Aldershot’s West End Centre hosts award nominees

West End Centre

Aldershot showcases nominees for prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017 as top UK and international folk artists perform at Aldershot’s West End Centre this season.

With almost half of the dozen nominees for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017 performing this year or in the very recent past, Aldershot’s West End Centre is cementing its reputation as the top venue in the area to see some of the best folk artists in the world.

Following superb performances from nominees Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker, Kris Drever, Jim Moray, Nancy Kerr and The Furrow Collective in 2016, first on stage this year was 9Bach who played at West End Centre on 11 February.

Nominated for prestigious Best Group award, 9Bach formed in 2005 when Welsh singer-songwriter Lisa Jên met guitarist Martin Hoyland and they started to create music which has been credited as giving a ‘new voice to Welsh song’. Their second release was awarded ‘Best Album’ in the public vote at the 2015 BBC Radio 2 Awards. If they were Scandinavian they would already be selling out stadiums so it’s great to see them receiving the recognition they deserve.

Photograph by Elly Lucas

Appearing as part of folk collective Coven, O’Hooley & Tidow  (nominated for the Best Duo) will be taking the stage at the West End Centre on 8 March in a special performance to celebrate International Women’s Day.  With a personal invite from Billy Bragg to play Glastonbury, sessions on 6 Music and Radio 2, a five star live review and feature in The Guardian, O’Hooley & Tidow are regarded as ‘one of British folk’s mightiest combinations’ (Mojo). Their 2016 album, Shadows, was given a five-starred review in The Guardian and is the follow up to ground-breaking album The Hum, which earned them a place in Mojo’s Top 10 Folk Albums of 2014 and a nomination for ‘Best Duo’ in BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

Looking further ahead, Rachel Newton Trio comes to the West End Centre on Wednesday 7 June. Rachel has been nominated for the Musician of the Year award. Founder member of The Furrow Collective, The Emily Portman Trio and The Shee, singer and harpist Rachel Newton is joined at the West End Centre by Lauren MacColl on fiddle and Mattie Foulds on percussion. Rachel released Here’s My Heart Come Take It in April 2016, a mix of English, Scottish Gaelic and original compositions. Her music has been called ‘the sound of modern Scotland’.

Daoiri Farrell was booked to play at the West End Centre on Wednesday 5 April, but as he’s been nominated for no less than three awards he’s rescheduling that gig for later in the season so he can attend the awards ceremony. A former electrician, who decided to change profession after seeing Christy Moore perform on TV, traditional singer and bouzouki player Daoirí Farrell has been nominated for Folk Singer of the Year, Horizon Award and Best Traditional Track.  He is being described as one of most important singers to come out of Ireland in recent years. In 2013 he won the All Ireland Champion Singer award, and in 2015 won the prestigious Danny Kyle Award at Celtic Connections with the line-up FourWinds. Last year he launched his solo live career through Celtic Connections with his new album True Born Irishman.

Barney Jeavons, Director of Aldershot’s West End Centre told us: ‘With four of this year’s nominees performing in the first half of 2017, we are absolutely knocked-out to present a programme that continues our tradition of showcasing top folk artists on tour today. It’s  your chance to see both up- and- coming and well known acts on stage at the Westy in a celebration of the  best of the UK and international folk scene.’

Tickets: or 01252 330040.