Flemish trio Ward Dhoore – new album and live dates

Ward Dhoore

Ward Dhoore – Acoustic Guitar & Mandolin + Hartwin Dhoore – Diatonic Accordion + Koen Dhoore – Electro Acoustic Hurdy Gurdy

Their new album, August, consists of nine instrumental chapters inspired by the story of a Flemish fisherman called August who survived over thirty three dangerous journeys between Flanders and Iceland in the 18th century in order to feed his family back home.

A man who never gave up and in doing so became an inspiration to many. August is a purified collection of self-written tunes by the Dhoore brothers; the result of making music together for almost ten years. Diatonic accordion, hurdy gurdy, guitar, and electronic effects complement each other seamlessly in the musical soundscape that this album is set.

Trio Dhoore are a young and talented band of musical brothers from Flanders in Belgium; they formed their trio in 2010. Their extensive repertoire of traditional Flemish tunes is punctuated by song and many of their own compositions. This mix all goes to provide their audiences — Classical, World, Folk — with a soundscape where traditional and contemporary music, melancholy melodies and intuitive interplay merge to unique effect. The brothers Dhoore, Koen, Hartwin & Ward present their instrumental music in a very dynamic way – writing and playing many of their own compositions – whilst at the same time they breathe life and energy into traditional Flemish music with a skill that belies their ages.

Through the years the brothers have created their own musical identity that has attracted many listeners from far beyond the Flemish borders. Highlights such as Festival Dranouter (Belgium), Rudolstadt (Germany), Shetland FMF (Scotland), Sidmouth Folk Week (England), Féte de la Vielle (France), Körro FMF (Sweden) and Kaustinen FMF (Finland) are only a few examples of their many successful festival appearances. The brothers have just been nominated for the European Folk Music Award ‘Eiserner Eversteiner’ (the final takes place in December 2019).

UK Tour Dates November 2019

Friday 8. Ruskin Mill Old Bristol Road, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire GL6 0LA

Saturday 9. The Watson Institute Castle Carrock, Raysdale, Brampton, Carlisle, Cumbria CA8 9LT

Sunday 10. House Concert – Edinburgh

Monday 11. Hexham Library Queen’s Hall Arts Centre Beaumont St, Hexham, Northumberland NE46 3LS

Celtic Woman – new album and tour

Celtic Woman

In the years since its 2005 debut, global musical sensation Celtic Woman has emerged as both a formidable multimedia presence and a genuine cultural phenomenon.  The group’s albums and DVD releases have been consistent multi-platinum best-sellers, and its concert tours continue to touch the hearts of a devoted audience that spans the globe.

Both an accomplished recording ensemble and a world-class performing collective, Celtic Woman celebrates Ireland’s rich musical and cultural heritage, while continuing its remarkable 13-year-legacy of introducing some of Ireland’s most talented singers and musicians onto the world stage.

Celtic Woman’s fresh fusion of traditional Irish music and contemporary songcraft celebrates Ireland’s history while reflecting the vibrant spirit of modern Ireland.  The group’s repertoire encompasses Irish classics, contemporary songs, classical favorites and stirring originals.  The lineup of performers has evolved in the years since the group’s inception, but the signature sound of Celtic Woman has remained consistent, showcasing the members’ individual and collaborative talents.

Celtic Woman’s last album, Homecoming – Live in Ireland is a live CD and DVD,  recorded in Dublin, Ireland which debuted at #2 on the Billboards World Album chart and was broadcast on PBS stations nationwide in December 2017 to great acclaim.

Available in digital and CD formats as well as a special Target exclusive CD featuring two bonus tracks, Homecoming – Live in Ireland features songs that span Celtic Woman’s career.

Their previous release, Voices of Angels (Manhattan/Caroline) debuted at #1 on Billboard‘s World Albums chart in November 2016, making it the group’s 12th consecutive #1.  The album, which also debuted in the top slot of Billboard‘s Classical Albums chart, contains some of the most popular songs from Celtic Woman’s live shows, along with several previously unrecorded tracks, all with stunning new orchestral arrangements recorded with the 72-piece Orchestra of Ireland. Celtic Woman’s other 2016 release, Destiny, was nominated for a Grammy award in the category of Best World Music Album, marking the group’s first-ever Grammy nomination.

Celtic Woman comprises four young Irish women: Mairéad Carlin, Éabha McMahon, gifted violinist Tara McNeill and the group’s newest member Megan Walsh  – whose performing skills bring centuries of musical and cultural tradition to life.  In concert, their angelic voices and instrumental virtuosity are accompanied by a robust ensemble that includes Irish dancers, bagpipers and a full band playing an array of traditional Celtic instruments, including bodhran, tin whistle, bouzouki and Uilleann pipes.

Celtic Woman has sold over ten million CDs and DVDs, making it the only all-female act to achieve multi-platinum success in the classical crossover and world music genres during the past decade.  Named Billboard‘s #1 World Music Artist of the Year six times, each of its 11 studio CDs have debuted at #1 on Billboard‘s World Album chart.  Celtic Woman has also scored two Top 10 debuts on Billboard‘s influential album chart and five Top Five DVDs on Billboard‘s Top Video chart, as well as achieving platinum-level sales in nine countries.

Celtic Woman continues to perform its sonically and visually stunning concerts in front of capacity crowds around the world, having racked up cumulative ticket sales of over four million and performing for adoring crowds in 23 countries on six continents.

Their upcoming brand new studio album, Ancient Land – their first new studio album of brand new songs since the Grammy-nominated Destiny – was recorded in the famous Real World Studios in the UK, and is set for release in the fall of 2018.

To coincide with this, Celtic Woman returned home to Ireland to stage and film a spectacular live show in the grounds of the beautiful Johnstown Castle in Wexford, which was recorded for PBS, as well as a DVD release for early 2019.

Celtic Woman continues to transcend national and cultural boundaries to celebrate the timeless emotion of Ireland’s centuries-old heritage. A one-of-a-kind live act, Celtic Woman combines the country’s finest musical talents with epic stage production to present a uniquely inspiring live experience.  Ancient Land perfectly captures this chapter of their extraordinary musical journey.

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Artists’ website: www.celticwoman.com

‘Going Home’ – live and official:

Tour Dates

Monday 11 November             CARDIFF St. David’s Hall
Tuesday 12 November             LONDON Palladium
Thursday 14 November            GLASGOW Royal Concert Hall
Friday 15 November                MANCHESTER Palace Theatre
Saturday 16 November            BOURNEMOUTH Pavilion
Sunday 17 November               BIRMINGHAM New Alexandra Theatre
Monday 18 November             LIVERPOOL Philhamonic Hall

Tickets from: www.ticketmaster.co.uk


Seth Lakeman announces new album and UK tour

Seth Lakeman
Photograph by Caroline Rees

Multi award-winning folk singer Seth Lakeman will release his new album A Pilgrim’s Tale on February 7th 2020, in a year that marks four centuries since The Mayflower ship departed the UK. The album will be released amidst a selection of UK concerts where Seth will visit locations significant to the Mayflower tale, including dates in London, Plymouth, Immingham and Harwich. This stirring and beautiful record is narrated by the actor Paul McGann (Dr Who/Withnail and I/Hornblower/Luther), and features a host of guest performers including Cara Dillon, Benji Kirkpatrick, Ben Nicholls and Seth’s father Geoff Lakeman.

2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower ship setting off to the Americas. The ship carried British and Dutch passengers with hopes of fresh settlement, and who were famously met by the Wampanoag first nation tribe upon their arrival. Bottling the spirit of the 17th century pilgrimage, Seth has written and performed a selection songs that shape a fictional narrative of the journey, informed by extensive research from text such as the journals of William Bradford, conversations with modern day ancestors of the Wampanoag people at the Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts, and information sourced at the national heritage sites that still exists in the UK.

Chronicling the voyage and early settlement in these songs, Seth has created a drama that celebrates the history, but doesn’t lose sight of the journey’s tribulations. It stays sensitive to important facets of the story; the religious liberation that passengers were trying to achieve, the nefarious deeds enacted upon the Wampanoag, and the deaths that followed on both sides.

It’s a story Seth feels he is intrinsically linked to. “I didn’t have far to go for inspiration. The Mayflower Steps, on Plymouth’s cobbled Barbican streets are 20 minutes away from me. I fished from this quay as a boy, sang songs on tall ships tied up here and played music in just about every old sailors’ pub in this Elizabethan quarter.”

Furthermore, as one of the most celebrated members of British folk music, Seth is wholly qualified to replicate the trappings of traditional 17th century musical styles; whether it be through his vocals, stringed instrument arrangements, fiddle playing, or percussion.

The stories in the songs are told from a variety of perspectives, from personal accounts such as the opening number ‘Watch Out’ detailing deadly premonitions of a Wampanoag girl, to tales of the collective travellers in songs such as ‘Pilgrim Brother’ and ‘Sailing Time’, which march at a hopeful cadence reflecting their early optimism.

Close your eyes, and with each track you feel possessed by one of those 17th century characters; a crewman wrestling to control the ship, a pilgrim celebrating in rapturous faith, or the solemn Wampanoag tribesmen forlornly surrendering to the new way of life thrust upon them. Seth has married mood to pulsing rhythms in an immersive tale of struggle that, 400 years later, still holds an emotional impact.

Inspiration for the project came when Seth was on tour with Robert Plant, and paid a visit to the Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts to talk to the Wampanoag that still reside in the area. It didn’t take long for the songs to form upon his return to England,

“After I travelled home from the “New World” to Plymouth, Devon everything happened in a quite mystical way. The songs came together so speedily and with exactly the vibe I wanted, and we recorded in a very short time in my studio at home on Dartmoor.”

To supplement the recordings, a between-song narration was written by associate director of Plymouth’s Theatre Royal, Nick Stimson, and read by Paul McGann. Seth was elated to have the prestigious actor on board.

“As we finished the album another quite magical thing happened, when Paul agreed to voice the narration between the tracks on the record. He pitched it perfectly.”

On top of Seth’s own vocal and instrumental performances (Violin, Viola, E tenor Guitar, Bouzouki, Drums, Harmonium) on the record, additional instrumentation is provided by some of the UK’s finest talents, including Irish vocalist (and sister in law to Seth) Cara Dillon (additional vocals & co-lead on ‘Saints And Strangers’), English multi-instrumentalist Benji Kirkpatrick (Vocals, Bouzouki, Guitar, Side Drum), long-time collaborator Ben Nicholls (upright Bass, Jew’s Harp), and Seth’s father Geoff Lakeman (additional vocals). The album was recorded at Seth’s Crossways Studio in Devon, and mixed by Richard Evans (New Order, Peter Gabriel, The Pogues).

To coincide with the album’s release, Seth will play live dates specially routed in a trail of towns and cities that, for various reasons, hold significance to the Mayflower journey. Locations such as Immingham – where Separatists made a dangerous escape from England to Holland in their search for religious freedom – and Dartmouth – where the ship was anchored for repairs – will be visited in this expansive tour.

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February 2020 UK Tour

Wednesday 5th February – Doncaster, Cast
Thursday 6th February – Immingham, St Andrews Church
Friday 7th February – Droitwich, Norbury Theatre
Saturday 8th February – Gainsborough, Trinity Arts Centre
Sunday 9th February – Boston, BlackFridayars Theatre and Arts Centre
Tuesday 11th February – Harwich, St Nicholas Church
Wednesday 12th February – London Southwark, Cathedral
Thursday 13th February – Southampton, Central Hall
Friday 14th February – Dartmouth, Flavel Arts Centre
Saturday 15th February – Plymouth, St Andrews Church

Beans On Toast announces new album and tour dates

Beans On Toast

The cult songwriter Beans On Toast announces the title of his next studio album, plus an extensive run of UK dates for Winter 2019/20. A Climate Emergency?  Boris as PM?  Rail-melting heat waves?  A No-Deal Brexit? Beans’ new album could only ever be called one thing: The Inevitable Train Wreck.

For now he’s holding his cards quite close to his chest, but he’s promised “a rock’n’roll album about our dying planet”.

The new release from the Essex folk hero will find him searching for hope and change in what may be Earth’s darkest hour.

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On-track for a 25 date tour across the nation this Winter, catch Beans On Toast playing songs from The Inevitable Train Wreck and his huge back catalogue at the following UK venues from 4th December 2019 and into whatever 2020 brings:

Tour Dates


04 – READING Face Bar
06 – PLYMOUTH Junction
07 – SWANSEA Garage
08 – STROUD Prince Albert
10 – GUILDFORD Boileroom
11 – CAMBRIDGE Portland Arms
12 – DERBY Venue
13 – NORWICH Arts Centre
14 – BEDFORD Esquires
18 – SHEFFIELD Leadmill (steel stage)
19 – STOKE Sugarmill
20 – LIVERPOOL Phase One
21 – COLCHESTER Three Wise Monkeys


31 – BRIGHTON The Haunt


01 – BRISTOL Trinity Center
06 – CARDIFF The Globe
07 – LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
08 – BIRMINGHAM Castle & Falcon
09 – NOTTINGHAM Bodega
12 – NEWCASTLE Tyne Bank Brewery
13 – EDINBURGH Old Dr Bells Baths
14 – MANCHESTER Gorilla
15 – LONDON Dome

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

May Monday 21st Anniversary Tour : 1st – 13th November 2019 

May Monday
Photograph by Marion Gobel

Karen Tweed and Timo Alakotila aka May Monday are touring the UK playing England, Scotland, Ireland, and the Welsh border in November and celebrating 21 years of friendship.

Karen Tweed (piano accordion) and Timo Alakotila (piano) met in Denmark in 1998, released their seminal CD May Monday in 2001 which gained international acclaim and was voted CD of the year by BBC Late Junction‘s presenter Fiona Talkington. Two albums followed – Midnight May Monday and now Midsummer May Monday and this tour celebrates 21 years of their superb music and great friendship. Timo, based in Helsinki and Karen, based in Orkney are inspirational creatives, composers and teachers – their collaboration combines Karen’s wacky, mercurial and vivacious wizardry with Timo’s quiet genius. Both teach on music courses at Sibelius Academy in Finland, Newcastle University and The World Academy of Music and Dance at Limerick University while Timo’s music was featured in this year’s BBC Proms at The Royal Albet Hall, London.

Mostly they perform music that goes beyond words and genre.

Artist’s website: https://www.karentweed.com/


Tour dates:

Friday 1st November
Orkney Arts Society, King Street Halls, Kirkwall KW15 1JF
Concert: 7.30pm £12 non-members/£10 members £2 schoolchildren
Info: 07415 456307

Saturday 2nd November
Hatton Castle, Newtyle, Angus PH12 8UN
Please park in the village.
2-5pm Mixed Instrument Workshop (£20)
Concert: 8pm (£10 donation)
Info: hattoncastle@gmail.com

Sunday 3rd November
Acoustic House Concert
Concert: 8pm
Info/tickets: karenstweed27@gmail.com
Limited tickets available.

Monday 4th November (lunchtime)
Elgar’s Birthplace Museum, The Firs, Crown East Lane, Lower Broadheath, Worcestershire WR2 6RH
Concert: 1pm   £8 – on the door.
Info: 07415 456307

Monday 4th November (evening)
Christchurch, Newmarket Road, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire GL6 ODQ
Concert: 7.30pm
£10 advance/£12 – on the door £3 schoolchildren
Info: 07415 456307

Wednesday 6th November
Folk Degree Course teaching

Thursday 7th November
The Sage, Gateshead, St. Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quays, Gateshead NE8 2JR

Friday 8th November
Teaching at The Fosbrooks Folk Education Trust

Barefield Community Centre, Co. Clare.
2pm Instrumental Workshops (Int/Adv) €10
Concert: 3pm €15 full/€10 students
Workshop & concert rate and family rate available.
Advance booking required.
Info: +353 87 2229813

Monday 11th November
World Academy of Music and Dance, Limerick University, Ireland
Traditional Music Degree /MA teaching

Tuesday 12th November
World Academy of Music and Dance, Limerick University, Ireland
Concert: 1pm Free admission

Wednesday 13th November
Rhydycroesau Village Hall, Oswestry SY10 7JE
Concert: 8pm (BYO drink) £13 adults/£8 children
With Special Guests Brackenbury & Neilson
Info: Rowanthorn Shop, Oswestry 01691 791403 / 01948 710218

Peter Knight’s Gigspanner announce November tour dates

Peter Knight's Gigspanner
Photograph by Elly Lucas

Peter Knight’s Gigspanner are a unique force in British folk music. Their virtuoso 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.’

The trio was formed by legendary fiddle player Peter Knight, who as part of Steeleye Span’s classic lineup, helped invent a brand of folk rock that is still influential today, and it says much about the nature of his musical outlook and curiosity that, after half a century of innovation, he is still as willing as ever to move in bold new directions. His present touring and recording commitments find him working with BBC Folk Award winners Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin (Edgelarks) and John Spiers.

Peter Knight’s Gigspanner has gone on to establish a reputation for being one of the most genuinely inventive forces on the British folk scene, and it is noteworthy that Malcolm Taylor MBE, former Library Director of The English Folk Dance and Song Society, wrote that the trio belongs to the same group of ground-breaking musicians as Shirley and Dolly Collins, Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and Bellowhead…”keeping in touch with the root whilst developing a divergent and creative branch for themselves”

Characterised by riotous inventiveness, technically gifted individual playing and subtle collaborative interaction, Gigspanner take self-penned material along with music rooted in the British Isles and beyond, with the flick of a bow, a finely chosen chord or slip of a beat, produce richly atmospheric arrangements, with notes seemingly plucked from the stars and rhythms from the equator.

Artists’ website: www.gigspanner.com

‘Green Gravel’ – official video:

Gigspanner Trio – November Tour Dates

2 Private Concert

3 Oswestry, Hermon Chapel

5 Aberystwyth,Ceredigion Museum

6 Cardigan, Theatre Mwldan

7 Builth Wells, Wyeside Arts Centre

8 Marlborough Folk and Roots, Marlborough Town Hall

9 Wotton under Edge, Under the Edge Arts

10 Hitchin Folk Club

12 Westcliff on Sea, Hoy at Anchor Folk Club

13 Walton on Thames, Riverhouse Barn Arts Centre for Walton Folk

14 Rye, Community Centre at Conduit Lane

15 Fareham, Ashcroft Arts Centre

16 Shaftesbury, Arts Centre