Ange Hardy is from Somerset and has been a songwriter from the age of 14 when she first picked up a guitar on the streets of Ireland. She is completely self taught and has always used her writing as a way of channeling the intense life she has led. Ange performs as a solo act, showcasing her delicate guitar work and stunning voice, she layers her vocals in a contemporary twist using a "live looping machine" which allows her to record and instantly play back layers of vocals from the stage resulting in the same warm depth of harmony that she achieves on her studio album. Ange takes you deep into the songs and the stories behind the songs, and her testimony becomes the heart of her performance.
Noel & The Peabody Drakes
Wells-based songwriter Ant Noel and his backing band The Peabody Drakes play lively, upbeat original songs of coffee drinking, french love stories, ale, travelling and West Country rambles... a melting-pot of Celtic, Americana and klezmer and a good excuse to have a dance!
His musicianship is exemplary, capable of playing not only the keys but also guitar, violin, harmonica, mandolin and anything else he gets his hands on!
”Noel is proving a rising star on acoustic stages across the south west and beyond thanks to a winning way with a tune and an intriguing lyric. His third album is packed with melodic twists and he steps out from his folk roots to capture a wider audience with his endearing songs.” The Musician
|Cathy Judge & Johnny
Cathy is a sculptor from Somerset whose other passion in life is her music.She be performing a mix of her own cleverly crafted songs and favourite covers. Cathy has a rich velvety voice and not only sings sensitive ballads with an emotion seldom experienced but can bellow out the blues with equal expertise. She will be accompanied by long time musical partner Johnny Francis on second guitar.
Dance Bazaar is a multi-instrumental group of 7 musicians based in Wiltshire, Somerset and Bristol. Their lively repertoire of traditional music and dances comes from Britain, France, Ireland, Scandinavia, USA and Eastern Europe, with a touch of Klezmer thrown in for good measure!
Instruments include concertina, fiddle, accordions, French horn, clarinet, guitar, recorders and bagpipes. They play for ceilidhs, concerts, circle dances, Playford dances, celebrations and festivals, and enjoy collaborating with other performers such as soloists and choral groups.
Delphi are a classical flute and piano duo marked out by their innovative programming and fluid ensemble playing. Flautist Lucy Beveridge has recorded music for Radio, Television and productions on the London stage, and performs with Flute Allsorts and the wind quintet Sylfanome. Bethan Scolding is a classical pianist, based in London. She is a soloist, chamber musician, accompanist and collaborator. She has been praised for her sensitivity of touch, intuitive accompaniment skills and her animated and engaging introductions to the music she is performing.
Many thanks to Abbey Piano Services who are sponsoring this performance by providing the piano.
|Edd Donovan & Emma Parker|
Edd is a highly distinctive contemporary folk, singer‐songwriter. He has a rare, original talent.
Originally from the North of England, he has made his home in 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. His sound is unique. Heartfelt. Wise.
He will be accompanied by Emma Parker on vocals.
Frobisher will be serving light refreshments and subtly blended cocktails of old and new classics with dashes of the unexpected. Neil Smith on guitar so the unexpected expectations are high.
|Frome Street Bandits
A semi-autonomous anarchic syndicalist community of musicians honking in Frome!
Greatness of The Magnificence Fantasy Orchestra
The Fantasy Orchestra is a 20+ piece Bristol and Paris-based orchestra. It is led by Jesse D Vernon (also of Morning Star) .
Their eclectic repertoire, gleaned from 50s and 60s film soundtracks by Morricone, Rota, Barry, Mancini and Bollywood is bolstered by rock and pop favourites from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zep, The Beatles, Queen and David Bowie. Expect the exotic; psychedelic loveliness; rousing choral noise; some choice costumes – and a musical saw.
The orchestra perform in full regalia!
|Helen James & Paul Barclay
Helen James and Paul Barclay made their debut performance at last year’s Priston Festival. The duo have since recorded their first CD, ‘In the Moment”, featuring Alice Barclay on violin and the specially commissioned song “ The Last Veteran” written by Helen for the 2014 Priston Festival. Helen James is a folk singer and consummate guitarist encompassing all styles from classical through to Brazilian Jazz. Priston’s Paul Barclay is a folk singer of many years experience and has “found his solo voice” through Helen’s crafted arrangements of traditional and original folk songs; rich duetting harmonies with guitar instrumentals. Expect anything from the beautiful melodies of the established folk repertoire through to the wicked humour of Jake Thackray’s classic songs.
From Main Stage Glastonbury to TV presenter, from intimate concerts to her chart success with Billy Bragg, Helena Softley has moved audiences all over the world with her incredible voice, accomplished guitar, and energetic performances.
A singer songwriter with a voice both rich and powerful, deep and mellow, she is passionate and lively on stage. She engages you with her bubbly personality and tongue in cheek audience control and sings every song as if it were just for you.
Supremely professional in every aspect of her work, she will entrance you with her fearless mix of hard-driving rhythms, beautiful ballads, and soulful melodies.
|Jimmy Aldridge and Sid
Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith are a highly acclaimed folk duo who play traditional and original music of the British Isles.
Over the last three years they have built a reputation on the UK folk scene for arresting and moving performances. The songs themselves are always given centre stage but they are brought to life with sensitive musical arrangements and stunning vocals. There is an integrity that shines through their performances and a common thread of political struggle, resistance, and justice.
Exhilaratingly diverse and full of impeccably crafted and beautifully realised songs - Folk Radio
Originally from Lincolnshire, the young Jimmy Brewer grew bored of his rural surroundings and the manufactured pop music of the day. Around the age of 8, Jimmy found refuge in a cupboard under the stairs. Housed in this cupboard was his parents’ record collection… For hours, often skipping school, Jimmy would sit with his Argos catalogue guitar trying to mimic the sounds he heard. The Everley Brothers, Buddy Holly, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley all helped to develop his love of a good melodic pop song. In short, if you are a fan of great songwriting and you enjoy artists such as Neil Young, Ron Sexsmith, Ryan Adams and others like them then Jimmy Brewer will sit happily next to them in your collection. Recently Jimmy has played several dates of Joan Armatrading’s final major tour culminating in a performance at London’s Barbican Hall. His concise and well thought out lyrics have intrigued critics around the world and his soulful delivery and natural ear for melodies will delight you.
Jo Sercombe runs The Big Sing workshop which is open to all, regardless of age, skill or experience. Jo brings an informal, passionate style to her teaching. Reaching out to participants, she not only gets them to connect with her, but also with each other in a quite unique way. Have no doubt that you will feel genuinely inspired, uplifted and buzzing after the session with Jo!
The June Apples is the project of multi-instrumentalist sisters Ellie and Taz whose passion for traditional music has led them to form a duo reworking traditional tunes, songs and stories and creating their own quirky original songs. After being involved in projects with other artists, they discovered their affinity for playing together and for the past year have performed all over the South West. Expect lush harmonies, foot-stomping dance tunes and tales of loss, murder and vegan pirates!
|Kim Lowing & The
Inspired by the folk tradition, Kim Lowings and The Greenwood perform their songs with a contemporary twist. Their live shows are an energetic blend of original compositions and traditional songs. Kim Lowings, Andrew Lowings, Tim Rogers and Dave Sutherland bring together their multi-instrumental skill and individual experience resulting in an innovative and sensitive approach to arrangements. The motivation is to keep the tradition alive and to share their own tales.
Kim Lowings and The Greenwood have a busy touring schedule with bookings at Folk and Acoustic Clubs, festivals and live music venues across the country. They have been billed alongside folk greats such as Dougie MacLean, Jackie Oates and Martin Simpson. Their reputation is growing and there are whispers along the grapevine that this group are one to watch out for!
Kusanganisa is the Shona word for ‘mixture’ that aptly describes this new music project involving four musicians all from different traditions.
Chartwell Dutiro (from Zimbabwe) plays mbira and sings and has been brought up in the Shona tradition; Leandro Maia (from Brazil) is a guitarist, singer and composer; Nick Sorensen (from England) is a saxophonist whose music is located within the traditions of contemporary jazz and folk music and Chris Blanden (from England) is a bass player who has spent years playing rock music and previously worked at Real World Studios.
Bath-based Country/Americana 3-piece band, combining Carter and Cash-reminiscent harmonies along with classic hand-crafted songwriting. Influences include: The Eagles; Crosby, Stills and Nash; Joni Mitchell; Johnny Cash.
Somerset Russet Band
The Old Somerset Russet Village Band is a group of local instrumentalists who get together to play mainly traditional music. Typically the group consists of a mixture of wind, string and free reed players.
In the past, many villages had a small band that played for local events – dances, parties, street parades and at the village fair. The same band may well have played for church services before the advent of organs. There are a few tales of inappropriate tunes mistakenly played after a long, sleep inducing sermon.....
Bring your instrument and have a go at playing some good old tunes danced to by your great, great grandparents, arranged in four parts. Music provided, but bring your own music stand if you have one. All welcome, but some experience of sight reading will definitely increase your enjoyment!
The Old Somerset Russet Band will also be providing the musical accompaniement to the Village Supper, a great way to round off the Festival weekend - all welcome!
We look forward to welcoming Reg, our Patron Artist back to the Festival this year.
Somerset-based singer/songwriter, Reg is an exceptional teller of tales set to great melodies and delivered with a spell-binding voice. His songs include "And Jesus Wept" - the story of Private Harry Farr, a WW1 shell-shock victim shot for cowardice. Other songs interweave historical characters with eternal themes. His recent albums England Green & England Gray and December have both been greeted with critical acclaim.
Reg will also be hosting a "Meet the Artist" session in the Church immediately after his session on the Village Green stage on Sunday afternoon.
Playing the tuba, the accordion and even the scissors, Richard Hughes' work has undertones of circus, jazz and strange forest clearings at midnight. Be ready to be charmed by the unexpected.
Richard Kerridge is a nature writer and literary critic. He leads the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, and has published widely on fiction and poetry, and on literature and environment. Richard will be discussing his book, Cold Blood, about British reptiles and amphibians, their meanings, and his fascination with them dating from childhood. His nature writing has appeared in Granta, Poetry Review and BBC Wildlife.
|Rivers of England
Rivers of England are a Bath-based alt folk-rock band fronted by Rob Spalding. Their new album, Astrophysics Saved My Life, is made up of strong melodies and engaging compositions on themes ranging from the inner self to the outer cosmos - the emotional to the scientific. Though still rooted in folk with beautiful string arrangements, the band has made further forays into jazz, blues and rock.
The band have received critical acclaim for their new album 'Astrophysics saved my life' and achieved national radio play while touring in Germany (Deutschland Radio Kultur) with sell-out gigs including the first of many planned performances in a Planetarium.
|Road Not Taken
Road Not Taken are a five-piece folk band made up of Anita Dobson (lead vocals, kalimba, bohdran), Ant Miles (guitar, backing vocals, harmonium, ukulele, mountain dulcimer, piano), Joe Brydon (slide guitar, bouzouki, harmonica), Joe Hamlen (bass, harmonium, mountain dulcimer) and Claire Hamlen (fiddle, backing vocals, harmonium, piano).
Road Not Taken play a mixture of traditional and contemporary songs, in their unique, melancholic style.
Saskia is a 24 year old independent English singer-songwriter, known for her pure, clear voice, and her nu-folk style repertoire - blending the classical simplicity of pure folk songs with contemporary moods, melodies and meaning.
Previously one of the worlds youngest craniosacral therapists with a practice on Harley Street, in 2014 she left it all behind to move to the West Country and pursue a successful career in music.
"Saskia’s singing style has something of the old-fashioned purity of early Joan Baez..." Living Tradition Magazine - 2016
"A fine singer-songwriter...wonderful voice and great guitar playing" Johnny Coppin, BBC Radio Gloucestershire.
Sharon Lazibyrd (aka Martin) is a talented, original and award winning singer- songwriter who writes striking and melodic songs. “Sharon's voice hits you from the outset, at first slightly fragile but masking latent potential and depth as it delivers… poignant lyrics” Thank Folk for That. Her songs draw on her experiences and a variety of musical influences from Julian Cope to English folk. She is a multi-instrumentalist who has performed across the UK and in Ireland and as half of the duo Lazibyrd winning the South West Music Awards Best Folk Act of 2013. Her songs have been shortlisted in competitions, she has recorded a session for Bob Harris, and she was invited to take part in a BBC Introducing folk residential in 2014.
Slack Traffic are a 4 piece alt rock/rap/funk band attacking the scene in Bath and Bristol, deeply passionate about creating music that grabs the soul and moves the feet. They present unique originals containing catchy hooks, intricate melodies, hard hitting rap verses and fiery rhythm sections that contrasts heavily with a softer more acoustic side too.
Having supported Craig Charles' Funk & Soul Show and Bare Knuckle Parade in 2016, Slack's sights are on playing many festivals and releasing their debut EP for 2017. Inspired by the likes of Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Chance the Rapper, James Brown and Incubus.
Acoustic country/folk band from Bath. Lead vocals: Irene Cooper; acoustic guitar: Chris Rogers; bass: Stuart Shaw; cajon: Chris Wildridge.
|Three Cane Whale
A multi-instrumental acoustic trio based in Bristol, UK, featuring members of Spiro, Get The Blessing and Scottish Dance Theatre. As intricate as a team of watchmakers, as spare as a mountain stream, the music encompasses both a cinematic sweep and an intimate delicacy, in which “the aroma of muddy leaves and old nettles is almost tangible” (The Observer).
‘their delicate acoustic constructions combine ancient folk and contemporary classical ideas to weave an entirely original new musical tradition‘ (Bristol 24/7)
Folk trio TEYR evolved out of London’s thriving session scene, combining bothy ballads, focsle shanties, folk tunes and Irish poetry. Their unique blend of voices and instruments draws links between the many sounds of the Celtic and British isles. Featuring close vocal harmonies, fiddle, uilleann pipes, guitar, low whistle and accordion, and influenced by the great folk musicians who've come before, TEYR (‘3’ in the Cornish language) have honed their craft and thrive on weaving their diverse threads together.
Blurring the lines between folk, bluegrass and world music, The Unsung Roots are a young and contemporary folk duo. Together, Seth Bye & Katie Griffin breathe new life into traditional songs and tunes as well as writing their own material that draws upon multi-cultural influences. Their live performance is an eclectic experience, from heartfelt songs to driving fiddle and banjo tunes, expressing their infectious passion for music. They play a wide variety of instruments including banjo, violin, guitar and accordion.
A great band to dance to,The World Government is a fresh take on what music is and how a band should operate. Nothing is pre-conceived, written in advance, even verbally discussed or ever rehearsed. The idea is to get a group of exciting players together, add an audience and see what happens. This is free expression, not contrived or formulated. However the aim is not merely to jam but to 'spontaneouly write music together' and thus create musical journeys which usually develop and evolve. No two gigs are ever the same but there will usually be flavours of funk, jazz and music of the world.