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Spiers and Knight – FolkEast announces suprise collaboration between Folk Legends for opening night

“Peter Knight can spin the world on his bow” – Sir Terry Pratchett

“Spiers’ blend of elegant, rhythmic and virtuoso playing and easy-going folk club banter is a quiet triumph” – Robin Denselow, The Guardian

A unique collaboration between folk legends Peter Knight and John Spiers has been announced for East Anglia’s fast-rising festival FolkEast.

The three day festival at the glorious 300-acre Suffolk estate of 16 th century Glemham Hall will witness the debut performance of the pair on the Broad Roots stage on opening night (August 19).

The content of their set is largely under wraps but is likely to include English, Galician and Quebecois tune sets as well as improvised music. The pair have been busy rehearsing at Spiers’ Oxfordshire home with Spiers tweeting:

“Great fun today playing tunes with Peter Knight seeing what we can come up with for @FolkEast in a few weeks time … Sounding good!”

On his website Peter Knight wrote: “I’ve been booked to play one of my favourite festivals and so has John Spiers. It had to be done. We will be playing a set together – I’m loving it. He should be called John InSpires. What a lovely player.

“During the rehearsals I recorded John playing some tunes, so I’m playing along with them to learn them, before weaving some of my own musical thoughts and expression into them. So pop along to FolkEast festival and check it out.”

Few fiddlers can hold a candle to Knight whose presence has enriched the British music scene for more than four decades. Since his departure from folk-rock’s iconic Steeleye Span at the end of 2013, Knight has turned his full attentions to his boundary blurring Gigspanner trio conjuring up a completely distinctive sound.

Now living in south-west France, the London-born musician will also be centre stage at FolkEast for “An Audience with Peter Knight” which he has dubbed ‘Everything you ever wanted to know about Steeleye but were afraid to ask!” and he will host a violin masterclass.

Hugely popular John Spiers is one of the leading squeezebox players of his generation. With the final curtain falling on the mighty multiple award-winning band Bellowhead as well as the duo Spiers & Boden, “Squeezy” is busy pursuing a new solo route.

‘Britain’s best known exponent of melodeon and concertina’ will also perform a solo show at FolkEast and host a melodeon workshop.

www.peterknight.net

www.johnspiers.co.uk

FolkEast will be packing a punch with no less than seven 2016 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards nominees, three of whom emerged as winners : Best Musician: Andy Cutting, Best Emerging Act (Horizon Award): Sam Kelly and Best Group: FolkEast’s irrepressible patrons The Young ‘uns.

Other nominees appearing at FolkEast are Eliza Carthy (Folk Singer of the Year); Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts (Best Duo) Dan Walsh (Musician of the Year) and Sam Carter (Best Album nomination for Salvor – his False Lights collaboration with Jim Moray) – an act whose first ever appearance was at FolkEast.

The event boasts three powerhouse band headliners – the musical whirlwind that is Eliza Carthy’s Wayward Band, a rare appearance by seven-piece Blowzabella and an exclusive UK festival performance by Irish supergroup Usher’s Island, whose number includes Andy Irvine and Mike McGoldrick.

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Andy Irvine brings new Irish Supergroup Usher’s Island to FolkEast for Exclusive UK Festival Appearance

~ Feted Irish folk musician Irvine interviewed about band’s special headline performance coming up at the fifth FolkEast festival ~

The finale of the three-day East Anglian festival FolkEast promises to be memorable one with an exclusive main stage UK festival appearance by Irish supergroup Usher’s Island (Sunday, August 21).

The shiny new five-piece band unites two ground-breaking generations of Irish musicians. The revered figures of Donal Lunny, Andy Irvine and Paddy Glackin link the band’s heritage back to the glory days of the hugely popular Planxty and The Bothy Band while two of today’s leading heirs to these pioneers – signature guitarist John Doyle and virtuoso flautist Mike McGoldrick – bring their experience of Celtic and other international roots styles to the potent mix.

Now in his 70s Andy Irvine has been influential in traditional Irish music for over five decades. Here he reveals more about his own career and the new pedigree line-up heading to Suffolk.

 – Your first career path was as an actor – why did you turn your back on acting for music?

I was a great child actor! But like many another child, I found it hard to become a good ‘juvenile’ actor. At the age of 14, I had lost confidence and assuredness. But as my parents had made the huge decision to terminate my academic studies in order that I should become a professional actor, I felt I had to continue acting, which I did until I was 21.

– What was the first piece of music that made you want to be a musician?

Julian Bream, who was my teacher of classical guitar, played some Bach for me at my first lesson. I was utterly destroyed emotionally!

– You had an Irish mother and Scottish father so were Celtic music influences there for you from an early age?

No, my parents were interested in very different music! My mother had been a musical comedy actress before the war and my father liked early jazz.

– When did you first play in public?

I was employed to play at a posh birthday party in the south of England in 1961. I think my fee was 15 guineas, train fare and hotel.

– Have you always toured your solo career alongside band work – do you enjoy the mix?

Yes, I’ve always regarded myself as a soloist even in bands. I like both sides of that coin.

– Which of the songs you have written is closest to your heart?

Possibly ‘Never Tire of the Road’ about Woody Guthrie and possibly “The Wind Blows over the Danube”.

– How influential has Woody Guthrie been in your career?

First and foremost! I am still heavily influenced by Woody.

– Are there still lots of questions you would like to ask Woody if he were here today?

Yes, many! I often dream about travelling with Woody!

– You’ve formed some fine bands over the years from Sweeney’s Men to Patrick Street and played with some brilliant Irish musicians in various collaborations but ground-breaking Planxty was the “star” – clearly seen as one of the most influential Irish traditional music bands ever. What led to the formation of Planxty and what does Planxty mean?

Christy Moore was making an album for Bill Leader in 1971 and insisted on making it in Ireland with Irish musicians. We all got on really well together, both socially and musically, while rehearsing and recording it and it was a great pleasure when he asked us later if we’d care to form a band. What Planxty means is still a mystery. Turlough O’Carolan, the blind 17 th century travelling Irish harper was the only man to use the word and many possible translations of it from the Irish have been suggested. Whatever the meaning of the word, he used it as a dedication to his patrons – like Planxty George Brabazon.

– Planxty have already reformed a few times over the years – the last being 2004 – might they ever play together again?

That’s a leading question! Suffice to say that there are no plans!

– When and how did Usher’s Island come to be?

When Planxty finished in 2005, Donal, Liam and myself were keen to continue the same format and we added Paddy Glackin and called ourselves LAPD. That came to an end when Liam dropped out. Still wanting to play such music, we three asked John Doyle and Mike McGoldrick if they would join and they said yes!

– You play mandolin, mandola, bouzouki, harmonica and sometimes hurdy-gurdy. At FolkEast there is something called Instrumental – a festival within a festival. it will bring together some of the country’s top luthiers and instrument makers from Wales, Kent, Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire and beyond – anything from bagpipes, fiddles and even banjos made from biscuit tins! Is that something that might interest you?!

Certainly. I’ll wander round that area with great interest!

– How was Usher’s Island’s debut performance at Celtic Connections?

Brilliant! We may not have played all that often but we’ve had some rare successes!

– Are there plans to tour with Usher’s Island or record an album?

A CD is in the offing and we would hope to have it out by the end of the year. I’m not sure we would be looking at touring but further festivals and events like that would be of interest.

– You’ve had an impressive and enduring career in folk music for five decades, playing many instruments, writing songs that don’t pull punches and travelling the world, soaking up all kinds of influences – are there are parts of the world you are still keen to explore or anything you would like to do musically that you haven’t had a chance to try yet?

Yes. I want to make an album of songs my mother used to sing! With a jazz influence. The matter is in hand. I’d like to visit the North of Canada and that area of East Asia that contains countries like Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

– As an Irishman with a keen eye for political song and a frequent traveller across Europe what did you make of the Brexit vote?

I think the British people will come to regret it!

See Usher’s Island performances earlier this year in Ireland

www.youtube.com/watch?v=71heUk3lRPs and www.youtube.com/watch?v=YF18I5a2vno

Adding to the Irish flavour at FolkEast will be an appearance by the engaging Dublin singer and bouzouki player Daoiri Farrell. Daoiri, who has performed alongside some of the greatest names in Irish folk, from Christy Moore to Dervish, became All Ireland Champion Singer at the Fleadh in County Derry in 2013 and won the Danny Kyle Award at Celtic Connections last year with the Irish trad band Four Winds. See Daoiri performing The Creggan White Hare www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrW8rC89DJA

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‘Best Group’ The Young ‘uns to appear on BBC-tv’s Springwatch Unsprung this Friday

Triumphant trio The Young ‘uns are to make a guest appearance on BBC-tv’s Springwatch popular spin-off show, Springwatch Unsprung, on Friday (June 3).

Teesside’s Sean Cooney, Michael Hughes and David Eagle, together one of folk’s hottest properties, made it two in a row last month when they scooped the 2016 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards coveted “Best Group” title for the second year running at the Royal Albert Hall.

Patrons of the UK’s most easterly music festival FolkEast, which takes place at the Elizabethan Glemham Hall every August, the band will forge further links with Suffolk when they head for RSPB Minsmere on Friday.

They are due to be interviewed by presenter Chris Packham in front of a studio audience, talking about how nature has inspired their music. Earlier this week they were at Minsmere for an alfresco recording of a new Sean Cooney-penned song entitled Lapwings.

Also guesting will be Great British Sewing Bee judge Patrick Grant.

The programme goes out on BBC Two at 18.30 hrs. www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07dx3gr

The Young’ uns, whose successful 2016 has also included their first tour of Australia, are heading out for a Canadian tour in July.

Like Chris Packham, the North-East trio look on Suffolk as something of a second home. Building on a growing collaboration they will appear on the main stage of FolkEast this August with Aldeburgh Young Musicians, performing music from Suffolk folk singers including Bob Hart, who released the seminal Songs from Suffolk album in the Seventies.

The three friends discovered folk music at their local pub in their native Stockton-on-Tees and have been honing their craft for over a decade.

They have proved themselves an engaging, unique proposition – writing and performing a capella or subtly accompanied songs that tell it how it is alongside traditional songs from their native North-East and further afield.

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ALL ABOARD! FOLKEAST 2016 MAKES TRACKS TO HISTORIC GLEMHAM HALL AS IT LAUNCHES ITS 5TH YEAR IN STYLE

See video: www.youtube.com/embed/N3rHWoJP65I

tps://youtu.beN3rHWoJP65I

FolkEast 2016 has been launched in style, offering a sneak preview of the stellar Suffolk cornucopia that will be on offer for its fifth year this August.

The three day festival takes place at the glorious 300-acre Suffolk estate of 16th century Glemham Hall, the home of Major Philip Hope-Cobbold, between August 19-21.

Festival Patrons The Young ‘uns at Glemham Hall with festival director John Marshall-Potter

Last week the show got on the road – and rails – when around 150 people attended the launch of the UK’s most easterly music festival.

To mark East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership’s sponsorship of a free rail-bus link for festival goers this year festival organisers John and Becky Marshall-Potter had arranged for a special “Music Train” to start the day, on the Ipswich to Lowestoft line.

Travelling to Wickham Market station (the nearest stop to the festival site) train travellers and guests were treated to music and acapella songs from three of the top acts appearing at FolkEast 2016 – Canterbury’s stand-out young singer songwriter Luke Jackson, former Bellowhead member and ‘Britain’s best known exponent of melodeon and concertina’ John Spiers and the festival’s exuberant patrons The Young ‘uns who recently clinched the Best Group title at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for the second year running. Flying the flag for Suffolk were home grown duo The Broadside Boys and bodhran ace John Ward (pictured).

 A Sixties coach took launch attendees on to the Garden Marquee at Glemham Hall where owner Major Philip Hope Cobbold and John Marshall-Potter made welcome speeches before more live music performances.

Demonstrating the broad remit of the festival there were representatives from its own newspaper The Eastfolk Chronicle, FolkEast Art Arcade, The Imagined Suffolk Food Village which supplies locally sourced food at the event and Social Knitworks who create “yarn bomb” features for the site. Also on hand was Otis Luxton who masterminds ‘Instrumental’, a festival within the festival, bringing together instrument makers from around the UK to demonstrate and sell their creations. There was also a chance to sample this year’s festival ale from Lowestoft’s Green Jack Brewing Company – Green Jackalope – named after a mythical creature which has become an emblem for the festival!

There was nothing to top FolkEast. Suffused with good vibrations, quirky, charming, and possessed of a joie de vivre that even Sunday’s rain couldn’t dampen, this was a festival that got almost everything right.”

(Jeremy Searle)

After the event Becky Marshall Potter said: “We had a great response – and the sun shone!  It was a top day of music, arts and food – a perfect way to get the 2016 festival officially out of the starting blocks.”

John Spiers (left) and Luke Jackson

John Marshall-Potter said the train element of the day had proved popular. “We are delighted to receive support from the East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership which will allow us to double the number of buses from Wickham Market Station to the festival site this year. Each year the festival grows substantially and this will help reduce the number of vehicles using the A12 and boost our desire to become one of the greenest festivals in Europe”.

FolkEast has already been awarded a silver Suffolk Carbon Charter for their work reducing carbon footprint with 85% of the event’s infrastructure sourced from Suffolk companies, 90% of all food sold on site being produced in the county and 95% of the ales and ciders.

This year’s dynamic line up boasts three powerhouse band headliners – the musical whirlwind that is Eliza Carthy’s Wayward Band, a rare appearance by seven-piece Blowzabella and an exclusive UK festival performance by Irish supergroup Usher’s Island, uniting two ground-breaking generations of Irish musicians.

The revered figures of Donal Lunny, Andy Irvine and Paddy Glackin link the band’s heritage back to the glory days of Planxty and The Bothy Band while two of today’s leading heirs to these pioneers – signature guitarist John Doyle and virtuoso flautist Mike McGoldrick – bring their experience of Celtic and other international roots styles to the potent mix.

Adding to the Irish flavour will be an appearance by the engaging Dublin singer and bouzouki player Daoiri Farrell.

FolkEast will pack a punch with no less than seven 2016 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards nominees, three of whom emerged as winners: Best Musician: Andy Cutting, Best Emerging Act (Horizon Award): Sam Kelly and Best Group: FolkEast’s patrons The Young ‘uns.

Other nominees appearing at FolkEast are Eliza Carthy (Folk Singer of the Year); Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts (Best Duo) Dan Walsh (Musician of the Year) and Sam Carter (Best Album nomination for Salvor – his False Lights collaboration with Jim Moray) – an act whose first ever appearance was at FolkEast.

Legendary fiddler Peter Knight (who recently stood down from folk-rock’s iconic Steeleye Span) will be centre stage for “An Audience with Peter Knight” and will also host a violin masterclass.

Also announced are celebrated singer songwriter Chris Wood, Scottish folksters Rura, captivating Yorkshire duo O’Hooley & Tidow and

Cambridge-based band The Willows, feted for their “absolutely gorgeous sound” by Bob Harris. Other attractions are children’s activities, yoga, poetry, storytelling, foraging walks and talks, horse drawn carriage rides and tours of Glemham Hall by Major Philip Hope-Cobbold himself.

FolkEast’s six stages include St Andrew’s Church, the open air Sunset Stage and the hidden woodland Soapbox Stage which is run entirely by solar power from a double decker bus. Leading names announced for this stage are Norwich-based singer songwriter Jess Morgan; the gypsy folk touting Solana and powerful political singer songwriter Grace Petrie.

Building on a growing collaboration, The Young’ uns will appear on the main stage with members of Aldeburgh Young Musicians, performing music from Suffolk folk singers including Bob Hart who released the seminal Songs from Suffolk album in the Seventies.

And FolkEast will be stepping up its dance programme with a plethora of Morris sides. For the first time there will be a dedicated dance venue hosting daily ceilidhs and workshops. The Swing Museum, a quartet performing Hot Club Style Swing from the 1930s and 1940s, will also provide the music for the festival’s first Tea Dance.

Coming on board this year as a media partner will be BBC Radio Suffolk who have chosen FolkEast as their Suffolk festival for 2016.

Advance weekend tickets are available price £115(adult), £98 (full time students, senior citizens) and £65 for Youth tickets (12-17 year old) which must be purchased with an adult ticket. Family weekend tickets for two adults and two 12-17 year olds are £320. A great offer sees free admission for children aged 11 and under and optional camping is included with all weekend tickets, with a £25 charge for campervans and caravans.

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“FESTIVAL WITH A DIFFERENCE” FOLKEAST ANNOUNCES MORE TOP NAMES FOR AUGUST LINE-UP

 

~ Peter Knight, John Spiers, O’Hooley & Tidow and Daoiri Farrell join 2016 BBC Folk Awards winners Andy Cutting, Sam Kelly and The Young’ uns for the Suffolk extravaganza

~ Exclusive UK festival performance by Irish supergroup Usher’s Island~

Folk legend Peter Knight has been announced for East Anglia’s fast-rising festival FolkEast which returns to Suffolk for a fifth year this August. The three day festival takes place at the glorious 300-acre Suffolk estate of 16th century Glemham Hall, the home of Major Philip Hope-Cobbold, between August 19-21.

Few fiddlers can hold a candle to the iconic Knight whose presence has enriched the British music scene for more than four decades.

“Peter Knight can spin the world on his bow” – Sir Terry Pratchett

Since his departure from folk-rock’s iconic Steeleye Span at the end of 2013, Knight has turned his full attentions to his boundary blurring Gigspanner trio conjuring up a completely distinctive sound.

Now living in south-west France, the London-born musician will be centre stage at FolkEast for “An Audience with Peter Knight” and will also be hosting a violin masterclass.

Also joining the line-up will be the hugely popular John Spiers – one of the leading squeezebox players of his generation. With the final curtain falling on the mighty multiple award-winning band Bellowhead as well as the duo Spiers & Boden, “Squeezy” is pursuing a new solo route. ‘Britain’s best known exponent of melodeon and concertina’ will perform a solo show at FolkEast and host a melodeon workshop.

Also just announced are captivating Yorkshire duo O’Hooley & Tidow Innovative, witty and moving, Belinda and Heidi have been described as “lionhearted trailblazers of contemporary music and songwriting”.

FolkEast will be packing a punch with no less than seven 2016 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards nominees, three of whom emerged as winners at the Royal Albert Hall this week : Best Musician: Andy Cutting, Best Emerging Act (Horizon Award): Sam Kelly and Best Group: FolkEast’s irrepressible patrons The Young ‘uns.

Other nominees appearing at FolkEast are Eliza Carthy (Folk Singer of the Year); Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts (Best Duo) Dan Walsh (Musician of the Year) and Sam Carter (Best Album nomination for Salvor – his False Lights collaboration with Jim Moray) – an act whose first ever appearance was at FolkEast.

The event boasts three powerhouse band headliners – the musical whirlwind that is Eliza Carthy’s Wayward Band, a rare appearance by seven-piece Blowzabella and an exclusive UK festival performance by Irish supergroup Usher’s Island.

Usher’s Island unites two ground-breaking generations of Irish musicians. The revered figures of Donal Lunny, Andy Irvine and Paddy Glackin link the band’s heritage back to the glory days of Planxty and The Bothy Band while two of today’s leading heirs to these pioneers – signature guitarist John Doyle and virtuoso flautist Mike McGoldrick – bring their experience of Celtic and other international roots styles to the potent mix.

Adding to the Irish flavour will be an appearance by the engaging Dublin singer and bouzouki player Daoiri Farrell.

Daoiri, who has performed alongside some of the greatest names in Irish folk, from Christy Moore to Dervish, became All Ireland Champion Singer at the Fleadh in County Derry in 2013 and won the Danny Kyle Award at Celtic Connections last year with the Irish trad band Four Winds. See Daoiri performing The Creggan White Hare www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrW8rC89DJA

Also announced are Cambridge-based band The Willows, feted for their “absolutely gorgeous sound” by Bob Harris, offering a mellifluous melding of Americana, bluegrass and English folk, from foot stompers to ballads.

One of the most singular events on the UK festival calendar, FolkEast was launched five years ago by husband and wife John and Becky Marshall-Potter.

Rekindling the ancient Eastfolk moots on the Glemham Hall estate where folk from the East would meet at harvest time for “a bit of a do”, this gathering has Suffolk running through it like letters in a stick of rock – from its locally sourced fare in The Imagined Suffolk Food Village to its festival ales from Lowestoft brewery Green Jack, its own newspaper The Eastfolk Chronicle and its Suffolk Punch horses.

Other attractions are an instrument makers’ festival, the FolkEast Art Arcade, donkey rides, children’s activities, yoga, poetry, storytelling, foraging walks and talks, horse drawn carriage rides and tours of Glemham Hall by Major Philip Hope-Cobbold himself. Its six stages include St Andrew’s Church, the open air Sunset Stage and the hidden woodland Soapbox Stage which is run entirely by solar power from a double decker bus. In Suffolk’s 2016 ‘Creating the Greenest County’ Awards, FolkEast were runners up in the Sustainable Tourism category.

Leading names announced for this stage are Norwich-based singer songwriter Jess Morgan; the gypsy folk touting Solana and powerful political singer songwriter Grace Petrie who recently toured with Lady Maisery and O’Hooley & Tidow in the line-up Coven.

Building on a growing collaboration, festival patrons The Young’ uns will appear on the main stage together with members of Aldeburgh Young Musicians performing music from Suffolk folk singers including Bob Hart who released the seminal Songs from Suffolk album in the Seventies.

Also confirmed are London-based contemporary folk band Effra, the trio TReD, Shetland/Devon duo Ross Couper and Tom Oakes and Bristol sea shanty group The Roaring Trowmen.

Previously announced acts include singer songwriter Chris Wood, award winning singer songwriter Luke Jackson, Scottish folksters Rura and previous BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winners Moore, Moss and Rutter.

Punk poet and songwriter Attila the Stockbroker who supported acts like The Jam and New Model Army in the Eighties, will be offering his sharply observed verse while North Essex poet Martin Newell will join forces with East Anglia’s The Hosepipe Band who have composed music for some of his longer poems.

FolkEast will be stepping up its dance programme with a plethora of Morris sides. For the first time there will be a dedicated dance venue hosting daily ceilidhs and workshops. The Swing Museum, a quartet performing Hot Club Style Swing from the 1930s and 1940s, will also provide the music for the festival’s first Tea Dance.

Coming on board this year as a media partner will be BBC Radio Suffolk who have chosen FolkEast as their Suffolk festival for 2016.

Advance weekend tickets are available price £115(adult), £98 (full time students, senior citizens) and £65 for Youth tickets (12-17 year old) which must be purchased with an adult ticket. Family weekend tickets for two adults and two 12-17 year olds are £320. A great offer sees free admission for children aged 11 and under and optional camping is included with all weekend tickets, with a £25 charge for campervans and caravans.

Located close to the A12, the festival will also be running shuttle buses to the site from Wickham Market station.

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The feast that is FolkEast returns for a fifth year this August- first acts announced include seven 2016 BBC Folk Awards nominees

~ Exclusive UK festival performance by Irish supergroup Usher’s Island~

~BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Musician of the Year nominees Andy Cutting & Dan Walsh & Folk Singer of the Year nominee Eliza Carthy in line-up~

~ Early Bird tickets now sold out ~

East Anglia’s fast-rising “new kid on the block” festival FolkEast is back for a fifth year this August, proving why it is nothing like other music festivals.

The three day festival will return to the glorious 300-acre Suffolk estate of 16th century Glemham Hall, the home of Major Philip Hope-Cobbold, between August 19-21.

And it will be packing a punch with no less than seven 2016 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards nominees and three powerhouse band headliners – the musical whirlwind that is Eliza Carthy’s Wayward Band, a rare appearance by seven-piece Blowzabella and an exclusive UK festival performance by Irish supergroup Usher’s Island.

Eliza Carthy & Blowzabella

Eliza’s box fresh, high energy all-star band includes Sam Sweeney from Bellowhead, David Delarre (Mawkin) and Lucy Farrell from the Emily Portman Trio while alternative acoustic roots band Blowzabella include diatonic accordion wizard Andy Cutting (2016 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Musician of the Year nominee) among their number.

Blowzabella are a unique band – their driving, drone-based sound played with a strong sense of melody and rhythmic expertise. They compose their own music influenced by English and European traditional dance tunes.

Usher’s Island, who so far have only been seen at last year’s Celtic Connections unites two ground-breaking generations of Irish musicians. The revered figures of Donal Lunny, Andy Irvine and Paddy Glackin link the band’s heritage back to the glory days of Planxty and The Bothy Band while two of today’s leading heirs to these pioneers – signature guitarist John Doyle and virtuoso flautist Mike McGoldrick, bring their experience of Celtic and other international roots styles to the potent mix.

They will spearhead the line-up for one of the most singular events on the UK festival calendar, launched five years ago by husband and wife John and Becky Marshall-Potter.

Some festivals are much like the next. Mirror headliners and nothing to denote where in the country you are once you’re inside the gates.

Not FolkEast. True exponents of ‘the road less travelled’ it showcases Suffolk with a keen eye, giving a real sense of place.

Rekindling the ancient Eastfolk moots on the Glemham Hall estate where for three days a year the folk from the East would meet kith and kin at harvest time for “a bit of a do”, this gathering has Suffolk running through it like letters in a stick of rock – from its locally sourced fare in The Imagined Suffolk Food Village to its suppliers, its arts and crafts, its own newspaper The Eastfolk Chronicle and its Suffolk Punch horses.

Where else would you get a refreshingly different line-up across six stages (including St Andrew’s Church, the open air Sunset Stage and the hidden woodland Soapbox Stage), Suffolk food fare, two authentic ‘village’ pubs serving festival ales, an instrument makers’ festival, the FolkEast Art Arcade, donkey rides, children’s activities, yoga, poetry, storytelling, horse drawn carriage rides and tours of Glemham Hall by Major Philip Cobbold himself!

Other confirmed acts include FolkEast’s irrepressible patrons The Young’ uns (Sean Cooney, David Eagle and Michael Hughes).

Popular winners of the 2015 Best Group title at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and just nominated for the same title in 2016 they will be staging a performance with Aldeburgh Young Musicians at FolkEast and hosting the Broadroots Stage where they will interview some of the performers – recorded for a live podcast. David Eagle, the trio’s comedic genius, will bring the Saturday night to a riotous close when he performs his exclusive DJ Set “The Young’uns in the Mix”, mixing traditional folk songs with memorable pop and rock classics.

Andy Irvine will give a solo performance as well as his band appearance and Andy Cutting will take to the stage in both Blowzabella and the fizzing new Anglo-French trio Topette!!

Performances by fearless singer songwriter Chris Wood (right) and banjo star Dan Walsh (2016 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Musician of the Year nominee) promise to be highlights as well as award winning Scottish folksters Rura (boasting three BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year finalists), and previous BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winners Moore, Moss and Rutter.

Two of the finest young voices on the circuit – Kent’s award winning singer songwriter Luke Jackson and Norfolk’s former Britain’s Got Talent finalist Sam Kelly (with his band The Lost Boys) are also among acts to seek out. Sam is nominated for the Horizon Award for best emerging act at this year’s Folk Awards.

Yes it’s a music festival with folk music at its core but be careful how you interpret that – there’s a lot more going on besides music. FolkEast just feels right – in 10 years’ time I reckon you’ll wish you’d have been there from the start.”Grapevine Magazine

Top duos appearing will be BBC Folk Awards Best Duo nominees Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts (left) new act John Dipper and Dave Malkin and The Hut People while engaging singer songwriter Sam Carter returns to the place where he and Jim Moray launched the stand-out band False Lights(nominated for Best Album at the 2016 Folk Awards).

Suffolk performers will include The Broadside Boys, The Busking Sharks, the duo Shorelark, The John Ward Band and Halesworth-based singer songwriter Daisy Vaughan. The Soapbox Stage, curated by local promoter Amy Wragg will introduce up-and-coming musicians and poets from the region.

Coming on board this year as a media partner will be BBC Radio Suffolk who have chosen FolkEast as their Suffolk festival for 2016. They will have an on-site presence throughout the three days.

FolkEast will be stepping up its dance programme with a plethora of Morris sides from The Witchmen to Ouse Washes. There will be a dedicated dance venue hosting a wide range of events including daily ceilidhs, workshops and late night dance sessions. Other workshops will cover song, instruments, writing, art and heritage crafts.

And this year’s event will see the return of Instrumental, a festival within a festival. Bigger and better for 2016, it will bring together some of the country’s top instruments makers. Standing out on site with a 10’ high steel guitar at the entrance it will see top craftsmen from Wales, Kent, Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire and beyond bringing along anything from bagpipes, fiddles and even banjos made from biscuit tins!

Early Bird tickets for the festival are now sold out. Advance weekend tickets are available price £115(adult), £98 (full time students, senior citizens) and £65 for Youth tickets (12-17 year old) which must be purchased with an adult ticket. Family weekend tickets for two adults and two 12-17 year olds are £320. A great offer sees free admission for children aged 11 and under and optional camping is included with all weekend tickets, with a £25 charge for campervans and caravans.

Located close to the A12, the festival will also be running shuttle buses to the site from Wickham Market station.

More performers and a launch event will be announced soon.

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