Darrin Bradbury announces new album and tour dates

Darrin Bradbury

Known for blending dark humor with obvious-once-you-hear-them observations on everyday life, Darrin Bradbury’s songs are both funny and thought-provoking. Today, Bradbury is proud to share his anticipated new album Talking Dogs & Atom Bombs, his first for ANTI- Records.

Produced by Kenneth Pattengale (The Milk Carton Kids), Talking Dogs & Atom Bombs is a collection of contemplative songs that were shaped by Bradbury’s own struggles with depression. Using his unique wit, Bradbury paints a lighthearted perspective on the pressures of life in America. He released two tracks from the album this week, including ‘The Trouble With Time’, a stunning duet featuring Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter and fellow Nashvillian Margo Price, and ‘This Too Shall Pass’ via Billboard. Bradbury also announced new U.S. tour dates this week supporting Cory Branan, following October dates with John Moreland; in late November, he will embark on his first European/UK tour in support of Jarrod Dickenson.

In addition to Billboard, Talking Dogs & Atom Bombs has garnered national praise from a multitude of outlets that include NPR, Rolling Stone Country, No Depression, Wide Open Country, American Songwriter, Americana UK and The Bluegrass Situation.

A self-described folk satirist, Talking Dogs & Atom Bombs highlights Bradbury’s natural gift for storytelling; Bradbury enlisted the help of only one other writer for the entire album—ANTI- label-mate, friend, and fellow esteemed Nashville musician, Jeremy Ivey. The tracking of Talking Dogs & Atom Bombs was completed in a similarly simple way; using the same combo of musicians for every song on the record. Aside from producer Pattengale’s mellotron and vocal contributions and the aforementioned Ivey’s bass and piano playing, only two extra musicians were called to round out the band; Alex Muñoz on additional guitars and Dillon Napier on drums.

The only exception is the lone guest vocalist on the album, modern outlaw country queen and longtime supporter of Bradbury, Margo Price, who adds a somber harmony to ‘The Trouble With Time.’ A country ballad tinged with elements of indie rock, Price’s crystalline vocals compliment Bradbury’s signature sound and plainspoken lyrics. Written with his parents in mind, Bradbury wanted his family to have a ‘go-to’ song to share with their friends – a track that represented his unique songwriting style that, in his own words, “wouldn’t weird them out”.

Price commented, “The first time I heard ‘The Trouble With Time’, I was sitting at my kitchen table. Darrin played it for me and I immediately started to cry. It’s just a great song… who doesn’t want to go back to another time and find somebody they lost. I know I do.”

“When I write, there are things that I want to get away with”, Bradbury says. “I want to get away with the line, ‘I woke up this morning and I got out of bed / Tripped on my pants and fell on my head.’”

Overall, Talking Dogs & Atom Bombs is a beautifully refined version of Darrin Bradbury’s writing; going for broke, connecting the dots, and doing it with blunt honesty that brings it all home.

“If I can get you to take that seriously, and not skip a beat when you listen to it, that’s what I want.”

Darrin Bradbury will be supporting Jarrod Dickenson on his U.K. tour later this year.

Artist’s website: https://darrinbradbury.com/

‘Breakfast’ – official video:

Tour dates

September 30 – Baltimore, MD – Creative Alliance *
October 1 – Alexandria, VA – The Birchmere *
October 4 – Garwood, NJ – Crossroads *
November 22 – London, UK – The Cavendish Arms ^
November 23 – Broadhempston, UK – Broadhempston Church ^
November 24 – Shrewsbury, UK – Henry Tudor House ^
November 25 – Manchester, UK – Gullivers ^
November 27 – Halifax, UK – The Lantern ^
November 28 – Norwich, UK – Waterfront Studio ^
November 29 – London, UK – The Cavendish Arms ^
November 30 – Liverpool, UK – Prohibition Recording Studio ^
December 1 – Glasgow, UK – The Blue Arrow ^
December 2 – Edinburgh, UK – The Voodoo Rooms ^
December 3 – Newcastle, UK – Cluny 2 ^
December 5 – Bristol, UK – Rough Trade ^
December 7 – Belfast, UK – Ulster Sports Club ^

* supporting John Moreland
^ supporting Jarrod Dickenson


The Urban Folk Quartet announce autumn tour

Urban Folk Quartet

After a festival-packed summer, The Urban Folk Quartet continue to celebrate their year-long 10th anniversary with an Autumn 2019 tour.

The dozen dates take The UFQ from Derby’s last surviving coaching inn (The Old Bell Hotel) to a 14th century Devonshire church (St Mary’s, Kingskerswell), by way of several arts centres and theatres.

Marking a decade together, the summer months saw the band temporarily transform into an eight-piece, and reimagine material from across their career. With added strings, brass and bass, the so-called ‘extended line-up’ made notable appearances at such major festivals as Green Man, Kendal Calling, Shambala, Shrewsbury and Towersey – where their electrifying set concluded with a standing ovation!

Now back to their core quartet – Joe Broughton (fiddle, mandolin, guitar), Paloma Trigás (fiddle), Tom Chapman (percussion) and Dan Walsh (banjo) – are out with a completely new set in readiness for their forthcoming new studio album, provisionally titled On The Things We Can Change.

Says Tom: “We’re really looking forward to playing these new tunes live, especially after the summer festival shows, which were very much about looking back and celebrating how far we’d come from our first gigs, in 2009.

“Rearranging some of those old tracks for the extended line-up has really invigorated us, and you can already hear that broader sound in the new material – it still sounds like The UFQ, but things are definitely moving into new areas. On stage it sometimes sounds like there’s still eight of us up there!”

Formed in the West Midlands during the summer of 2009, The Urban Folk Quartet quickly garnered a reputation for playing live, hosting high-energy, genre-defying acoustic shows featuring dazzling musicianship that left audiences breathless. After playing their first four concerts in four different countries (UK, Spain, Italy and Belgium) the quartet released their self-titled debut album in 2010. Five more long-players have followed to widespread acclaim with the most recent, Live III, released in 2016. Their seventh album will follow late 2019/ early 2020.

Though rooted in folk music, The UFQ’s sound defies easy categorisation, pulling in influences from Galicia and the Mediterranean, Asia, Europe, as well as American bluegrass and Celtic traditions.

Artists’ website: https://theufq.com/

‘Swallow’ live:

Tour Dates

Friday 27 September 2019

Bridport Arts Centre, South Street, Bridport, Dorset DT6 3NR
T: 01308 424 204
7.30pm   £16

Thursday 3 October 2019

The North Wall Arts Centre, South Parade, Summertown, Oxford OX2 7JN
T: 01865 319450
7.30pm   £16/£14

Friday 4 October 2019

Derby Folk Festival – The Old Bell Hotel (Ballroom), 51 Sadler Gate, Derby DE1 3NQ
10.30pm   £10/£8
Tickets via: derbylive.co.uk

Thursday 10 October 2019

The George, 1 Broad Street, South Molton Devon EX36 3AB
8pm   £14/£12
Tickets via: theploughartscentre.org.uk

Friday 11 October 2019

St Mary’s Church, Church End Rd, Kingskerswell, Newton Abbot TQ12 5LD
7.30pm   £14

Sunday 13 October 2019

The Place, Bradgate Road, Bedford MK40 3DE
T: 01234 354321
7.30pm   £14/£12

Friday 8 November 2019

Threlkeld Village Hall, Main Street, Threlkeld, Cumbria CA12 4RX
T: 07733 790308
8pm   £15/£8

Saturday 9 November 2019

Prohibition Bar, 25-27 Pink Lane, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne NE1 5DW
8pm   £15
Also: Musicians Workshop 3pm-5pm, £10. Combined gig/ workshop ticket £20.

Friday 15 November 2019

Blaxhall Sessions, Blaxhall Village Hall, Church Road, Blaxhall, Woodbridge, Suffolk IP12 2DX
T: 01728 688452
7.30pm £14

Friday 22 November 2019

The Vyne Theatre/ Berkhamstead Arts Centre, Northbridge Road, Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire HP4 1EH
T: 01442 818283
8pm   £14

Wednesday 27 November 2019

Stamford Arts Centre, 27 St Mary’s Street, Stamford, Lincs PE9 2DL
T: 01780 763203
7.30pm   £15/£13

Saturday 30 November 2019

The Swan Hotel, 73 High Street, Maldon, Essex CM9 5EP
8pm   £16.50
mactheatre.org.uk / theufq.com/gigs

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: https://www.facebook.com/theleisuresociety/

‘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

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:  http://www.anniedressner.com/  http://www.lukejameswilliams.co.uk

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” Folking.com

Artists’ website: http://www.gigspanner.com/

‘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