Saturday, 27 March 2010

Sword play at Cropredy Festival!

Fairport Convention have announced that during their August 14th Cropredy festival set, they will feature highlights from Excalibur, the celtic rock opera which toured Germany (and featured Fairport) in January.

Fairport will be joined by Pentangle's Jacqui McShee, Jethro Tull's Martin Barre, Dublin's Johnny Logan and from Brittany, 'Excalibur' creator - Alan Simon.

Says the band: "Other musicians include ace guitarist Pat O'May, Luc Bertin on keyboards and vocalist James Wood. Konan Mevel from Skilda will join us on pipes and whistles. This will give our English audience an opportunity to hear some of the great music from this wonderful show."

Excalibur is added to a great festival line-up which includes:
Leatherat, Status Quo, 3 Daft Monkeys, Little Johnny England, Little Feat, Bellowhead, Rick Wakeman & The English Rock Ensemble, Martyn Joseph, and, of course, Fairport Convention and Friends

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Oxford Folk Festival - April 16-18

The seventh Oxford Folk Festival will be held on Friday 16th , Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th April 2010 at venues across the city. Growing bigger every year the 2010 festival will see new venues, new events and new music mixed with the tried an tested favourites of previous years.

For 2010 Oxford Town Hall is again the focus for some fantastic concerts featuring Bellowhead, Cara Dillon, the Warsaw Village Band, the Demon Barber Roadshow, and Chris Wood and Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies to name but a few.

To open the festival on Friday evening award winning big band Bellowhead will be making their fourth triumphant return to the festival. They will be supported by the sqeezebox and dulcimer duo of Saul Rose and Maclaine Colston and local band Telling the Bees.

In the Saturday lunchtime slot we welcome the Balkan influenced music of Torivaki, who hail from Oxford’s twin town of Grenoble in France; squeezebox wizard Luke Daniels with fiddle player Sam Proctor, and the outstanding young performers of The Gael Academy.

Saturday afternoon brings the spectacular Demon Barber Roadshow who combine driving folk tunes with one of the best rapper dance sides in the country (and some pretty good clog dancing too). Starting the concert off will be up and coming band Roots Union, who promise us a rare guest appearance from the first ever singer in Fairport Convention, Judy Dyble.

The amazing voice of Irish singer Cara Dillon will head the Saturday evening concert. Cara has been wowing audiences and taking awards with her mix of traditional and original material sung in the way only Cara can. Supporting Cara will be Radio 2 Young Folk Awards winner Megan Henwood, this time playing solo.

Sunday opens with a concert of English folk music favourites. Headlining will be Chris Wood with his thoughtful songs of reflective charm. Supporting Chris and playing songs mainly derived from his native North East will be Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies while leading off will be the electric on-stage presence of squeezebox maestro Simon Care.

Closing the festival at the Town Hall on Sunday night will be remarkable Warsaw Village Band, who deconstruct their native Polish music to make it brand new and cutting edge – not to be missed. They will be supported by Maqam, a new local collection of musicians who present dazzling Arabic music with fiddle, oud and qanoon.

Running alongside the main concerts at the Town Hall there will be no less than 27 other acts on the Cornbury stage over the three days. Giving a platform to local and up and coming artists there will be something for everyone, from new interpretations of traditional tunes to gypsy burlesque.

As well as hosting the concerts the Town Hall will be Festival HQ, holding the box office, craft fair, real ale bar and cafe.

At the Holywell Room the ever popular seventeenth costume band The Oxford Waits will entertain on Friday night, with Europe’s only baroque and tango orchestra, The Oxford Concert Party, supported by the festival own choir, Rising Voices, on Saturday.

Other concerts will be held at the Faculty of Music on Saturday afternoon where an OFFspring concert featuring local young talent and at the Newman Rooms on Sunday evening when the bands from Oxford’s twin towns will be joined by the Oxford Fiddle Group.

For dancers there will be ceilidhs at the Newman Rooms in St Aldates with brand new band Tiggerz on Friday night and the ever popular Steamchicken on Saturday night. For families there will be an OFFspring family ceilidh on Sunday afternoon in the Denis Arnold Hall at the Faculty of Music in St Aldates featuring local band What’s Up Folk from the John Mason School in Abingdon.

There will also be a wealth of free outside entertainment centered on the Castle site, with over 40 Morris sides dancing there and elsewhere in the city over the weekend, starting with a grand parade from the Castle to Cornmarket Street on Saturday morning. A new, free Marquee Stage in the Castle Garden will host music on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon and dance workshops on both days.

Craft activities, stories, dancing and singing for children will be in County Hall.

2010 will see a massive 22 workshops ranging from belly dancing at the Castle to hands on sessions with some of the beautiful instruments in the Bate Collection at the Faculty of Music by way of harp, cajon, guitar, a multitude of squeeze instruments, northumbrian pipes and the amazing Javanese gamelan!

This year the festival has been awarded invaluable assistance from the Performing Rights Society Foundation that has enabled us to continue to expand. We have also entered into partnership with The Sage Gateshead and the Oxfordshire School Music Service to provide the Vocal Force Sing Up project to local special needs schools.

2010 also starts an new relationship with Oxford University Faculty of Music, who will host some of the 22 workshops as well as concerts and a ceilidh at their building in St Aldates.

Finally we are delighted to announce that local folk icons John Spiers and Jon Boden have agreed to join June Tabor as patrons of the Festival.

Tickets are available from We Got Tickets at or Oxboffice at or 08456801926. Booking fees may be applied.

For more information go to

The Acoustic Festival of Britain

May 21 -23 The Acoustic Festival of Britain - Uttoxeter Racecourse, Staffs. Donovan at The Acoustic Festival of Britai Discounted Earlybird Tickets Now Available until March 31st £25/Day - £60/Weekend - £75/Weekend with Camping Available from Donovan - Levellers - The Blues Band Kate Rusby - Sandi Thom - Barbara Dickson Leatherat - 3 Daft Monkeys - Aziz - Papa George - Ezio The Hamsters (1st time ever UNplugged) -Amy Wadge Henry Priestman - Ed Tudor Pole - Pierre Bensusan Justin Sullivan & Dean White (New Model Army) - Little Johnny England Amy Wadge - The Coal Porters - The Monster Ceilidh Band - The Outcast Band - ortoPilot The Monte Dons - Dog Days of Summer - The Beetroot Kings - Darren Poyzer - Kristy Gallacher & Many Many More Kate RusbyThe Acoustic Festival of Britain is a 3 Day music festival with camping and an eclectic programme of Unplugged and Acoustic music from the genres of Folk, Roots, Celtic, Blues, Pop, Rock, Burlesque. A great family event, with 4 stages, Craft Stalls & Displays, Juggling Schools & Soccer Workshops, Yoga Classes, Belly Dancing, Morris Dancing, Story Telling & Comedy with a Real Ale Beer Tent & Exotic Foods. Posh Flushing Loos & Hot Showers Ideally located in Central England, set in the beautiful Staffordshire countryside the olde worlde Racecourse boasts stunning views and easy access on the A50 trunk road linking the M1 and M6. Uttoxeter Railway Station is conveniently situated and is just a 1 minute walk away. Festival Coaches are running a Pick Up Service from London and a late night service to Derby and Stoke

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Album deal for shanty singers

Congratulations to Fisherman's Friends, the shanty group from Port Isaac in Cornwall, who have hauled in a deal with Universal Records!
More details here (BBC) and here (Fisherman's Friends).
I now look forward to Universal's lawyers demanding that I take down this video of FF I've had posted on YouTube for over three years!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Wot A Beautiful Day!

The first acts announced for the Levellers festival, Beautiful Days, which takes place in August in Devon are James, Newton Faulkner, The Wailers, Levellers, Fairport Acoustic Convention, Billy Bragg, Bellowhead, New Model Army, Easy Star All-Stars, Show of Hands, American Head Charge, The Slackers, The Alarm, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, The Aggrolites, Krafty Kuts, Citizen Fish, Dervish, Wilko Johnson, John Cooper Clarke, Shooglenifty, John Otway Big Band, The Destroyers, James Yorkston, 3 Daft Monkeys, Uiscedwr, Tankus The Henge and Ian King Topping the bill on Friday night is the Brit-nominated and multi-platinum selling Newton Faulkner followed by The Wailers who, together with Bob Marley, have sold in excess of 250 million albums worldwide. Headlining on Saturday night are Manchester rock band James, perhaps best known for hits in the 90’s including ‘Sit Down’ and ‘Laid’ the band have been enjoying a renaissance since reforming in 2007. Festival founders Levellers headline the festival on the Sunday night followed by a stunning fireworks display to end the weekend.
The Big Top welcomes headline performances from singer-songwriter Billy Bragg, Fairport Acoustic Convention making their first appearance at the festival and acclaimed English folk band Bellowhead. NEW FOR 2010! We’re delighted to welcome Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Canteen to Beautiful Days. As well as the scrumptious food they’ll be serving in the cafe, the River Cottage team will be running workshops and talks during the weekend.
The festival, which is now in its eighth year, has live music across five stages plus a huge children’s area in the centre of the festival, walkabout theatre, site art, comedy, food & craft stalls, a village shop and pub-price bars run by Otter Brewery.
TICKETS are on sale now and weekend camping ticket prices have been held from last year. Adult weekend camping tickets are £100, 10 to under 16’s weekend camping tickets are £60, 5 to under 10’s weekend camping tickets are £30 and under 5’s weekend camping tickets are £5. Campervan passes are £35 and car routing/parking passes are £15. All tickets are subject to booking fees and are available NOW from, and Full terms and conditions and more information is available on the festival website

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Chumba and O'Hooley/Tidow

In our March 2010 show (FolkCast 050) we play new music from both Chumbawamba and new female duo O'Hooley & Tidow. Now you can see both performing together (well, at the same gig at least). Click the image below for full details.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Many A Fine Tune...

3 Daft Monkeys are on the search for a fiddle. Can you help..?

The band writes: "Athene is looking for a new violin. She needs one with a gorgeous warm mellow tone that she can fall in love with, as her current fiddle is over 200 years old, and may split at any time. So, if you know of a good place to look or know of anyone selling a violin (it has to be professional quality), or know of anyone that makes violins, please let us know. It doesn't matter if it looks a bit battered, it's the sound thats important."

If you can help, get in touch with the band via their website.

Meanwhile, they've got a trio of gigs coming up:

Wednesday 17th March is St Patricks night, and so if you want to have a good old knees-up and hear no trad Irish music whatsoever from us, then come to the wonderful Lamb in Malvern, Worcestershire. We've heard it's a great venue for a party vibe, set right on the edge of the Malvern hills.

Thursday 18th March takes us to Barlambs music bar in Southend-on-Sea (if you can get us off the rollercoasters) with a 3-band extravaganza. Support is from ArtGruppe and Carterhaugh. Again, there's plenty of space to dance and jump off those winter icicles.

Friday 19th March we'll be at The Crown, Otford, Sevenoaks, Kent, which is a lovely 16th Century pub. We'll be playing in a heated marquee out the back.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Fred Wedlock RIP

Sadly, Fred's death was reported today, at the age of 67. Folk singer, funnyman, all-round good egg.

More details here

So, farewell then, Fred Wedlock

Now you are no longer, the oldest swinger in town...

EJ Thwidds, aged 17¾...

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

How Sweet To Be An Idiot...

Les Barker writes strange poems and comes originally from Manchester, but he's now Welsh. He was an accountant before he became a professional idiot (his words, not ours!).

A well known style icon Les always cuts a dash in the world of fashion where he is much respected as the leading exponent of the cardigan in all its splendour.

Les Barker Is Due To Perform Monologues, Poems & Parodies At The Following Culture Emporia

(March 30 & April - Alive in Australia Tour)

MAY 2010

  • Sat 8. The Village of Bloxham May Fest, Old Bridge Rd & Various Surroundings in Bloxham, Oxfordshire, Tel: 07962 778984
  • Fri 21. The Guildhall, Market Place, Derby, DE1 3AE Tel: 01332 255800 Tickets £15.50 From 8.00 p.m.
  • Sun 23. Horsham Folk Club, The Normandy Centre, Denne Road, Horsham RH12 1JF, Tel: 01403 251188

JUNE 2010

  • Mon 14. The Glenfarg Folk Club, Glenfarg Hotel, Main Street, Glenfarg, Scotland, PH2 9PT Tel: 01337 831116
  • Sat 19. Gateway Arts Centre, Chester Street, Shrewsbury, SY1 1NB Tel:01743 240325
  • Sat 26. Pack O’Cards, High Street, Combe Martin, Ilfracombe EX34 0ET, Tel: 01271 882366


  • Wed 4. Windsor Hotel, Llantrisant Road, Pontyclun, Mid Glamorgan, Wales, CF72 9DQ Tel: 91443 226892


  • Mon 13. Arts Centre, Church Street, Colchester, CO1 1NF Tel: 01206 500900


  • Thurs 25 Brewood Cricket Club, 44 Ashes Road, Stafford, ST19 9HX Tel: 01785 841274


  • Fri 3. Ulverston Sports Club, Priory Rd, Ulverston, Cumbria, LA12 9HT. Tel: 07743 555227
  • Fri 10. The Sunset Suite, Carlisle United FC, Warwick Rd, Carlisle, CA1 1LL Tel: 01228 541799
  • Fri 17. The Ivy Bush Hotel, 103 High Street, Pontardawe, Wales, SA8 4JN. Tel: 01792 425231