|Show of Hands
Show of Hands 2010 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards double winners, Show of Hands, return to the Bristol Folk Festival in a year that will see Steve Knightley and Phil Beer celebrating 20 years of their incredible partnership that has put them right at the top of British folk.
Together with regular double bass player Miranda Skyes, singer-songwriter Knightly and multi-instrumental wizard Beer will mark their milestone year with a fourth return to the Royal Albert Hall next Easter before heading to Bristol to headline the festival's first day on Saturday May 5.
Saturday night’s headliners Show of Hands will have Rodney Branigan and Karine Polwart as their special guests for the evening session.
A passionate and perceptive performer and a fine singer-songwriter, Karine, as Word Magazine says, "takes the heart to places few singers even know exist." She has just released her first DVD Where Tomorrow Starts and will be showcasing tracks from her fifth studio album at Bristol, just ahead of its Summer 2012 release.
The “impossibly talented” Rodney Branigan, who hails from Amarillo, Texas, reunites with Show of Hands, who he has previously supported on tour. His progressive folk fusion music and simultaneous playing of two guitars will doubtless be making jaws drop.
Together with his Trio (Tia Files on guitar and Adam Briwon on bodhran), feted young Scottish Highland fiddler Rua Macmillan will be getting festival goers on their feet on the opening Saturday when he whips up a storm of a festival ceilidh, before his mainstage appearance.
Rua will also be running the ever-popular afternoon Ceilidh as well.
Miranda Skyes and Rex Preston
Miranda's rich, spine-tingling vocals and strident yet sensitive double bass playing are much in demand and she enjoys working alongside some of the finest musicians in the world. Increasingly in demand both as a double bassist and singer and has worked with Pressgang, Robb Johnson, Firebrand, Steafan Hannigan, Leon Rosselson, Bill jones, Roger Wilson, Alan Burke, Kirsty McGee, Jenny Crook, Reg Meuross and Little Johnny England, and has toured throughout the United Kingdom, North America, Canada and Europe. Rex Preston was last seen on the folk & acoustic scene when his band Jane on Thunder reached the final of the BBC Young Folk Awards. Since then he has been building a strong portfolio of electronic music.
Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts
BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award nominees Katriona Gilmore & Jamie Roberts combine astounding lap-tapping guitar, fiery fiddle and their trademark harmonies with considerable songwriting talent to make a truly distinctive sound. Aside from their work together, both Katriona and Jamie are in high demand as session musicians and have played on several acclaimed albums. Katriona has previously toured as part of Tiny Tin Lady and with Rosie Doonan's Snapdragons and recently joined the newly reformed Albion Band, while Jamie has played with young English traditionalists Kerfuffle since 2007.
Sam has been playing the fiddle since he was six and he now plays and teaches the instrument. Since 2002 Sweeney has been at the forefront of East Midlands-based folk band Kerfuffle, playing fiddle, viola, cajon, and singing. In 2009 Sam released Catches and Glees with new duo Hannah James and Sam Sweeney. Sam is also a member of the award-winning big folk band Bellowhead as of 2008. As of 2009 he tours with Jon Boden and the Remant Kings where he sometimes
plays drums and fiddle simultaneously. Sam has also been part of the Fay Hield's new album and, along with Rob Harbron, tours with Fay Hield.
Described as “the most exciting harmony-infused Americana/pop outfit to emerge on the scene since Mumford & Sons”. Since their appearance at Fairport's Cropredy Convention in 2010 with their outstanding songs and girl appeal, ahab have fast become a hot favourite on the festival circuit.
The winner of several awards including the 2011 BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award, Ewan McLennan is an emerging folk artist that has been making headlines. His music combines traditional folk, with an inevitable focus on the music of Scotland, as well as his own self-penned songs that are receiving critical acclaim in their own right. His guitar playing, described as 'stunning', is influenced by the rigour and technique from his years of studying classical guitar, while retaining a unique and compelling sound in which his immersion in folk music is evident.
Blair has already fitted a lot into his young life. From an early age he was encouraged to take to the stage by his parents. He has now blossomed into a greatly admired singer, guitarist and actor. Some of the highlights of his performing career include playing Little Willy Wonka in the blockbuster movie of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (Johnny Depp starred as the grown-up Willy), touring for the whole of last Autumn in a new production of the play “Lark Rise” and appearing at festivals such as Big Session, Towersey and Cropredy.
“Quality musicianship & passion in equal measure.....heartflet lyrics, distinctive & soaring vocals, high quality compositions, natural charm…...Delightfully strong" - Acoustic Magazine
Described by Steve Knightley (Show Of Hands) as “An Impassioned & Ambitious Young Songwriter” Cole Stacey is an acclaimed singer & songwriter hailing from Devon, England. His rapidly growing & rising reputation has led him to have; opened sell-out shows for award winning acts such as Midge Ure, Hayseed Dixie, Cara Dillon & Martin Simpson , had continued airplay on BBC Radio & stations across the world & performed headline tours/shows nationwide. In September 2011 he was one of only a handful of artists asked by Acoustic Magazine to perform at The London Acoustic Guitar Show & he is now currently performing headline shows alongside the extremely gifted multi-instrumentalist Joseph O’Keefe.
O`Hooley & Tidow
The chamber-folk duo behind The Fragile, their genre-defying new album on the No Masters label. Their debut Silent June, was one of MOJO Magazine's Top 10 Folk Albums of 2010. The duo's beautifully unusual songs touch on everything from dark folk tales, ecology and cross-dressing historical figures through to the invisibility of the elderly and the global economy. 2012 sees them touring the country with their irrestible blend of thought-provoking song, striking arrangements, sublime harmonies and cheeky Northern banter.
Young Roots singer-songwriter from Canterbury, Kent, Luke has been performing live since the age of 13. Over the past 2 years Luke has opened for many great artists including Miranda Sykes & Rex Preston, Megson, Little Johnny England, Lucy Ward, Boo Hewerdine, Martyn Joseph, Steve Knightley, Show of Hands, Chris Wood and Paul Brady amongst others. Luke's debut EP 'Run & Hide', available from the website, iTunes and gigs, was released in July 2011, generating a lot of interest in his songwriting, voice and playing. He also had a great summer of festivals, including Abbotsbury Festival with Show of Hands, Sidmouth Folk Festival and Greenbelt and ended the year at a packed Folk in the Barn in December opening for Martyn Joseph.
Gaz Brookfield is a solo acoustic artist based in Bristol. Since embarking on his solo career in 2006 he has been fortunate enough to have played with artists such as Newton Faulkner, Frank Turner, Nik Kershaw, Nigel Clark (Dodgy), Mark Morris (Bluetones), Pete Doherty, Ben Marwood, Jim Lockey, Jake Morley, Dave McPherson (InMe) and many more. His songs are instantly accessible, everyman tales of life, love and everything else in between. Played in a folk-ish style with occasional use of the guitar as a percussive tool, as well as some two handed venturing around the fretboard, Gaz's simple yet poignant songwriting captures the imagination of the listener. In 2010 Gaz won Acoustic magazine's Beautiful Days Singer Songwriter competition, earning him, amongst other prizes, a slot on the Big Top stage at the Beautiful Days festival. On December 21st, 2011, he became the first unsigned solo act to ever sell out The Fleece, Bristol.
and many more...
For all other acts please have a look at the Saturday 5th programme.
The Bristol Folk Festival returns to Colston Hall bringing with it some of the biggest names in folk music. As well as up to 40 top musical performers, the festival will feature Morris dancers, mummers and maypoles, ceilidhs, workshops, singalong sessions, a market and posh loos! Don't miss this fantastic, family-friendly celebration of the best in folk music.