Nominated for this year’s Mercury Music Prize the Portico Quartet play melodic, rhythmic music that mixes the inspiration of Philip Glass and Steve Reich with a very contemporary kind of improvisation – engagingly chiming themes delivered by steel pan-like Hang drums, saxophone and bass. “A singular talented outfit, pivoting on a beautifully lithe rhythm section and foregrounding Jack Wyllie’s fluent saxophone to a meditative and mesmerising effect ” Time Out Tickets £8, £7 Children £4
Peter Knight’s Gigspanner has been hailed by Songlines magazine as “another milestone in folk’s rebirth of cool moment”, but those in the know will tell you that there is far more to Gigspanner than meets the eye.
Fine British traditional music is to be expected from Steeleye Span’s legendary fiddle player, but Gigspanner’s musical reach probes into Eastern European, French, African and even Aboriginal influences. It is no surprise that author Terry Pratchett wrote that “Peter Knight can spin the world on his bow”. It is music played with a potency and love that leaves audiences spellbound.
Peter is joined by Roger Flack on Guitar, and Vincent Salzfaas on Congas and Djembe, both intelligent and powerful musicians in their own right. Together they promise “a blistering pace of a flamboyant musical world tour” (Lancashire Evening Post).
Gigspanner’s Debut Album ‘Lipreading the Poet’ was named as one of the best 15 Global Albums of 2009. But leave any pre-conceived ideas at the door, and ditch the pigeonholes. If you have a taste for “music of intelligently crafted brilliance” (Songlines magazine) there is something here to nurture your soul.
Hunter Muskett is an acoustic/electric 4-piece playing distinctive original songs in a folky, bluesy sometimes Americana vein. Great multi-part harmonies and strong songs with a rustic vibe and twist of West Coast rock.
Tickets £11, £10huntermuskett.com
A four day extravaganza of workshops, masterclasses and inspired performances ranging through jazz, flamenco, rock and blues to Renaissance music.
Thursday’s headline act is Mick Abrahams. The legendary Jethro Tull guitarist will be giving masterclasses in the afternoon as well as his solo accoustic set in the evening. Friday night is a double bill; psychedelic blues rock band The Moon Music Orchestra and Stonephace, the new jazz combo featuring Larry Stabbins (Working Week) and Adrian Utley (Portishead). Saturday’s classical day is headlined by the outstanding Silesian Guitar Octet and Sunday is early music day as the renowned Daughters of Elvin round off the whole symposium with their own multi-instrumental renaissance style. A host of other superb performers are scheduled throughout the four days. Click here for details of each day’s programme: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4, or download a PDF version of the Guitar Symposium flyer with full programme details. Produced by Ben Salfield Sponsored by Classic Cottages, SITA and Trevarno. Evening Performances £10.
‘None The Wiser’
Nominated Best Original Song ‘None the Wiser’ BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014
Folk Singer of the Year & Best Original Song ‘Hollow Point’ BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2011
Criticised by an art school lecturer as having “a remarkable eye for trivia” Chris Wood’s love of small things has made him one of England’s most vivid and arresting song writers. With gentle intelligence he weaves the tradition with his own contemporary parables. Hollow Point is his chilling ballad of the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezez and Wood’s feel for the sheer “one thing after another-ness” of life allows us, for the first time, to see the event through the eyes of the victim.
Joan Armatrading presented Chris with the 2011 BBC Radio Two Folk Singer Of The Year award before inviting him as special guest onto her Autumn 2012 tour. They played 51 cities and Wood found himself eavesdropping on conversations from pound shops to tea rooms, army recruiting centres to hotel saunas collecting the poetry of recession. His response is, None The Wiser, a fourth solo album released in Summer 2013. With humble hymns and sweeping statements from Alzheimers to William Blake, Wood lovingly takes the pulse of his homeland in what could be his best album yet.
Wood has worked and collaborated with a long list of artists, most recently Dizraeli, Billy Bragg, Eliza and Martin Carthy in Simon Emerson’s Imagined Village. His duet with Eliza added to the “Villager’s” winning another Folk Award for “Best Traditional Song”.
The Irish Times dubbed him ‘the renaissance man of English folk’ because his work extends beyond song writing into commissions for Radio 3 Between The Ears, Late Junction and The Essay. He has written for The Times and lectured at Newcastle and Limerick Universities. His setting of Blake’s Jerusalem features in Paul Gilroy’s lecture on poetry and music at Kings College London and Wood’s lyric Walk This World With Music is included in Michael Morpurgo’s latest collection.
Praise for ‘None The Wiser’:
“The title track alone is a masterpiece”
THE GUARDIAN ✰✰✰✰
“Remarkable for the settings as much as the lyrics.”
THE IRISH TIMES ✰✰✰✰✰
“Nobody comes even close to equaling his bird’s-eye-view”
“a rarefied talent, both as writer and interpreter.”
“a quietly powerful, astute and vivid set of songs…A folk–soul album”
£12 with £11 concessions.