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Author: Folk Festival 2020

Les Barker

Les Barker

The unforgettable poet returns with his beautifully crafted wordsmithery that will leave your mouth hurting on the sides with laughter. Genius.

Rosie Hood and Lucy Huzzard

Rosie Hood & Lucy Huzzard

Rosie Hood (vocals/tenor guitar) is known for her strong, pure voice and captivating performances as well as her poetic writing and honest interpretations of traditional songs. A former BBC Performing Arts Fellow and Horizon Folk Award nominee, Rosie has become more than purely a traditional singer and her first solo album The Beautiful & The Actual, a collection of old and new folk songs was described by The Guardian as “poetic class” ****.
Lucy Huzzard (melodeon/vocals) is a graduate of the Newcastle Folk Degree and the Eric Sahlström Institutet, with influences ranging from English morris dance tunes to Swedish Slängpolskas. Bringing outstanding musicianship and a deep understanding of tradition, Lucy’s sensitive playing combines perfectly with Rosie’s voice, skilfully lifting each song. Together Rosie Hood & Lucy Huzzard perform re-workings of traditional English songs as well as original material, touching on politics, struggle, women’s voices and unheard stories.

The Finn Collinson Band

The Finn Collinson Band

The Finn Collinson Band create dynamic English folk music for the 21st Century. Fronted by Finn’s distinctive tune-writing and trademark recorder style, the band has been gaining a strong reputation on the folk and acoustic circuit since the release of Finn’s acclaimed debut album ‘Call To Mind’ in 2019. Their sound was described by Spiral Earth as “exceptionally well executed folk rock”.

Finn’s touring band features the groove-infused guitar of Tom Leader, powerhouse percussion of Jonno Gaze, and Emma Beach’s unique and outstanding oboe. Their music introduces subtle effects and intricate layered sounds while maintaining a strong focus on acoustic instrumentation, creating a powerful sound from a small ensemble.

The band’s repertoire ranges from contemporary tunes and songs taking inspiration from Finn’s native East Anglia, to reimaginations of traditional and early material, presenting centuries-old dance tunes as they’ve never been heard before. As The Living Tradition observe, “the kinship between music and place is strongly present throughout much of Finn’s music”.

Finn Collinson has steadily been cementing a position as one of the foremost exponents of the recorder on the English folk scene since starting to perform solo gigs in 2017. He was shortlisted for the BBC Young Folk Award in 2018 and has appeared at many major UK festivals including The Sidmouth Folk Festival and FolkEast. Finn also performs with award-winning recorder quartet Aurai and London-based ceilidh band Stroma.

Zach Johnson

Zach Johnson

Zach Johnson is an indie/folk singer/songwriter from South-East England, writing lyrically-driven songs that feature his intricate guitar playing and powerful vocals. He has been touring extensively for the last four years, performing all over the country to great response. Most recently, Zach released his single, New Blockbuster, which has gained extensive radio play and critical acclaim: BBC Introducing described the track as ‘Brilliant’. He was voted the 2019 Thame Town Songwriting Competition winner, as well as ‘Best Newcomer’ at the ‘Graham Steel Music Awards 2017’. Zach has supported artists such as Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar (BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winners) Luke Jackson (BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominee) and The Black Feathers at sold out shows. Zach has performed at a large number of festivals, including Trinity Folk Festival, The Big Feastival and Walton Folk Festival, after which, he was praised in a Folk Radio article.

Zach released his second EP, ‘While We’re Still Here’, in March 2019, including the singles ‘New Blockbuster’, ‘Small Town’ and ‘Heartstring’. Most recently, he released a collaboration EP with Claudia Stark, celebrating the release with a sold out Guildford launch show.

Guitar and a voice, you’re going to love it

BBC Introducing 2019

The performance that stood out for me in the courtyard was Zach

Folk Radio 2018

Zach is an exciting new talent who writes great songs and has an engaging stage presence.

GSMC 2017

Beautiful Music

Oxjam Bracknell 2016
Keith Donnelly and the Shantyskeptics

Keith Donnelly & The Shantyskeptics

The craziest nautical hijinks since the parting of the Red Sea! (About which they also have a shanty by the way!).

We proudly present the world premiere of this all-new piece of hilarious, maritime-madcappery. Ably assisted by his merry, motley, multifarious crew – ‘Bosun’ Bill Bates and Des ‘Sea-Dog’ Patalong, Kap’n Keith offers, for your delectation and delight, twenty or so, brand-spanking-new, seriously-silly, songs of the sea. 

More of a three-man show than a concert.

Keith & The Shantyskeptics promise – The silliest set of shanties you will ever, ever, hear (by a long chalk!). Guaranteed!

If you thought shanties were fun before…

You ain’t seen nothing yet!

Janice Burns and Jon Doran

Janice Burns and Jon Doran

Janice Burns & Jon Doran are a folk duo based in the North-East of England who formed in 2017 after discovering their shared love for traditional song. Their compelling storytelling comes alive through tight vocal harmonies and thoughtful interplay between mandolin and bouzouki. A connection with vibrant repertoire captures feelings of familiarity, unveiling a respect for tradition whilst remaining relevant. Gathering songs from a range of sources, their work is a celebration of their own musical and geographical backgrounds, embracing the differences that connect them.

The clarity and blend in their voices and their beautifully honed playing captivated the sell out audience at Folklub Newcastle to the point that you could hear a pin drop. They have invested fully in their craft and their sound as a duo and the results are breathtaking.’  

-Katie Doherty (Katie Doherty and the navigators)

The Wilderness Yet

The Wilderness Yet

The Wilderness Yet combines the acclaimed talents of folksinger Rosie Hodgson, traditional fiddler Rowan Piggott, and guitarist-flautist Philippe Barnes. Independently, they have earned audiences’ esteem as consummate musicians; together, they weave a tapestry of traditional and self-penned songs with a charm and familarity that is usually only found in seasoned line-ups.​

Nancy Kerr and James Fagan

Nancy Kerr and James Fagan

Long standing, well loved Anglo-Australian duo. Multi BBC Folk award winners including the inaugural Horizon award and Best Duo 2003 and 2011.

The sheer abundance of distilled poetry on display is inspiring. And when it unravels in such a moving lyrical way, such as this, it will remain in the audience’s minds for a long time.

Spiral Earth
Will Pound's A Day Will Come

Will Pound’s A Day Will Come

Acclaimed harmonica and melodeon player Will Pound is embarking on a musical journey across the states of the European Union, to discover and unveil the diversity and common ground of their traditional music and song.

From the lively Swedish polska to the upbeat Italian tarantella, the lilt of the Irish jig, to buoyant French bourées, relentless rachenistas from Bulgaria and the rip-roaring Spanish jota.These tunes have travelled, evolved and merged as Europeans have enjoyed freedom of movement and expression, a shining example of the strength and joy in unity.

Together with Polish poet, Bohdan Piasecki, Will is joined by a live band featuring guitarist Jenn Butterworth, multi-instrumentalist Jude Rees, bass player and beatboxer John Parker and fiddle player Patsy Reid. Join us and be uplifted by the joyous sounds of a continent and hear the stories and hopes of those affected by the politics of division.

A flat out genius

Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2
Nancy Kerr

Nancy Kerr

Already a respected interpreter of traditional material, Nancy’s emergence as a writer of rare style has drawn comparisons to William Blake in her reawakening of a radical folk mythology as a backdrop for contemporary narratives about love and conflict, motherhood, migration, hardship and jubilation, and the tensions between rural and urban life.

Nancy is one of the most celebrated folk musicians of her generation, and has to date won 6 Folk Awards from BBC Radio 2: 2015 FOLK SINGER OF THE YEAR • HORIZON AWARD 2000 • BEST DUO 2003 and again in 2011 with James Fagan • BEST GROUP 2014 with The Full English • BEST ALBUM 2014 with The Full English. Nominated Best Original Song 2011 for Queen of Waters. Winner Best Album (Spiral earth 2011) for Twice Reflected Sun (Navigator041).