To crown a hugely successful 12 months following the release of their award-winning fourth album, Broadside, Bellowhead will be embarking on a major tour of the UK throughout November. The 17-date run, already selling-out fast, provides audiences up and down the land with the opportunity to catch a band voted ‘Best Live Group’ at the BBC Folk Awards an unparalleled five times, and described by the Independent as “surely the best live act in the country”.
Renowned for the intense drama and theatricality of their live performances, since their formation in 2004 Bellowhead have occupied a unique place in Britain’s musical landscape: a blistering 11-piece band fusing English folk, funk, rock, world, jazz, music hall and classical music which has also succeeded in placing themselves at the cutting edge of the contemporary music scene.
Following a hectic and highly enjoyable summer of horticulturally themed festival performances (including Shrewsbury Flower Show & Kew Gardens) as well as Cambridge Folk Festival and Wickerman amongst others too, the 2013 autumn tour marks the beginning of another busy and exciting period for the band.
To coincide with the tour, on Dec 1st, Bellowhead will be releasing a proper old fashioned sort of Christmas single, ‘Christmas Bells/Jingle Bells’, but with a customary Bellowhead sort of a twist.
Released in October 2012, Broadside was the best-selling independent folk album of 2012, reaching the Top 20 and being voted Best Album at the 2013 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. The second Bellowhead album to be produced by the legendary John Leckie (Stone Roses/Radiohead/Muse), Broadside is poised to achieve silver status, emulating the success of its predecessor, 2010’s Hedonism, which topped fRoots Critics’ Poll for Best Album of 2010 and won Bellowhead Best Group in Songlines 2011 Music Awards (read our interview).
While their recorded exploits continue to go from strength to strength, on stage Bellowhead remain dedicated to producing special occasions full of drama and spectacle. Artists-in-Residence at the Southbank Centre and veterans of the BBC Proms, Radio 2’s 2Day and Live in Hyde Park, they have become justly famed for their curation of a host of unforgettable live events. At the end of 2013 they will continue their custom of seeing in the New Year in riotous style. Previous New Year’s Eve parties at the Southbank Centre have included such wonders as boxer-shorts bingo, an ABBA ceilidh, and sailor and circus themed performances. This time the end of year revelry will be held at Bristol Old Vic, with the promise of sundry delights and surprises in store for the lucky partygoers.
And – the excitement continues into 2014 with the publication of a beautiful Bellowhead songbook by the prestigious Faber Music publishing house. The following month the band will celebrate their 10th anniversary with two very special concerts ; Manchester Bridgwater Hall on 19th April and London’s favourite village hall, The Royal Albert Hall on 20th April. A fitting finale to a remarkable decade for an unbeatable band.
07 BURY ST EDMUNDS, The Apex – SOLD OUT
08 WARRINGTON, Parr Hall – SOLD OUT
09 CHELTENHAM, Town Hall – SOLD OUT
10 BLACKBURN, King George’s Hall
11 AYLESBURY, Waterside Theatre
12 BIRMINGHAM, Symphony Hall – LAST FEW
13 GUILDFORD, G Live
14 BEDFORD, Corn Exchange – LAST FEW
15 WREXHAM, William Aston Hall
16 PORTSMOUTH, Guildhall
17 EXETER, Great Hall
18 TRURO, Hall for Cornwall
19 FROME, Cheese & Grain – SOLD OUT
20 LEICESTER, De Montfort Hall
21 ABERYSTWYTH, Arts Centre
22 CHESTERFIELD, Winding Wheel – SOLD OUT
23 FOLKESTONE, Leas Cliff Hall
31 BRISTOL Colston Hall
24 DUBLIN The Button Factory