Last month we announced how Gate to Southwell (Thursday 9th until Sunday 12th June 2016) were getting warmed up for their 2016 10th Anniversary with a host of big names including Show of Hands, Eddi Reader, Kila, False Lights, Moulettes, Jackie Oates Trio, The Henry Girls and more. Folk Radio UK’s Johnny Whalley attended last year’s festival which you can read about in his three-part review here. Amongst the well known names he also acknowledged how the festival had “developed quite a reputation for breaking new talent, both home grown and imported.” Those they’ve championed include The Young’uns whom they gave their first big festival gig six years ago
This year’s festival is no exception with a great lineup of homegrown talent including:
West Somerset-based singer and songwriter Ange Hardy who has continued to rise in prominence including a very worthy BBC Folk Award nomination. Her latest release ‘Esteesee’ was one of our Featured Albums of the Month (review here) for which Ange also wrote several guest posts. Here she is with a new live video performing with Lukas Drinkwater at St Pancras Church:
Also performing is another Folk Radio UK favourite in the form Cornish five-piece Flats & Sharps. We recently premiered their lead track ‘My Life’ from their new album ‘King Of My Mind’, out February 12th 2016. Here they are performing Blue Train at this year’s Purbeck Valley Folk Festival:
If you love the voices of The Watersons and The Young’uns then you’ll love acapella quartet The Teacups made up of Alex Cumming, Kate Locksley, Rosie Calvert and Will Finn. I just couldn’t resist sharing this video they did last Christmas – a cover of ‘Don’t let the Bells End’ by The Darkness…
Also back by popular demand is Birmingham’s Conservatoire Folk Ensemble for which Joe Broughton has been director of since ’98. Shifting what was a 45-piece band last year on an annual tour is no easy task…and you need a fairly large stage as you can see at last year’s Gate to Southwell:
Another band they’re championing is Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys whose long-awaited debut album is also one of our Featured Albums of the Month (review here). As Helen said “The Lost Boys is an assured and polished debut album which showcases a wide range of Sam Kelly’s undoubted talents as a singer/songwriter gifted with a musical maturity beyond his years”.
The future of folk is in great hands and festivals like Gate to Southwell play a crucial role in helping pave the future careers of these artists by exposing them to large audiences that attend each year.
Whilst they have a keen eye on the homegrown talent they also look beyond those horizons as revealed in their recent press release: Further developing the festival’s international reputation for eclectic acoustic roots music, there are great names from much further afield. Following an autumn reconnaissance trip to Prince Edward Island, Canada, by two of the festival organizers, there are the first English appearances by the extraordinary French-Canadian multi-instrumental trio Vishtèn and the flame-haired country singer- songwriter and superb guitarist Meaghan Blanchard.
Plus, being flown in specially to headline at The Ukulele Festival of Great Britain, the following weekend, Southwell welcomes the bizarre Californian nine-piece act Ooks Of Hazzard whose covers of rock classics by Led Zeppelin, Bad Company and Lynyrd Skynyrd have brought the uke players “worldwide attention” (according to the LA Times).
Other acts already announced to appear at the tenth festival celebrations, which runs from Thursday 9th until Sunday 12th June 2016, include the popular trad-Irish-meets-Americana of Donegal’s The Henry Girls, the electrifying dance energy of Hérétique and the “charismatic psychedelic classical folk” of Brighton’s Moulettes.
Early Bird tickets are now on sale via the Gate To Southwell website – www.gtsf.uk