Story added: 1:50pm Wed Jan 23, 2013
Top musicians drawn to folk festival
Thursday 6th June, 2013 - Southwell
By Dawn Bond
Gate To Southwell Folk FestivalShow Of Hands will headline the festival.
Discounted early bird tickets are now on sale for this summer’s Gate To Southwell Folk Festival.
With top UK and international acts, organisers expect the event, which runs from June 6-9, to be a sell-out success.
The highly-respected and popular Show of Hands headline on the Saturday night — they are undoubtedly one of the biggest names in contemporary English folk.
They have won multiple awards and accolades and released 13 studio albums.
Formed by principal songwriter Steve Knightley and multi-instrumentalist Phil Beer in 1991, the band have toured all over the world, yet have always maintained a strong connection to their fans.
Playing a mix of traditional, blues, rock, country and roots music, they have collaborated with a diverse range of artists including Mick Jagger, Martyn Joseph and Miranda Sykes, who has been playing with them since 2004.
Never content with resting on their laurels, both Knightley and Beer are respected solo artists in their own right — Steve has two acclaimed solo albums under his belt, while Phil plays in the star-studded Feast of Fiddles.
Topping the bill on Sunday is Home Service, who were recently voted best live act of 2012 at the BBC Folk Awards.
Formed out of the Albion Band in 1980, the band was always a folk-rock powerhouse, achieving great success over its short lifespan and producing socially-aware anthems about conditions in Thatcherite Britain.
Following the recent release of a live album consisting of material discovered by their sound engineer in the back of his wardrobe, the band got back together to tour, and have begun work on a new album.
The eight-piece band is led by John Tams, songwriter, actor and former Albion Band frontman, who worked with Steven Spielberg on the War House film.
Tams is a recognised expert on traditional English folk music.
The growing international reputation of the festival is revealed in the billing of three eclectic and respected Canadian folk and roots music stars.
They are bluesman Matt Andersen from New Brunswick, power trio Genticorum from Quebec, and the sensational Gordie ‘Crazy Legs’ McKeeman and his Rhythm Boys from Prince Edward Island.
The Rhythm Boys have already toured throughout North America and recently visited the UK for the first time along with the Grass Mountain Hobos.
Their self-titled CD has been hailed as a fiddle music classic and they’ve already collected a string of roots, Celtic and traditional music awards in America.
McKeeman is also a talented dancer and gives demonstrations of clog dancing during certain tunes.
Closer to home, Oysterband play Southwell for the first time on the Friday.
Having recently walked away with three BBC Folk Awards for their collaboration with June Tabor, it’s likely to be their only festival appearance in the Midlands in 2013.
Similarly, Eliza Carthy and Jim Moray, who headline on the Thursday, have been in the vanguard of the British folk revival and plan to share the stage with an 11-piece supergroup featuring some of the folk scene’s finest musicians.
The festival also includes folk stars such as Lucy Ward, the newly-reformed Faustus and Britain’s best double act, Tim Edey and Brendan Power.
Although contemporary English folk is strongly represented there is plenty of innovative talent from elsewhere.
In terms of Celtic connections, there’s Idlewild’s frontman Roddy Woomble and Alba award-winners Rura from Scotland.
Ireland is well-represented with multi-instrumentalist Niamh Ni Charra, sibling trio The Henry Girls and in-demand guitarist John Doyle.
Early bird tickets are on sale until February 28.
Last year’s festival attracted thousands of music fans during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
The event was opened by Jools Holland and His Rhythm And Blues Orchestra.
It featured guests such as Ruby Turner and Chris Difford from Squeeze.
For more details go to www.southwellfolkfestival.org or call 01636 816678.
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