Cropredy 2020 line-up announced


Fairport’s Cropredy Convention three-day open-air music festival announces the line-up for the 2020 event.

Now in its forty-first year, the festival will take place on Thursday 13, Friday 14 and Saturday 15 August 2020 on its usual farmland site in north Oxfordshire.

“We’re really pleased with this year’s line-up”, says Fairport bassist Dave Pegg. “It consolidates Cropredy’s core appeal, celebrates Fairport’s rich heritage and also introduces a wide and diverse range of music. It’ll be a particular pleasure to have Richard Thompson playing with us again during our three-hour headline set on the Saturday evening.”

Cropredy will feature two sets by host band Fairport Convention. On Thursday 13 August they will open the festival with a short acoustic set. On Saturday they will close the event with their customary extended headline performance.

Fairport’s Saturday set will include a fiftieth anniversary celebration of Full House, the band’s acclaimed 1970 LP. The Full House line-up of Simon Nicol, Richard Thompson, Dave Mattacks, and Dave Pegg will be joined by Chris Leslie (standing in for the late Dave Swarbrick) to play the whole album.

Thursday 13 August

Fairport Convention
Host band Fairport will open the festival on Thursday with a short acoustic set

Thumping Tommys
This London-based bluegrass outfit plays barn-storming blues-infused Irish, American, and English folk music.

Edward II
Cropredy favourites Edward II play a fusion of world music, folk and reggae blending the rhythms of the Caribbean with traditional British songs.

Multi-award winning band Clannad has arguably done more than any other band to bring Irish music to a worldwide audience.

Trevor Horn Band
One of the most influential producers in popular music, Trevor has worked with Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Grace Jones, Pet Shop Boys, Seal and Robbie Williams among many others.

Friday 14 August

Maddie Morris
Cropredy will present a set by singer-songwriter Maddie, winner of the 2019 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award.

Emily Barker
A Cropredy debut for this acclaimed Australian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist whose repertoire encompasses Americana, country and folk.

Home Service
Co-fronted by John Tams and John Kirkpatrick, Home Service is one of the UK’s best-loved folkrock groups and is characterised by a distinctive brass sound and great repertoire.

Martyn Joseph
Legendary singer/songwriter Martin returns to Cropredy with his rich voice and spellbinding songs.

The Slambovian Circus of Dreams
Hillbilly meets Pink Floyd in this surreal New York band. Rootsy psychedelia from the cool end of Americana.

The Sharon Shannon Quartet
Irish musician Sharon is known for button accordion, fiddle and whistle. Springing from Irish folk, her music reveals wide-ranging influences.

Turin Brakes
Indie folk rockers Turin Brakes are making their first appearance at Cropredy. They have seven studio albums and a million record sales to their credit.

Steve Hackett – Genesis Revisited
One of the most Britain’s most accomplished and celebrated guitarists returns to Cropredy. Steve’s extraordinary musical versatility draws on influences as diverse as jazz, world and blues to recreate the unique sound of prog-rock legends Genesis.

Saturday 15 August

Richard Digance
BAFTA nominee Richard returns to his traditional Saturday slot to get the day off to a flying start.

Holy Moly & The Crackers
Fronted by vocalist Ruth Patterson, this Newcastle sextet mixes British folk with dollops of rock’n’soul, indie, balladeering and a touch of psychedelia. They describe their sound as “riotous party music for the masses.”

The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican
This comedy folk and parody band from Barnsley completely stole the show when they played Cropredy in 2018 and are back by popular demand.

Rosalie Cunningham
Rosalie Cunningham is an English singer/songwriter with a distinct style who has appeared on Later with Jools Holland and supported Jack White’s UK tour.

Matthews Southern Comfort
Fronted by ex-Fairport singer Iain Matthews, Matthews Southern Comfort plays melodic laid-back Americana.

Richard Thompson
Virtuoso guitarist and renowned songwriter Richard will take the Cropredy stage twice in 2020; in his own solo set and as part of the fiftieth anniversary of the Full House album.

Fairport Convention
Saturday’s traditional extended headline set from Fairport will include the band’s 1970 line-up playing the whole of Full House in album order plus the current line-up performing a wealth of material old and new.

Cropredy tickets on sale

Cropredy three-day tickets are on sale from today.

The first 1,000 orders will receive a Christmas card signed by all five members of Fairport Convention the first 2,000 will get a souvenir Cropredy car window sticker.

Tickets are available via Fairport Convention’s website



CLANNAD – Turas 1980 (Made In Germany Music, MIG02092)

TurasOn the heels of their 1979 US tour – the longest by any Irish band back then – a five-piece Clannad fetched up in Germany having their live show recorded by Radio Bremen. Previously unbroadcast, the recently resurfaced recordings are now available as Turas 1980 (“an turas” meaning “a journey”), a twenty-track double album. Drawing on the band’s early output, the album also features some otherwise unrecorded tracks. It’s a collector’s dream.

It also represents a fascinating point in the band’s evolution. After ten years together, this Donegal family group was on the cusp of achieving unimaginable mainstream global success. Yet here they are, unaware of what’s yet to come, just happy playing to their strong German fanbase.

The live radio recording was a first for the band and Máire Brennan recalls how nervous they all were, although it doesn’t show. This is intensely powerful, rooted and earthy music with a curious timelessness. In tunes like opener ‘Turas Carolan’, the beguiling air of ‘Paddy’s Rambles Through The Fields’ or ‘The Old Couple’, there’s almost a sense of a timeslip: a sidelong glimpse revealing something ancient, raw and deep from the land.

The tracks here also lack much of the misty ethereality characteristic of some of Clannad’s later output, although the roots of it can clearly be heard in songs like ‘Siúil a Rún’ and the bell-like ‘Dúlamán’. The band’s legendary tight harmonies and Moya Brennan’s cool flowing water vocals are beautifully represented, particularly on ‘Valparaiso’ and ‘Máire Bhruinneall’.

The musical tightness and versatility of the band is evident, too. A standard like ‘Down By The Salley Gardens’ may be taken at a respectful, stately pace, but an entirely different mood emerges from the looser, jazzy bass interludes of ‘Níl Sé’n Lá’ that closes the album.

As to sound quality, the music is excellent with all the band parts crisply audible and a pure clean sound. During the often drily witty between-song chat, there is some quality loss and distracting ambient noise, but it’s a small price to pay for an otherwise excellent live recording. It does repay quality audio replay, as the lossy formats don’t really do it justice.

Surviving members of Clannad were involved in bringing this album to fruition and it stands proudly both as an historical memento and a bittersweet memorial to absent friends: to founder Pádraig Duggan, as well as “father of the band” Leo Brennan. It’s a glorious and appropriate tribute.

Su O’Brien

Artist website:

A selection of Clannad songs recorded in 1978:


BBC Radio 2 has announced the recipients of this year’s Lifetime Achievement awards.







The two prestigious accolades will be presented to Clannad and Martin Carthy at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014 in a ceremony being held at the Royal Albert Hall on February 19. The Radio 2 Folk Awards celebrate an important milestone this year – marking their 15th anniversary.

Legendary Celtic band Clannad, who will also be performing at the awards, comprises siblings Moya, Ciaran and Pol Brennan, and their twin uncles Noel and Padraig Duggan. Their music mixes the traditional and the modern, the past and the future. The band’s record sales exceed fifteen million since release of their eponymous debut in 1973. Towards the end of the seventies they recruited their younger sister on piano and harmony vocals. She worked on two albums and embarked on several tours with them before going on to establish her own highly successful solo career as Enya.

Clannad said:

“We are absolutely honoured to be recognised in this way by the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. The BBC have been such great supporters of us since we first broke through in the UK with Theme From Harry’s Game. We are really looking forward to being part of the big night at the Royal Albert Hall.”

English folk singer Martin Carthy has remained one of the most influential figures in British traditional music. For more than 50 years he has been one of folk music’s greatest innovators, and has recorded more than 40 albums, with only 10 of these being solo records. He has recorded with legendary bands including Steeleye Span, Brass Monkey and Imagined Village to name but a few.

Martin Carthy said:

“I’ve just been lucky enough to follow my heart and pretty much do what I want over the past 50 years or so. If, along the way, I’ve been able to play a part, however small, in keeping the traditional music of these islands alive, then I consider myself a fortunate man.”

Bob Shennan, Controller BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music, said:

“The Radio 2 Folk Awards exist to celebrate the very best in folk music. Clannad and Martin Carthy have made magnificent contributions to Folk music over the years and are thoroughly deserving of these prestigious accolades. Many congratulations to them.”

In addition to the Lifetime Achievement Awards, Radio 2 has also announced that the Cambridge Folk Festival, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, is being awarded the Good Tradition Award. This award is given to a person, group or organisation for their contribution to the preservation, dissemination and continuance/ progression of traditional music over a number of years.

Radio 2 has also confirmed that Martin Simpson, Anais Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer and The Full English are set to perform on the night.

The awards ceremony at The Royal Albert Hall will see some of the biggest names in folk music come together under one roof to celebrate the UK’s thriving folk music scene.

The event will welcome a host of star guests, with Bellowhead, Suzanne Vega and The Fisherman’s Friends set to perform live on the night.

This year’s awards will see the addition of a new element – the Radio 2 Folk Awards Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame will recognise the special contribution of an individual to the world of folk music; someone whose impact and influence has had a lasting impression.

The first entrant to be inducted into the Hall of Fame is Cecil Sharp – widely regarded as being a key figure in having helped lay the foundations for the modern folk revival in the early 20th century.

The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards will be broadcast live on Radio 2 from 8pm, and in vision via the Red Button and online at, with video highlights to follow the next day. The audience can also follow the event and get involved via the Radio 2 website.

The full list of nominees in this year’s Radio 2 Folk Awards are:

Folk Singer of the Year

  • Bella Hardy
  • Fay Hield
  • Lisa Knapp
  • Lucy Ward

Best Duo

  • Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson
  • Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker
  • Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita
  • Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin

Best Group

  • Breabach
  • The Full English
  • Lau
  • Melrose Quartet

Best Album

  • Child Ballads – Anaïs Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer
  • The Full English – The Full English
  • Hidden Seam – Lisa Knapp
  • Vagrant Stanzas – Martin Simpson
  • Won’t Be Long Now – Linda Thompson

Horizon Award

  • Olivia Chaney
  • Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker
  • Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar
  • Georgia Ruth

Musician of the Year

  • Aidan O’Rourke
  • Will Pound
  • Martin Simpson
  • Sam Sweeney

Best Original Song

  • Love’s For Babies and Fools – Linda Thompson
  • None the Wiser – Chris Wood
  • Swimming in the Longest River – Olivia Chaney
  • Two Ravens – Lisa Knapp

Best Traditional Track

  • Codi Angor – Georgia Ruth
  • Les Bras de Mer – Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita
  • Mary Macdonald’s – Rant
  • Willie of Winsbury – Anaïs Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer

BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award

  • Hattie Briggs
  • Gentlemen of Few
  • Granny’s Attic
  • The Mischa Macpherson Trio


114-mark-radcliffeBBC Radio 2 Folk Show presenter, Mark Radcliffe, has announced that the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards are to return on Wednesday 19 February 2014. Mark also announced that the awards will be returning to London and taking place at the Royal Albert Hall. Tickets for the event are available now from

The awards, which celebrate their 15th anniversary in 2014, will see some of the biggest names in folk music come together under one roof to celebrate the UK’s thriving folk music scene.

The event will welcome a whole host of star guests, with Bellowhead, Suzanne Vega, Clannad and The Fisherman’s Friends confirmed to perform live on the night. Other acts on the line-up will be announced at a later date.

This year’s awards will see the addition of a new element – the Radio 2 Folk Awards Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame will recognise the special contribution of an individual to the world of folk music; someone whose impact and influence has had a lasting impression.

The first entrant to be inducted into the Hall of Fame is Cecil Sharp – widely regarded as being a key figure in having helped lay the foundations for the modern folk revival in the early 20th century.

Al Booth, Editor Specialist Music at Radio 2 said:

“As the country’s most prolific collector of folk music and dance, Cecil Sharp amassed a collection which includes songs and tunes that have been part of the fabric of English life for hundreds of years. Without his work the careers of Martin Carthy, Fairport Convention, Nic Jones and Kate Rusby might have been very different. It is fitting that he should be the first inductee into the Radio 2 Folk Awards Hall of Fame.”

Nominees for the Folk Award categories were announced by Mark Radcliffe in the Folk Show on Wednesday November 20. The categories include: Folk Singer of the Year, Best Duo, Best Group, Best Album, Horizon Award, Musician of the Year, Best Original Song, Best Traditional Track and BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award. The awards show will also include the presentation of Lifetime Achievement and Good Tradition Awards.

Bob Shennan, Controller BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music, said: “Folk Music is an integral part of the BBC Radio 2 schedule. It is a much loved genre by our audience and we remain committed to bringing our listeners the widest possible range and choice of music. This year The Radio 2 Folk Awards reach an important milestone in their history. And what better way to celebrate their 15th anniversary than them taking place in the very special location that is the Royal Albert Hall. I’m sure it will be a night to remember.”

Mark Radcliffe, presenter of the Radio 2 Folk Show, said:

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be hosting the Folk Awards again this year, particularly on the event’s 15th anniversary and in the very grand Royal Albert Hall. Folk music is in rude health, and we’re all relishing the chance to make a big fuss about the genre’s vibrancy, diversity and sheer quality.”

Drivetime presenter Simon Mayo will be broadcasting a special programme live from the Albert Hall (5pm). The interval will feature performances from the nominees for the Young Folk Award 2014.

The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards will be broadcast live on Radio 2 from 8pm, and in vision via the Red Button and online at, with video highlights to follow the next day. The audience can also follow the event and get involved via the Radio 2 website.

RACHEL HAIR TRIO – No More Wings (March Hair Records MHRCD003)

One of my earliest experiences of performance harp was by ‘Harpo’ Marx in the film “A Day At The Races” and again in a film that the title escapes me. The only reason I mention this is at the way he exploited genres such as classical, folk and jazz to make the music accessible to the widest possible audience. Maybe the cross-over from folk to jazz (or vice versa) isn’t as dramatic as it sounds for here is proof positive in the more than capable hands of Rachel Hair (harp), Jenn Butterworth (guitar/vocal) and Euan Burton on double bass. Opening with her own self-penned title track “No More Wings” Hair sets the listener up for a bright and breezy show of digital dexterity that would have the angels smiling in Heaven. With the addition of Butterworth’s vocals and softly slapped guitar chords the jazz-tinged interpretation of Cyril Tawney’s “Grey Funnel Line” pushes the lyrics at a brisk (but not outrageous) pace and in my opinion makes the song all the more enjoyable. With the aid of tasteful breathy vocals (think Clannad or Enya) on several tracks adding a dynamic splash of colour to proceedings this music will bath you, in Radox metaphorically speaking without the merest hint of being kitsch. It surely won’t be too much longer before they add these talented artists to the roster of the Transatlantic Sessions…here’s hoping.


Artist Web link:

IONA – Another Realm (Open Sky Records OPENSKY 16)

I’ll only mention it once (and believe me, it’s a compliment) that when Clannad released their album “Robin Of Sherwood” in 1984 they were to prove inspirational not only to me but they also opened the door to a far wider demographic than ‘folk music’ could ever achieve on its own. The reason I mention this is that for lovers of this genre of music Iona have now accepted the baton of stylish folk-rock that I did not expect to see revived. Since the band formed in 1989 I have for some reason only enjoyed peripheral knowledge of their CD releases…but, from now on…no longer! When I say that music and arrangements this good are a rare commodity you should check the band out as soon as possible. If, like me you enjoy being enveloped in deep washes of sumptuous keyboards (courtesy of Dave Bainbridge), Joanne Hogg’s vocals, Frank Van Essen’s violin, Phil Barker on bass guitar and the crowning glory that is Martin Nolan’s Uilleann pipes this review may perhaps prove something of an understatement. Although not strictly ‘folk’ it is the grand, sweeping statements that captures the imagination like standing on the edge of Beachy Head peering over the precipice and wondering what it would be like to soar like a bird as you launch your self from the cliffs. OK, so perhaps my eloquence (or lack of it) in conveying my thoughts in prose is for some a bit too flowery…but I hope you get my drift? Without wishing to sound condescending, if your only preconceived idea of the band is through their association with all things ‘Christian’ then I’d like to suggest that you think again and treat the music as ‘art for art’s sake’…you won’t be disappointed. Via a process of reminiscing, the only other artists textually to come close to Iona were in the displays of showmanship by the pomp-rock band Renaissance and particularly their album “Ashes Are Burning”…which again I hope will be treated as a compliment of the highest order. Finally congratulations on the superlative artwork provided by Tim Martindale. You can actually read the lyrics with no problem and the photography is stunning. A solid pat on the back to everyone involved. As they used to say years ago, I’ll give it ten! (or five…depending which publication you’re reading).