After hibernating in Northumberland for the last year or so, Whapweasel have re-emerged in recent months in a different guise. The line-up is the same but their former profile as one of the country’s top ceilidh bands has undergone a transformation, and they are now performing as a concert band with a new repertoire of traditional songs.
Whapweasel are the cover feature artists of the new issue of English Dance & Song (EDS) magazine, and feature in the regular Singer, Song and Source series. As author of the article on the band, Raymond Greenoaken, writes, 'their signature blend of energy, exuberance and sheer musicality' will ensure that they enjoy success in this new focus.
A key feature of the Whap sound continues – the twin saxophones played by the ‘toots’: Stuart Finden and Fiona Littlewood – alongside the strong melodeon of singer Saul Rose. They were a much-sought after band on the festival ceilidh circuit and in 2005, the won Best Dance Band in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards on a listeners’ poll.
As befitting their origins, the first track on their new CD – and the song that is featured in Singer, Song and Source – is ‘The Hexhamshire Lass’, and north-east traditional music historian, Dave Harker, has written about the songs origins. Listen to the song, streamed on the EDS Winter 2012 page.
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English Dance & Song (EDS) is the longest-established magazine devoted to folk music, dance and song in England. First published in 1936, it has appeared at least four times a year ever since. EDS exists to interest, inform and stimulate Members of EFDSS. More info
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