Posts Tagged ‘lucy ward’

Live | Musicport Festival returns, October 17-19

Posted on September 12th, 2014 in Live, News, Recent posts by .


Lo’Jo and Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita among the line-up for the 15th Musicport Festival

Situated on England’s glorious north-east coast in Whitby, Musicport is a unique indoor festival experience with a host of reputable musicians bringing its five stages to life.

Songlines Music Awards 2013 winners Lo’Jo will headline along with 2014 winners Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita. Other artists performing include Tunisian duo Amine & Hamza, British folk musician Lucy Ward and the ‘diva of the Sudanese desert,’ Amira Kheir.

Tickets for the entire weekend are priced at £95, while 11-18 year olds get half price entry and under-11s are free. Day-tickets are also available.

For tickets and more information, including a list of confirmed acts, visit or call 01947 603475.

Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita perform ‘Bamba’ from Clychau Dibon

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Celtic Connections Round 1

Posted on January 16th, 2013 in News, Recent posts by .

Got a dose of the January blues? Well, my suggestion would be to make your way to Glasgow for a much-needed, life-affirming shot of fabulous music courtesy of Celtic Connections – the annual folk, roots and world music extravaganza, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

First of all, a couple of mind-boggling stats to get your head round: there will be over 2,100 artists from across the world descending on Glasgow, playing at over 20 venues over the duration of 18 nights. So, with that in mind, you’ll hopefully appreciate that it’s been quite a job trying to choose my highlights and with so many to choose from, look out for another blog tomorrow with my choices for the second half of the festival.

The 20th anniversary opening concert tonight looks set to be a rousing affair with a stellar line-up including a ‘Who’s Who’ of Celtic talent: performers include Eddi Reader, Julie Fowlis, Flook, Cara Dillon, Capercaillie, Chris Stout and Phil Cunningham plus a host of others (January 17, Concert Hall).

English folk often gets overlooked with such an abundance of local talent, but no fear of that happening this year, with Spotlight England being one of the partners of this year’s Showcase Scotland. Artists performing include Sam Carter (January 31, Tron Theatre), Spiro (January 31, St Andrew’s in the Square), Bellowhead (February 1, O2 ABC), Lucy Ward (pictured left) (February 1, St Andrew’s in the Square), Bella Hardy (February 2, Tron Theatre) and the Tom McConville Band (February 3, Mitchell Theatre).

Galician piper and firm favourite at Celtic Connections is Carlos Núñez who is performing with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (January 19, Concert Hall).


Irish faves Kíla team up with the young, much talked about young Gaelic band Mànran for what promises to be a night to test out your Gaelic dance moves (January 19, O2 ABC).

Ethio-jazz legend Mulatu Astatke will be bringing his cool vibes sound and his extraordinary band to the wonderful Old Fruitmarket (January 20, Old Fruitmarket).

Irish trio Fidil who were lauded with a recent Top of the World review in #83 for their latest album The Old Wheel of Fortune (January 22, National Piping Centre).

The ever-inventive Martin Green (accordionist in Lau, pictured right) brings his latest project called Crows’ Bones to one of the festival’s most beautiful venues, St Andrew’s in the Square. Spooky music and ghost tales are guaranteed with Becky Unthank and Inge Thompson, plus nyckelharpist Niklas Roswall (January 23, St Andrew’s in the Square).

More recommendations tomorrow….

If you can’t make it to Glasgow, then fret not, you’ll be able to sample some of the music by tuning into Mary-Ann Kennedy on Radio 3’s World on 3 programme. She’ll be broadcasting live from the Royal Concert Hall on January 18, 25 and February 1.


Julie Fowlis, Duncan Chisholm & co.


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The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2012

Posted on February 10th, 2012 in Recent posts by .

As industry folk and, for the first time, members of the public took to their seats in The Lyric theatre at the Lowry, there was some speculation about which celebs would be gracing the stage to present the dozen or so awards this year. It’s the first time the event has been held outside of the capital and the Lowry is within spitting distance of the BBC’s new northern home at Media City, on the quayside of Salford. It came as not much of a surprise that the first presenters were from Manchester’s long-running ITV soap, Corrie. It also seemed fitting that The Dubliners would round off the evening with ‘Dirty Old Town’, written by Salford’s finest singer-songwriter Ewan MacColl. Ralph McTell, who presented The Dubliners with their Lifetime Achievement Award, perfectly summed up their long-lasting appeal, saying that there was “a brightness and boisterousness to their music.”

There were a handful of truly memorable live performances – some for all the right reasons, namely The Unthanks singing with The Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band from West Yorkshire, who did a wonderfully evocative rendition of a song about a Derbyshire pigeon fancier. Then there was the excruciating moment when the collective cringing of the audience listening to Don McLean’s badly out of tune guitar was almost palpable. Fortunately McLean, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award, pulled his reputation back from the brink with a second and more in tune song.

Other favourite musical highlights were Christy Moore and Declan Sinnott playing Kevin Littlewood’s nominated Best Original Song, ‘On Morecambe Bay,’ about the tragic plight of immigrant cockle pickers. And Best Duo winners Brendan Power and Tim Edey (who also won Musician of the Year), who I’m ashamed to say have so far been overlooked by Songlines.

And the other winners? Well, the night definitely belonged to June Tabor and Oysterband who collectively won Folk Singer of the Year, Best Album, Best Group and Best Traditional Track. It seemed to be a celebration of the veterans and more mature artists within the current scene, with the recently reformed The Home Service winning Best Live Act. The Songlines office verdict was that this award should have been a shoo-in for Bellowhead, what with their impressively energetic festival shows and seemingly never-ending tour schedule last year.

So it was a relief to see relative youngster Bella Hardy jointly winning the Best Original Song award with Steve Tilston. And of course, the Horizon Award which went to Derby’s Lucy Ward and the Young Folk Award going to the Irish group Ioscaid (apparently pronounced Iss-Kidge) – we look forward to checking these guys out live and also to their debut album.

So, despite the swish new location, a new co-presenter for Mike Harding, Julie Fowlis, who brought a good dose of glamour to the stage, plus some recognition for a handful of new, young names, the evening very much had a ‘tried and tested’ formula about it. Perhaps it’s time to shake up the awards event even more and have an overhaul on the voting and selection process?

You can check out all of the performances (and do your own cringing to ‘And I Love You So’) by visiting the BBC website:



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BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2012

Posted on February 8th, 2012 in News, Recent posts by .

Congratulations to the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2012 winners!

The winners were announced during a ceremony that took place at the Lowry Theatre in Salford earlier this evening with a star-studded night and performances by The Dubliners, Christy Moore, Don McLean and Seth Lakeman.

And this year’s winners are…

June Tabor

Tim Edey & Brendan Power

June Tabor & Oysterband

Ragged Kingdom – June Tabor & Oysterband

The Herring Girl – Bella Hardy
The Reckoning – Steve Tilston

Bonny Bunch of Roses – June Tabor & Oysterband

Lucy Ward

Tim Edey

The Home Service


The Dubliners

Don McLean

Ian Campbell

Bill Leader

Malcolm Taylor

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