Wickham Festival Announces 2018 Line Up

Wickham have just announced that The South and Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel are among the latest acts confirmed for this year’s Festival.

Also recently confirmed are singer-songwriters Reg Meuross and Jim Malcolm; Scottish duo Saltfishforty; the wonderful Mary Coughlan from Ireland; and great live bands Police Dog Hogan, The Outcast Band and Merry Hell.

They join a top-class line-up already announced including Squeeze; John Illsley of Dire Straits; The Richard Thompson Trio; Kate Rusby; Show of Hands; Tom Robinson + Band; The Undertones; The Red Hot Chilli Pipers; Jon Boden & The Remnant Kings; The Blues Band; Martyn Joseph; Flook; Drever McCusker Woomble; Tankus The Henge; The Dhol Foundation; Ferocious Dog; Skipinnish; The Pierce Brothers; Mad Dog McCrea; Daori Farrell; Imar; Talisk; Boo Hewerdine; Gaz Brookfield; Roy Bailey; Maggie Bell & Dave Kelly; and many more.

See wickhamfestival.co.uk for full listings plus details of who’s on when.

Artist Summary:

Richard Thompson Trio
Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel
The South
Kate Rusby
Show Of Hands
John Illsley of Dire Straits
The Undertones
Tom Robinson & Band
The Blues Band
The Dhol Foundation
The Red Hot Chilli Pipers
Ferocious Dog
Jon Boden & The Remnant Kings
Mary Coughlan
Martyn Joseph
Tankus the Henge
Mad Dog Mcrea
Gaz Brookfield & The Company of Thieves
Pierce Brothers
Merry Hell
Gordie MacKeeman & his Rhythm Boys
The Electric Swing Circus
Daori Farrell
Boo Hewerdine
Drever McCusker Woomble
Maggie Bell & Dave Kelly
The East Pointers
The Gerry Colvin Band
Roy Bailey
The Emily Askew Band
Les Barker
Fake Thackray
Findlay Napier
More artists T.B.C

Above and below are a couple of special moments captured from last years festival courtesy of the folking video archive:

JOHN ILLSLEY – Testing The Water

Layout 1Testing The Water

Album release June 16th 2014 on Creek Records, distributed by Absolute via Universal

Multiple Brit & Grammy award winner John Illsley returns with a new studio album ‘Testing The Water’. Recorded and produced with Guy Fletcher at A-Bay Studios and British Grove, ‘Testing The Water’ sees the “engine room of Dire Straits” in fine form.

‘Testing The Water’ is a welcome return to the recording studio for John whose last album ‘Streets Of Heaven’ was released in 2010. I was missing being in the studio and playing music seriously. This record was an important one for me to make.” 

From the opening riff of the first single, ‘When God Made Time’, John’s classic sound is unmistakeable. As the man who was a significant element in the pace and feel of Dire Straits’ music from the outset, this familiarity is not surprising “that’s not me being influenced by the band, that’s just the way I’ve always played and it continues in my own work” he reflects. Written over the last three years these songs are deeply personal narratives, “the last few years have been so turbulent politically, militarily and personally and I wanted to try and create some songs that reflected these strange times and perhaps were worthy of sharing with others.”

“One can only make a record when it feels right and for me the time was right.” John Illsley

Testing The Water tracklisting:

1 Railway Tracks
2 Nothing To Do
3 Testing The Water
4 Sometimes
5 Run For Cover
6 Darling Heart
7 When God Made Time
8 This Is Your Voice

If you would like to order a copy of an album (CD or Vinyl format), download a copy or just listen to snippets of selected tracks then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website (use the left and right arrows below to scroll along or back to see the full selection).

Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.


Vocals and Bass – John Illsley
Guitarists – Robbie Mckintosh, Simon Johnson and John Illsley
Keys – Guy Fletcher
Drums – Paul Beavis
Sax – Nigel Hitchcock
Trumpet – Tom Walsh
Trombone – Mark Nightingale
Backing Vocals – Jessica Greenfield and Jess Illsley

Artist’s website: www.johnillsley.com

John Illsley & his band at the Jazz Café

June 19th 2014 – tickets: £20.00 adv / £25.00 on the door www.ticketmaster.co.uk

John Illsley and his band at the East End Arms - 8th April 2014. Photograph by dai Jeffries
John Illsley and his band at the East End Arms – 8th April 2014.
Photograph by Dai Jeffries