Saturday 30th April
Bristol Folk Singers,
|14:30-17:35||The Company of Players,
|18:00-18:45||The Changing Room|
|19:45-22:50||Sam Kelly Trio,
Moore Moss Rutter,
Gigspanner with Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin
Sunday 1st May
Heg and the Wolf Chorus,
Ange Hardy and Lukas Drinkwater
|14:45-18:45||Great Sea Choir,
Lukas Drinkwater and Tobias Ben Jacob,
Cooper and Toller,
Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker
|19:45-22:45||Said the Maiden,
India Electric Co,
Gigspanner with Phillip Henry and Hannah Martinexpand...
Since his departure from folk-rock pioneers Steeleye Span at the end of 2013, legendary fiddle player Peter Knight has turned his full attention to his trio Gigspanner, and in the process has firmly established their reputation as one of the most innovative acts on the folk/roots scene. Gigspanner consists of Peter along with Roger Flack on Guitar and Vincent Salzfaas on Congas and Djembe. British traditional music forms the bedrock of the trio’s repertoire, but the approach is what sets it apart… Peter says: “there is nothing more exciting than finding yourself lost in a new layer of inspiring and spontaneous music”.
Guaranteed to be a BFF magic moment, Gigspanner are joined by award-winning duo Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin. The duo accompany Hannah’s evocative songs on fiddle, banjo, dobro, harmonica and lap steel, and have toured with Show of Hands and Seth Lakeman.
Winners of BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards “Album of The Year”, 9Bach come from Wales and sing in Welsh. Their new album, Anian, is released on April 29th. Just what is barefoot Lisa Jên doing with that sledgehammer? Answers on a postcard, please. Here’s what fRoots (UK) said about 2014 album Tincian:
“Lisa Jên’s voice elevates these songs into something perhaps best described as a Cymraeg Fado, capable of transcending language barriers and transfixing the listener with her emotion and artistry. (Martin Hoyland’s) atmospheric, song-serving guitar playing is nothing short of outstanding. Ali Byworth, Dan Swain, Esyllt Glyn Jones and Marain Roberts all play a full part in arrangements which eschew standard pop/rock structures while successfully incorporating age-old Welsh touchstone sounds of garb and male voice choir with an irresistible modern dance ambience. A brilliant, genre-defying album.”
And here’s their just-released new video: Llyn Du (we guarantee better weather at BFF!)
Gadarene’s stated mission is to take little known dance tunes of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and get audiences dancing to them again. They draw on pop, rock, funk, reggae, electronica and club trance to create a sound which is sophisticated and wild. Nick Wyke plays fiddle, Matt Norman (twice Dartmoor stepdance champion) plays mandolin, Jon Dyer plays flute, Laurel Swift plays double bass and clogs and Si Paull plays percussion.
Moore Moss Rutterexpand...
Tom Moore, Archie Churchill-Moss and Jack Rutter hail from three distinct regions of the UK – they combine musical material, style and tradition from Norfolk, Somerset and Yorkshire respectively. Since 2009, Moore Moss Rutter have been playing as a trio, meticulously reworking English tunes and compositions into sets and songs which have been described as “intelligently crafted musical adventures”. Often praised for musical “maturity and sophistication”, it is their aim to carefully create soundscapes of mellow and precisely engineered beauty – as well as wild builds of tension and tempestuous climaxes. Nice. The trio have performed widely, at venues and events ranging from Glastonbury, to folk clubs and living rooms. Moore Moss Rutter are winners of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award 2011. The question on everybody’s lips now is: “Why is the band posing in front of an array of ancient typewriters?” Maybe you’ll just have to see them to find out.
Hampshire-based Threepenny Bit are an example of how traditional dance tunes and contemporary sounds can be blended into a fresh interpretation of folk music. The band takes eight of the finest folk, jazz and classical musicians in Hampshire and lets them loose on the world of folk dance music. They play lively arrangements of traditional and original tunes in an “all out musical bombardment”.
Edd Donovan and the Wandering Molesexpand...
Edd Donovan is a distinctive contemporary folk singer‐songwriter from Cheltenham. His songs reflect his interest in modern folk music and the work of such performers as Nathaniel Rateliff, Ane Brun, Fleet Foxes and Bowerbirds. “Who?” I hear you ask, “They don’t sound like my cup of tea at all.” Never mind. You should definitely check him out. His sound is unique, heartfelt and wise. He has a collective of formidable musicians around him called The Wandering Moles. “Edd’s unique song craft proves to be witty, thoughtful… and blessed with a melodic touch” Folk Radio UK.
The Changing Roomexpand...
The Changing Room perform original folk music from Cornwall. Driven by songwriter Tanya Brittain and one of the best male voices in British roots music, Sam Kelly, the band weave evocative narratives around enchanting and addictive melodies. Tanya and Sam are joined regularly by Jamie Francis and Evan Carson (The Willows) and their recording projects have involved guest vocalists Jon Cleave (Fisherman’s Friends) and Tim Ashton (3 Daft Monkeys), plus top folk musicians Kevin McGuire (double bass), John McCusker (whistle and violin) and Jennifer Crook(harp). “It feels like a little musical magic happened.” **** R2 Magazine
The Company of Playersexpand...
BFF is excited to host the launch of the Company of Players. Inspired by the likes of The Full English, The Elizabethan Sessions and Songs for the Voiceless, Jess Distill set about creating her own folk ‘supergroup’ made up of some of the best emerging folk artists on the uk scene. They have written and recorded works, only a few weeks ago, and are now ready to perform a body of brand new material based on the works of William Shakespeare to commemorate him on the 400th anniversary of his death.
Sam Kelly Trioexpand...
Sam Kelly is a Cornwall-based singer, song-writer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. As a young child Sam spent many a night enraptured, listening to his Irish grandfather tell folk tales, sing folk songs, and play folk tunes on his melodeon. Having caught the bug (he obviously didn’t get a vaccination at school), Sam has dedicated his life to rediscovering and renewing the sounds of his Gaelic heritage, and creating exciting new music that transcends the boundaries of traditional and popular music.
Sam and his live trio (Jamie Francis on banjo and Evan Carson on percussion) have been taking festivals and venues by storm for the past four years, and have gained a reputation among peers and audiences alike for a very high class, dynamic live show. Audiences come away not believing that there were only three people on stage from the huge sound they were hearing, which is largely down to the inventive use of pedals – you will never have heard a banjo played like this before, prepare to be converted…
Bristol Folk Singersexpand...
Bristol Folk Singers perform glorious a-capella harmony arrangements of traditional English folk songs. Based in north Bristol the choir is lead by Matt Norman, who arranges the songs and stands for no nonsense. Spine-tingling arrangements and full-throated sing-along choruses are par for the course. Expect to be moved. In a good way.
A new take on traditional British folk music, featuring some classics and some hidden gems. Tradarrr are Gregg Cave, Mark Stevens, Marion Fleetwood, Guy Fletcher and PJ Wright. About their album Cautionary Tales, Paul Saunders of Spiral Earth wrote: “This is an album that is about to blaze a fresh, new trail on the well-trodden path of British folk rock. Right from the opening track, a feisty, full-on note-for-note transcription of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ orchestral English Folk Song Suite, TradArrr nails its colours firmly to the mast with imaginative, ambitious, sometimes startling, arrangements. Who ever thought to hear Mariachi horns and crunching lead guitar alongside Seventeen Come Sunday? Roll over, RVW!”
The Gerry Colvin Bandexpand...
Gerry Colvin’s musical career began in the 1970s with pop band The Man Upstairs. Since then he has founded and headed a number of successful musical ventures and has worked in Nashville as a professional songwriter.
“Gerry Colvin is a writer of great substance who is able to give us something that has been largely missing in English Music for a long time. His subjects and characters are clearly defined and his songs create strong images and stories which can make us both laugh and cry in the same breath. This man is unique and unforgettable. The songs are brilliant. He should be a household name. Go see him.” – Phil Beer, Show of Hands
Ange Hardy and Lukas Drinkwaterexpand...
Nominated at the 2015 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and celebrated by The Telegraph as “one of Britain’s top folk musicians” Ange Hardy has grabbed the attention of the traditional folk music world by writing new material and embracing modern technologies whilst maintaining a traditional feel. Alongside a staggering list of other accolades Ange was awarded FATEA Magazine’s “Female Vocalist of the Year” in 2013, “Album of the Year” in 2014 and “The Tradition Award” in 2015. In 2016 Ange is touring as a duo with Lukas Drinkwater who brings double bass, backing vocals, another guitar and a bold new dynamic to the stage.
Josienne Clarke and Ben Walkerexpand...
While much of their music is characterised by lush chamber ensemble orchestrations, what truly sets Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker apart is
the fact that they appear to be playing a gig on a sofa in the middle of the road the combination of Josienne’s exquisitely nuanced, emotionally affecting voice and Ben’s intricately expressive, adroit guitar technique. They cite Sandy Denny, June Tabor, Nic Jones and Pierre Bensusan as influences but theirs is a captivating sound that’s all their own. Winners of Best Duo category at the 2015 BBC Folk Awards.
Lukas Drinkwater and Tobias Ben Jacobexpand...
Devon based singer-songwriter Tobias ben Jacob has been recently lauded by BBC 6’s Tom Robinson and has played on legendary broadcaster Whispering Bob Harris’ ‘Under The Apple Tree Sessions’.
Lukas Drinkwater is based in Exeter, UK. Specialising in double bass, electric bass, vocals and guitar, Lukas has quickly become one of the most in-demand session musicians on the touring circuit, working with some of the biggest names in folk and jazz.
What will they get up to together? “Inventive and thrilling…” according to BBC R2 Magazine. You owe it to yourself to come along and find out…
India Electric Coexpand...
**** “Bursting with invention and full of surprises.” – The Telegraph
**** “Their reeling, spinning sound corroborates the content of their songs which appear to be describing a life alive with motion. They are altogether a good thing, busy as rush hour but full of light.” – The Independent on Sunday
Sometimes folk, sometimes not. India Electric Company travel through Eastern European themes, gypsy jazz and Irish reels to end up with something “quirky and glittery – a veritable musical magpie’s nest.” – Mary Ann Kennedy, BBC Radio 3
“Gorgeous legs.” – Chris Evans, BBC Radio 2
Heg and the Wolf Chorusexpand...
Heg and the Wolf Chorus create theatrical, original music which draws inspiration from fairy tales and the twisted roots of Heg’s family tree, taking the listener on a journey from Grimm’s fantastical forests, across the stormy Atlantic to the black, dangerous coal mines of Illinois and far beyond. Afraid? You should be. In 2014 the band was nominated for Bristol Folk Festival’s Isambard Folk Award and their trilogy of EP’s (produced by Gareth James Bailey) received critical acclaim, putting the band firmly on the folk map. The title track from the first EP Giant was nominated for ‘Song of the Year’ in the Fatea Magazine Awards 2014.
The Barnacle Buoysexpand...
The Barnacle Buoys are a group of fine a-capella sea shanty singers based in North Somerset. Their purpose is to enjoy their craft, entertain their audiences and raise money for their chosen charities, these being the Childrens’ Hospice South West and the RNLI. There may well be some sing-along choruses, so make sure you warm your vocal chords up before the concert. Maybe a pint of rum would do the trick.
Cooper and Tollerexpand...
Vicky Cooper and Richard Toller come from the West Country and sing traditional English folk songs in a-cappella harmony and accompanied on fiddle and guitar. With a repertoire ranging from murder ballads to bawdy drinking songs, their material may be hundreds of years old but their approach is energetic, sophisticated and timeless. ‘Beautiful harmonies and lovely playing’ – FaF.
The Great Sea Choirexpand...
The Great Sea Choir formed in Bristol in 2012 and is directed by Heg Brignall. Based in Cotham in the heart of Bristol, the choir sing an array of folk-inspired songs, entirely a-cappella. The name refers to the idea that when voices come together in harmony, the sound is like a great sea; ebbing and flowing, crashing and turning. It is also a nod to the uplifting, free-spirited energy of sea shanties and other folk songs. What’s not to like? Nothing. You won’t get sea-sick, guaranteed.
Said the Maidenexpand...
Said The Maiden are Jess Distill, Hannah Elizabeth and Kathy Pilkinton, three friends who discovered a mutual love of folk music when they reunited several years after spending their school years together in St. Albans, Hertfordshire. The group sing traditional songs from around the UK and America, often in three part a-capella harmony but also using guitar, violin, mandolin, woodwind, accordion and percussion to embellish their sound. “I like anything these girls do, they mean it! Their harmonies are extraordinary!” says Dave Swarbrick.