Wednesday 29 July 2015





August is traditionally a quiet month for folk venues mainly due to the fact everyone is at festivals and one of the biggest events in the Midlands this month is the Shrewsbury Folk Festival. It runs from Friday August 28 until Monday August 31. 

Richard Thompson. Photo Ron Sleznak
The Richard Thompson Electric Trio is headlining the Sunday gig and the festival line-up for Friday is Dawes, Florida, Fran McGillivray & Mike Burke, Harare, Jig Doll, Kate Rusby, Mawkin, Nancy Kerr & the Sweet Visitor Band, O’Hooley & Tidow, Paula Ryan, Steve Knightley, The Laners, The Teacups and Winter Wilson.
On Saturday you can enjoy Barra MacNeils, Bird ScarersBlowzabellaBoondock HippyBoundless BrothersCoope Boyes and Simpson present In Flanders Fields, Gilded ThievesGordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm BoysJack HarrisJanet Russell, Josienne Clarke & Ben WalkerLiam Robinson Dance BandLucy Ward, Mawkin, Oysterband special, Oysters3 - featuring discussions, songs and storytelling, Penny Barfield, Pete Hopkins, Rath Band, Sharon ShannonSpirit of Djembe, Teacups,Ten Strings & a Goat Skin, The Laners, The WilsonsUkulele Orchestra of Great BritainVertical Expression, Winter Wilson and The Young’uns.
This will be followed on Sunday by Amadou Diagne, Boondock Hippy, Boundless Brothers, Gilded Thieves, GlorystrokesGranny’s AtticGren Bartley, Jack Harris, John Jones & The Reluctant RamblersJonathan Byrd & The SentimentalsMary Humphreys & AnahataMoon BrotherNew Rope String BandPatsy ReidPiva, Richard Thompson, Roaring TrowmenRoss Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson, Spirit of Djemebe, Spooky Men’s Chorale, Teacups, Ten Strings & a Goat Skin, The Demon Barbers, The Laners, The Wilsons, The Young’uns, Threepenny Bit and White Feather.
Then on the final day you can enjoy CalanCatrin Finch & Seckou KeitaFalse LightsFolk Slam, Granny’s Attic, James Brothers, John Jones & the Reluctant Ramblers, Jonathan Byrd & The Sentimentals, La Bottine SourianteMary Humphreys & Anahata, Moon Brother, Piva, Ray Cooper, The Wilsons and Whapweasel.
There are also a great many activities and mini-festivals going on around the main stages and include dance sessions, Morris Dancers and displays, a childrens' and a youth festival andTuneworks workshops for musicians of all abilities. They are also laying on entertainment for when you are stuck in queue and there is a wide variety of cultural and craft workshops available and look out for the special projects.
There is an impressive selection of ticket options from singles to families and it's best to check the website for options and availability.

If you are thinking of going to Fairport Convention's Cropredy Festival then make a note that the online box office  closes at midnight on Saturday August 8. The festival runs from August 13 to 15. Be aware, last year the event sold out in advance and there are no promises there will be any tickets left for selling on the gate. Even if you do manage to get tickets on the day, please remember, advance ticket holders get priority on the campsites. Those without camping stickers will have to queue up and buy them before setting up camp.
The traditional pre-Cropredy warm-up shows at The Mill Arts Centre, Banbury are pretty much sold out.

Shropshire instrumental band Whalebone will be playing Round About the Crooked Steeple - Celebrating Simon Evans' 120th birthday at Cleobury Mortimer Sports & Social Club on Saturday August 8. The venue is at Love Lane, Cleobury Mortimer, Kidderminster, Worcestershire DY14 8PE
Tickets are £8 or £6 if you are a friend of the library.
Tickets can be bought from the library or online from but this will incur a booking fee.
On Saturday, August 29 the band plays at Woodlands St Mary Village Hall as part of their Seasons Tour 2015. The show starts at 7.30pm at the venue in School Lane, Woodlands St Mary,
Hungerford, Berkshire RG17 7SR. Tel 01488 71971. Tickets are £5, children are allowed in free.
Refreshments will be available.

The Spooky Men's Chorale
A really cool Birmingham venue which is often overshadowed by the Town Hall and Symphony Hall is the MAC where on August 20 you can see The Spooky Men's Chorale. The show starts at 7.30pm with tickets £18 or £16 with concessions, the show is being staged in the outdoor arena.

Fringe by the Sea from North Berwick has Brummie Joan Armatrading headlining in a two-hour celebration of her career from Palais des Glaces Spiegeltent, 7.30 pm Tuesday August 11. Tickets sold out in 27 minutes, but a large screen relay of the concert will be available.
Tickets are available from the ticket booth on Quality Street (North Berwick) and via the Fringe by the Sea website -

On Saturday August 1 The Robin2, Bilston Wolverhampton welcomes Midlands folk rock band Quill who have a guest drummer in Bev Bevan and come with support from Dudley band Primer. Advance tickets are £12.50 or £15 on the night.

The Julie July Band will be performing songs from The Sandy Denny Songbook at the Kitchen Garden Cafe, King's Heath, Birmingham on Sunday August 9. Tickets are £8 in advance or £10 on the door which open at 7.30pm with the show starting 8pm.


Stick in the Wheel will be releasing their debut album, From Here, on September 25. You can pre-order the album from their website.

Seth Lakeman has announced his support for the December tour on all five dates will be Wildwood Kin and in Plymouth only, Cara Dillon will be joining him as a very special guest. Tickets for these shows are on sale now. Josh Rouse will be support for October leg of the tour.

Nerina Pallot's new album The Sound and the Fury is due for release in September but can be pre-ordered from her website.

Soundpost workshops run by Fay Hield and Jon Boden are open for booking now and will include members of The Full English including Sam Sweeney, Martin Simpson and Nancy Kerr. The weekend runs from October 23 to 25 and it's advised to get your booking in as early as possible.

Babajack are releasing their live album Summer 2015 on October 10 for more details visit their website.

Award-winning O'Hooley and Tiddow will be releasing a not so secret new album Summat's Brewin' which is " a celebration of real ale and real people" and which will drive a tour of micro breweries up and down the country.

Ange Hardy's new album Esteesee is officially released on October 4, however she has created a folk radio treasure hunt so from August 17-28 she will be involved with 14 different radio shows, all of which will play one exclusive track from the new album in consecutive order. Then at the end of the month all the radio stations will get a copy of the album to share with its listeners.

Jenna Witts
Sidmouth Folk Week runs from July 31 until August 7 and includes The Poozies, probably one of the first outings for the Ewan McLennan Trio, Altan, Pete Morton, Show of Hands, Jenna Witts, Vin Garbutt, Blowzabella, The Spooky Men's Chorale, Julie Fowlis, Leveret, Faustus and many more.

Straddling this and last month is the Cambridge Folk FestivalJoan Baez is one of the headliners at the event which runs from July 31 to August 2 at Cherry Hinton Hall. The packed bill of performers include Passenger, Frank Turner, Joan Armatrading, The ProclaimersPunch Brothers, John Butler Trio, Wilko Johnson, KatzenjammerTreacherous Orchestra, Gretchen Peters, The SkatalitesSimpson, Cutting & Kerr , Rhiannon Giddens, Shooglenifty, Peggy Seeger, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Amsterdam Klezmer Band XL, The Lone Bellow and many many more. Tickets are on sale and for more information visit the website.

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