Browsing articles from "January, 2014"

Southwell Folk Festival 2014 – “International Feast of Folk and Roots Music”

Jan 10, 2014   //   by mikekirrage   //   News  //  No Comments

The line-up for this year’s Gate to Southwell Folk Festival (June 5-8 2014) is almost complete and, yet again, promises an international feast of folk and roots music.

Headline acts will include The Bills – the award-winning acoustic folk roots quintet from Canada’s West Coast, internationally acclaimed for their panoramic, mischievous, fiercely unpretentious sound – and Scotland’s Treacherous Orchestra, stars of the Shrewsbury Folk Festival last year.  Already one of the most entertaining acts on the festival circuit, this 10 piece roots supergroup (featuring fiddles, flutes, banjos, bagpipes and drums) were nominated for the Best Group in the 2013 BBC Folk Awards.


Plus there’ll be the acclaimed all-female folk band The Poozies and the extraordinary, ever-changing 20-years-young Feast of Fiddles, an outfit starring fiddling legends such as Phil Beer (Show of Hands), Ian Cutler (Fairport collaborator), Peter Knight (Steeleye Span), Chris Leslie (Fairport & Whippersnapper).  As one reviewer quipped, “they look like geography teachers, they play like angels”.


One of the most popular acts on the folk scene, Vin Garbutt will be making an overdue and very welcome return and there’s also the premiere of A Day’s Work, Mick Ryan’s fifth folk opera which will open the festival on the Thursday night.

Since winning the Best Original Song award for ‘The Herring Girl’ at the 2012 Folk Awards, Bella Hardy has become one of the major attractions on the British festival circuit.  Mojo magazine celebrated her debut album ‘Night Visiting’ and R2 described her 2009 LP ‘The Shadow Of The Mountains’ as simply “stunning”.  From Edale in Derbyshire, Bella and her band The Midnight Watch will be making their first appearance at the Southwell Folk Festival 2014, by which time she may well have won the Folk Singer of the Year award!

Confirming the growing international pull of the Southwell festival, the organisers are flying in The Sojourners, a much acclaimed gospel trio originally from Texas, Louisiana and Michigan but now based in Vancouver.  As leader Marcus Moseley explains, “this is real gospel, blessed with a soul that can’t be faked.  It’s music for the sinners or the saved, no matter where you are on your spiritual journey!”  The Sojourners have worked with such eminent artists such as the Dixie Hummingbirds, Dr John and The Blind Boys of Alabama so they’re bound to bring something original and different to Nottinghamshire.

Over the last seven years, the festival has grown to become the premier roots music and dance event in the East Midlands, guaranteeing more than 40 top quality performers over four days.

In addition to returning folk stars such as The Henry Girls and the excellent award-winning Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar, the festival will also showcase major performers including Martyn Joseph and Stewart Henderson, acclaimed young Irish band Caladh Nua, American guitar legend Woody Mann, The Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson Big Band, The Ben Waters Band plus the mainstays of Nanci Griffiths’ band, The Kennedys, who will be performing with British songstress Edwina Hayes.


Other acts so far confirmed include  Polly & The Billets Doux, Blackbeard’s Tea Party, Jeff Warner, the Liam Robinson Dance Band, Keith Donnelly, Estonian duo Kadri Laube and Marju Varblane, the BeauBowBelles,  Skippers Alley, Hatful Of Rain, the Maccaferri Club, plus the UK’s latest folk-singing sensation, 15-year-old GraceSarah from Cambridge.

As previous visitors to the folk festival will testify, if you want to enjoy the best of folk and roots music or simply dance the nights away, Southwell is the place to be from June 5 to 8.

Early Bird reduced price tickets are now on sale for the event which, in addition to three days of international quality music and dance, promises a beer and cider festival, workshops, children’s entertainment and pub sessions throughout the town.  Tickets are available online – – or through local outlets including the Cathedral Shop Southwell, the main tourist centre in Nottingham, Woodlanders, of King Street Southwell, and RST Mices, Cartergate, Newark.

Southwell Festival
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