The Leigh Folk Festival celebrates its 22nd year with another stunning line-up! This year’s event once again brings the cream of the folk scene to Leigh-on-Sea to offer music lovers, folk fans and festival goers great music, entertainment, dance and much more from Thursday 27 to Sunday 30 June.
Artistic Director of the festival, Paul Collier and his team have secured a fantastic selection of folk masters, new faces and old favourites whilst adding new elements to keep the festival fresh and vibrant. The splendid O’Hooley & Tidow, Scotland’s Alasdair Roberts, the wonderful duo of Nancy Kerr & James Fagan, and new ‘wyrd folk’ favourites Sproatly Smith will all be appearing over the festival weekend. As will the celebrated poet John Hegley, the great guitarist Michael Chapman, local heroes The Lucky Strikes, up and coming partnership Josienne Clarke & Ben Walker, and the hugely impressive Stephanie Hladowski & C. Joynes. Just from that short list from a total of over 150 acts, it’s obvious that 2013’s line-up is as strong as ever.
First performance of Hladowski & Joynes captured in The Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds, UK (Architects of Harmonic Rooms)
Alasdair Roberts Songs from the Shed Session
Sproatly Smith: Taken from the forthcoming album Times Is ‘n’ Times Was. Released early in 2013 by Folk Police Recordings in a limited vinyl edition of 250.
The celebrated Copper Family of Rottingdean performs at a special concert on Saturday 29 June at St. Clements Church, Leigh. As a centuries old dynasty of English traditional singing, they are completely unique, and are joined on the night by the legendary Shirley Collins who will be doing a fascinating audio-visual presentation on the folk song collecting exploits of Bob Copper in his native Sussex. This special double-header will be a must for all fans of traditional folk song. The concert starts at 6.30pm. Tickets are £12 and are available from www.leighfolkfestival.com.
Excerpted from Barry Callaghan’s film of the Copper Family made by Garland Films for the EFDSS and released as numbered video cassettes in 1986.
There are new developments for the Leigh Folk Festival in 2013 too. Old Leigh’s Bell Wharf will play host to the new South by South East (SXSE) stage, with a feast of Americana on Sunday, while there will be a new ‘Busker’s Square’ performance space in Grove End off Broadway West during Saturday afternoon, courtesy of WSS Media. Diverse and extended Sunday line-ups in the Clarendon Scout Hut, featuring programmes from the popular Squeezebox Folk organisers, Sundown Arts and the acclaimed Folk Police label, as well as a very fine roster in New Road Methodist Chapel mean that the event has lost none of its cutting edge credentials.
Leigh’s own Jack Forbes aided by Slow Loris kick off the Leigh Folk Festival on Thursday 27 June at Leigh Sailing Club with a premiere of his new show ‘Down The Hill To The Old Town’, while up at The Squeeze in Rectory Grove there will be a special Squeezebox Folk night, featuring Chris Ricketts, Greanvine and Crafting For Foes. There will be a full programme of events on Friday June 28, before Saturday 29’s daytime celebrations in the Library Gardens..
With a full programme of music across eight venues in Leigh Old Town on Sunday 30 June along with a mix of traditional and contemporary dance, poets, puppetry, comedy, kids’ events, sing-around and instrumental sessions, 2013 will be yet another vintage year for the Leigh Folk Festival.
For full details of all bands, events and ways to get involved as a volunteer, please go to www.leighfolkfestival.com.