It has only been a short space of time since The Magpies burst onto the UK folk scene, but they have already made a huge impact with their fresh brand of transatlantic neo-folk and have been ‘making waves wherever they play’ (Phil Beer, Show of Hands).
Three accomplished musicians in their own right, The Magpies new line-up is a combination far greater than the sum of its parts. Celtic Connections Danny Kyle Award winning guitarist, banjo-player and singer Bella Gaffney, clawhammer banjo player and singer Kate Griffin and acclaimed fiddle-player and tunesmith Holly Brandon draw on their wide-ranging influences to create a unique blend of contemporary roots music.
Renowned for their mesmerising live performances, 2018 saw The Magpies excel at festivals such as Cambridge Folk Festival, Wickham Festival, Towersey Festival and Deer Shed Festival. 2019 saw their first international concerts, with showcases at Folk Alliance International in Montreal, a successful tour in Ireland and performances at Costa del Folk in Portugal. And the summer brought many more festival bookings including Glastonbury Festival, Larmer Tree Festival, Shambala Festival and Warwick Folk Festival.
Following the release of their debut album Tidings to widespread critical acclaim last year, The Magpies returned in 2021 with a brand new single ‘I Never Will Marry’, out 30th April, an exciting new festival announcement and a 16-date UK tour across England, Scotland and Wales in September.
Atmospheric and dark, scattered with blistering instrumentals, powerful female harmonies and stomping rhythm, ‘I Never Will Marry’ is a traditional tale of lost love, handed down from woman to woman over the centuries, polished and honed with each telling: ‘take my hand and sing free’. The accompanying new video is beautifully cinematic and yet flawlessly simple; an aesthetic reinforcement of the simultaneity of isolation and togetherness.
The Magpies have recently announced that they will be hosting their first festival – The Magpies Festival – which will take place on Saturday 14th August in the stunning parkland of York’s stately home, Sutton Park. The line-up is set to include the likes of Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys, Rob Heron & The Tea Pad Orchestra, Blair Dunlop and Katherine Priddy, with more exciting names to be announced. Working alongside Women’s Aid, the festival aims to support a gender balance across its line-up and management, as well as encouraging emerging local artists. Established to be adaptable to any change in government guidelines, it’s one festival that looks set to go ahead this summer.
Tickets are on sale now from www.themagpiesfestival.co.uk.
The Magpies will also return to the road later in 2021, with full Autumn tour dates as follows:
1st September – Acapela Studio, Cardiff
2nd September – The Prince Albert, Stroud
3rd September – Harwell Village Hall, near Oxford
4th September – Blue Sky Cafe, Bangor
5th September – The Live Room, Saltaire
6th September – Staveley Roundhouse, near Kendal
7th September – The Hug and Pint, Glasgow
8th September – The Greystones, Sheffield
9th September – Gosforth Civic Centre, Newcastle
10th September – The Crescent, York
11th September – The Sound Lounge, London
12th September – Hanger Farm Arts Centre, Southampton
13th September – Kitchen Garden Cafe, Birmingham
14th September – The Musician, Leicester
16th September – Rosslyn Court, Margate
17th September – Downend Folk Club, Bristol
Tickets available from themagpiesmusic.com
‘I Never Will Marry’ – official video: