Several years in the making, The Hero Light is a performance storytelling show that delves into the stories of The Ulster Cycle, one of the great cycles of Irish mythology. Dominic Kelly masterfully weaves stories from more than a thousand of years of Irish mythology and presents them to the audience with his trademark wit and energy. Set against a backdrop of the wild Irish landscape, the story is huge in scale, with a cast of thousands, all conjured by a single storyteller on an almost bare stage.
The show is an epic immersive experience for the audience, over two halves of 60 minutes each. The audience are swept along in the energetic storytelling, the rhythmic drumming, the intoxicating drama of the story and the continually changing dynamics of the performance. Battles and bloodshed and epic feuds are interspersed with moments of laughter, romance and pure magic.
frees you up to experiment with the arrangement and the dynamic of a song." Live at Southern Ground follows on from Martin's five previously acclaimed albums, most recently Mojo Fix in 2012. Along with many years of international touring and countless festivals Martin has built a strong international fan-base across the globe.
Renowned for his prowess as a slide guitarist, Martin is almost unique in the UK in his playing lap slide. During year-round worldwide touring he's absorbed a plethora of diverse influences, honing his craft into the classic songwriting style he possesses today.
In the US, Martin has headlined Music City Roots in Nashville and toured coast to coast with ZZ Ward, Delta Rae and opened for Iron and Wine, Bruce Hornsby, Five for Fighting, World Party, Beth Hart, Joe Bonamassa amongst many others.
More recently they teamed up again in Burden of Paradise.,
"There's no arguing with claims citing Helen Watson as one of the country's premier jazz blues singers." - Live review from RONNIE SCOTTS
"Chekhov wasn't all doom and gloom! European Arts Company's production of Chekhov Shorts is fast-paced, witty and engaging" - The Stage
Part theatre, stand up, journalism, activism, it's the story of the battle for hope and the survival of a community. The Guardian
This is slick, crafted, compelling, poignant and bloody funny, capped off with a singalong TW
Drawing from every continent we are given stories that move and inspire - from Sweden to Chile and all points between. The drama of love, loss, and re-birth mingle with the comedy of daily life, resulting in a captivating series of portraits presented through the words of some of the world's best poets.
Directed by Steve Byrne from Interplay Theatre, Beyond the Water's Edge uses poems published by Bloodaxe Books with music and original set design by Talking Birds.
They come from the lands down under - Australia and New Zealand to be precise; lands in which the traditional songs and tunes of the British Isles have evolved their own unique characteristics, like musical marsupials. And it's these songs and tunes, and several of their own making, that The James Brothers have united to play.
The James Brother who is called James is Sydney-born James Fagan while the James Brother who isn't called James is Jamie McClennan. Both men work primarily with their wives but The James Brothers allows them to be centre stage - playing the music of their roots and telling jokes without fear of being told off.
For Fagan and McClennan this is about bringing their distinct Antipodean-steeped folk to a new audience, with songs and tunes brought to life by a fraternal bond between two very silly, but captivatingly gifted musicians. And that's the James Brothers. Two men. Two Voices. Two Instruments… No Sheilas
Much-loved festival favourite Patrick Monahan is adored by his audiences everywhere! Patrick performs all over the UK and Europe and has appeared in far-flung hotspots including Dubai, Bahrain and Costa Rica! He is very much in demand, performing literally hundreds of shows a year and was the winner of the 2015 www.Ents24.com 'Hardest Working Comedian of the Year Award' for playing the highest number of venues in the UK!
Patrick is a regular MC and headlining act at the top London and UK comedy clubs and very popular on the corporate circuit as an after dinner speaker and awards host. He is also a keen marathon runner fundraising for the charity Zoe's Place Baby Hospice. His most recent TV appearances include 'Weekend' (ITV) 'Safeword' (ITV2) 'Celebrity Squares' (ITV) 'Fake Reaction' (ITV2) and 'The One Show Festival 2015' (BBC1).
Liverpool born Singer songwriter John Reilly & now Sheffield’s adopted musical son, has followed his success in The US and Canada with his band Boy on a Dolphin by returning to begin a solo career which is growing with the emergence of his powerful and moving album ‘Zebulon’. He has just helped with the raising £170,000 with his performances and song ‘Women of Steel’ co written with John Parr and Grammy Award Winning producer Eliot Kennedy which culminated in a major statue in the centre of Sheffield honouring the women who worked in the steel Industry during both wars. Reilly performed the song on the BBC1 show ’The People Remember’ on November 9th followed by the exciting release of his spiritually uplifting Christmas single ‘PEACE SIGN’ co written with Canadian writer and pianist Lewis Nitikman
Snake reveals their background and history as well as playing them in context. Sultry sax, searing sax, screaming sax, sexy sax, soulful sax, this show has it all.
Twin daughters and a folk-rock whirlwind forced Kathryn Roberts (Vocals / Piano / Woodwind), and Sean Lakeman (Guitar), to sideline their popular duo performances in the mid noughties. After almost a decade, 2012 saw a spectacular return in conjunction with their critically acclaimed album ‘Hidden People’. Awards and much praise followed and the couple swiftly re-established themselves as one of the top British folk duos working today.
Winners – ‘BEST DUO’ – BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2016
Fronted by vocalist Lorna Fothergill, who is also the main lyricist and songwriter, who has a dynamic and powerful vocal style, sometimes described as "Robert Plant meets Aretha, with a hint of Janis”, she is joined by husband Jules Fothergill on guitar and old friends Ian Mauricio and Hayden Doyle on bass and drums. Their music combines to give the band a sound quite unlike any of their contemporaries on the modern Blues and Rock circuit.
Through a consistent approach to gigging around the country, Northsyde have grown into a well-oiled music machine, capable of entertaining even the most discerning audiences, whether headlining UK Music festivals to playing smaller support slots: from Guilfest to Maryport Blues Festival, London's Ealing Festival and Cambridge Rock Festival.
. The band was nominated and shortlisted in the 2016 Blues Award for the best band award, with each member of the band also being shortlisted in their individual category as musicians.
"The best band we’ve had this year... I defy anyone who loves and appreciates great talent and good musicianship to find fault with them..." The Tuesday Night Club
‘She has plenty to say, and says it with pointedness and potency.’ The Guardian
Star of Live At The Apollo, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Have I Got News for You and Q.I, she is back with a brand new show for 2016. She has whip-crack jokes and is effortlessly funny as she handles every subject with a razor sharp wit, softened only by her deliciously mischievous delivery and endless charm.
Shappi Khorsandi is also the best selling author of ‘A Beginners Guide to Acting English’ and her debut novel ‘Nina is not OK’ is published by Ebury in July 2016. Shappi was also recently elected president of the British Humanist society.
Both solo and with her trio featuring Lauren MacColl on fiddle and Mattie Foulds on percussion, Rachel performs songs in English and Scottish Gaelic alongside original instrumental compositions. As well as voice and harp, Rachel also plays fiddle and viola and has worked across a range of performance platforms including theatre and storytelling. A skilled collaborator, Rachel also recently started working with Scottish/Norwegian band Boreas and was one of the eight musicians to work on The Elizabethan Session project.
Rachel released her mighty new album "Here's My Heart Come Take it" in April 2016.
'Impressively accomplished, innate stage presence and quality material, a classy set' Chortle
Fresh from supporting Sarah Millican on her sold out UK tour and as seen on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Just a Minute and The John Bishop Show - Tom Allen brings you a new show from his always hilarious, slightly acerbic, totally unique point of view.
Melanie Harrold (Harrold & Blanchflower, The Hank Wangford Band, Joanna Carline)
Julie Matthews (While & Matthews, St Agnes Fountain)
Helen Watson (Burden of Paradise, The Love Notes)
Chris While(While & Matthews, St Agnes Fountain, Chris & Kellie While)
Twenty one years after their debut self titled album and one and only UK tour, the tour de force that is Daphne's flight is set to return to the stage in 2017.
Daphne's Flight are all contemporary songwriters who cross a huge range of topics and genres, blending folk, blues, jazz and pop whilst also dipping into new and vibrant arrangements of classic covers such as the Beach Boy's 'God Only Knows' and Elvis Costello's 'Ship Building'. All are woven together with striking harmonies and supported by a range of instrumentation and percussion. An evening with DF will be filled with energy, humour and passion.
With a complete line-up of all five original members and a brand new studio album, this is the tour that fans have been waiting for since their first impromptu performance at Cambridge festival in 1995, when they took a packed club tent by storm and decided the time was right to join forces. Drawing on their collective wealth of talent and varied styles, each of them accomplished songwriters, musicians and renowned singers, it was the combination of all five voices, a powerhouse of harmonies, that left audiences breathless and brought them much critical acclaim.
With as much energy and enthusiasm as they ever had, Daphne's are truly excited to be reuniting again and hope you will join them in the next leg of the flight for what promises to be a memorable year. Chocks away!
The new album, as yet untitled, is scheduled for release in the spring of 2017 and will be on the Fledg'ling Record label.
"Intelligent and funny writing both of music and gags... a must see show" One4Review
"Well crafted, well sung, his songs are just plain funny" The Guardian
"Song after song of exquisitely crafted satire" The Scotsman
Sam's debut EP - entitled 'Your Way Home' was released in March 2013, which swiftly created a buzz of interest in the folk scene for Sam's music. He followed this up with the release of the widely acclaimed 'Spokes' EP in February 2015. This cemented Sam's place further as one of the most exciting young prospects in the folk scene - landing him a nomination in the Best Singer category at the 2015 Spiral Earth Awards, and grabbing the attention of BBC Radio 2's Folk Show. Touring as a trio with Jamie Francis (banjo) and Evan Carson (percussion), Sam has gained a reputation for an incredibly high class and dynamic live show, and the guys are rapidly becoming firm favourites at venues and festivals in all parts of the country. After a barnstorming performance to a completely rammed Club Tent at Cambridge Folk Festival 2015, the guys were invited to play their first session on Radio 2 live from the festival.
Not content with resting on his laurels, Sam enlisted the extraordinary talents of new band members Ciaran Algar (fiddle) and Graham Coe (cello) and went straight back into the studio to record his debut album. 'The Lost Boys' came out in November 2015 to a storm of rave reviews, cementing Sam's place as one of the most rapidly rising stars on the UK folk scene, and enticing Radio 2 to invite the guys into the BBC studios as the featured live session guests on the Mark Radcliffe Show - an honour usually only bestowed upon much more established musicians. The album has also been championed by numerous legends of folk broadcasting, including Mike Harding - who played tracks from the album for four weeks in a row on his online radio podcast. Sam is taking the album on tour throughout 2016 with the full album band, aptly named Sam Kelly and The Lost Boys.
Coming from a family largely made up of Norfolk dairy farmers has left Sam with an unmatched experience of singing in front of hurtfully disinterested Friesians, and his meandering musical journey has ranged from reaching the final of ITV's Britain's Got Talent as a teenager, to being selected for the first ever EFDSS Artist Development Scheme. Whether playing to 13 million people on prime-time television, or to 10 people in a tiny pub, Sam's child-like fascination with music shines through, and his passion for discovering and rekindling the sounds of his musical heritage has gained him the respect of peers and audiences worldwide.
"Sam has such a beautiful voice and sings with so much soul. I've seen him perform live a few times and he's amazing" Cara Dillon
"One of the most interesting voices on the folk scene...He has a fine and powerful voice but with subtle delicacy too...I think this guy is absolutely brilliant" Mike Harding
"Really fabulous stuff" Mark Radcliffe
"A captivating performer, Sam Kelly has one of the best young male voices in British acoustic roots music. Seriously...Check him out!" Sean Lakeman
"The Lost Boys is an outstanding debut album." Bright Young Folk
"This is the album that the folk world has been awaiting... The Lost Boys is going to be huge." Folking.com
Over five decades, Gordon Giltrap has graced the music business with his dedication to his craft and his affection for his audience. As one of the UK's most respected guitarists, he has consistently proved the adage that respect cannot be bought. It must be earned.
This innovative guitarist is back out on the road performing many of his incredible songs with incredible arrangements in what promises to be an electrifying solo acoustic show. Expect to hear classics such as Heartsong and Lucifer’s Cage alongside new material from his latest album ‘The Last of England’.
A show guaranteed to enthrall guitar aficionados, acoustic enthusiasts and music lovers in general, don’t miss the chance to see one of the UK’s most important and influential guitarists in action.
"Anyone who asks me knows, that I think that Gordon Giltrap is one of the best acoustic guitar players in the world…His concerts and playing are breathtaking. He's also very witty, and I love the fact that he has not cut his hair!"
Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple)
“One of an elite few who truly have become legendary in their field, in their own lifetime.”
Brian May (Queen)
With Special Guest – Carrie Martin
Winners of 2014's BBC Radio Two Folk Award for Best Duo, Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin, have come a long way on their journey.
In 2009, Phillip, one of the UK's finest slide guitarists and harmonica players, moved into a tent in south Devon. He had just returned from studying Indian classical guitar in Calcutta with world expert Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya. He had his tent, his car, and a five year plan to earn a living through his music. Playing in alt-folk outfit The Roots Union, he met Devonian fiddle-singer Hannah Martin, and the pair instantly recognised a very powerful musical connection. When the band ended, they continued as a duo, playing all over the country, from Glastonbury festival to busking sessions on the seafront at Sidmouth Folk Week.
It was during one of these busking stints that they were spotted in an encounter with Steve Knightley (Show Of Hands) that now goes down in folk legend. Recognising the potential of Henry and Martin's partnership, Knightley invited them to accompany Show Of Hands on a nationwide tour, culminating with a show at the Royal Albert Hall at Easter 2012.
The pair's first album, Singing The Bones, was released in 2011 to warm praise, "I was completely knocked out by this duo...just a terrific album...absolutely great, wonderful" (BBC Radio Two). Constant touring followed, including an Arts Council funded tour of south west arts centres in autumn 2012. The duo went on to win "Best Folk Act" at the 2012 South West Music Awards, and began 2013 by being voted "Best Duo" by the public at the Spiral Awards. Their second studio album, Mynd, was released to great acclaim in September 2013, appearing in end of year best-ofs for The Guardian, The Telegraph, fRoots Critics Poll, Mark Radcliffe's Radio Two Top Ten, and Songlines. They were voted Best Duo at the Radio Two Folk Awards almost exactly five years since Phillip sat in his tent and made his five year plan!
The last 18 months have been their busiest to date. They recorded a concert, Live In Calstock, to make a record of their sound during these initial years; the resulting album once again went down a storm with the critics, "utterly inspired and magnificent" (Spiral Earth). They toured with folk legend Seth Lakeman. They attended Folk Alliance in Kansas City, and bookings for Canada and Australia in 2016 swiftly followed. As well as around 130 UK dates, they have also played in South Africa, France, Norway, Japan, The Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium during this period.
Watershed, Henry and Martin's keenly anticipated third studio album, is their most emotionally charged, personal and pertinent work to date. A collection of 12 inspired original songs and tunes, recorded live with The Watershed Band in Devon's Blackdown Hills, it centres around the idea of turning points. Moving away from the historical figures and events that peopled their highly acclaimed previous album Mynd they explore the idea of a modern folk tale - drawing on personal experience to create edgier, grittier material whilst retaining an 'everyman' empathy.
Kith and kin inspire many of the tracks, from foundlings to mill workers, all bonded by a theme of split second decisions and forked paths that shape sliding door destinies.
The alchemy of Martin's ever evocative songwriting, fiddle and banjo playing and the much extolled skills of Henry on dobro, harmonica and lap steel fuse into a wholly distinctive world sound - songs of lament, tunes of hope, and totally unpredictable twist and turn music, burgeoning with deft double bass from Matt Downer (Jamie Smith's Mabon) and the textured percussion of James Taylor.
A mesmerising release to further endorse the reputation of a duo who have deservedly gained a rapid and sure foothold in the higher echelons of the roots genre.
"Subtle, atmospheric... Bravely original"
Robin Denselow, The Guardian ****
"Keen, curious and concerned intellects are at work here. Hannah Martin
is an enthralling singer; Phillip Henry plays all manner of guitars and the
Julian May, Songlines
***** Top of the World album
"Rich and complex - there is something of June Tabor about Hannah's vocal performance - a voice that is strong and flexible and which, coupled with Phillip's instrumental virtuosity, suggests we're hearing stars of the future"
Dai Jeffries, R2 ****
"This duo has a combination of virtuosity, intensity and charisma
that merits a slot on much bigger stages"
John L. Walters, The Guardian
"An imaginative and innovative album - songs that linger in the memory
held together by the fine musicianship of Henry and Martin.
Strong and original - an unusual treat"
Martin Chilton, Daily Telegraph ****
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.
Paul Sartin is a member of the multi-BBC Radio 2 Award-winning big band Bellowhead and of Faustus. Consultant and Director of the Andover Museum Loft Singers, he is an Artist in Residence with Bellowhead at the Southbank Centre, an editor of music publications, and a BASCA-nominated composer whose commissions include works for the Central School of Speech and Drama, the Choir of Somerville College, Oxford, and Streetwise Opera.
Paul Hutchinson is the founder member of the innovative and progressive folk band, The Playford Liberation Front. His highly successful folk trio Hoover the Dog has recently morphed into the Pagoda Project. Paul's own compositions were published in 2012 (Food For Thought) and a second volume is in the pipeline. He is the resident accordion tutor at Cecil Sharp House and is a seasoned tutor at Folkworks and Halsway Manor and leads ensemble workshops far and wide.
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. Belshazzar’s Feast received a coveted nomination for the Best Duo Award at the 2010 BBC Folk Awards. Their latest Christmas-themed album titled ‘Stocking Fillers’ (Unearthed Records) was released in November 2012.
‘One of folks great odd couples – The Feast’ The Independent On Sunday
‘Duo known for their sense of humour as well their impressive musicianship’ Guardian
'Paul Hutchinson and Paul Sartin play like no-one else you've ever heard. Their music is breath-taking and wickedly inventive and the between-tunes interchange as intelligent and hilarious as the music. But don't let me give you the impression they're a lightweight comedy act: they finish the set with a haunting piece of oboe and accordion magic which has the audience spellbound.' BBC Radio 2 Mike Harding Show online, reviewing Sidmouth Festival
‘Amidst the jesting and hilarity, they sit as fine an example of traditional English folk music as you’re likely to hear.’ Mike Ainscoe, Bright Young Folk
Once upon a time, a long time ago, in the student bar of Leeds Polytechnic, "Snake Davis and his Alligator Shoes" were born. A soulful unit playing sax versions of Stax, Motown and Atlantic classics. They went on to be embraced by the Northern Soul scene. They lit up the Astoria Ballroom and Central Station, Leeds as they played to some of the most passionate and committed music-loving crowds anywhere in the world.
Reformed a couple of years ago, Snake Davis and The Suspicions have been heralded as the best Soul band performing live in the UK today. They feature Snakes’ searing Junior Walker-inspired sax, the sumptuous vocals of Doreen Edwards and Sue Quinn, trumpet and a killer rhythm section.
As a backing band they’ve worked alongside Ben-E-King, Frank Wilson, Chuck Jackson, Brenda Holloway, Martha Reeves, Willie Hutch, JJ Barnes, Eddie Holman, Barbara Lynn and many more. They recorded “Get Ready” with the boy band Blue and on the DVD collection, “The Strange World of Northern Soul” – described as “An awesome Northern Compilation”. They have also recorded soundtracks for TV advertising campaigns.
They perform classic tracks from Atlanta, Motown and Northern Soul, including their own versions of tunes such as “The Champion”, “Sweetest Feeling”, Green Onions”, “Love is Serious Business” and “Do I Love You”