Cupola brings together Sarah Matthews, Doug Eunson and Oli Matthews as a three-piece band, playing English and European dance music, and singing English songs in three-part harmony. Melodeons, fiddles, viola, soprano saxophone, vocals, clarinet and hurdy-gurdy combine effortlessly with sublime harmonies. The choice of material is inspired by tradition and contemporary works alike, with the emphasis on great melodies and intricate arrangements.
Gren Bartley Trio
Gren Bartley has released three albums in the last three years, each one revealing an increasingly prolific musician and exceptional writer of exceptional songs. Now touring with a string section (Julia Disney-fiddle/keyboard/vocals and Sarah Smout-cello/vocals) and three part harmonies, he has created something truly original in the underground folk scene. Already described as “enthralling, persuasive and masterly” (Roots magazine), if you think you’ve heard something like it before… then think again.
Mick Ryan and Paul Downes
Mick is well known on the folk scene as a fine singer of traditional and original songs. Having written both comic and serious material for the very popular band “Crows” in the 1980’s, he has since written for radio and a series of highly successful folk musicals, ‘A Tollpuddle Man’ (with Graham Moore); ‘A Day’s Work’; ‘The Voyage’; ‘Tanks for the Memory’ and, recently, ‘The Navvy’s Wife.’
He was described by “Folk Roots” as ‘definitely the most underrated singer in the country’.
Paul has a rich musical background that has progressed through working with Phil Beer, The Arizona Smoke Revue, Pete Seeger and, currently, The Joyce Gang. He has toured virtually every concert venue, theatre and festival in Britain (including two appearances at the Royal Albert Hall with Show of Hands); plus many tours in the USA and Europe.
Together, Mick and Paul provide singing, music and entertainment of the very highest quality.
Dave Fletcher & Bill Whaley
Well known throughout their native county, Lincolnshire, both for their club work as a duo and as members of the Higgledy Piggledy band, Dave and Bill present a fine blend of voices mellowed by nearly thirty years of singing together. Their selection of songs encompasses both ancient and modern accompanied in traditional style on English, duet and anglo concertina, harmonium, and melodeon, with enough choruses to satisfy any audience.
After a long absence pursuing his passion for restoring gypsy caravans, Nick is back on the folk scene thrilling audiences up and down the country with his fine, rich voice and superb guitar playing. An acknowledged expert on and collector of West Country Folk Songs, he has been singing traditional folk songs for over forty years and has had a huge influence in the world of folk with praise from the likes of award winning English Folk musician Jim Moray who includes some of Nick’s songs in his latest album. A night not to be missed.
Wendy has sung many different styles of music but, with folk music, she has found songs that come from the heart and allow great emotional expression and social commentary. Originally from Glasgow, Wendy performs a mixture of British and Scottish folk material plus self-penned songs. She generally accompanies herself on guitar, but whistles, bodhran, mandolin and accordion have also been known to appear.
Voted “Best Performer” at 2012 Chippenham Festival
Les joined the Royal Navy at the age of 15 and attended a Naval College, which may explain his writing songs of the sea and ships.
Originally writing for the UK folk scene he now writes for many genres including theatre, video and the internet.
Les appears at many festivals in all parts of the UK and is very proud of the fact that he has never failed to be re-booked. His songs have, unsurprisingly, enjoyed success nationally and internationally, for he is a great singer of great songs.
The Rubber Wellies
Travelling folksters The Rubber Wellies present their intimate cabaret of joyful sing-a-long choruses and general participatory fun. Pirates, lizards, cracks in the wall and Basque cyclists all inhabit the songscape!!. And a beard snood….
Based in Bilbao and Dublin they have spent the last five years touring Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe playing bars, cafes, theatres, circus galas, festivals and folk clubs alike.
Son of renowned American song collectors, Anne & Frank Warner, Jeff is steeped in the American tradition and is one of the nation’s foremost performer/interpreters of traditional music. His songs from the lumber camps, fishing villages, mountain tops and whaling ports of America connect 21st century audiences with the everyday lives—and artistry—of 19th century Americans. Songs rich in local history and a sense of place, bring us the latest news from the distant past.
Ciaran Algar and Greg Russell
The duo both come from musical households and began to develop their musical skills long before joining forces. Ciaran, originally a member of TRI, became All Ireland and All Britain fiddle Champion before the age of 16 and Greg had begun a career as a solo musician supporting acts such as Karine Polwart and Lau, amongst others.
With exquisite songs and exhilarating tunes, the duo received their just reward in 2013 being named the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk artists of the year.
One of the most sought after young acts on the English Folk Scene.
Andy has a passion for traditional song. He cut his teeth as a performer in his late teens on the overseas forces folk club circuit, and upon his return to the UK he became involved in folk bands in and around Torbay.
His programme often includes a selection from the manuscripts of Baring-Gould, the 19th century West Country folksong collector. In addition to solo work, Andy has also collaborated with Jackie Oates and Steve Turner and often performs with hurdy-gurdy and cittern maestro, Steve Tyler.
“An excellent singer and instrumentalist who performs with the skill and taste of a master craftsman” – Pete Coe.
Dana and Susan Robinson
Dana and Susan Robinson are two guitar-playing, banjo-frailing, fiddle-sawing, and harmony-singing interpreters of the American experience. Their unique blend of contemporary songwriting and traditional Appalachian music bring to their performances a deep understanding of America’s musical heritage.
The genius of a Dana and Susan performance lies in their ability to capture the imagination of their audience, evoking a transformative experience that touches on the deepest humanity. They can make the audience howl with laughter or hush with poignant reflection as they take them on a journey across America and convey the mystery and wonder of the places they visit.
Debra’s warm, captivating alto carries each folk song she chooses with such emotion that you’ll forget that they were written by others. She performs acappella and with guitar in the great tradition of folk singers like Joan Baez and Judy Collins, with a clear vocal that calls forth the ghosts of long past but can also offer a more modern urban landscape.
Collaboration of three respected singer/songwriters, Kate Bramley, Edwina Hayes and Simon Haworth. Original songs and close harmonies, accompanied by guitars, bass, cittern, mandola, mandolin and fiddle. From toe tapping folk to haunting ballads, this trio have toured worldwide as independent musicians but obviously have an infectious enjoyment for this new collaboration that is guaranteed to leave audiences with a smile on their faces.
Sarah McQuaid’s voice has been likened to malt whiskey, melted chocolate and “honey poured into wine”. Her new album “Walking Into White” (2015) is her most honest and adventurous work to date, with a depth and texture of soundscape that are reflected in her beautifully crafted live shows. A captivating performer, she seduces her audience with cheeky banter and stories from the road, as well as with stunning musicianship; in her hands, the guitar becomes much more than merely an accompanying instrument.
“Likely to make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck” – Aled Jones (BBC Radio 2)
Grant Baynham is a formidable songwriter and has an energy and enthusiasm to create a high-powered performance of material from virtually every genre you can imagine.
Hilary Spencer has one of the most staggering voices in British acoustic music. Most folk fans will know her well from her work with top trio Artisan and, in this great duo, you can savour a demonstration of her breath-taking range of tone and mood.
“A one-man folk industry” was how Jim Lloyd described Pete Coe on “Folk on 2”. Pete has been a professional musician since 1971, playing at festivals, concerts, clubs, dances & schools throughout Britain, Europe, Asia, New Zealand & USA
His strong, distinctive voice is enhanced by his instrumental versatility, the ringing strings of his bouzouki, the sweet chords of his mountain dulcimer, the plaintive frailing banjo & the pulsing reeds of his melodeon. He’s also a country dance caller, creator & band musician. He sings, plays & step dances, sometimes all at once!
Steve Hicks and Lynn Goulbourn
Having first met in 2007, Steve and Lynn have fast become an established act on the folk and acoustic music scene in the UK and abroad. Their music is characterised by pure acoustic tones, reflective lyrics, well crafted arrangements and intricate, complex guitar work. Whilst the genres in their typical sets are wide ranging there is no compromise in quality and their live performances are interspersed with engaging anecdotes and humour.