The English Folk Dance and Song Society has unveiled its Winter/Spring music season for Cecil Sharp House in London – the home of English folk music.
The venue is regarded as one of the best places to see gigs in London – readers of Time Out voted it as the second best place in the capital to go to for live music in 2012.
The season, supported by world music magazine Songlines, begins with BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominees David Gibb and Elly Lucas on January 16. Lucas and Gibb have established themselves as an exciting young duo with a repertoire that spans contemporary and traditional folk sounds. Their performance will coincide with the opening of Elly’s photographic exhibition Folkography: decon/reconstruction, at Cecil Sharp House that will run until April.
John Spiers will lead an intimate and rare performance showcasing some of the lesser-known pieces of his music as well as some brand new works on January 19. Spiers is undoubtedly one of the top melodeon players of his generation and over the past decade or so, has straddled the line between the traditional and contemporary, performing under the guise of Spiers & Boden and with folk supergroup Bellowhead.
Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker will bring their spellbinding sounds to the stage on January 25, performing material created during their EFDSS Artist in Residency week as well as other original pieces. The duo met in 2009 and have been performing together ever since at venues and festivals all over the UK. Josienne’s angelic voice and Ben's mastery of the guitar combine perfectly, as the songs take centre stage.
Maz O’Connor, with special guests Jim Moray, Rowan Rheingans and Elly Lucas, will perform brand new songs and interpretations of traditional works, as well as her own penned material, on January 30. Her show will draw together a year of collaborative work and projects as part of Maz’s BBC Performing Arts Fund bursary.
Show of Hands frontman Steve Knightley brings his solo Grow Your Own Gig tour to London on February 6. Once described by the Times as the ‘Gravel voiced spokesman for the rural poor’, the singer songwriter will bring his songs and stories to smaller and more intimate locations such as Cecil Sharp House.
On February 20, Martyn Joseph – the man dubbed the Welsh Springsteen – will lead a one-off show of his new album Tires Rushing by in the Rain, a 17-song album of Bruce Springsteen covers. Featuring rarely heard gems as well as well-known classics, this will be the only opportunity for fans to watch him perform the newly acclaimed album in its entirety.
Rising stars The Young‘uns will perform songs from their new studio album When Our Grandfathers Said No on March 5. The trio of Teeside lads are fast obtaining a reputation in the folk world for their sublime a cappella harmonies and bold vocals. Their performances are drenched in humour, bold storylines and innate musicality as they build a unique rapport with audiences.
Scottish singer and multi-award winner Emily Smith comes to London on March 13 to perform songs from her fifth studio album Echoes,which featuresKris Drever, Jerry Douglas and Tim Edey to name but a few. Regarded as one of the finest interpreters of traditional song in the UK, she will be joined by Jamie McClennan (guitar, fiddle and vocals) and Matheu Watson (guitar and whistle).
The Elizabethan Session, featuring a stellar line up of Martin Simpson, Nancy Kerr, Jim Moray, Bella Hardy, John Smith, Hannah James, Rachel Newton and Emily Askew, will perform its only London show on March 22. This unique performance of new work inspired by the music, the people, the myths and the stories of the Elizabethan era, has been commissioned by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) and Folk by the Oak and will follow on from a week long residential project.
One of the most recognisable stars of the young folk scene, Lucy Ward, will perform tunes from her latest album Single Flame on April 9. The BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner’s career has gone from strength to strength establishing her as one of the hottest performers on the UK folk scene.
The leading lady of the English folk scene, Yorkshire’s Kate Rusby, will make her Cecil Sharp House debut on April 26. For her first ever appearance at the home of English traditional music, Kate will revisit some of the best known and loved tunes in her back catalogue, accompanied by the cream of British folk musicians who form her band.
The Patsy Reid Band will deliver the season finale on April 30. Highly accomplished musician Patsy will perform songs from her latest album, The Brightest Path, featuring newly recovered traditional Scottish melodies along with self-penned and contemporary material, joined by Mhairi Hall (piano and flute) and Ewan MacPherson (guitars, mandolin and vocals).
Throughout the season, the monthly Folk Rising concert series - presented by EFDSS in partnership with The Nest Collective - will profile some of the new generation of folk music artists, providing a stage on which they can deliver their music to a new and engaged audience. Taking place on February 13, March 20 and April 10, confirmed acts include Stick in the Wheel; The Edmondsons; Mark Stephenson; John Langan Band; Roshi; Bird Radio; Aindrais and The Latchikos.
“The new season has number of one-off shows that you won’t be able to see anywhere else. I am delighted that we can offer people the chance to experience these unique performances at the home of English folk."
- EFDSS Programming Manager, Neil Pearson
Other concerts also take place at Cecil Sharp House throughout the year, put on by independent promoters. Click here for more information.
Download the new Winter/spring 2014 Season Brochure
To book events go to the What's on section of the website.
Tickets can also be purchased from the reception desk at Cecil Sharp House (in person only), Monday - Friday, 9.30am - 5.30pm. No booking fee.