Gower Folk Festival 2024

7th to 9th June

Banter

(Saturday evening)

Banter are Simon Care (melodeon), Nina Zella (keyboards & vocals), Tim Walker (drums, percussion, brass & vocals) and Mark Jolley (bass, fiddle, guitar & vocals). Four fine musicians whose roots are firmly in the traditional English genre, but who enjoy stretching the limits. Formed in 2015, they realised that a common love for the living traditions of English song and dance music was at their core and began to pursue its evolution, bringing in flavours from a wider palette of musical influences.

Bird in the Belly

(Sunday afternoon)

Bird in the Belly is a Brighton-based folk group consisting of folk-duo Hickory Signals (Laura Ward and Adam Ronchetti), alt-folk singer-songwriter Ben Webb (Jinnwoo, Green Ribbons), and multi-instrumentalist and producer Tom Pryor. Together they collect little known and forgotten lyrics, poems and stories from around the UK, and set them to their own “hypnotically original compositions.”

Blowzabella 

(Friday evening)

Blowzabella are Andy Cutting (diatonic button accordion), Jo Freya (vocals, saxophones, clarinet), Paul James (vocals, bagpipes, saxophones), David Shepherd (violin), Barn Stradling (bass guitar) and Jon Swayne (bagpipes, saxophones). A genuinely unique band that makes an inimitable, driving, drone-based wall-of-sound played with a fabulous sense of melody, rhythmic expertise and sheer feeling. They compose their own music which is influenced by English and European traditional folk music and song – a shared culture with ancient roots. Many of their tunes are “standards” in the modern British/European folk repertoire and are played by people all over the world. Bands across Europe who experiment with folk music often cite Blowzabella as a major influence. Much loved and respected, there is no one else quite like them.

Sam Carter

(Saturday afternoon)

Midlands-born guitarist and songwriter Sam Carter has earned a reputation for vivid, narrative-driven songwriting and captivating live performances. He is a highly regarded instrumentalist, renowned by many as “the finest English-style fingerpicking guitarist of his generation” (Jon Boden). Over the past fifteen years Sam has made appearances on national TV, won a BBC Folk award, and has toured the world, sharing stages with some of folk’s leading lights, including Richard Thompson, Eliza Carthy, Martin Simpson and Nancy Kerr.

Jim Causley

(Saturday afternoon)

More than simply a folk-singer, multi award winning singer-songwriter, musician and proud Devonian Jim Causley is an all-round entertainer. He has been nominated no less than six times for a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award and was nominated as “Singer of the Year” at the 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. His unique voice and persona have helped him become one of the most well-loved and respected figures of today’s contemporary roots and folk scene.

Chris Dyer & Tom Evans

(Sunday afternoon)

Fiddler and nyckelharpa player Chris Dyer is MC of the London Scandi Session. She’s a regular performer and workshop leader at UK festivals and dance clubs and is a guest player with Boda and Aspeboda spelmanslags in Sweden. Accordion player and multi-instrumentalist Tom Evans is currently playing in five bands – Climax Ceilidh Band, Missing Richard, Suntrap, Twagger Band and Understory.  Together Tom and Chris are putting the stomp into Scandi and Eurobal favourites. 

False Lights

(Saturday evening)

False Lights was founded in 2013 by BBC Folk Awards Winning singer-guitarists Jim Moray and Sam Carter. Both well-known for their solo work, their new band would explore new kinds of folk-rock hybrids. Their initial rush of ideas turned into a turn-it-up-loud thrash of folk songs you can jump to.  Based in the traditional music of Great Britain, but not constrained by its usual modes of performance, they have now transcended their original aim to make “folk music for the 21st century” to become one of England’s most startling and exciting acts.

Filkin’s Drift

(Sunday afternoon)

Seth and Chris weave together intricate melodies from the folklore of their homes, Wales and Gloucestershire. Their music combines the traditional and the contemporary, blending fiddle and guitar with their close vocal harmonies. In 2023 the duo received nationwide publicity for their 870-mile walking tour of the Wales Coastal Path as part of a radical approach to sustainable touring.

Firelight Trio

(Sunday evening)

Firelight Trio play European folk music that is evocative, inventive and endlessly exciting. Driving fiddle and stately nyckelharpa meet deep accordion grooves in a rich tapestry of lively Swedish polskas and Scottish reels, lilting French waltzes, toe-tapping klezmer, dazzling original tunes and more. Featuring Gavin Marwick (fiddle), Ruth Morris (nyckelharpa) and Phil Alexander (accordion and piano).

Angharad Jenkins & Patrick Rimes

(Sunday evening)

Welsh folk duo Angharad Jenkins and Patrick Rimes collaborate on their debut album as a duo with amrwd (the Welsh for ‘raw’). As founding members of multi-award-winning band CALAN, they have a long-established reputation as two of the finest instrumentalists on the Welsh folk scene and their debut certainly doesn’t disappoint. With fifteen years of playing together, five studio albums under their belt, and several tours across three continents, Jenkins and Rimes have earned their status as two of the finest purveyors of the Welsh tradition alongside a name as innovators in rediscovering familiar old tunes and songs.

Tom Kitching & Marit Fält

(Saturday afternoon)

Fiddle player and author Tom Kitching stands at the leading edge of the English folk scene. His style is English at heart, while encompassing elements of many other traditions. It is a unique, vibrant style full of exuberance, energy, and wit, yet capable of expressing extraordinary emotional depth. Marit Fält is a multi-instrumentalist who grew up playing Swedish traditional music on the fiddle. She is perhaps best known as a Låtmandola player and is a leading proponent of using plucked instruments in a range of ways.

Sarah Matthews & Doug Eunson

(Saturday afternoon)

Doug Eunson (Melodeon, Hurdy Gurdy and Vocals) and Sarah Matthews (Fiddle, Viola and Vocals) perform for energetic ceilidhs, concerts and Euro Bals. In concert sets, they draw on some of the finest English folk song repertoire and sing in glorious harmony. They also play English and European dance music in beautiful flowing instrumental tune sets.

Tom McConville & Michael Biggins

(Sunday afternoon)

Tom McConville and Michael Biggins are top musicians who have been awarded BBC Folk Musician Of The Year and BBC Scottish Trad Musician of the Year independently. Tom’s fiddle and Michael’s piano and accordion playing is amongst the finest there is, powerful and exciting with a range of songs performed in great style. They have a range of music including Irish, Scottish, Bluegrass and Jazz and songs all performed with a great sense of style, verve and humour!  The sum of the two talents, combined with Tom’s rich singing, is astounding, and has left their audiences spellbound. 

Metheglin

(Friday evening)

Blanche Rowan, Mike Gulston, Pete Coleman and Clare Hines are Metheglin. They play dance rhythm-based tunes on weird and wonderful instruments:  Mandola, bagpipes, hurdy-gurdy, bowed psaltery and percussion! Metheglin will be playing for the Festival dance evening on Friday.

Oaken

(Sunday evening)

Oaken is a vocal quartet with roots in folk music, branching out into pop and original songs. Emily Barden, Anna Tabbush, Camilo Menjura and Dominic Stitchbury are choral directors and composers who came together in 2020 to deliver online singing workshops during the pandemic. Since then, they have developed an exciting repertoire that showcases their vocal talents, alongside a prolific catalogue of self-penned songs and arrangements. The group’s innate musicality and friendship brings warmth and joy to audiences.

Jackie Oates and John Spiers

(Saturday evening)

Multi award-winning contemporary folk duo Jackie Oates and John Spiers meld together their love of English traditional folk tunes and songs with their fine voices and expertly played acoustic instruments, resulting in a fresh sound that is uplifting, joyful and poignant. Jackie is a mainstay of English Traditional music and regarded as one of the country’s best loved folk performers. John has made a name for himself as one of the leading squeezebox players of his generation, well known for his long-standing duo partnership with Jon Boden as well as his contribution to the massively popular Bellowhead.

Three Legg’d Mare

(Saturday afternoon)

This trio from Aberystwyth take great delight in singing traditional songs, and some of their own, in Welsh and English. For some years now they have immersed themselves and their audiences in songs of love, loss, joy, desire, sadness, adventure, madness, salvation and everyday life. A journey through physical and metaphysical worlds, history set to music and irreverent insight into past lives – Three Legg’d Mare is all of these and more, woven together by dexterous vocal harmonies and far too many quirky instruments to mention.