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:


Founder and frontman of The Red Hot Chilli Pipers and the phenomenon of Bagrock, bagpipe rock-star Stuart Cassells (32) has left the band. After nearly 10 years since forming the band, Stuart has decided it is time to step down from Bagrocking stages to pursue his other goals and opportunities.

Always a natural showman, Stuart was the recipient of The BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2005 and was the first person to gain a degree in bagpipes from The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.He went on to record with rock group The Darkness for their second album ‘One Way Ticket to Hell and Back’ and for the Harry Potter film ‘Goblet of Fire’.

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.

Phil Collins commented on his piping: “I must say that I am one of those people who find the sound of Bagpipes exciting, invigorating and inspiring. So when Stuart’s CD starts there is an emotion, energy. This recurs time after time with memories of the early Who, believe it or not. His pipes are like the open string Rickenbacker of Pete Townshend. Not much between them”  Phil Collins

Despite achieving much success in traditional bagpipe competitions, Stuart got greater pleasure and satisfaction from entertaining with the bagpipes and soon found himself in great demand all over the world performing at a variety of functions and engagements. It was in 2002 whilst a student at the RSAMD, Stuart thought that there was a demand for a new, modern bagpipe group that could take the bagpipes to a wider audience by putting on show and taking the formality away from bagpipes.

For the last two years, Stuart has been suffering with the condition called ‘Focal Dystonia’ also known as Musicians’s or writer’s cramp. This has meant he has had to have various different treatments to allow him to perform to his high standard, including Botox injections into the arm. He is hoping his time away from performing will allow him to fully focus on recovering from focal dystonia and he can rejoin the band for a few special gigs in the future.

‘Focal Dystonia’ is a neurological movement disorder that affects about 1 in every 200 musicians and it prevents musicians from using the fine motor control required to play their instrument, resulting in cramps and abnormal postures. As well as musicians, the condition can also affect others who perform high precision hand movements such as surgeons and artists. Research is being carried out but at the moment there is no cure.

The Red Hot Chilli Pipers have been ‘Rockin all over the World’ from New York to Beijing playing to huge festivals and packed venues. The band found fame after winning the BBC One Saturday Night television Talent show ‘When Will I be Famous’ and the band was named ‘Live Act of the Year’ at the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2007 and 2010. Their four CDs, which Stuart co-produced, have sold over 250,000 copies combined.

Artist Web Link: www.redhotchillipipers.co.uk

RED HOT CHILLI PIPERS – Music For The Kilted Generation (Rel Records RECD572)

Be warned, The Red Hot Chilli Pipers should be labelled with a government health warning for their seriously pleasurable excursions inflicting harm to those of a delicate disposition. They are a band guaranteed to put a smile on the face of any jaded ‘folky’ that doesn’t run a mile from the word ‘entertainment’ and if I didn’t know better I’d swear they are influenced more by Kenny G than Pipe Major Robert Mathieson. Firstly I’d like to say that if you’re thinking of buying an album for the Hogmanay period, this should be top of your list. By golly (not exactly my choice of words) the band don’t care who they nick their material from so be prepared for an onslaught of Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars”, Deep Purple’s “Black Knight”, Queen’s “Radio Ga Ga” and Robbie Williams “Let Me Entertain You”…and by God they do! Year’s ago I was stunned by pipe major GS McLennan’s “Little Cascade” performed by Capercaillie on their debut album. Given this re-vamped treatment by the Chilli’s with its funky percussion and horn led stabs it will get everyone into a party mood and if that doesn’t then (as my old mucker Noel Murphy would have said) you’re probably dead. If I was starting out all over again in this business we call “folk” this is the band I’d wish I’d been a member of. With a thrusting energy that will blast any preconceptions of what the mighty highland bagpipes are capable of this is a band that should thrive on the festival circuit and more power to their bellows driven elbow! PETE FYFE

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click on the banner link below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website. 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.