Gower Folk Festival 2019
14th to 16th June
Described by Songlines magazine as a “Welsh supergroup”, ALAW is three leading musicians who bring a wealth of experience to a shared passion – the traditional music of Wales. Whether unearthing rare gems or reimagining a well loved melody, they treat their music with a deftness and sensitivity that is thoroughly absorbing. Combined with powerful song writing and original tunes, this makes for a musical experience that will stay with the listener long after the performance ends.
Annette Davies (Swedish dance tutor)
Annette has over 10 years’ experience of leading dance workshops at festivals and events across the UK and in France. She shares her passion for traditional dance with humour and infectious enthusiasm.
Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne is a folk musician and singer. Cohen has been a musician since the age of 6 and took to squeezeboxes in his teens and has since developed into a fine player of both the melodeon and anglo concertina. Cohen is also a well-regarded singer and in 2014 won Bromyard Folk Festival’s Future of Young Folk Award for singing.
Even though they are still in their teens, their musical skills and prowess will make even the most seasoned musician take notice. Reuben, Tabitha and Benjamin Agnew could be mistaken for American-born-and-raised, but these three Armagh locals have merely caught a musical wind from the West and made it their own.
Mark Prescott (violin) and Mike Gulston (octave mandola and guitar) play lyrical waltzes and scorching bourrées from the French dance-floor, the driving rhythms of a Breton fest-noz, classic numbers and original melodies.
This hugely skilled and energetic (but still distressingly young) six piece collective are quickly carving out a notable reputation on the live circuit . Inspired by reggae and jazz as well as folk, their own contemporary tunes sit comfortably alongside tunes from the British tradition. ‘Don’t Feed The Peacocks’ are: James Haigh on guitar, Martin Parker on accordion and alto saxophone, Owen Spafford on trumpet and fiddle, Alex Lord on fiddle, Cori Smith on viola and Phoebe Harty on cello and alto saxophone.
Edgelarks fly in on the tailwind of BBC award winning duo Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin. The pair’s new project takes the roots of their previous work, from the traditional musics of the British Isles to Indian classical slide guitar to the stomping roots party of Phil’s beatbox harmonica; adds a strong stem of original writing; and runs wilder with each repeat play.
The Eelgrinders sound melds together elements of classical, traditional and jazz – it moves with grace and style and is like nothing else. Eelgrinders music is delivered with sparkling virtuosity on border pipes, whistles, trumpet, accordion, fiddle, and percussion.
Gordie MacKeeman exemplifies the term natural showman. An ace fiddle player nicknamed “crazy legs” for his frenetic loose-limbed step-dancing, he just loves to perform. Combine that exuberance and onstage dynamism with the stellar musicianship of his multi-instrumentalist comrades His Rhythm Boys, and you have an unstoppable roots music force. That potent combination has made the group highly sought-after performers on the international roots music circuit, thrilling audiences from Adelaide, Australia, to Edinburgh, Scotland.
A brand new collaboration between Hannah James (Lady Maisery, Jigdoll, Kerfuffle) piano accordion wizard, fabulous singer and clog dancer and French classical cellist Toby Kunh.
Still in his mid 20s, Jack Rutter (Moore Moss Rutter, Seth Lakeman band, Jackie Oates band) is a highly respected singer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist making music within the British folk tradition. This BBC award winning musician delivers folk songs with a rich, unassuming Yorkshire charm and an easy going stage presence that gives a live performance which is ‘wonderful, pure and simple. The audience just falls head over heels for this man, and rightly so.’
Karen Pierce & Ken Humphreys (dance workshop leaders)
Karen and Ken have been developing their teaching skills for dance over the last few years, and are experienced and enthusiastic workshop leaders. We are delighted they can repeat their efforts in 2019.
Midnight Skyracer have been tearing up the UK bluegrass and folk scene since their inception less than two years ago. Their all star lineup and exciting live performances have sent them racing skywards at an astounding pace right from the start, with Leanne Thorose’s powerhouse vocals and driving mandolin; Tabitha Agnew’s sweet voice and virtuosic banjo playing; Eleanor Wilkie’s rock solid bass grooves; Laura Carrivick’s flair, being equally adept on both fiddle and dobro; and twin sister Charlotte’s agility on the guitar, with both sisters filling in the vocal harmonies.
Lewis-born singer Mischa Macpherson has already scooped several major UK folk awards – a fitting testament to her music’s pure-distilled expressiveness and radiant vitality. Named Gaelic Singer of the Year at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music awards and BBC Radio 2’s Young Folk Award Winner, she is a musician in high demand performing extensively with her own band as well as a vast and diverse list of other projects.
Molly Evans is a lively young singer from Cheshire with a largely traditional repertoire, known for her strong voice and distinctive song settings. After reaching the final of the New Roots competition in 2015, Molly has gone on to perform at festivals and folk clubs around the UK, including Sidmouth, Warwick, Bromyard, Shepley, Towersey and Shrewsbury.
Meg Eliza Cox, Osian Gruffydd and Rhys Morris are three of Wales’ most exciting and talented young musicians. They play traditional tunes and songs from Wales and beyond and also showcase Welsh step dancing.
Sound Tradition is an a cappella folk foursome (David, Linda, Catherine and Moose) singing in glorious harmony. Their varied repertoire ranges from lively chorus songs to lilting ballads, and from medieval times to the modern day, but always with an ear for the English folk tradition.
A compelling performer, Vera conveys an easy warmth on stage. Her live performances are intimate, understated affairs, allowing the music to speak for itself. Stripped back, potent, and full of groove. Outstanding flatpicking, fulsome fiddle playing, heart-breaking lyrics, assured natural vocal tone and driving tunes are all integral to the show. Vera tours with a watertight acoustic trio featuring harmony king Dave Luke on guitar, vocals and mandolin, and double-bass stalwart Andy Seward.
Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer effortlessly blend traditional material with contemporary sounds. Their performances showcase new interpretations of old songs alongside original self penned tunes and new contemporary songs that are entirely at home in the tradition.