Browsing articles from "January, 2018"

SOUTHWELL GETS THE BLUES

Jan 19, 2018   //   by Michael Stevenson   //   News  //  No Comments

The Greet will meet the Mississippi on Thursday June 7th when the Gate to Southwell Festival brings some of the world’s best blues stars to town.  Headliners Nine Below Zero have been one of Britain’s best blues exports for over 30 years and they’ve supported everyone from Alexis Korner, Chuck Berry, The Kinks and The Who through to recent successful tours with Squeeze and The Stranglers.  Also on the bill there’s The Lil’ Jimmy Reed Band, led by one of the last original Louisiana bluesmen.  Now in his late Seventies, Lil’ Jimmy has shared the stage with blues greats such as BB King and Bobby Blue Bland; he’ll be joined by Bob Hall, one of the finest blues and boogie pianists of his generation.

“We’ve booked the best international folk, roots and acoustic artists over the years but we’ve also had some great blues performers at Southwell,” says festival director Mike Kirrage.  “So this year we’ve decided to start the festival with a top-quality blues extravaganza and we hope to attract blues fans from throughout the Midlands.”

Alongside Nine Below Zero and The Lil’ Jimmy Reed Band, there’s also Ol’ Savannah, one of Canada’s best roots bands – they put the blues into bluegrass and have been described as a cross between Tom Waits, Muddy Waters, Roscoe Holcomb, and The Pogues! – and, from closer-to-home, Northumbrian bluesman, Johnny Dickinson, who’s universally regarded as one of Britain’s finest blues and slide guitarists, and played at the first ever Gate to Southwell Festival.

Over the weekend there’s a great line-up of roots and acoustic stars for the twelfth festival (June 7th to 10th) – includingLindisfarne, Cara Dillon and the Young’uns – plus another big name to be announced soon. “Tickets are selling fast,” reports Mike, “and Gate To Southwell 2018 definitely looks set to be the best yet.”

Special priced Thursday evening tickets are on sale now from £20 and Tier One Weekend and Weekend Extra tickets can also be purchased via  the website at www.gtsf.uk

Dance Sides Now Confirmed

Jan 5, 2018   //   by Michael Stevenson   //   News  //  No Comments

See the website for a string of dance sides now added to the line-up for 2018. And don’t forget it’s Plough Sunday this weekend (7th Jan) which kicks off with the service at St. Denis Church, Morton-cum-Fiskerton, followed by a sword dance at the village hall, then over to Southwell for displays at The Hearty Goodfellow and The Admiral Rodney from 12.30 to 1.30 and then from 2pm to 4pm at The Final Whistle, Southwell.

See the link below for details of sides playing at the festival

Dance displays 2018

Further acts announced for 2018

Jan 5, 2018   //   by Michael Stevenson   //   News  //  No Comments
BLUES & FOLK STARS LINED UP FOR GATE TO SOUTHWELL 2018
There’s a perfect blend of rising stars, festival favourites and music legends lined up for next year’s Gate To Southwell.  
Already booked for the East Midlands’ premier roots and acoustic event are hugely-successful veteran Geordies Lindisfarne, award-winning folkies The Young’uns, one of Ireland’s greatest singers Cara Dillon performing with special guests, Danish roots stars Habadekuk, brilliant Devon guitarist and singer-songwriter John Smith, acclaimed Canadian fiddlers The Fitzgeralds and 2017 BBC Folk Singer of the Year Kris Drever.  There’ll also be a special Blues Night featuring Britain’s number one R&B band Nine Below Zero, Louisiana bluesmen The Lil’ Jimmy Reed Band and the UK’s best slide guitarist Johnny Dickinson.  
Nottinghamshire countryside from Thursday June 7th to Sunday June 10th.    
Also joining the eclectic, international bill there’s Scotland’s Blue Rose Code, the Canadian jazz-meets-klezmer-meets-folk of The Boxcar Boys, acclaimed Southwell regulars Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar, 2017 BBC Group of the Year The Furrow Collective, the megafolk of Birmingham’s The Destroyers, much-loved global troubadour Rory McLeod, highly-rated harmonious Celts Mongoose and award-winning songstress Vikki Clayton.  
Plus, with more names still to be announced, there’s the East Anglian Americana of The Shackleton Trio, Derbyshire’s Rogue Embers and promising folk duo Harbottle & Jonas, who’ll all add to the party atmosphere at this most family-friendly of festivals, which also features music workshops, ceilidhs, dance displays, children’s entertainment, a craft fair plus great food and drink stalls.
Still led by Rod Clements, one of their original singer-songwriters, it’s 45 years since Lindisfarne’s first hit ‘Meet Me On The Corner’ cracked the UK charts and made their second LP ‘Fog On The Tyne’ the best-selling British album of 1972.  Since then the Geordie folk-rock kings have scored with hits such as ‘Lady Eleanor’, ‘Run For Home’ and ‘We Can Swing Together’.  Headlining the Big Top on Friday June 8th, with the late Alan Hull’s son-in-law Dave Hull-Denholm joining the latest line-up, Lindisfarne are guaranteed to get the Southwell audience singing and swinging along. 
Gate To Southwell 2009 was The Young’uns first “proper festival” and since then they’ve returned to great acclaim in both 2011 and 2015.  Described by Mike Harding as “one of the best live acts I have ever seen”, the life-enhancing North Easterners will headline the festival on Saturday June 9th.  Following the great success of their ‘Another Man’s Ground’ collection, their 2017 release ‘Strangers’ looks certain to gather even more folk awards. 
Topping the bill on Sunday June 10th, Cara Dillon is regarded as one of the best vocalists and interpreters of traditional songs on the planet.  Mojo magazine stated she possessed “what may well be the world’s most beautiful female voice” as showcased on her seventh studio album, this year’s ‘Wanderer’.  Cara will perform alongside her husband and musical partner Sam Lakeman plus some very special guests. 
Making his first appearance at Southwell, the acclaimed singer-songwriter and innovative guitarist John Smith has become a star of the British acoustic music scene over the past 10 years, performing alongside artists such as Jackson Browne, Richard Hawley, Jarvis Cocker and Rodney Crowell, and guesting on albums by David Gray, Lisa Hannigan and LeAnn Rimes.  His recent album’, ‘Headlong’, is a fine example of a “master craftsman at work” (Folk Radio). 
Anyone who caught Habadekuk’s last visit to Gate To Southwell will welcome them back with open arms and dancing feet.  Regarded as one of the most exciting live folk bands, the Danish nine-piece mix it up with salsa, polkas and big band jazz.  Appropriately, their motto is “we blow you away”.  
Kicking off the festival on Thursday June 7th, there’s a great feast of blues from Nine Below Zero, Lil’ Jimmy Reed Band and Johnny Dickinson.  NBZ formed at the height of punk and went on to become one of the most respected blues bands on the Eighties and Nineties, working with artists such as Eric Clapton, Gary Moore and Chuck Berry.  Their extended eight-piece big band appearance at Glastonbury in 2016 won them a new generation of fans and recently they’ve toured extensively with Squeeze. 
21st century bluesmen don’t come much more authentic than 77 year old Lil’ Jimmy Reed, who was born on the Mississippi and who’s been playing harp and guitar since the early 1950s, sharing stages with blues legends such as BB King and Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland.  He’s guaranteed to bring the gritty sounds of the deep South to Southwell and his band will feature acclaimed blues and boogie pianist Bob Hall.  Also on Thursday, while Johnny Dickinson might hail from Morpeth rather than Baton Rouge, he’s rightly regarded as one of Britain’s best blues and slide guitarists.  Having recovered from serious illness, this is a great opportunity to enjoy a rare talent.  
Southwell Festival