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Event Date and Time
Fri 05 July - Sun 07 July
All Day




Folk Festival at CONKERS  5th – 7th July 2013

Friday Night (Concert A) – SOLD OUT

Bellowhead + Mama Rosin - Wed 21 November 2012...

Bellowhead + Mama Rosin – Wed 21 November 2012 -0139 (Photo credit: The Queen’s Hall)

The Monster Ceilidh Band
Hand On Heart Trio
(plus The Friday Late Night Extra Concert)

Saturday Afternoon (Concert B)
Norma Waterson, Eliza Carthy & The Gift Band
Union Jill
Bonfire Radicals
Pete White’s Suitcase Circus

Saturday Evening (Concert C)
Home Service
Katriona Gilmore and Jamie Roberts Trio
Dan Walsh
Pete White’s Suitcase Circus
(plus The Saturday Late Night Extra Concert)

Sunday Afternoon (Concert D)
Demon Barbers
Tir Na Nog
Kelly’s Heroes
Cathryn Craig and Brian Willoughby

Concert A (Friday evening) £25.00 – SOLD OUT
Concert B (Saturday afternoon) £18.00 – book online
Concert C (Saturday evening) £20.00 – book online
Concert D (Sunday afternoon) £16.00 – book online

You can Book Online Here

Discount combination tickets:
AB    £38.00
AC    £40.00
AD    £36.00
BC    £33.00
BD    £29.00
CD    £31.00
ABC £53.00
ABD £49.00
ACD £51.00
BCD £44.00

Weekend pass (adult) £64.00 – you can purchase the weekend pass online – For all combination tickets please call 01283 216633

Children half price to all concerts except Concert A (Bellowhead)
Children under 4 free to all concerts
Children and Weekend Passes:  One child free with an adult holding a Weekend Pass

Camping £7 per unit per night

Information on the bands!

Bellowhead are a blistering 11-piece band fusing folk, funk, rock, world, jazz, music hall and classical music. The Independent described Bellowhead as “surely the best live act in the country”, while they have been voted ‘Best Live Group’ at the BBC Folk Awards an unparalleled five times, in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011.

Having won ‘Best Group’ and ‘Best Live Band’ again at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Bellowhead made a milestone performance in 2007 at the re-opening of London’s Royal Festival Hall. In the winter of that year they were appointed Artists-in-Residence at London’s prestigious Southbank Centre, following in the footsteps of Saint Etienne.

They have relished the role, staging a series of innovative concerts and unique collaborations, including 2007’s raucous Christmas Revels event and ‘A Dirty Weekend With Bellowhead’, their sell-out St Valentine’s Day concert at Queen Elizabeth Hall. In the summer of 2008, meanwhile, the band performed at the Proms in the Park and at the Proms Folk Day concert, where they brought a roaring Royal Albert Hall to its feet and, by common consent, utterly stole the show.

‘Hedonism’, released in October 2010, proved their most remarkable record to date. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios and produced by the legendary John Leckie (Stone Roses, Radiohead, Muse), it fully captured the energy, innovation and excitement of the Bellowhead live experience. A landmark record in the band’s history, ‘Hedonism’ embellished their traditional English core with the vast, grandiose theatricality of Arcade Fire, the unsparing, bittersweet worldview of Jacques Brel, and a sprinkling of the kind of humour and whimsy that recalled the Bonzo Dog Band, all the while emphasising their ability to really dig down deep into a groove. Uncut called it “their best yet by several splendidly raucous miles”, while Q declared that “English folk has never seen or heard anything like Bellowhead at full throttle.” ‘Hedonism’ topped fRoots Critics’ Poll for Best Album of 2010 and won Bellowhead Best Group in Songlines 2011 Music Awards.

At the heart of this remarkable 11-piece band is a group of friends who create extraordinary things when they are in a room together. They fizz back and forth between the establishment and the fringes, dazzling and charming their way from the Southbank to the Big Chill, from Later…. with Jools Holland to the snug sofas of BBC 1’s Breakfast Time.

They recently recorded the theme tune to Ambridge Extra, the spin-off from the legendary BBC Radio 4 soap The Archers. This followed hot on the heels of their version of The Simpsons’ theme music, recorded to celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary.
Bellowhead are:

Jon Boden : Vocals / Fiddle / Tambourine
John Spiers : Melodeon / Concertina
Benji Kirkpatrick : Guitar / Bouzouki / Mandolin / Banjo
Rachael McShane : Cello / Fiddle
Paul Sartin : Fiddle / Oboe
Sam Sweeney : Fiddle / Bagpipes
Pete Flood : Percussion
Ed Neuhauser : Sousaphone
Justin Thurgur : Trombone
Brendan Kelly : Saxophones / Bass Clarinet
Andy Mellon : Trumpet


Home Service was originally formed from the creative nucleus of the Albion Band line-up that produced the classic “Rise Up Like the Sun” album, singer and songwriter John Tams feeling the need to explore more contemporary themes in his writing and its musical interpretation. Songs like “Walk my Way”, “Alright Jack” and “Sorrow” were anthemic observations on the unfairness of Thatcherite Britain and its social inequalities. The crushing irony is that they sound as potent now as they did then, thereby making this band’s work as relevant as ever.

Home Service was also born out of a desire to work with a brass section, an idea which emerged when trumpet player Howard Evans joined the Albion Band to work on Bill Bryden’s original production of “Lark Rise” at the National Theatre.

During its relatively short life in the mid-eighties, Home Service produced three albums (all still available from Fledg’ling Records), headlined at major festivals including Cambridge, Cropredy and Dranouter. They toured extensively, but were probably seen and heard by the greatest number of people when they provided music for the National Theatre’s highly acclaimed production of “The Mysteries”. This epic trilogy adapted by poet Tony Harrison, ran for many years at the National and Lyceum Theatres, was filmed for television and reprised for the Millennium Celebrations. One of the band’s three albums is derived from the music for this production.

The third album, “Alright Jack”, as well as featuring some of John Tams’ most socially aware songs, also boasts one of the band’s finest achievements, their reworking of composer Percy Grainger’s “Lincolnshire Posy” orchestral suite. Here, the band re-interpret the work, imagining how Grainger may have presented it decades later, using the instruments, technology and rock rhythm section of a new musical era.

The reunion of this classic band is due to the recent discovery of some previously unheard (let alone unreleased) live recordings made by their former sound engineer. These recordings, made at the Cambridge Folk Festival in 1986, exhibit a power and commitment that was never fully captured in the studio, so a live album release immediately became inevitable. With an album to promote in 2011, live performances were the obvious next step. So, with everyone truly inspired by the might of these recorded performances, Home Service is once again back in business.

Having enjoyed a dozen major gigs, their reformation has proved to be a thoroughly resounding success, receiving ecstatic ovations from audiences, old and new alike.  Their new live album outsold all other titles on sale at the 2011 Cropredy Festival.  The year culminated in their nominations for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in two categories – Best Group and Best Live Act.  At the ceremony, they walked off with the award for Best Live Act – truly the icing on the cake!

Home Service is:
John Tams – Lead Vocal, Guitar
Graeme Taylor – Electric Guitar, Vocals
Steve King – Keyboards, Vocals
Jon Davie – Bass Guitar, Vocals
Michael Gregory – Drums
Paul Archibald – Trumpet, Flugel Horn
Roger Williams – Trombones
Andy Findon – Reeds

The Gift Band will be in its full force – Eliza Carthy, Norma Waterson, Martin Carthy, David “Demus” Donnelly on bass and David Delarre on guitar and vocals.

Best Album ‘Gift’ & Best Traditional Track ‘Poor Wayfaring Stranger’ – BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2010

Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy are not simply two of the country’s finest exponents of traditional song.  With their rich, distinctive and authentic voices, mother and daughter have effortlessly engaged new audiences and admirers across two generations.  Between them, Norma and Eliza have 3 Mercury Prize nominations and have both been presented with BBC Folk Singer of the Year awards (Norma in 2001, Eliza in 2003), as well as innumerable other accolades.

Although they have recorded together on many occasions over the years, THE GIFT is Norma and Eliza’s first, much anticipated, duo release which will be supported by a major landmark tour.  Norma and Eliza will be touring as a six piece band including Martin Carthy. They will be performing traditional classics as well as some unexpected gems. Norma Waterson & Eliza Carthy bring all these songs to life, no matter what the origin, with their wonderfully versatile and compassionate voices. THE GIFT was released by long-standing label, Topic Records, in July 2010.

Shortly following the 2010 Gift Band tour Norma became seriously ill. Now, well on the road to recovery, Norma made her triumphant return to singing live at Sidmouth FolkWeek last summer before playing some special select dates in December with Eliza and The Gift Band. This is one not to be missed!

‘Long may the dynasty flourish’ BBC Review

‘A very powerful collection’ **** London Evening Standard

‘Thoughtful, sad and exquisite’ ***** Telegraph

‘Impressive, even by their standards’ ***** The Guardian

‘Two of Britain’s most striking voices’ **** Mojo

‘…these two extraordinary voices have never sounded better’ Net Rhythms

‘…a delightful album’ **** Financial Times

Youthful, enthralling, charismatic, and with bags of attitude, The Demon Barbers combine solid traditional acoustic instruments and songs with the added oomph of a superbly tight rhythm section, making a unique and captivating sound.  Energetic fiddle and passionate, distinctive vocals ‘with driven punchy tunes and songs, drum ‘n’ bass grooves, the odd touch of ska and an ever present feel that this lot know how to party’ result in ‘one of the most exciting acts around… check them out….’  fRoots

Over the last 11 years The Demon Barbers have gained major recognition for their original and imaginative approach to traditional music and song.  They take mainly traditional ballads, strange tales of myth and magic and coil them, twist them, make them stranger, darker, becoming tales of Gothic danger; they don’t so much make folk rock as make traditional tales quiver and pulse with electricity.

Damien Barber – vocals/guitar/concertina
Bryony Griffith – fiddle/vocals
Will Hampson – melodeon/harmonica
Lee Sykes – electric bass
Ben Griffith – drums

‘One of the best live bands I’ve ever seen. If you get a chance to see them – don’t miss it – they are brilliant’ Mike Harding, BBC Radio 2

“The hugely likeable Demon Barbers demonstrate again exactly why they won that Best Live Act gong at the BBC Folk Awards this year.
Colin Irwin, f’Roots

“Shooglenifty and Oysterband collide”  Simon Care,E2k/Albion Band

Tír na nÓg, the duo formed by Leo O’Kelly & Sonny Condell in Dublin in early 1970, caused somewhat of a sensation, both on the folk and rock scenes, almost as soon as they stepped off the boat train from Ireland. Within two weeks they had signed a deal with Chrysalis Records and, by the summer, they had established themselves in the London folk clubs, with their impromptu appearances and beautiful original songs, typically featuring intricate acoustic guitar playing and close harmony singing.
They immediately started touring Britain and Europe with Jethro Tull and Procol Harum before releasing their first album, entitled simply, Tír na nÓg. The album was Melody Maker album of the month. They gathered followers of every musical persuasion from their appearances with bands as disparate as Steeleye Span, Hawkwind, The Who, Fairport Convention and Roxy Music, while at the same time headlining their own college and club gigs.

Their music, which is often described as progressive folk, was championed by John Peel, resulting in many Peel sessions in the early 70s. Two further studio albums, A Tear and a Smile and Strong in the Sun followed on through to 1974, after which they returned to Ireland to go their separate ways.
In 1985 they got back together again, whilst still pursuing their individual musical careers. Some UK appearances occurred up to 1995 but it wasn’t until 2010 that they revisited these shores, launching a series of highly successful, intensive short tours. Each show is distinctive – different songs find their ways into different set lists! Their  ‘Live at Sirius’ album (2010) captures the intimacy and exhilaration of just one of these performances.

Monster Ceilidh Band have toured Russia and had appearances at Warwick Folk Festival, Rainforest World Music Festival (Malaysia), Eden, Sunrise Celebration, Hay on Wye Festival, Towersey, Priddy Folk Festival, SageGateshead, The Acoustic Festival of Great Britain, London King’s Place Festival and Grassington Festival. As the Monsters come to the attention of more people, the plaudits continue to come, but when the credentials of the band members are considered, their success comes as little surprise.

Amy Thatcher is rightly considered one of the most talented folk accordionists of recent years. She has outstanding collaborations to her credit from Sting to Kathryn Tickell. Her powerful delivery of the tunes is complimented by the fiery and passionate fiddle of Carly Blain from the  Borders of Scotland. The two of them contribute their own very distinctive compositions to the repertoire.

The unique rhythm style of Kieran Szifris on mandocello blends with the fluid bass guitar of David de la Haye (also of Jez Lowe’s Bad Pennies). Both have extensive experience in performance across the UK and share an experimental approach to chord progressions, counter rhythms and harmony. Joining the foursome on drums is percussionist and Drum and Bass producer Joseph Truswell (aka The Touch). Joseph deftly mixes unique programming with live drumming providing the beating heart of the live electronic sound. The Monster Ceilidh Band is on something of a crusade to bring a powerfully modern and unpatronising approach to ceilidh music – dance music which has its feet in the heritage and tradition of the British Isles.

The Monsters are equally adept at playing for dancers and for concert audiences.
“An unbeatable live experience” (R2)
“in front of thousands, their music inspired dancing as the crowd kicked it up in the rain soaked mud of the arena”
Maria Bakkalapulo, National Geographic

Praise for Mechanical Monster (MCB latest double CD)

“simply stunning… a monstrous success” Songlines

“truly thrilling…make sure your curtains don’t catch on fire!” R2

“A leap into the future… a success of monstrous proportions” fRoots

Cathryn Craig is from Richmond, Virginia and has built a strong reputation as both singer and songwriter. She is no stranger to Tennessee’s Nashville recording studios, working with Chet Atkins, The Righteous Brothers, Shel Silverstein and Jorma Kaukonen.

Brian Willoughby is best known for his virtuoso performances on electric and acoustic guitar,with progressive folk/rock band Strawbs. He also played with Mary Hopkin, Joe Brown, Bridget St.John, Jim Diamond and Monty Python.

Both Cathryn and Brian have accompanied Nanci Griffith.

Their “Alice’s Song”  was an Aled Jones “highlight of the year” on BBC Radio 2.

Cathryn was Simon Mayo’s star guest on BBC Radio 2Day, live from Nashville.
“Real World” is the current album, featuring live studio recordings of new and popular Craig / Willoughby compositions.
‘Eclectically inspired and consistently brilliant’ – FROOTS ‘If anyone succeeds in making the banjo cool it’ll be Dan Walsh, he can play it all’ – R2 ‘Breathtaking’ – SONGLINES ‘The real deal, a demon picker’ – UNCUT
‘Eclectically inspired and consistently brilliant’ – FROOTS
‘Incredible, you must see him’ – JANICE LONG, BBC RADIO 2

Expect the unexpected from the truly extraordinary banjo player, singer and guitarist Dan Walsh. You’ll hear some bluegrass but you’ll also hear anything from funk, middle eastern, Irish, Latin and some fine songs from the man regarded by UNCUT magazine as ‘the real deal’.  Touted as one of the finest banjo players in the UK as well as being a superb singer, songwriter and guitarist, Dan Walsh is described as ‘the real deal’ (Uncut) and ‘taking the banjo into the stratosphere’ (Froots) with a unique and eclectic style taking in folk, funk, bluegrass, jazz, rock and even Arabic. After three years of touring the UK as one half of award nominated duo Walsh and Pound, Dan’s returning to his solo gigs as well as fronting an all-new Dan Walsh band made up of outstanding and award winning musicians including the Shee’s Rachel Newton and drummer Adam Sinclair whose credits range from the New York Dolls to the Unthanks. He is also performing with the legendary Alistair Anderson and has recently appeared on stage and in the studio with Seth Lakeman, the Levellers, Martin Simpson and numerous others. New album ‘The Same But Different’ is out now to fantastic reviews across the music press. The album follows on from the critically acclaimed (on both sides of the Atlantic) Walsh and Pound album and solo debut Tomorrow’s Still To Come.

The captivating sound of Joe O’Donnell’s Shkayla brings together the spirit of Celtic tradition and the dynamic grooves of modern rock and jazz. It’s a unique and powerful sound that has evolved since band leader and ace electric fiddle-player Joe O’Donnell moved to Coventry in 1998. Limerick-born Joe’s career has previously included work with former Steeleye Span members, Terry and Gay Woods, dynamic fiddle-driven rock band East Of Eden and the late, great Irish bluesman Rory Gallagher.

Singing songs in English and Gaelic and playing soaring fiddle melodies and improvisations, Joe is accompanied by a team of first-class musicians who really understand and do justice to the dynamic spirit of Celtic and rock music.

Event Tags: Conkers, Folk Festival, Folk Music, Live Music