Folk Sounds Best at Cecil Sharp House

Folk Sounds Best
The English Folk Dance and Song Society has unveiled its line up for the 2017 summer music and performance season at England’s national folk arts centre, Cecil Sharp House in London.

Luke Jackson with special guest Rebecca Loebe
Wednesday 3 May, 7.30pm
Tickets: £14 | £10 under 26s

Luke jacksonA meeting in Kansas, USA led to a transatlantic partnership of two exceptional charismatic young songwriters.

Luke Jackson is a rising young Roots singer/songwriter from Canterbury in Kent.  2013 saw him nominated for both the Horizon Award for Best Emerging Talent and the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award and in 2014 he was named Fatea’s Male Artist of the Year.

Rebecca Loebe is a young singer-songwriter known for her distinct voice, well-crafted songs and ability to bring an audience to her journeys, introducing them to the characters she meets and observations she makes as she travels.

Jon Boden
Thursday 18 May, 7.30pm
Tickets: £20 | £10 under 26s

Jon BodenJon Boden has become the stand out performer of his generation of traditional folk artists, but one whose repertoire extends far beyond the boundaries of the genre.

As a total contrast to the eleven-piece Bellowhead, autumn 2016 saw Jon launch his first ever solo tour. The show promises to incorporate elements from the wide creative span of his career to date – from the self-penned pop songs of Painted Lady, to the funked-up power-pop arrangements of folk songs that characterised Bellowhead and Spiers & Boden, to the post-Apocalyptic song-world of Songs From The Floodplain, to unaccompanied ballads as featured on his mammoth A Folk Song A Day project in which he recorded and released 365 folk songs in one year across 2010-2011.

Through his solo work and his work with Bellowhead and Spiers & Boden Jon has won eleven BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards – more than any other artist. His solo shows will provide an intimate insight into a man of many and various talents and promises to take the audience deeper into the song worlds of traditional music and of his own song writing.

Rosie Hodgson
Wednesday 24 May, 7.30pm
Tickets: £12 | £10 under 26s

Rosie HodgsonAs a rising star of the English folk scene, Rosie Hodgson will present an evening of songs from her new album Rise Aurora, accompanied by fiddle-singer Rowan Piggott. Expect an eclectic mix of original and traditional material; beautiful inventive songs overlaid with delicate harmonies, driving fiddle, spell-binding guitar lullabies and maybe even some clog stepping! There is a very long and bright future dawning for this young duo.

“…audible magic woven with voice, fiddle and guitar; Rise Aurora is an impressive debut album by this young songwriter who has risen through the folk circuit to become a BBC Young Folk Awards finalist.”  fRoots

Heg & The Wolf Chorus
Wednesday 31 May, 7.30pm
Tickets: £12 | £10 under 26s

Heg & The Wolf ChorusFollowing the hugely successful UK tour throughout the Autumn, Bristol four-piece Heg & The Wolf Chorus are back on the road in the spring 2017 performing their acclaimed debut album Raising The Fires.

The band performs the album’s enchanting story of a witch who was wrongfully burnt at the stake. The scorned woman casts a spell, ending the world as we know it and conjuring all the mythological creatures back to roam the Earth. Inspired by traditional Scottish folklore and written at the foothills of the Cuillin mountains on the Isle of Skye, the vivid imagery and magnificent landscapes can be heard in every spine-tingling song. This release presents the band’s distinctive sound and Heg’s visionary songwriting on a scale unlike anything they have released before, bringing theatrical elements to their performance with a strong story-telling theme throughout.

Moya Brennan – The Voice of Clannad
Thursday 1 June, 7.30pm
Tickets:  £18 | £10 under 26s

Moya BrennanWhen Bono stated recently, “I think she has one of the greatest voices the human ear has ever experienced”, he was heralding what many people know already about The Voice of Clannad, Moya Brennan. She sings like nothing you’ve ever heard before! So it makes sense that her live solo shows – with all the musicality and power of Clannad but with added, heart-warming intimacy – should be such a rich and moving experience. Her effortless vocals and timeless music pay homage not only to her vibrant traditional Irish heritage but also her grasp of contemporary forms.

With Clannad she rose to prominence with a pioneering approach to traditional music, which has garnered them 15 million record sales worldwide and a string of awards, including a Grammy in 1998. Her career to date includes 25 albums, numerous film scores and she has sung with many great artists, including The Chieftains, Robert Plant, Paul Brady, Shane MacGowan and Bono.

Made In The Great War
Thursday 8 June, 7.30pm
Tickets: £18 | £10 under 26s

Sam SweeneyEight years ago Sam Sweeney, fiddle player with folk big band Bellowhead, bought a violin with a label inside showing the date 1915, the name Richard S. Howard and the words “Violin No. 6, Made in the Great War”.  Research revealed that the violin had been started, but never finished, by a music hall performer from Leeds named Richard Spencer Howard who was conscripted in 1915 at the age of 35, and killed two years later at the battle of Messines near Ypres.

The pieces of the fiddle had lay in a manila envelope for nine decades and it was over ninety years after Richard S Howard began working on the fiddle that it was finally finished and placed in the shop of Roger Claridge. This is where Sam found it.

To mark the ongoing 100th anniversary of World War I and to retell the story of Richard S. Howard, Sam Sweeney (fiddle/viola), winner of the “Musician of the Year” Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2015, has collaborated with award-winning storyteller Hugh Lupton, fellow Bellowhead band mate Paul Sartin (oboe/fiddle), and Rob Harbron (concertina/harmonium), to create a music and spoken word performance, featuring on stage the actual fiddle made by Richard S. Howard.

An Evening with The Seeger MacColl Family
Friday 9 June, 7.30pm
Tickets: £18 | £10 under 26s

Peggy SeegerThe Seeger MacColl family are one of folk music’s most loved dynasties. Singer, songwriter and feminist icon Peggy Seeger performs with Neill and Calum, her sons with Ewan MacColl. Join these three exceptional musicians for a gloriously relaxed evening of great music and witty family banter. Expect to hear songs of love, politics and storytelling, including some from Peggy’s award-winning latest album alongside Ewan MacColl’s best loved songs. This is an intimate evening with a remarkable family that will linger long in the memory.

Rosie Hood – ‘The Beautiful and the Actual’ album launch
Wednesday 14 June, 7.30pm
​Tickets: £12 | £10 under 26s

Rosie HoodRosie Hood is a young folk singer from Wiltshire, known for her strong, pure voice and engaging solo performance. In 2015 Rosie was a BBC Performing Arts Fellow with the English Folk Dance & Song Society and in 2016 she was nominated for the Horizon award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. 2017 will see Rosie release her first full-length solo album The Beautiful & The Actual, a collection of old and new folk songs.

Cecil Sharp House Choir and Alton Community Choir
Saturday 17 June, 7.30pm
Tickets: £10 | £6 under 26s

Alton Community Choir

EFDSS is excited to be hosting special guests Alton Community Choir, under the expert direction of Carolyn Robson, for this collaborative concert. Since forming in 2008, Alton Community Choir’s numbers have grown steadily from an initial 12 members to almost 70.  The Choir delights in finding unique ways to celebrate the folk traditions, which so inspire their repertoire.  Cecil Sharp House Choir was formed by EFDSS in the same year. Led by the inspirational Sally Davies, the Choir has become known for its spirited and moving renditions of folk songs from England and the wider British Isles. Both choirs will sing selections of glorious a capella harmony arrangements.

Elliott Morris
Wednesday 21 June, 7.30pm
Tickets: £12 | £10 under 26s

Elliott MorrisWith hundreds of gigs behind him Elliott Morris has a formidable reputation as one of the hardest-working and most sought-after young artists on the acoustic scene.  The singer-songwriter, featured in Acoustic magazine as “The Next Big Thing”, taps the strings and beats the guitar’s body to create an intricate spectacle, together with an original and unique sound integral to his songs.

Elliott’s original compositions marry intricate guitar lines with heartfelt, honest vocals and clever wordplay, combining elements of folk, roots, jazz and country. Embracing the traditional and the contemporary – this is folk music for the 21st century.  Elliott’s versatile blend of folk, pop and rock has complemented a range of major artists he has supported including Frank Turner, Seth Lakeman, Lau, Big Country, and The Three Degrees, and revered folk veterans Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick. He has also supported Paul Carrack (Squeeze, Mike + The Mechanics, Eric Clapton) on many of his UK tour dates.

“One of the most impressive guitarists to grace our studio for a very long time…a compelling listen – and mesmerising to watch!”  Dean Jackson – The Beat / BBC Introducing

The Takeover
Sunday 9 July, 7pm
​Tickets: £6

Showcasing talented young folk bands and musicians, this concert wraps up an evening of activities for young people, including ceilidh dancing and a jam session. The Takeover is curated, organised and hosted by EFDSS ‘​ Youth Forum and EFDSS’ resident folk collective, London Youth Folk Ensemble.

Venue website:

Golden State songstress Corinne West takes the stage in Aldershot

Corinne West

West End Centre, Aldershot, on Wednesday May 3rd

Hailing from San Francisco, California, singer-songwriter Corinne West is a poet, tunesmith, visionary and a stellar performer. An established figure on the acoustic roots/folk scene, she has recorded five critically acclaimed albums and toured extensively throughout North America and Europe.

As well as receiving rave reviews globally, including from legendary BBC radio DJ Bob Harris, her current album Starlight Highway was selected by The Daily Telegraph as one of the top recordings of 2016. The ten tracks speak a lot to her life adventure, full of stories, people, places, and life’s ups and downs. The CD is atmospheric, effortlessly bringing together country and folk.

Corinne West’s distinctive style is marked by lush vocals, pristine guitar and bold lyricism that reflect grit, discerning optimism and a true love for the human experience. Her music evokes the eternal stories of mystic troubadours, while speaking to the sonic sensibilities of a modern audience with lush vocals and pristine guitar. She is equal parts angel and outlaw.

Barney Jeavons, Director of Aldershot’s West End centre told us: ‘Corinne West is folk, rock and ballad all rolled into one performer. For those lucky enough to join us at the West End Centre on Wednesday May 3rd, you’ll witness an evening that will live long in the memory.’

Tickets cost just £12 (£10 concessions) and can be purchased online at or via the venue’s Box Office by calling 01252 330040.

Artist’s website:

‘Audrey Turn The Moon’ live:

Fairport Convention 50th Anniversary Concert at St George’s in Beckenham

Fairport Convention are to open the Arts at St George’s Festival in Beckenham on Friday 5th May 2017 at 8.00pm.

So, come and join us and the band for this golden anniversary concert for an evening of musical celebration on the 50th Anniversary Tour.

Credited with originating British folk-rock, Fairport first took to the stage in 1967’s summer of love. Throughout the intervening five decades (and numerous changes of line-up) the band’s passion for live performance has never wavered.

To mark its fiftieth year, Fairport has released a brand new CD titled 50:50@50. The band will play a selection of tracks from the album as well as long-established favourites from their extensive repertoire.

Fairport Convention has attracted critical acclaim throughout its long career. The band won a coveted BBC Lifetime Achievement Award, Radio 2 listeners voted Fairport’s groundbreaking album Liege & Lief ‘The Most Influential Folk Album of All Time’, and their story and music has often featured on radio and

For tickets and details about all the other Arts at St George’s Festival programme including the Richard Digance Golden Anniversary Tour concert on the 30th June visit –

A classic form the folking video archive from 2009 to keep you going in the meantime…

Davis Lindley Mullan – first east London date

Davis Lindley Mullan

Davis Lindley Mullan – otherwise known as DLM – a three piece acoustic trio based in the West Country, are heading to London on Saturday 29 April to headline a show in the theatre space at Walthamstow’s Rose & Crown.

DLM are headed by Andy Davis, or Andrew Cresswell Davis if you are a stickler for formality, who has honed his superb songwriting skills over many years. DLM are a vehicle for some of the finest songs Andy has ever written and the man has impressive pedigree. As well as being a stalwart of the mighty Stackridge, he was one half of 1980s hitmakers The Korgis as well as lending his superior talent to the likes of Tears For Fears, Goldfrapp and Julian Cope among many others. Oh yes, and he played on the Imagine album. You know the one, it’s by that John Lennon chappy.

He is accompanied by Clare Lindley and Brian Mullan and between them they play a variety of instruments – guitar, violin, cello and ukelele and more. With the addition of three fine voices, they create rich textures and intimate moods, which breathe life in an acoustic setting into Andy’s songs of love, loss and squirrels!

DLM’s self-titled debut CD will be exclusively available to buy on the night.

For their first trip to E17 DLM will be ably supported by local acoustic/folk/roots trio Crayon Angels and also by BBC Norfolk endorsed husband and wife folk-poppers The Mild East.

Tickets are a miniscule £10 and are available from:

Artists’ website:

‘Who’s That Up There With Bill Stokes?’:

April highlights at Cecil Sharp House


Saturday 29 Apr, 7.30pm ​Tickets: ​£12 / £10 under 26s

Nominated in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014, RANT is the meeting of four of Scotland’s finest fiddle players, two from the Shetland Islands and two from the Highlands.

Bethany Reid, Jenna Reid, Sarah-Jane Summers and Lauren MacColl join forces to create a sound rich and vibrant, evocative of the exciting scene they create music in. Using just their fiddles, they weave a tapestry of melodies, textures, layers and sounds. Known for their work as soloists and with various bands, this is a celebration of the instrument they all have a passion for. Four fiddles: one beautiful sound!

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.