1st February 2019 – The Barsteward Sons of Val Doonican *****SOLD OUT*****
A welcome return for the band who caused a riot the last time they visited us! Hailing from Barnsley, The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican are t’North’s hardest working comedy band. Instantly recognisable for their immaculate hair and their stylish dress-sense, they are the UK festival scene’s undisputed Kings of Parody. You will be entertained and you will laugh, oh yes, you will laugh – a lot!
8th February 2019 – The Tannahill Weavers
A very warm welcome back for the band as they approach their 50th anniversary, the Tannahill Weavers remain one of Scotland’s premier traditional bands. Their diverse repertoire spans the centuries with fire-driven instrumentals, topical songs, and original ballads and lullabies. These versatile musicians have received worldwide accolades consistently over the years for their exuberant and humorous performances.
15th February 2019 – Kate Griffin & Ford Collier
Kate Griffin and Ford Collier are an exciting new arrival on the folk scene playing a mix of tunes and songs. Kate (previously from ‘Unsung Roots’) plays clawhammer, a banjo style deeply rooted in American old time music, and brings crystal clear vocals that tap directly into your primal emotions. Ford (The Drystones) on Guitar, Low D Whistle, and Tabla drums brings a blend of skills and styles that marry Celtic drive, and harmonies with Indian rhythmic language. Together the duo delight in exploring the boundaries of the contemporary folk genre with influences from contemporary Celtic, Eastern European folk, Bluegrass, and Indian classical, broadening the frontiers of the style, and infusing their joy into the audience as they go.
1st March 2019 – Rab Noakes & Rod Clements
A double-header gigs featuring songs and stories from Rab Noakes and Rod Clements, two of the most enduring names on the UK music scene. Rod and Rab will be performing favourites from their own catalogues as well as recent compositions alongside some classics.
The shared roots of Rab Noakes and Rod Clements go back to the 1960s when they both appeared on the folk club circuit of Tyneside and beyond, Rab as an up-and-coming singer-songwriter and Rod as a member of the fledglingLindisfarne.
In the 1970s Rod’s new band recorded Rab’s songs on their early albums (including the chart-topping Fog On The Tyne), cementing a musical friendship that has lasted half a century.
After numerous occasional collaborations over the years, Rab and Rod have finally got together to celebrate their past, their passions, and their shared belief in the power of song. In an age of manufactured music, they present their craft as writers and players in an unadorned style performing favourites from their own catalogues as well as some of the classics that originally inspired them.
Make no mistake; these engaging, perennially creative septuagenarians are Alive ’n’ Pickin’.
8th March 2019 – The Trials of Cato
The Trials Of Cato, a band that arrived fully formed and functioning from Beirut in the winter of 2016, have since torn a shape very much their own into the canvas of the UK folk scene. Originally from North Wales and Yorkshire, whilst living in Lebanon they spent a year boiling down the roots of their sound into a hybrid of traditional influences that intrigued Lebanese audiences in the country’s biggest venues.
They moved back to the UK and have since been performing tirelessly up and down the country, leading to BBC Radio 2’s Mark Radcliffe hailing them as “one of the real discoveries on the folk circuit in recent times.” Their musical development in the run up to their debut album proper has been swift and sure, winning much praise for Hide and Hair and receiving repeated national airplay on BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music.
Praised for the diversity of their material and influences, The Trials of Cato live show “invariably stuns audience wherever they play.” Whether plying their trade busking, performing in front of thousands at festivals across Europe, or frequently selling out their own club shows, The Trials of Cato have the wind behind them.
“One of the real discoveries on the folk circuit in recent times” – Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2
“Fascinating stuff” – Cerys Matthews, BBC 6 Music
“Swaggering and glossy” – The Guardian
“If there’s a more exciting debut album from a folk band this year, I haven’t heard it” – Folk Radio UK
“The Sex Pistols of folk” – John Davis, Metropolis Studios (Led Zeppelin, Royal Blood)
15th March 2019 – Chris Wood
“Chris takes a traditional song and has you absolutely gripped…. He makes it really obvious why it is of contemporary relevance. On the flip side, he has managed this magical thing, writing songs on contemporary themes, or putting music to Hugh Lupton’s words, that absolutely fit hand in glove with traditional songs, but are totally modern.” — Ian Anderson
Chris Wood started out as a choirboy and much of his music bears the influence of those years spent with the likes of Bach, Handel, Gibbons and Boyce: he describes the album Handmade Life as “church music with drums.”
Self-taught on guitar and violin, he is a lifelong autodidact — and his independent streak shines through in his composition and studio work. Always direct and unafraid to speak his mind, his song writing has been praised for its surgical clarity. His work is typified by his trust in the space music can create and a gift for lyrical understatement. He cites his major influence as “Anon”.
Throughout his career independence has been balanced by collaboration. The artists he has worked with include Billy Bragg, Andy Gangadeen, Andy Cutting, Jean François Vrod and Hugh Lupton (Wood and Lupton’s “One in a Million” won Best Original Song at the BBC 2 Folk Awards in 2006). Recently he has worked alongside Martin and Eliza Carthy and others in The Imagined Village: “Cold Haily Rainy Night”, performed by Wood and Eliza Carthy, took the award for Best Traditional Song at the Folk Awards in 2008.