanna (Vocals, Whistle, Piano Accordion) and Stu Hanna (Guitar, Mandola, Banjo) Megson have gained fame on the British folk scene, not only for their arresting & intelligent songwriting, but for their exquisite musicianship and northern humour. As fRoots Magazine puts it ‘if you don’t like the music here then you have a problem’ .

Calan,  December 2018

Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts November 2018 and March 2014

  • We welcome back contemporary folk/acoustic duo Gilmore & Roberts combine award-winning songwriting withastounding musicianship and their trademark harmonies to create a powerful wall of sound. Nominated three times at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Katriona Gilmore (fiddle, mandolin) and Jamie Roberts (guitar) met while studying at Leeds College of Music and released their debut album in 2008.

  • Since then, the duo have toured Canada and mainland Europe, played some of the UK’s biggest acoustic festivals, toured with folk rock legends Fairport Convention and won countless accolades for their genre-spanning work.



    Lucy Ward October 2018


    Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith September 2018

    Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith are one of the finest duos to have emerged onto the British folk and acoustic scene in recent years. Their combination of outstanding vocal work, sensitive instrumentation, and a powerful social conscience has brought them widespread critical acclaim.

    In the main they play traditional music that originates from the British Isles on guitar and banjo, the combination this and their great vocal harmonies are really superb. Their performance of these songs is top notch and they are genuinely a real joy to listen to…In short, they’re brilliant!


     The Outside Track April 2018

    A stunning synthesis of virtuosity and energy, The Outside Track’s marriage of Canadian, Scottish and Irish music and song has been rapturously received around the work. Hailing from Scotland, Ireland and Cape Breton, its five members are united by a love of traditional music and a commitment to creating new music on its foundation. Using fiddle, accordion, harp guitar, flute, step-dance and vocals, these five virtuosos blend boundless energy with unmistakeable joie de vivre. The line-up comprises Teresa Horgan, Mairi Rankin (Beolach), Ailie Robertson (Live Ireland Winner, BBC Young Trad finalist), Fiona Black (BBC Fame Academy Winner) and Cillian O’Dalaigh.

    Jim Moray March 2018 and 2003


    A welcome return of Jim Moray. After ground-breaking and award-winning albums, including winner of BBC Radio 2 Folk Album of the Year 2003 (Sweet England) and Mojo Folk Album of the Year 2008 and 2010 (Low Culture and Modern History), Jim now finds himself hailed as a pivotal influence by a new generation of folk musicians. Jim’s latest album Upcetera places the narrative element centre stage, with supple soaring vocal leading the listener by the hand through strange old stories.


    MOORE MOSS RUTTER February 2018

    A series of remarkable gigs has heightened the sense of anticipation around the reunion of Tom Moore, Archie Churchill-Moss and Jack Rutter in the trio that won them the 2011 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award. Now seven years on, having toured with with some of the biggest and best acts in contemporary folk music, they now reconvene to release their third album together. Widely regarded as three of the best players of traditional folk amongst a precociously gifted generation, their finely-crafted arrangements wield a rare potency. Their music features new compositions as well as ancient traditional material from Britain and Europe, this record focuses on their own movements from the countryside to large cities and the contrasts that come into play. Liberally sprinkled with a modern electroacoustic grit, this trio has as much to do with contemporary music as it does with folk or baroque.

    Jack Rutter plays Atkin and Martin Guitars, Tom Moore plays a Rod Ward Violin and Archie Churchill-Moss plays a Castagnari Melodeon

    December 2017 The Melrose Quartet

    Melrose Quartet are truly an all-round folk act, with both tight a capella harmony and energy-packed instrumentals. They comprise leading English musicians Nancy Kerr (2015 BBC Folk Singer of the Year), James Fagan, Jess & Richard Arrowsmith with twin fiddles, guitar and bouzouki, melodeon and four strong voices. The band present a bold take on old and new English songs and tunes, with a powerful treatment of traditional material alongside some of the best modern song-writing in the folk world. They reliably delight and tantalise their audiences with the infectious warmth and sparkle these four seasoned musicians feel when they unite.
    In concert, Melrose Quartet perform a diverse repertoire, featuring music from their acclaimed debut album ‘50 Verses’ . There are carousing chorus songs, lively dance tunes, ancient stories and modern pieces written in celebration of everything from weddings & birthdays to issues that affect all of our 21st century lives. This is music for everybody.


    November 2017,
    November 2014, April 2009, October, 2005, 2003, and 2002

    The Paperboys

    So how do you like your musical cocktail? If it is shaken, not stirred then catch the Paperboys whilst you have the chance. This acclaimed Canadian-based band serves up a heady blend of country-folk-celtic -bluegrass-rock with a bit of traditional Mexican music thrown in for good measure. It defies labelling but hey, who cares, it is just brilliant music! Those of you who have seen this amazing band on their previous gigs here at Whitchurch will know what we mean.

    The Paperboys are renowned for their energetic live performances and have wowed festival goers the world over. They create a buzz wherever they play . Lead singer is Tom Landau who is the only current band member to have been there from the start. Born in Mexico to a Ca
    nadian mother of Irish ancestry – thus accounting for at lest two of his musical influences - he later moved to Canada where he founded the Paperboys in 1992. 

    To say their music is versatile is to put it mildly and they have successfully blended many influences that recall bands like Horslips,  the Waterboys and the Pogues.

    Songs from the band’s fifth studio album, The Road to Ellenside, include Tom Landa’s richly
    expressive vocals backed by a combination of whistle and flute (Geoff Kelly is amazing), banjo, percussion, guitar and not to mention the jarana, a small Mexican guitar which Landa plays to great effect. The excellent musicianship creates a sound that fills the venue and the overall effect is exhilarating. The distinctly Celtic flavour that emerges time and time again sets the overall tone for the evening. 


    Click here to see the Paperboys website

    April 2017 and 2013 FAUSTUS

    FAUSTUS came together in 2006 as an evolution of the award winning band Dr. Faustus.  They made an eponymous debut album in 2008, produced by Stu Hanna and released by Navigator Records, which saw them nominated as the Best Group in the 2009 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.  Touring saw them headlining at festivals, as well as playing sell-out concerts at arts centres and clubs.  After a two year break they returned in 2011 and released the new album ‘Broken Down Gentlemen’ (Navigator Records) in spring 2013. Faustus are three of the leading lights of their generation: Benji Kirkpatrick (Seth Lakeman Band, Bellowhead), Saul Rose (Waterson:Carthy, Whapweazel) and Paul Sartin (Bellowhead, Belshazzar’s Feast). They have a plethora of experience between them, brought together here in a virtuosic display of musicianship and testosterone.  Rooted deeply in the English tradition, in 2007 they received a 75th Anniversary Award from the English Folk Dance and Song Society.
    ’One of Britain’s outstanding folk bands.’
    **** The Guardian

    March 2017 Chris Wood

    At the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2006, the Best Original Song category was won by Chris Wood and storyteller Hugh Lupton for "One in a Million". He was also nominated in three other categories: Best Album (for The Lark Descending), Best Traditional Track ("Lord Bateman"), and Folk Singer of the Year.
    In 2009, the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards recognised Wood as 'Folk Singer of the Year', and Trespasser was also recognised as Album of the Year.
    In March 2009, Chris took part in the Darwin Song Project, a multi-artist songwriting retreat organised by the Shrewsbury Folk Festival to create songs that had a "resonance and relevance" to Darwin. A CD was released in August 2009.
    In 2011, Chris again tasted success at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, where he was recognised as Folk Singer of the Year as well as winning Song of the Year for his song "Hollow Point", from The Handmade Life, a song about the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes in 2005.
    In 2012, the singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading asked him to appear as support act on the British leg of her Starlight tour.


    FEBRUARY 2017 AND 2009 Megson

    Three times nominated in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and double winners of the Spiral Earth Awards Megson draw heavily on their Teesside heritage to create a truly unique brand of folk music.

    The husband & wife duo bring an infectious mix of heavenly vocals, lush harmonies and driving rhythmic guitars. Comprising Debs Hanna (Vocals, Whistle, Piano Accordion)and Stu Hanna (Guitar, Mandola, Banjo) Megson have gained fame on the British folk scene, not only for their arresting & intelligent songwriting, but for their exquisite musicianship and northern humour. As fRoots Magazine puts it ‘if you don’t like the music here then you have a problem’ .

    Summer 2016 saw the release of their much anticipated new studio album GOOD TIMES WILL COME AGAIN gaining them much critical acclaim. “One of the most original political folk sets of the year. Ewan MacColl would have been impressed.” said The Guardian. “Relevant, thought-provoking songs that would make Woody Guthrie proud”  said Acoustic Magazine. While folk broadcasting legend Mike Harding described it as “One of the top albums of 2016.”.


    December 2016 and May 2014 Belshazzar's Feast

    In 1995 Paul Hutchinson (accordion) and Paul Sartin (oboe, violin and vocals) shared a musical passion borne out of the desire to earn sufficient money to support their extravagant lifestyles. Their amazing musicianship coupled with wry humour stunned audiences around Europe and the States. After a brief sabbatical, they’re back!  If you like Mozart, Beethoven, Elvis Presley and The Spinners avoid them – you have been warned!
    Paul Sartin is a member of BBC Radio 2 Award-winning big band Bellowhead and English music trio Faustus.  He combines his busy performing career with teaching and outreach work, at St Edward’s School in Oxford and for community organisations, most notably Live Music Now and SuperAct.  He dabbles in academia, recently assisting on a number of publications of old tune manuscripts, and regularly deputises with the Choir of Winchester Cathedral, where he gets to wear a dress to work.
    Paul Hutchinson is a member of the innovative and progressive folk trio, Hoover the Dog as well as Okavango – the collaboration between Hoover the Dog and Fluxus (Belgium).  Paul is also a seasoned accordion tutor for Folkworks, Hands On, British Council (in Czech Republic and Belgium), Birmingham Conservatoire and University of Limerick. His favourite colour is pink.
    Belshazzar’s Feast start with traditional folk music, add a touch of classical and jazz, throw in a bit of pop and music hall, and top it off wry humour for a unique live experience.  In November 2009 they released ‘Frost Bites’, the follow up to the successful ‘Food Of Love’. ‘Frost Bites is a collection of winter and Christmas material and its release was followed by a national tour. Belshazzar’s Feast received a coveted nomination for the Best Duo Award at the 2010 BBC Folk Awards.


    September 2016 and March 2015  O'Hooley and Tidow

    Belinda O’Hooley & Heidi Tidow are regarded as lionhearted trailblazers of contemporary music and songwriting. Having the originality and skill to invite comparison with the most celebrated harmony duos, from early Simon and Garfunkel to the iconic Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Belinda and Heidi’s powerful, deeply moving, and at times spine-tingling performances are infused with an honesty and empathy that will disarm even the hardest of heart.
    Their album 'The Hum' was voted the Folk Album of 2014.
    Boundless songwriting and exquisite harmonies that truly shine’ * * * * * Guardian


    May 2016 Sam Carter Trio

    Since Sam Carter released his debut album Keepsakes in 2009, there has been a mounting excitement about this songwriter, guitarist and singer. At the time he was an Emerging Artist In Residence at The Southbank Centre in London and has since supported Bellowhead on a UK tour, performed in the Middle East and UK with the British Council’s Shifting Sands project, played to thousands as part of the all-star line-up for the tour ‘The Lady: A Homage To Sandy Denny’, performed on major venue and festival stages in his own right and walked away with Horizon Award for best newcomer at the 2010 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
    ‘The finest English-style finger-picking guitarist of his generation’ Jon Boden



    April 2016 Stick In The Wheel

    Stick In The Wheel's debut album From Here is a raw, fresh take on English Folk music. Their now-trademark abrasive delivery of both original and traditional tracks, is not bland retroism, or empty nostalgia, but a voice linking now to then. Addressing issues that still have relevance today, re-visiting traditions long-lost, as well as those disappearing right before us, in a way that has more in common with Sleaford Mods than with Bellowhead.  The band is spearheaded by Nicola Kearey's fierce uncompromising vocal delivery, accompanied by Fran Foote's harmony vocal and underpinned by sparse taut arrangements.  Brought up in the thriving culture of working class London and cutting their teeth in its diverse musical landscape (Dobro player Ian also producing music for GhostPoet, Context and for labels such as XL, Brownswood and Cosmic Bridge), they now bring those influences and attitudes to their traditional music


    December 2015 The East Pointers

    The East Pointers are three young men whose talent and penchant for traditional Celtic tunes of decades past greatly belie their respective ages. And while each member of the freshly formed trio – banjoist/vocalist/step-dancer Koady Chaisson, fiddle player/vocalist Tim Chaisson, and guitarist/vocalist Jake Charron – is an accomplished musician in his own right, their recent union is a testament to their shared output being, to borrow a common adage, greater than the sum of its parts.

    The cousins Chaisson hail from Prince Edward Island, Canada, part of the sixth generation of a heralded legacy of fiddlers and folk musicians. Tim tours the world as a performer/songwriter with a pop and country-tinged take on contemporary folk, with Koady often at his side or supporting other touring trad acts with his banjo, bass, and six-string. Jake, on the other hand, is based in Ontario and has strummed, plucked, and played piano alongside a laundry list of award-winning performers from around the globe.

    When Jake would visit PEI with any of his collaborators or the Chaissons were passing through Ontario on tour, a late-night kitchen party was sure to follow – fiddles and friends, guitars and Guinness, banjos and bad jokes. As their trunk of traditional and original tunes – some with an Irish influence, some Scottish, others rooted in the Maritimes – started to fill up, the trio realized it was time to put some to tape and take them on the road.

    The East Pointers’ slew of tunes carries a diverse mix of influence, but regardless of their age or origin, what they all share in common is the undeniable ability to get hands clapping, feet stomping, and bodies of all ages bouncing in harmony.

    November 2015 - Merry Hell

    Founded in their native North West of England, Merry Hell is an eight-piece folk-rock band with a history, a pedigree and a bright future. In four short years they have risen to become festival favourites, their first two albums finding favour with critics, broadcasters and music fans alike. They are continuing to develop an enviable reputation for the quality of their song writing, recorded work and live performances.

    The band was forged in the smouldering embers of 90s Folk/punk band, The Tansads. Following an emotional series of reunion concerts in 2010, its members chose to tread the boards under a new name, 'Merry Hell', in order to reflect their new impetus, new hopes and, most importantly, new songs. While Merry Hell retains a nucleus of five former Tansads members, brothers John, Bob and Andrew Kettle (guitar, mandolin and vocals respectively), along with keyboard player, Lee Goulding and drummer Andy Jones, the addition of vocalist, Virginia Kettle (wife of John), has helped create a new identity, purpose and spirit, in their music. She took little persuading to trade in her solo singer-songwriter past for a future in the band. Her prolific, ingenious and insightful song writing is one of the focal points of Merry Hell's recordings and live performances – her presence has perfectly complemented a group which has taken particular pride in penning original material (Bob, John and Lee have also been consistent contributors of new songs).




    October 2015 - Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker

    Double BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominees Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker infuse ageless stories of love and loss with their exquisite command of many instruments.
    Whether interpreting words centuries old or singing her own authentic lyrics, Josienne's jewel-like voice finds the nuance in the simplest phrase and sends it, effortlessly, straight to your heart. Ben's musical tact and flair for arrangement provide the perfect setting, allowing the song centre-stage.
    Josienne was born in Sussex and Ben, in Evesham. It was after studying in London, and utterly by chance, that they met in July 2009. Together they have resolutely forged their own path through traditional music.
    The live performance is a thing of delight - enchanted reviewers have spoken of shimmering cathedrals of sound - and its purity will stay with you long after the last note fades.
    Critical recognition soon followed, along with the Isambard Folk Award, and the FATEA Award for Best Album and Female Vocalist of the Year, and the Spiral Award for Best Duo.


    October 2015 Rua Macmillan Trio

    Originally from Nairn, in the Scottish Highlands, fiddle player Rua Macmillan is one of the brightest of the current generation of rising stars to emerge from one of the very best. Having graduated with a B.A. (Honours) in Scottish Music from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2008, he has already toured extensively throughout Europe and the U.S.
    In February 2009, Rua was awarded the prestigious title of BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year. The following summer he performed at Cambridge Folk Festival, the UK’s biggest folk festival.

    His eponymous trio includes the redoubtable Tia Fyles from Oban, a guitarist whose solid talent is reminiscent of the young Massie and Adam Brown from Cambridge whose mastery of bodhran is astonishing. So here we have three precocious virtuosi. What could possibly go wrong?


    May 2015 Philip Henry and Hannah Martin


    Winners of the 2014 BBC Radio Two Folk Award for Best Duo, Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin are one of the most exciting and innovative duos to appear on the folk/roots/acoustic scene in recent years. With a rapidly expanding following and a truly unique sound that effortlessly spans many genres, the duo have been touring constantly for the past three years, winning new fans of all ages wherever they go. Festival appearances have included regular Glastonbury slots; all the major folk festivals including mainstage slots at Sidmouth Folk Week; Broadstairs; Warwick; Shrewsbury; Gate To Southwell; Shepley Spring; Priddy; and a constant presence on the greenfield festival circuit, at events such as Larmer Tree (mainstage); Sunrise Celebration (mainstage); and Green Man.


    April 2015 Gren Bartley Band

    Gren Bartley is a prolific and exceptional songwriter. Releasing a new album in the Spring of 2015 from renowned producer Gavin Monaghan (Robert Plant, Ryan Adams, Nizlopi, Ocean Colour Scene etc...), the new record builds further on the reputation from the previous two albums out in the last two years.
    Gren is truly the future of folk songwriting, using his influences from folk and world music traditions to bring something unique to this modern day troubadour. He is an artist not to be missed. Showcasing his “phenomenal” guitar playing and poetry driven lyrics, the Gren Bartley Band's stunning harmonies, driving percussion and intricate string arrangements for cello and violin, have been captivating audiences across the UK


    February 2015 Chris Sherburn and Findlay Napier


    Chris Sherburn is one of the best anglo-concertina players in the UK. He is renowned for his great playing and mighty craic! He is also well known for his longstanding musical partnership with Denny Bartley. They toured worldwide and released numerous albums. They formed band extraordinaire “Last Night’s Fun”, and it was here Findlay and Chris met. In recent years Chris has also toured extensively with Bella Hardy. Findlay Napier is a Scottish singer, guitarist and songwriter based in Glasgow. After attaining his BA in Scottish Traditional Song Findlay formed a traditional folk band called Back of the Moon which performed all over the world and released three albums. They were awarded ‘Best Up and Coming Act’ at the Trad Music Awards in 2003 and ‘Folk Band of the Year’ in 2005.

    March 2014
    The Carrivick Sisters

    The Carrivick Sisters are one of the UK's top young bluegrass and folk acts. Twins Laura and Charlotte perform their original songs and instrumentals along with a few carefully chosen covers on guitar, mandolin, fiddle, dobro, and clawhammer banjo. Their busy touring schedule is rapidly building them a reputation for engaging and entertaining live performances with tight sibling vocal harmonies and multi-instrumental virtuosity. Having grown up in South Devon, an area rich in folk lore and legends, much of their original material is inspired by their local surroundings and history.

    As well as touring all over the UK, the Carrivick Sisters have performed at major festivals in Canada and mainland Europe. They have released four CDs ("My Own Two Feet" - 2006, "Better Than 6 Cakes" - 2007, "Jupiter's Corner" - 2009, and "From the Fields" - 2011) to much critical acclaim, with "From the Fields" having been played on national radio. Their fifth, "Over the Edge" is due for release on the 7th of October 2013.

    “I am very impressed by The Carrivick Sisters, one of the best young duos I’ve heard. The girls sing and play as one and their work is characterised by great musicality. They are not only very talented instrumentalists and singers but they write really good songs as well.” - Ralph McTell

    “A superbly talented pair o’ lasses” - Mike Harding, BBC Radio 2

    “ …their already formidable multi-instrumental skills and songwriting maturing at such a steep curve they’ll soon be orbiting far beyond anyone else.” - Q Magazine ****

    ”Carrivick Sisters are pick of the crop.” - The Telegraph

    February 2014

    Jackie Oates and Tristan Seume

    Jackie Oates is a singer and fiddle player hailing from Staffordshire. Her unique treatment of English ballads and songs, and pure, haunting singing style has established her at the forefront of the new English folk revival. Since appearing as a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards 2003, she has performed extensively at festivals and venues across the country and beyond, in a solo capacity and with her band. She was a founder member of Northumbrian group and Mercury nominated Rachel Unthank and the Winterset, Jackie is now a permanent member of the folk super-group The Imagined Village as well as touring in her own right.

    ‘Oates has emerged as a frontrunner among the new generation of Brit folkies, marked out by the purity of her voice…An exquisite piece of chamber folk……makes for an atmosphere of rare enchantment’ The Observer

    ‘Standing out from English folk’s remarkable new wave, Oates has the finest voice of them all…Saturnine shows Oates at the top of her game’ Independent On Saturday [album of the week].

    As a soloist, accompanist, writer and session musician, Tristan Seume is one of the UK’s leading acoustic guitarists. Strongly influenced by folk, jazz and country, he has released two instrumental solo albums, You Just Know and Middle Child, featuring a mixture of original compositions, traditional tunes and a few choice covers. Tristan also plays guitar and bouzouki with BBC folk award-winning singer, Jackie Oates in her band, appearing at arts centres and festivals across Europe.
    For many years, he has been a contributor to two of the UK’s biggest selling guitar magazines, Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, and lectures at the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford, Surrey as well as at the annual International Guitar Festival in Bath.

    “Seume’s superb fingerpicking talent and ease of drifting between styles drives you to a state of listening compulsion” – Acoustic Magazine

    “I believe he is one of the finest of the new acoustic generation” – Acoustic guitar legend, Gordon Giltrap

    December 2013
    Bella Hardy

    Bella is one of the finest young folk acts around, singing unaccompanied ballads, or entwining her hypnotic voice with her own fiddle accompaniment to breathtaking effect. Three times nominated in the BBC Folk Awards, she has a voice marked as '...mesmerising' and '...faultless'. Her songs touch on both the fantastical, storytelling elements of Kate Bush and the lovelorn song writing craft of Carole King, ranging in subject matter from fairytales to English working class history via childhood nostalgia, myths, murder and the human condition.

     Bella Hardy and her 'Bright Morning Star Christmas Show' - four star review from the Times described this Christmas collection as 'a quiet, unassuming treasure trove'. Contemporary folk musician, singer, songwriter and winner of best original track 'The Herring Girl' BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2012.


    November 2013
    Seth Tinsley, Guitar and Vocals      Heather Gessey, Fiddle and Vocals      Andrew Waite, Accordion

    Seth, Heather and Andrew formed the trio Tyde in April 2008 whilst on tour in Madrid as members of Folkestra the North-East regional youth folk ensemble based at The Sage Gateshead . In July 2008 they played in the first and only Folk Prom at the Royal Albert Hall and by December they were playing in the finals of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards.

    Whilst playing at Warwick Folk Festival in 2009 they were approached by Mrs Casey Music and by Christmas their first album, Tyde, had been recorded. With CD in hand, and on the back of an acoustic coffee break performance at the Association of Festival Organisers Conference, a full summer of festivals and folk clubs followed in 2010. After much critical acclaim for their first album and year touring, recognised by PRS for Music as one of the years hardest working bands, 2011 was similarly hectic with another summer full of festivals and club appearances.

    Tyde's music is really dynamic with a unity of playing rarely seen on the live music scene. Centred in English tradition but with a contemporary edge, Tyde deliver modern, punchy, danceable tunes, carefully arranged songs and intricate, emotional slow sets and as to the bands song writing skills there is really something remarkable going on. It’s the mixture of raw energy, prodigious musical ability and clever, fresh arrangements that make Tyde something different. 
    Over the spring 2012 Tyde have been recording their second album, 'The Hidden Spoon', which was released in February 2013. 

    Tyde have recently linked up with a new agent, Hannah Bright, at Haystack Music and are looking forward to touring with the new album in the spring and another summer of festival performances across the country in 2013.

    "If you get the chance to see them live then take it - you won't be disappointed" Folk Radio UK.


    October 2013

    Nominated in the 2009 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, the Faustus truimvirate are three of the leading lights of their generation: Saul Rose (Waterson;Carthy, Whapweazel), Benji Kirkpatrick (Seth Lakeman Band, Bellowhead) and Paul Sartin (Bellowhead, Belshazzar’s Feast). They have a plethora of experience between them, brought together here in a virtuosic display of musicianship and testosterone.  Rooted deeply in the English tradition, in 2007 they received a 75th Anniversary Award from the English Folk Dance and Song Society.

    ‘Frill-free folk music, superbly and tastefully performed . . . a folk essential’
    **** Sunday Times

    ‘Dynamically fascinating to watch, entertaining and intriguing.  Their ability to switch from song to tune, from instrument to voice, from traditional tune to modern arrangements made seeing them again a necessity’Folk and Roots

    ‘Superb playing; lovely arrangements; great material’Living Tradition

    Benji: Son of the famous folk melodeon and accordion player John Kirkpatrick, Benji Kirkpatrick a key member of folk big band Bellowhead who have appeared regularly on Later with Jools Holland and have been enjoying sell out tours throughout 2011.  Benji also plays with the Seth Lakeman Band who shot to fame when Seth’s album ‘Kitty Jay’, featuring Benji, was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 2005.  The follow up to ‘Kitty Jay’, ‘Freedom Fields’ has sold more than 100,000 copies and led to a hectic touring schedule and sold out shows in the UK and beyond.  Benji’s has also performed with numerous other artists including Oysterband, John Jones and Maddy Prior (Steeleye Span), and has also found time to release three solo albums.

    Saul: Saul Rose was a long time member of Waterson:Carthy, winning two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards with Waterson:Carthy’s album ‘Broken Ground’ and eventually forming a successful duo with Eliza Carthy. The double album ‘Red Rice’, of which Saul was an integral part of the ‘Rice’ half, was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 1998.  More recently Saul has joined Whapweasel, played in Ruth Notman’s band, and re-launched his duo with hammered dulcimer player with Maclaine Colston and in summer 2009 he joined Jim Moray’s regular band.  He has played on several albums as a guest, including Jackie Oates’ album ‘Hyperboreans’, Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy’s album ‘The Gift’ and the soundtrack for the film ‘Morris- A Life With Bells On’.  He was nominated for the Musician of The Year award in the 2010 BBC Folk Awards and in 2011 took the part of Songman in the West End play War Horse.

    Paul: Paul Sartin is also a member of BBC Radio 2 Award-winning big band Bellowhead along with Benji, as well as award-nominated duo Belshazzar’s Feast.  He is also director of the Andover Museum Loft Singers, is a consultant for the charity Live Music Now and is a composer of note with recent compositions including ‘The Hartlepool Monkey’ for Streetwise Opera, ‘Anthony and Cleopatra’ for the Central School of Speech and Drama, and ‘Changing Landscapes’ for Broadstairs Folk Week.

    Faustus came together in 2006 as an evolution of the award winning band Dr. Faustus, when Tim Van Eyken and Rob Harbron left to pursue other projects.  They made an eponymous debut album in 2008, produced by Stu Hanna and released by Navigator Records, which saw them nominated as the Best Group in the 2009 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.  Subsequent touring saw them headlining at festivals, as well as playing sell-out concerts at arts centres and clubs.

    June 2013
    Tom McConville with David Newey



    Tom McConville, primarily known as The Newcastle Fiddle Player, is one of the leading fiddle players of our time. A virtuoso musician and fantastic singer, his rich and warm voice makes his interpretation of traditional and contemporary songs greatly admired by singers throughout the world.
    In great demand as a performer, session musician and teacher, playing the fiddle is his lifelong passion and he has achieved every player’s dream of creating his own unique, instantly recognizable sound.
    His live performances combine a rollercoaster of musical delights from fast, rhythmic dance tunes - through beautiful slow airs and of course, great singing - all presented with his inimitable sense of humour and style.


    May 2013
    Nancy Kerr and James Fagan


    One of the most established and respected duos on the folk scene, Nancy Kerr and James Fagan are winners of the 2011 BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Duo (and previous winners of 2003 Best Duo and 2000 Horizon Award.) As well as being great exponents of their instruments (fiddle, viola and guitar-bouzouki) both are regarded as fine and influential singers. 2010 marked the 15th year of this electrifying duo. In that time they have toured full-time and headlined festivals throughout the UK, Ireland, Europe, Australia, Japan and Canada. Wherever they play, Kerr and Fagan make new friends and fans, as their love of live performance is tangible and affirming. Consistently great live shows and five highly respected albums, plus their recent collaborations with Robert Harbron and The Melrose Quartet, have cemented their reputation as one of the classiest acts in acoustic music.


    April 2013
    Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman

    Kathryn Roberts (Vocals / Piano / Woodwind) and Sean Lakeman (Guitar) are two of the British folk scenes most accomplished performers, Kathryn and Sean have graced stages the world over in a number of guises, however, the intimacy and strength of passion shown as a duo, combined with an eclectic repertoire ensures a rare treat for any listener.

    With a story that includes music making with the likes of Seth Lakeman, Cara Dillon, Levellers, Kate Rusby and Show of Hands, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman have established themselves as pillars of modern British folk




    February 2013
    Jim Moray

    After four ground-breaking and award-winning albums, including winner of BBC Radio2 FolkAlbum of Year 2003 ("Sweet England") and Mojo Folk Album of the Year 2008 & 2010 ("Low Culture" & "In Modern History"), Jim Moray now finds himself hailed as a pivotal influence by a new generation of folk musicians.

    Jim Moray started off his career recording his first album "Sweet England" while still studying classical composition at Birmingham Conservatoire and emerged onto the UK folk scene in 2003. His reimagining of English traditional music blended with orchestral flourishes, guitars and electronics soon found him awarded the unprecedented combination of ‘Best Newcomer’ and ‘Best Album’ at the 2004 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. In 2012, Jim Moray presents his 5th and newest album Skulk.

    “Skulk is a tender, inventive and different album. Moray has again raised his game.” Bright Young Folk
    “Skulk may be that stripped down, earthier Jim Moray record that both his fans and critics had been waiting for.” For Folks Sake.


    December 2912

    Maz O'Connor

    Maz O'Connor, a young folk singer from Cumbria, was first inspired to sing when she attended a Folkworks youth summer school a few years ago. Since then she has appeared as guest singer with Last Orders, winners of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award 2007, at festivals all over the U.K., Spain and Germany, before going on to become a finalist in the competition herself in 2009. She recently won the Fred Jordan Memorial Singing Competition at Bromyard Folk Festival, and the first TRAD2MAD competition run by Islington Folk Club. Currently studying English at university, Maz has performed at many summer festivals since the competition, often accompanied by Matthew Jones on guitar. Maz’s sets feature a mixture of contemporary, traditional and original songs, accompanied by guitar, shruti box, and piano, and all delivered with an honesty that is born of a love of folk song and a commitment to a good story. Maz and Matthew’s debut EP has just been released on Haystack Records, and an album will follow next Spring.


    October 2012
    Chris Sherburn and Denny Bartley

    ChrisChris Sherburn and Denny Bartley have been bringing their unique sound to audiences across Europe and America since the early 1990’s, when a chance meeting at a music session created one of folk music’s most enduring partnerships. Known for their soul stirring songs, exhilarating tunes and a love of the craic, Chris (concertina) and Denny (vocal and guitar) ensure that no two concerts are ever the same. Founder members of the band ‘Last Night’s Fun’ which received international acclaim and a loyal fan base for over 11 years together, Chris and Denny have decided to return to their roots as a duo while other members of the band pursue new projects.

    April 2012
    Hannah James & Sam Sweeney

    One of the foremost duos performing English folk music today. April 2012 sees the release of their highly anticipated second album State and Ancientry
    (RBRCD13). They play predominantly English songs and tunes on accordion and fiddle, and their live show includes Hannah's renowned high-energy clog dancing.

    ack in 2002, the young Sam and Hannah met. Having spent the intervening 7 years playing with Kerfuffle, they started performing as a duo in 2009. Both are part of other successful groups, Sam with big band Bellowhead, and Hannah with the Demon Barber Roadshow.
    Between them, they bring a rather astonishing variety of instruments to gigs - Sam plays a wide assortment of instruments, from the traditional fiddle and viola to bagpipes, nyckelharpa and cajon, and Hannah plays accordion, clog dances and sings.
    Their early performances at Sidmouth Folk Festival, Shrewsbury Folk Festival and others have gone down extremely well, and we look forward very much to their gig for us. Their début album, Catches and Glees was released in 2009.



    March 2011
    Bob Fox and Billy Mitchell 
    Probably the most entertaining night out that you never knew you would experience, this unique combination continues to entertain people of all shapes and sizes with their wonderful selection of northern songs that span Jimmy Nail’s ‘Big River’ to Lindisfarne’s ‘Meet Me On The Corner’ – all delivered with consummate musicianship. The duo’s on-stage banter has also been known to regularly reduce audiences to gibbering wrecks.

    This collaboration between Billy Mitchell and Bob Fox has been a long time coming.  Both men learnt their musical trade around Tyneside and have been delighting audiences at home and away for many years.  They are both fine singers and musicians of stunning ability who can bring magic into any auditorium.  Now, after many years of mutual admiration, they share the stage and pool the wealth of talent at their disposal on these rare and very special tours. Billy Mitchell has done it all as a performer and songwriter.  He spent eight years as front man of the legendary Lindisfarne till their retirement in 2003.  In the seventies he founded the seminal 'Jack the Lad'.  He has acted and sung all around the world and recently released his first solo album, 'The Devil's Ground'.  In his enthusiastic review of the album, Pete Fyffe of, described Billy as 'one of the finest singers on the planet'.
    Bob Fox has twice been nominated as Folk Singer of the Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.  His masterful interpretation of traditional and contemporary songs is one of his greatest strengths and during his time performing with Stu Luckley, they won the Melody Maker - Folk Album of the Year Award.
    'As soon as I heard Bob Fox sing I realised that he must have one of the best voices in England.  I have always regarded him as an artiste of great integrity and ability'. Ralph McTell. 

    In concert Billy and Bob perform together, the material has been cherry-picked from their solo work and the combined back catalogues of Lindisfarne, Jack the Lad and Bob Fox and Stu Luckley, to produce a memorable night of northern songs to produce a highly entertaining and memorable night.


    February 2011


    Band members
    Angharad Jenkins - fiddle, mandolin, vocals
    Bethan Williams-Jones - accordion, piano, vocals, clogs
    Chris Ab Alun - guitar
    Llinos Eleri Jones - harp
    Patrick Rimes - fiddle, pibgorn, whistle, pibgwd

    From the land of song, the Manic Street Preachers, Stereophonics and Catatonia come the latest musical combo-Calan. Except this time they come with accordion, harp, fiddles and they clog dance.  
    Calan bring together the remarkable talents of 5 young musicians giving a fresh and vibrant sound to traditional Welsh music. With their contemporary and lively approach they breathe new life into the old traditions. Sparkling melodies, foot tapping tunes and a spirited and energetic performance of Welsh step dancing. They blast their way through some of the old favourite reels, jigs and hornpipes before melting into some of the most beautiful and haunting songs. 

    The quintet,who have raised some eyebrows with a deliberate policy of eye-catching clothes and presentation despite the ancient roots of their music, will be returning to the Celtic Festival at Lorient in Brittany as well as regular shows at British festivals this summer. They’ve performed at the Wales Millennium Centre, had a date at the Cardiff International Arena with Cerys Mathews and Bryn Terfel, and delighted fans at places like the Cambridge Folk Festival.

    They’ve been greeted by commentators as people who play with “grace, daring and sheer joy” and having been acclaimed for giving folk music “a kick up of the Noughties”.
    Harpist Llinos Eleri Jones says: “A lot of people have the idea that folk music is boring and it’s a dead thing, but it’s very much alive. We’re the proof of that.”


    December 2010


    It takes an inspirational amount of self-belief to sustain yourself in a musical career at the best of times, and even more so when your music's originality defies categorisation. Since their emergence in 1993 as The Famous Five, it was clear that Bristol-based Spiro were not your average acoustic instrumental act and, over 16 tenacious years, their music has refined itself into something genuinely unique. More importantly, perhaps, it has also caught the ears of Peter Gabriel, no less, and thus found its way onto the Real World label with the release of the superb 'Lightbox' CD. The album is a beautifully recorded statement of Spiro's musical world where arrangements that might befit anthemic rock music are harnessed around thematic tunes that somehow tell their own wordless story, elaborated with insistence and the cosmic precision of an antique astrolabe. The results sound classical and folky, ancient and modern and (above all) emotionally charged and spirit-reviving - Gabriel has described it as 'soulful' and he's right. Each member of the quartet - Jane Harbour (violin), Alex Vann (mandolin), Jason Sparkes (accordion) and Jon Hunt (guitar/cello) - is a superb musician, capable of using the full range of sounds their instrument offers and able to work in a complete empathetic unity. Add to this their compostitional imagination and rhythmic intensity and you have a musical experience like no other and one that, finally, is about to get its proper recognition.

    Visit Spiro's website

    November 2010

    Band Members:
    Nancy Kerr - fiddle, viola, autoharp, vocals • James Fagan - guitar-bouzouki, vocals • Robert Harbron - English concertina, guitar, vocals

    There surely can’t be a finer trio on the folk scene.  Adding the multitalented Rob Harbron to the instrumental mix of Nancy & James has created one of the most interesting folk trios around. They are a joy to listen to throughout, from the sheer beauty of Nancy's fiddle playing to the great story telling in song, it is the sound of three consummate musicians delighting in their art. Beautiful tunes, wonderful songs and tremendous musicianship. Added to Nancy and James’ particular mix of predominantly Anglo-Australian songs and tunes, Rob’s masterful and sensitive playing adds another dimension to arguably one of the best duos on both sides of the world.
    "Kerr, Fagan and Harbron provided the best ending to Cheltenham’s 12th Festival. Bloody marvellous!" John Shorter, Artistic Director, Cheltenham Folk Festival 2008

    Visit Kerr, Fagan and Harbron's website


    September 2010 and May 2004.
    Few Scottish folk bands have made such an impact in recent years as Malinky. Born out of the Edinburgh session scene of the late '90s, the band soon emerged as the leading young group focusing on Scots song. Over the last decade, Malinky have gone on to become one of the most distinctive and accomplished bands on the Scottish folk scene, with four increasingly-acclaimed albums under their belt and an ever-expanding tour roster across the globe.
    Malinky's hallmark song-based repertoire is performed by two superb lead vocalists, and arrayed with tastefully inventive instrumentation, uniting seasoned maturity with sparkling freshness. With three folklore and traditional music graduates amongst their ranks, Malinky combine a deep knowledge of tradition with a subtly creative approach, described by Scotland on Sunday as, "one of the most imaginative of Scots-language bands", breathing renewed life into centuries-old ballads from Scotland's north-east, alongside original songwriting and fiddle tunes.
    2009 saw the band entertain crowds in Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Czech Republic, Ireland and the UK, as well as three tours of the USA, in the process being described as, "maybe the finest young Scottish band since Silly Wizard" (Boston Globe), performing "Scots music at its most evocative", (Mojo).
    With their, "beautiful gentle delivery" (Irish Music Magazine) and commitment to understated, acoustic instrumentation, Malinky need no gimmicks, preferring to believe in the strength and power of traditional songs in themselves to communicate their story.

    fRoots labelled Malinky, "a class act, and they achieve the quality of musical accomplishment previously associated with the likes of Ossian, the Whistlebinkies and Ceolbeg."Perhaps R2 (formerly Rock'n'Reel) hit the nail on the head in the conclusion to its five-star review of the band's 2008 release, Flower & Iron: "If indeed it is the destiny of every child born in Scotland to be a folk musician, Malinky should be added to the milk."
    “One of the great traditional Scottish bands” (


    May 2010
    Celebrating 20 years on the road!

    Twenty years on from establishing The Bad Pennies as one of the music scene's most popular and hard working bands. Jez Lowe now leads an impressive "all-star" group of young musicians featuring Kate Bramley on fiddle, mandolin and vocals, Andy May on Northumbrian Pipes and keyboards and David de la Haye on fretless base.

    Their last album NORTHERN ECHOES, a live collection of some of Jez's most requested early songs, won them an Indie-Acoustic Award in the USA for "Album of the Year", and their recent Winter Almanac tour of the UK sold out at almost every venue, notably , the band's own most prestigious local concert hall, The Sage Gateshead.

    2010 sees The Bad Pennies continue their musical journey in their anniversary year, with songs made familiar in cover versions by the likes of Fairport Convention, Cherish the Ladies, The Dunks and The Dubliners, along with new favourites written by Jez for the Sony Award winning BBC Radio Ballads, as well as new songs from a forthcoming album, featuring this unique instrumental combination.

                           To visit Jez and the Bad Pennies website click here

    March 2010

    KERFUFFLE are one of the premier young folk acts in the UK today. Their music cannot easily be categorised and their vibrant arrangements draw on influences from across Europe, incorporating tunes, songs and dances. Kerfuffle perform their music with immense vitality and style.

    Now in their 9th year, Kerfuffle enter 2010 having played venues as diverse as Towersey & Bromyard Festivals, Fairport's Cropredy Convention, Radio 3’s “Late Junction” and the bar under the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

    Band Members:
    Hannah James - Accordion, Vocals, Dancing, Piano/Keys.  Sam Sweeney - Fiddle, Bagpipes, Viola, Cajon, Vocals. Tom Sweeney - Bass Guitar, Vocals. Jamie Roberts - Guitar, Ukulele, Mandola, Vocals

    To visit Kerfuffle's website click here


    November 2009 Megson 

    The nomination for Megson in the category of best duo in the 2009 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards is well deserved recognition of their wonderful musical chemistry. Stu and Debbie Hanna create the most amazing vocal harmonies, allied with Stu's blistering guitar style means that you have to keep checking the stage, as there sounds more than just two voices and one guitar.

    Their third album Take Yourself A Wife was released in September 2008 to critical acclaim. The album consists of songs written from the 18th to 20th Centuries centred around Teeside, Newcastle and the North East. Megson have added their own superb arrangements and harmonies to create a mature, poignant yet infectiously joyful album.

    The Guardian **** Megson have steadily established their reputation as two freshest, most original performers in the latest folk revival, and this album (Take Yourself a Wife) places them in the major league...a subtle and intriguing set
    Songlines **** ‘Take Yourself a Wife is a marriage made in heaven’
    Maverick ***** ‘This is an exceptional record’

    Visit Megson's website


    October 2009 and February 2006 The Unthanks

    Intimate, epic, overflowing with feeling and musical intelligence’ The Independent

    The autumn of 2009 represents an exciting and adventurous time for the Mercury nominated Geordie band formerly known as Rachel Unthank & The Winterset. Having established themselves as the most innovative and critically acclaimed English folk band in modern history, with admirers as disperate as members of Radiohead, Portishead, Robert Wyatt, Ben Folds, Nic Jones, Ewan McGregor and Nick Hornby, The Unthanks are ready to risk it all with another audacious step sideways. While the abbreviated name reflects the long-established reality that the band is co-fronted by Rachel Unthank's sister Becky Unthank, the real development sees an extended line-up that includes string quartet, brass, percussion, tuned percussion, bass, and The Unthank's producer Adrian McNally taking on piano responsibilities from Stef Conner who returns to a PHD. Winterset key member Niopha Keegan continues on violin. Known for their timeless, unsentimental and quietly subversive tales of loss, fear, booze, brawels, abuse and sorrow, new album Here's The Tender Coming, as the name suggests, is a calmer, melancholic, warmer colour of sad than the intense bleakness of its predecessor; The Bairns, nominated for the Uncut Music Prize and Mercury Music Prize as one of the top ten British albums of the year. Forging links between folk worlds old, new and other, The Unthanks are the inheritors, curators and distorters of Tyneside’s traditions. Don't miss the next chapter.
    “Music as tough as it is gentle, as ancient as it is modern, and as coldly desolate as it is achingly intimate.. a sensationally graceful sound that can be epic and subdued, dreamy and specific, as well as supernaturally ancient and defiantly modern”.
    Paul Morley, Observer Music Magazine
    Visit the Unthanks website



    November 2006 - Tim Van Eyken with his band

    Those who saw Tim van Eyken win the 1998 BBC Young Folk Award knew there would be a glittering career ahead of this engaging young musician with a passion for traditional English music. Indeed he was soon snapped up by English traditional music’s best known band Waterson:Carthy. As if touring and recording with them was not enough, he has received critical acclaim for his contribution to super-group Dr Faustus.

    You may not have seen Tim with his own band before, but rest assured you will soon start to hear much more of him. Five years of touring with the Waterson:Carthy dynasty have not only honed his instrumental skill but also seen him develop in to one of the most assured and captivating singers around. With new album "Stiffs Lovers Holymen Thieves" out on Topic Records and a stack of Summer Festivals, 2006 will see the long awaited return of “one of Britain’s great young hopes” (The Daily Telegraph)

    Visit Tim van Eyken's website


    November 2006 and March 2004 - Last Nights Fun 

    Last Night's FunDescribed by IRISH MUSICAL MAGAZINE as "the most exciting and entertaining traditional Irish music live band in England" Last Night's Fun are nothing short of legendary for their live performances. "Nothing can prepare you for their live act" LIVING TRADITION

    The Band

    Danny Bartley - Vocals and rhythm guitar, Chris Sherburn - Concertina

    Nick Scott - Cillian O'Briain Uillean pipes   

    When watching 'Last Night’s Fun' the best advice is: "A box of tissues is an absolute essential when attending a Last Nights Fun gig. When you’re not using them to mop up the tears of laughter, you’ll need them to wipe away the tears of jealousy at the sheer mastery of their respective instruments."
    If you’re not into folk music, think again.  A night with Last Night’s Fun is not just a music concert,  its a life experience!  Last Nights Fun have an audience pinned to the wall with breathtaking virtuosity and creative arrangements, and falling off their chairs with a natural line in patter that is their trademark.  They embody a fire and passion for traditional Irish music not seen since The Bothy Band and Planxty at their peak.   Their album, Dubh, was described by Living Tradition as “stupendous, both a landmark release and a seriously important contribution to the modern presentation of Irish traditional music”.  

    Click here to visit  Night's Fun website

    September 2006 - 2Pauls (formally known as Belshazzars Feast)

    In 1995 Paul Hutchinson (accordion) and Paul Sartin (oboe, violin and vocals) shared a musical passion borne out of the desire to earn sufficient money to support their extravagant lifestyles. Their amazing musicianship, coupled with wry humour stunned audiences around Europe and the States. After a brief sabbatical, they're back!

    Paul Sartin is a member of BBC Radio 2 Award-winning big band Bellowhead and English music trio Faustus. He combines his busy performing career with teaching and outreach work, at St Edward's School in Oxford and for community organisations, most notably Live Music Now and SuperAct. He dabbles in academia, recently assisting on a number of publications of old tune manuscripts, and regularly deputises with the Choir of Winchester Cathedral, where he gets to wear a dress to work.

    Paul Hutchinson is acknowledged as one of the leading exponents of the accordion, possessing a refreshingly original style. A powerful, yet sensitive performer, his outstanding musicianship and sense of humour reach audiences in diverse settings from concert halls and churches to arts centres and folk festivals.  Paul’s music is an eclectic mix of English, Irish and European traditional styles, filtered through the classical musicianship of his background, with influences including rock and jazz and he is a member of the innovative and progressive folk trio, Hoover the Dog, as well as Okavango - the collaboration between Hoover the Dog and Fluxus (Belgium).  Paul is also a seasoned accordion tutor for Folkworks, Hands On, British Council (in Czech Republic and Belgium), Birmingham Conservatoire and University of Limerick. As a leading tutor, Paul is renowned for his relaxed and humorous approach, he uses his own distinctive arrangements based on a diversity of musical influences, and clearly demonstrates the rich potential of his instrument.

    April 2006, November 2004, February 2002, April 2001 and March 2000 - Flook

    FlookFor those that do not know them already, Flook is an exciting, funked-up four-piece British band that always impresses its audiences without fail. Flook's unique combination of flutes underpinned by fluid guitar and hugely impressive bodhran playing has made them one of the most popular groups on the live music circuit in Britain today.
    The band is 100 percent acoustic and comprises four inspired musicians: two enormously talented flute and whistle players, London-born Sarah Allen (alto flutes/piano accordion) and Armagh-born Brian Finnegan (flutes/whistles). Ed Boyd hails from Bath and is a craftsman on the steel-strung guitar; and John Joe Kelly from Manchester is the undisputed maestro of the bodhran.


    Click here to see Flook's web site

    March 2006 and January 2004 - John Spiers and Jon Boden

    John Spiers on melodeons and Jon Boden on vocals and fiddle

    John Spiers and Jon Boden  - now in their fifth year of fruitful collaboration the mighty duo have graduated from being the dangerous new kids on the block to being a solid headlining mainstay on the folk scene and pushing outwards into the mainstream.  Musicianship and inventiveness is a given with the lads now increasingly focusing on delivering a big, thumping night out with showmanship, humour and raw stomping energy. Young players are continually revitalizing traditional music. Some do it by bringing in electronic elements. Others, like John Spiers and Jon Boden, are completely acoustic, but bring thrilling, powerful playing and imaginative arrangements to bear. Their first album, 2001's Through & Through (Fellside), brought acclaim, and nominations in both the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and the BBC Radio 3 World Music Award for best album. Prior to their sophomore disc, Bellow, they'd picked up Horizon Award for best new act at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Not a bad way to start a career.
    While the praise has come thick and fast over the last two years, for both gigs and albums, the pair have tried to diminish its impact on their music, as Boden observes: "The response of an audience is much more addictive than media plaudits and I think we have become more focused on the live dimension than we were when we put Through & Through together."John

     Click here to see John Spiers and Jon Boden's web site

    February 2006 Rachel Unthank and the Winterset

    September 2005 - Acoustic Strawbs

    April 2005 The Emily Smith Band

    January 2004, February 2002 - Hoover the Dog

    September 2004 - Kathryn Tickell Band

    May  2004 - Malinky

    December 2003 - Firebrand

    November 2002 - Kevin Dempsey and Joe Broughton

    May 2002 - Casey Neill Trio

    April 2002 - Bob Fox and Vin Garbutt

    October 2005 - The Queensbury Rules

    November 2004 - Dulaman

    October 2003 - Day One Song

    Feb 2002 - Joe Brindley

    Feb 2002 and June 1991 - Hoover the Dog

    November 2001 - Tarras

    September 2001 - Pierre Schryer

    September 2001 - Belshazzars Feast

    December 2000 - Waterson: Carthy

    November 2000 - Bob Fox

    June 2000 and September 1999 - Cross O'th Hands

    April 2000 - Tower Struck Down

    April 2000 - The Honey Thieves

    October 2003 - Day One Song



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