The Leisure Society – September tour dates

The Leisure Society

During the promotion of the band’s previous LP, The Fine Art Of Hanging On, Nick and the band’s flautist Helen Whitaker went through a long process of separation, ultimately resulting in Nick moving out of their Brighton home.

This displacement set the tone for the next 18 months, as Nick moved from one temporary accommodation to the next, writing and recording demos constantly as he came to terms with the break up – which would eventually become the foundation of their upcoming double-album, Arrivals & Departures.

Released on April 12th 2019, the album was recorded in rented and borrowed houses in the Peak District, the Cotswolds and a medieval mansion in Richelieu, France. The band also snuck into Union Chapel in Islington late at night to capture strings and choral sections for the record, which features the likes of Brian Eno and poet Liz Berry, and was mixed by Gareth Jones (known for his work with Grizzly Bear, Nick Cave, and These New Puritans) – and Paul Gregory (Lanterns On The Lake).

Nick Hemming grew up in Burton-on-Trent. The Leisure Society was born when Nick decided to share a London flat with fellow Burton-on-Trent exile and multi- instrumentalist / producer, Christian Hardy.

The years following that initial meet have seen the band release four critically acclaimed albums. Touring extensively throughout, the The Leisure Society have recorded with Ray Davies and were subsequently asked to play at his Meltdown Festival. They packed a tent at Glastonbury. Brian Eno declared himself a fan, and the band have been nominated for two Ivor Novello awards. The band also provided the decisive musical ending to Paddy Considine’s BAFTA winning directorial debut Tyrannosaur, and were invited to perform live with The Heritage Orchestra at a sold out Barbican.

In 2016, the band was derailed by the break-up of Nick and long-term partner, flautist Helen Whitaker. Retreating to their roots, Nick and Christian left the UK to tour Europe as a duo, then another three weeks touring Italy with violinist Mike Siddell in tow. New songs emerged throughout this period and developed in intimate venues, hotel rooms and moonlit courtyards.

In 2017, the band’s album delivery deadline loomed, but rather than rush out a new record, they decided to dedicate another twelve months perfecting it in studios and rented houses across the UK and France. Arrivals & Departures is their most ambitious and diverse record to date, charting the journey from heartbreak, to anger, to hope, in 57 lavish minutes.

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Artists’ website:

‘God Has Taken A Vacation’ – official video:

September Tour Dates

17th – Manchester, Night & Day (in aid of Big Issue North)
18th – Belfast, Duke of Yorks
19th – Dublin, Whelans (Upstairs)
20th – Oxford, Bullingdon
21st – Grayshott, Grayshott Folk Club
22nd – Southampton, Joiners
24th – Milton Keynes, The Stables
25th – Newcastle, The Cluny
26th – Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
27th – Sheffield, Leadmill
28th – Liverpool, Leaf

Dervish announce special London show

DerviishBrendan Gleeson, Imelda May, Abigail Washburn, David Gray and Kate Rusby To Join Dervish For A Very Special Evening Of Irish Folk Music

Dervish are delighted to announce that they will be joined by multi instrumentalists and top session musicians, Graham Henderson (Sinead O Connor band / Fairground Attraction/ Moving Hearts) and Seamie O Dowd (Christy Moore band and a long list of others) for their big 30th anniversary show at The Palladium on Thursday September 19th. The eight-piece Dervish have been in rehearsals in Sligo and the band are very excited about how the music is sounding. The set list for the show will have many surprises on the night.

Dervish will be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards ceremony, to be held at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester on Wednesday 16 October 2019 as part of the Manchester Folk Festival.

Dervish have been bringing Irish traditional music to the world for 30 years, and have played at festivals across the globe – from Rock In Rio to Glastonbury. The band features some of Ireland’s finest traditional musicians, and is fronted by one of the country’s best-known and most beloved singers, Cathy Jordan.

Shane Mitchell from Dervish says: “We are thrilled and so delighted to be receiving this very special honour at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, particularly as this is the 30th anniversary of the band.”

Tickets on general sale:

‘Down By The Sally Garden’ – live on TV:

Topette!! announce their second album


Following a season of smouldering live shows across the UK and Europe, acclaimed Anglo-French acoustic dance band Topette!! have been back in the studio to record a much-awaited second CD Rhododendron.

Capturing the atmosphere and spirit of those live shows, the new CD resonates with the wild energy of packed dancefloors, firing the five players’ imaginations and galvanising their playing. Rhododendron is a bold and exciting album, infused with good-time feeling, visceral, pulsing drive and joy! Of course it helps that those musicians are some of the finest on the European dance scene…

Andy Cutting – diatonic button accordion & melodeon (Blowzabella, Leveret)

James Delarre – violin (Mawkin, Eliza Carthy and the Wayward Band)

Julien Cartonnet – bagpipes, banjo (Mister Klof / Shelta / Coast to Coast)

Tania Buisse – bodhrán (Shelta / Lost Highway)

Barnaby Stradling – acoustic bass guitar (Blowzabella / Eliza Carthy and the Wayward Band / False Lights)

Rhododendron was recorded at Invada Studios in Bristol, with the band’s favourite producer / sound engineer, Joe Garcia.

Topette!! have been playing together for five years now, but still have the feeling of a box-fresh project. Geography dictates they can only get together a few times each year, but despite the distances involved in rehearsing or gigging, the group have become very close friends. Their celebration of musical and cultural differences and similarities shines through in their music-making; music that is by turns jubilant, rollicking, beautiful, mind-boggling and absolutely unique!

Following on from the success of their first album, C’est le Pompon… (2017) the new album, Rhododendron once again features an eclectic selection of material. Some traditional tunes, some of the musicians’ own compositions, and tunes from friends and heroes of the band. All semi-arranged, semi-improvised in the studio, these tracks are surprisingly varied, and have plenty to capture the ear of the keen listener, as much as the feet of the avid dancer.

This band continues to tear up dance floors across Europe with their intriguing and ever-expanding repertoire…Join in the party!

Artists’ website:

Topette!! live:

Annie Dressner and Luke Williams announce tour dates

Annie Dressler and Luke Williams

Since moving to the UK from her hometown of New York City eight years ago, Annie Dressner has received considerable recognition from her live shows, and studio recordings. Her second studio album Broken Into Pieces was produced by Nigel Stonier (Thea Gilmore) and was released on 26th October to rave reviews. Her songs have been played on BBC Radio 2 and BBC6 Music and have frequently appeared on the Caffe Nero playlist. Annie has played at Festivals & venues throughout the UK, such as the Green Man Festival, Secret Garden Party and Cambridge Folk Festival sharing the stage with the likes of Emily Barker, Simone Felice, Kirsty McGee, Lucy Wainwright Roche & Fossil Collective.

In November 2018, Cambridge based singer-songwriter Luke James Williams released his debut EP Drove. The first single ‘Rabbit Hole’ has received airplay on BBC6 Music, Amazing Radio and BBC Introducing whilst other cuts from the EP have been featured and played by Folk Radio UK and Hype Machine. Second single ‘Still In Bed’ has received huge support from BBC6 Music DJ Tom Robinson who recently chose it as his 6Music Recommends track of 2019 so far which then saw it played by Tom Ravenscroft, Lauren Laverne and Steve Lamacq. Luke has received rave reviews for his engaging live performances and has supported artists such as Stu Larsen, The Little Unsaid and Megson. Broadly categorised as alt.folk and drawing influences from the likes of Sufjan Stevens and PJ Harvey, Williams paints pictures with words and sings them in his own distinctly British voice.

Artists’ websites:

Peter Knight’s Gigspanner Big Band announce tour dates – John Spiers Joins the lineup

Gigspanner Big Band

Peter Knight’s Gigspanner are a unique force in British folk music. Their high-energy, virtuosic performances appeal equally to traditionalists and to those looking for something more experimental, and they have garnered praise from publications as varied as fRoots, The Telegraph and The Wire, where they were described as ‘melodically folk-rooted yet open and innovative beyond the constraints of genre.’

Beginning life as a trio – with former Steeleye Span fiddle player Knight being joined by percussionist Sacha Trochet and guitarist Roger Flack – the live lineup was soon expanded to form the Gigspanner Big Band, with acclaimed multi-instrumental duo Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin joining the fray. Characterised by riotous inventiveness, technically gifted individual playing and subtle collaborative interaction, their first tour together was captured wonderfully on 2017 album Live, and saw them ‘taking folk music down new and enthralling paths.’ (FRUK)

Now, after a fortuitous meeting at the FolkEast Festival, Knight has enlisted the considerable talents of melodeon and concertina player John Spiers, something of a folk superstar in his own right. In Knight’s words, ‘John is an extraordinary musician… a great and sensitive player.’ Knight’s excitement at the new venture is evident, and it says much about the nature of his musical outlook that, after half a century of innovation, he is still as willing as ever to move in bold new directions.

As collaborations go, it does not get much more mouthwatering than this. While Knight, as part of Steeleye Span’s classic 1970s lineup, helped invent a brand of folk rock that is still influential today, Spiers, a founder-member of Bellowhead, has had an equally profound impact on the landscape of traditional music over the last two decades.

Spiers is set to join the rest of the Big Band for the entirety of their forthcoming November tour, and to make matters even more exciting every show will be recorded to provide material for a brand new live album.

The tour offers a chance to experience one of the most significant collaborations in folk music’s recent history and the opportunity to hear all-new material from some of the most talented and respected musicians in the country.

“Totally blown away by the spellbinding Gigspanner Big Band…Lost for words”

Artists’ website:

‘The Boy That Wouldn’t Hoe Corn’ – live:

Tour Dates


20th Brixham Theatre, Devon

21st Huntingdon Hall, Worcester

22nd Stables Theatre, Wavendon, Milton Keynes

23rd The Gulbenkian Theatre, Canterbury

24th The Pavilion, Hailsham

25th Nettlebed Folk Club

27th The Apex, Bury St Edmunds

28th Helmsley Arts Centre, Helmsley, N Yorks

29th Victoria Hall, Settle

30th The Queen’s Hall, Hexham


1st  The Live Room, Saltaire


Stylusboy announces his second handmade album

Photograph by Redwood Photography

Stylusboy, Coventry singer-songwriter Steve Jones, creates indie folk music steeped in warm-hearted melodies and heartfelt lyrics. Influenced by cult contemporary songwriters like Damien Rice and Elliot Smith as well as classic performers such as Nick Drake and Neil Young. Stylusboy’s songs have been described as ‘absolutely brilliant’ by BBC Radio 2’s Justine Greene.

On 27th September 2019 Stylusboy’s second album Routes is released through his own label, Tortoise Recordings, on handmade CD and on all major digital platforms through AWAL Distribution. The self produced album is a collection of songs inspired by love, loss, family and pressing on through the difficult times. The musical talents of double bass genius John Parker (Nizlopi, Ben Walker, Will Pound), sort after drummer Tim Bowes (The Destroyers), critically acclaimed singer songwriter Wes Finch on electric guitar and blues starlet Holly Hewitt on harmonies create a warm musical backdrop to Steve’s songwriting. Long time friend and renowned songwriter Jess Morgan has co-written one of the ten songs on Routes.

Since the release of his critically acclaimed debut album Hospitality For Hope in 2015, Stylusboy has continued to drive his songwriting and creativity with the release of several EPs as well as a live album recorded in a manor house deep in the Derbyshire countryside. Steve’s fine art background inspires the fact that all of his releases have unique handmade sleeves lovingly made by Steve himself, all part of the Stylusboy ‘handmade indie folk’ style.

Stylusboy’s sound of ‘arresting melodies and poignant lyrics’ (Right Chord Music) has received praise and accolades from the likes of Acoustic Magazine, R2 Magazine, For Folks Sake, God is in the TV as well as BBC Introducing, 6Music, Xfm and Amazing Radio. Champion of independent music, Tom Robinson from BBC 6 Music, has described Stylusboy as:

“A leading light among today’s new generation of DIY digital troubadours”

Whilst cult website God is in the TV said:

“A sound that continues to explore and advance the relationship between more traditional folk and popular music.”

Performing all over the UK including sell out shows at Green Note in London and Warwick Arts Centre in his home city of Coventry, Stylusboy is an enchanting live performer. He has supported the likes of John Smith, Newton Faulkner, Danny and the Champions of the World, Grant-Lee Philipps, Megson and Lucy Ward. As befitting a modern day troubadour he’s performed one-to-one shows for Emily Barker’s Folk in a Box and BBC Coventry and Warwickshire’s All the Wrong Music in all the Right Places as well as pioneering online gigs (well before Facebook live was a thing) to audiences all around the world and has played numerous house gigs. Stylusboy has shared his intimate folk music at festivals such as the BBC Introducing Stage at Wychwood Festival, Warwick Folk Festival, Mosley Folk Festival and Greenbelt Festival. The lead track from his second release Whole Picture EP became a number 1 in Indonesia with the EP later becoming ‘EP Of The Year’ on music blog This Is A Popscene. Earlier in 2019 Steve was commissioned by Coventry City of Culture 2021 to create a piece of work by one of the Universal Human Rights.

Routes is released on 27th September 2019 through Stylusboy’s own label Tortoise Recordings and via AWAL digital distribution.

Artist’s website:

A live oldie – ‘Out Upon The Ocean’: