Winter Union Bring December Tour Tidings of Comfort & Joy

Winter Union

Well they say Christmas is a special time of year for a Winter Union, when magical things happen, and this year’s Great British Folk Festival is no exception.

There was Darren and I merrily covering this year’s Skegness outing and we happened across Winter Union, a wonderful, hugely talented ‘folk super group’ and all round lovely bunch of chums from the folk scene, who treated us to a fantastic opening afternoon festive set on ‘REDS stage’ yesterday.

Winter Union comprises of Ben Savage, Katriona Gilmore, Jade Rhiannon, Hannah Saunders and Jamie Roberts, who are now in their 4th year as a festive get together.

This was the first date of their 2018 December tour. They played a stunning festive set, mixing traditional Christmas songs with an added blue grass lilt. Darren and I could not let this amazing sleigh ride pass us by without hopping on for an after gig chat in the bar. We also explored Ben Savage’s (or babe as I called him in a text typo) tale of ‘Christmas Ball Balls’.

Paul Johnson

This is what they had to say…..

Tour Dates:

12/12 St Barnabus Church, Cambridge

14/12 Holywell Music Rooms, Oxford

15/12 St Mary Magdalene Church, Dunton, Beds

16/12 The Greystones, Sheffield

17/12 Barnoldswick Music & Art, Nr Clitheroe, Lancs

18/12 All Saint Hall, Poppleton, York

20/12 Finchingfield Church, Braintree, Essex

21/12 Otford Memorial Hall, Sevenoaks, Kent

Artist Website:

Katie Melua releases her Ultimate Collection on vinyl

As Katie Melua embarks on her European tour, BMG announce the release of Ultimate Collection on vinyl. Compiled by Katie, this vinyl edition features 23 songs from Katie’s 7 studio albums from 2003’s Call Off The Search to 2016’s In Winter. Katie’s cover of ‘Fields Of Gold’ (the Children In Need 2017 single) and 2 brand new recordings – ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ and ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ – complete the set.

‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ was recorded earlier this year with The Gori Women’s Choir and the Georgian Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Nikoloz Rachveli, and was produced by Katie and Adam ‘Cecil’ Bartlett.

‘Diamonds Are Forever’, which Katie first performed live at the Don Black Songbook concert at London’s The Royal Festival Hall, is produced by legendary American record producer and musician, T Bone Burnett. Katie is the sole performer on the track – on vocals and acoustic guitar – which was recorded at T Bone’s home studio in Los Angeles, on vintage gear and to tape.

It is Katie’s extraordinary voice, and the ability to truly inhabit a song, that has been the constant since the young 19 year-old first appeared in 2003 with her debut single ‘The Closest Thing To Crazy’. One of the UK’s highest-selling female recording artists of all time, Katie has released 7 top-10 studio albums: ‘Call Off The Search’, ‘Piece By Piece’, ‘Pictures’, ‘The House’, ‘Secret Symphony’, ‘Ketevan’ and, most recently, 2016’s self-produced and hugely acclaimed ‘In Winter’.

Ultimate Collection celebrates the singer, the songwriter, the musician and the collaborator while paying tribute to the musicians, arrangers, producers and songwriters with whom Katie has worked. The songs are musical landmarks – in both Katie’s life and those of her fans; classic songs that stand the test of time, chosen for this collection for their musicianship, the quality of the writing and the pure emotions they elicit.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to all of those that I’ve had the great pleasure of working with, even the ones I don’t see very often. You have coloured and filled these recordings with brilliance. May our work together last for many years in the hearts of anyone needing to hear a classic song.”

Katie is now on an extensive autumn/winter European tour 2018, including 13 UK dates, in which she will be joined by a cast of stellar musicians, as well as members of The Gori Women’s Choir. The show will open with a set from up-and-coming Irish-Jordanian artist Keeva.

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 helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artist’s website:

‘Fields Of Gold’ – official video:

UK Tour Dates – December

02 Salford, Lowry
03 Nottingham, Royal Concert Hall
04 Guildford, G Live
06 Brighton, Dome
07 Bath, Forum
08 London, Central Hall Westminster
10 Liverpool, Philharmonic
11 Gateshead, Sage
12 York, Barbican
13 Edinburgh, Assembly Rooms SOLD OUT

The Young’uns and The Ballad Of Johnny Longstaff

Three time BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners The Young’uns present a new and unique piece of modern folk theatre.

The Ballad Of Johnny Longstaff is the story of one man’s adventure from begging on the streets in the north of England to fighting against fascism in the Spanish Civil War, taking in the Hunger Marches and the Battle of Cable Street. It’s a timely, touching and often hilarious musical adventure following the footsteps of one working class hero who witnessed some of the momentous events of the 1930s. With their trademark harmony, honesty and humour the Teesside trio bring together sixteen specially composed songs, spoken word, striking imagery and the real recorded voice of Johnny himself to tell a remarkable human story oozing with modern relevance.

To find out more about the story, watch the promo here:

After an overwhelming response to the show earlier in 2018, the twelve date tour in 2019 will see the show visit some of the most iconic venues across the UK and Ireland including the Southbank Centre in London.

Tour Dates


28th – HULL Middleton Hall
29th – MANCHESTER Stoller Hall
30th – DUN LAOGHAIRE Pavillion Theatre
31st – BELFAST The Strand


1st – GLASGOW Tron Theatre
2nd – GLASGOW Tron Theatre
3rd – SHEFFIELD City Hall Ballroom
6th – WAVENDON The Stables
7th – YEOVIL The Octagon
9th – LONDON Southbank Centre (Purcell Room)

All tickets on sale now and links are available from

To find out more about Johnny’s story, you can access a specially designed app called Johnny’s Journey. This can be accessed via the following link:

A new album comprising the songs from the show will be released on Friday 7th December 2018, with pre-ordering beginning in November.

Cara Dillon announces winter tour dates

Cara Dillon

Cara Dillon, possessed of one of the most celebrated folk voices to have come out of Ireland, will be touring her Christmas show Upon A Winter’s Night for a third year running this December. The overwhelming success of previous tours has cemented this magical and memorable festive experience as a firm tradition.

Cara and her band will once again capture the mystery of Christmas with a collection of songs ancient and modern providing a welcome reminder that the festive season is about more than commercialism.

There is another side to Christmas – far away from Bing crooning, Noddy screaming and a world apart from ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Santa Baby’ – it’s a place where the story of Jesus’ birth is retold with genuine wonder and celebrated with the dignity, passion and beauty it deserves. Christmas is one of Cara’s passions as her live show and album prove.

Cara will be joined by her wonderful band who weave Celtic and folksy rhythms alongside reverent and atmospheric carols while Cara holds the darkness at bay with the renowned purity of her voice. Husband Sam Lakeman (piano, guitar) will be joined by Toby Shaer on fiddle and whistles, Ed Boyd on guitar and Luke Daniels on accordion.

With seventeen dates on sale in England, Ireland and Scotland there’s plenty of opportunity for people to catch this uplifting and moving concert, on a tour starting in her native Derry and ending at Suffolk’s celebrated Snape Maltings.

As modest and down to earth as they come, Cara admits to being taken aback by the success of her Christmas album Upon A Winter’s Night when it reached Number 1 in the Indie Album Charts not once, but twice in 2016.

Throughout an enviable career which has seen her explore opportunities to tread many different paths – from releasing folk crossover albums on indie label Rough Trade to recording a Disney soundtrack and collaborating with leading UK dance DJ/producers – Cara has always chosen to plant herself firmly within the landscape of her cultural heritage.

Holding a position at the very top of the Irish Folk genre, this extraordinary singer has been captivating audiences, winning awards and achieving exceptional acclaim for over twenty years. She has (according to Mojo magazine) “quite possibly the world’s most beautiful female 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 helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artist’s website:

‘The Wexford Carol’:

Tour Dates

30 November DERRY Millennium Forum 028 7126 4455 /

01 December DÚN LAOGHAIRE Pavilion Theatre 01 231 2929 /

02 December BELFAST The Ulster Hall 028 9033 4400 /

06 December  SHEFFIELD Firth Hall

07 December GATESHEAD Sage 0191 443 461 /

08 December EDINBURGH The Queens Hall 0131 668 2019/

09 December MANCHESTER Stoller Hall 0333 130 0967 /

12 December BROMSGROVE Atrix 01527 577330/

13 December MILTON KEYNES The Stables 01908 280800/

14 December LONDON Union Chapel – See Tickets 0871 220 0260/

15 December SOUTHAMPTON Turner Sims 023 8059 5151/

16 December FROME Cheese & Grain 01373 455420/

18 December MAIDENHEAD Norden Farm Arts 01628 788997/

19 December  BRISTOL St Georges Hall 0845 4024 001 /

20 December BASINGSTOKE Haymarket Theatre 01256 844244/

21 December CANTERBURY Gulbenkian Theatre 01227 769075/

22 December SNAPE Maltings Concert Hall 01728 687110/


Andy White tours reissued Rave On

Rave On Andy White

“Andy White, Belfast born and Belfast bred, first picked up a guitar when he was thirteen. It was blocking up the hallway. He started strumming it in a beatnik basement belonging to a big bastard called Bobby.”

So started the 1986 press release for Andy’s debut album, reissued by Vinyl 180 on October 26th.

The eighties folk revival led by The Pogues, The Waterboys and Hothouse Flowers cut an authentic, soulful swathe through the music culture of the MTV generation. On Rave On, Andy’s voice and lyrics told the story of a boy growing up in the political and social chaos of Northern Ireland and making his way to Thatcher’s Britain with an acoustic guitar and a suitcase full of poetry books, Clash cassettes and Bob Dylan albums.

Originally recorded in a field in County Antrim, this year’s reissue is a limited edition in white 180g vinyl with a gatefold sleeve. It still sounds fresh, raw and urgent today and is complemented by latest album, The Guilty & The Innocent, Andy’s reaction to the current news cycle. Grenfell, Trump, Corbyn, (in)equality and justice are its themes. The six minute title track stunned audiences on his UK tour last year. You’ve got to hear it.

Along the line connecting these two albums, Andy has collaborated with the likes of Tim Finn and Liam O Maonlai (as ALT), written with Peter Gabriel, recorded with Sinead O’Connor and toured with Van Morrison. But Andy’s voice, trademark lyrical wit and the magic he can conjure up with musicians in a studio remains a constant. Along with a stellar career in music he’s always kept a firm grip on the “have guitar, will travel” folksinger ethos on display in the back of a Beetle, one West London afternoon in 1986.

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 helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artist’s website:

‘This Is Not A Television Show’ – official video:

Tour Dates

Sunday Nov 25 BATH, Chapel Arts Centre Tel: 01225 461700 Tickets

Monday Nov 26 BRIGHTON, The Greys Tel: 01273 680734

Tuesday Nov 27 LEICESTER, The Musician Tel: 0116 251 0080

Thursday Nov 29 LONDON, Half Moon Putney Tel: 020 8780 9383 Tickets

Friday Nov 30 BELPER, Queen’s Head Tel: 01773 825525

Saturday Dec 1 EDINBURGH, Leith Depot Tel: 0131 555 4738 Tickets

Sunday Dec 2 GLASGOW, Sounds In The Suburbs, The Doublet Tel: 0794 435 4459 Tickets

Monday Dec 3 HAWICK, Heart of Hawick Tel: 01450 360 668

Wednesday Dec 6 BELFAST, The American Bar Tel: 028 9074 7494 Tickets

Sunday Dec 9 DUBLIN, DC Music Club Tel: 087 682 5306

Ray Cooper announces winter tour

Ray Cooper

Former Oysterband man Ray Cooper is touring the UK solo in November as well as in February 2019

A singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist he currently resides in the depths of Sweden where he has lived since 2000. He left Oysterband in 2013 the year in which they picked up 3 BBC radio 2 folk awards and appeared live on Later with Jools Holland. Since then he has carved out a successful solo career.

Ray Cooper is a Scottish/English songwriter currently living in Sweden. When Cooper left art school in Brighton he decided to follow where music took him. He joined Oysterband, eventually recording 19 albums and touring in 27 countries. In 2013 he went solo and never looked back.

After setting up a recording studio in a small log cabin in Sweden he made his first album Tales Of Love War And Death By Hanging in 2010; it has a strongly historical theme. In 2014 he followed it up with Palace Of Tears which was about more recent, more personal history.

Between The Golden Age & The Promised Land released in May 2018, will surprise many of his listeners. It is a big sounding record with serious themes but is nevertheless simple, raw, joyous, and unashamedly romantic.

While Cooper continues to develop as a singer, here he plays all the instruments too, in a stripped down production inspired by producer Rick Rubin’s treatment of Johnny Cash’s late recordings.The familiar mandolin, cello, guitar and harmonica are all there but Cooper also makes his recording debut as a piano player.

“I am half Scottish and half English, I live in Sweden, I tour in Europe, I have no home town, I think of myself as a north European now”.

Artist’s website:

Tour Dates


25th – Albion Brewery, 54 Kingswell Street, Northampton £12, 8 pm, 01664 946606

30th – Sports And Social Club, 43 Havant Road, Emsworth £12.50, 8 pm, 01243 376037


1st – De Koffie Pot, Bridget St, Hereford time / price- tbc- call – 01432 357753

Live at Wickham Festival: