Artists: 2015

The Drystones

The Drystones are our very own home grown band who have gone on to great things. Their first ever performance was here at Priddy. They are a young (just started University) lively folk duo from Priddy playing violin, guitar and whistle, who have made a big splash since they formed in July 11. In 2015 they played the Glastonbury extravaganza supporting Ray Davis and The Shires, they won the Larmer Tree Break Through Music Award 2015, and have played festivals all over the West Country (including Sidmouth, Village Pump  and Purbeck). At their 2013 Glastonbury Festival performance they were highlighted by Steve Lamacq on Radio 2 as his “recommendation of the day”. They have just completed their second album. which had a great review from FATEA Magazine and The Living Tradition said “To describe their instrumental style as spirited and animated would be akin to asserting that Bellowhead can be quite an energetic band”

For just two people they make a lot of sound, you will not be bored!


Beth Porter and the Availables

Beth Porter is an in-demand cellist, based in Bath. She has over 60 album credits on a wide spectrum of genres, from Eliza Carthy to Kula Shaker, and plays regularly with a number of artists, as well as teaching, session work and her own project, Beth Porter and the Availables.

Drawing from her classical background and extensive and varied live performance experience, Beth creates a unique and refreshingly modern texture to her repertoire, contrasting the cello and ukulele with a voice which will hold your attention.

Beth also plays with Bath based The Stringbeans and has toured with Reg Meuross and Jennifer Crook


A fusion of three distinct musical forces – Mabon front-man and accordion wizard Jamie Smith, gifted 21 year-old fiddle-player Tomas Callister and versatile accompanist Adam Rhodes (Mabon) on bouzouki – Barrule’s fresh approach to traditional Manx music evokes an atmosphere that reflects the diverse natural beauty of the island: from rousing marches, jigs and reels to sorrowful slow airs and beautiful songs sung in both English and the Manx Gaelic language. Stories are told of ancient Celtic Gods, of unrequited love, of the toils of island life. And always the sea is close by.

Formed in 2012, Barrule’s three legs have hit the ground running with major festival appearances including Celtic Connections, WOMAD Charlton Park, Sidmouth, Festival Interceltique de Lorient and the National Celtic Festival in Melbourne. Their debut self-titled album won many plaudits and has been awarded ‘Best Debut’ in the Spiral Earth awards 2014. Download a free single from the album at


Carny Villains

The Carny Villains are a six piece theatrical band from Bristol, known for their raucous blend of stomping swing, ska and Balkan-style folk, played with the riotous energy of punk rock.
The band began life as the house band for The Invisible Circus and have composed and performed over 50 original scores for circus acts and theatrical shows and played all over the UK and Europe building a dedicated and loyal fan base.

With their own unique brand of explosive live shows, stage antics and theatrics, The Carny Villains have become firm favourites at many festivals.

The band has just released a new album and are planning a busy festival season playing at the likes of Bestival and Shangri La’s main stage at Glastonbury.

Dick Gaughan

Well, firstly, and most importantly, Dick Gaughan is a Scot, from Leith on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth. Leith, once a separate port, has been part of Edinburgh since the 1920s but has retained a distinct identity.

He has been a professional musician and singer since Jan 1970. Has been playing guitar since the age of 7 and made his first solo album in 1971. Working mainly in the areas now known as “Folk” or “Celtic” music, he has recorded quite extensively since then in many countries and in various combinations. Has also worked extensively as a session musician in a wide variety of musical styles.


Passionate, high energy, tender and entrancing dance music with distinctive Celtic and Eastern flavours, fronted by stunning vocals.

Playing a wide array of contemporary and unusual instruments, (including bagpipes, hurdy gurdy, saxophones, mandolin, bass and drums), their performances span a diverse selection of styles and cultures from Celtic, French and Breton inspired dance music to up-tempo Eastern European tracks and moody Middle and Far Eastern songs. Fronted by the multi-lingual vocal talent of Maya Love their performances have delighted audiences at many festivals and venues far and wide across the country and beyond for over 15 years.

They are currently recording their 4th album and have featured on radio 2 and 3.

Duncan Chisholm Trio

Duncan Chisholm is one of Scotland’s most recognised and accomplished fiddle players and composers. Born and brought up near Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland, Duncan has spent most of his life developing his unique musical voice which led him to being nominated within the ‘Musician of the Year’ category in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2013. Fiddle playing at its best, Duncan’s feather-light handling of dynamics and ornamentation, allied with his pure-distilled tone, lend his characteristic spine-tingling magic to his music.

Elephant Sessions

Award winning Neo-Trad quintet forged in the Highlands of Scotland. Drawing influence from many different genres, they create a progressive blend of intricate tunes, engulfing guitars, monsterous bass and pounding drums. Already renowned for their breathtaking live shows, this summer saw the band climb to new heights with the release of their debut album: The Elusive Highland Beauty.

“Quite possibly the best instrumental debut since ‘Venus in Tweeds’ by Shooglenifty”

Bruce MacGregor, BBC Radio Scotland Travelling Folk

Gasworks Singers

The Gasworks Singers are an offshoot of the Gasworks Choir, for those who have been in the choir for a while and wish to sing more, keep the old songs going and perform them for local charity events.

Harp and a Monkey

Songs about cuckolded molecatchers, a lone English oak tree that grows at Gallipoli, care in the community and medieval pilgrims… we can only be talking about the folk experimentalists Harp and a Monkey.

The harp ‘n’ banjo driven electro-folk-storytelling of Martin Purdy (vocals, glockenspiel, accordion, harmonica and keyboards), Simon Jones (harp, guitar, viola) and Andy Smith (banjo, melodica, guitar and programming) is imbued with a deep Lancashire sensibility that shines through in their beautifully crafted and sometimes spooky vignettes of northern life, love and remembrance.

Jim Tigwell

Described as “fiery and fluent” Jim’s performances are rich in history – story songs gathered from the wealth of pre-second world war country blues and beyond, with the occasional original thrown in. A well respected guitar player with over 40 years playing to audiences up and down the country. Jim is also much in demand running workshops in songwriting and performance and fingerstyle guitar.

Add to this warmth and humour and it promises great entertainment!

“cultured acoustic (fingerstyle) guitar” Venue Magazine

“A fine blues/ragtime fingerpicker” Folk On Tap

John Kirkpatrick

John Kirkpatrick was born in Chiswick, West London in 1947. A deep love of music was instilled from birth, and family gatherings always included a hearty sing-song. School choirs, the Church choir, playing recorder and piano ensues, until he joined the Hammersmith Morris Men, in their second week, in 1959.

Whilst with the team he took up the melodeon, then the button accordion, then the anglo concertina, and got hooked on the traditional songs that were accompanied with a post-dancing pint.

John has gone on to become one of the most prolific figures on the English folk scene, performing solo, in duos, acoustic groups and electric bands, and has established an enviable reputation as an instrumental virtuoso and session musician, as well as a leading interpreter of English folk music. He has been a member of the Albion Country Band, Magic Lantern, The Richard Thompson Band, Umps and Dumps, Steeleye Span, Brass Monkey, Trans-Europe Diatonique, and Band of Hope, as well as numerous ceilidh bands.

He rejoined The Albion Band for The National Theatre productions of “Lark Rise” and “Candleford”, and from 1980 has regularly worked on shows at The Victoria Theatre (later The New Victoria Theatre) in North Staffordshire, The Orchard Theatre Touring Company based in Devon, and elsewhere. As songwriter, composer, choreographer, and musical director, he has contributed to over sixty plays in the theatre and on radio. And as featured artiste, band member, or session player, his music can be heard on over 200 different commercial recordings.

John has lived in Shropshire since 1973, where he had four sons by his first marriage. Now happily re-married, he still dances, with all four sons (on a good day), with the Morris team he founded in 1975, The Shropshire Bedlams.

Keston Cobblers Club

There’s something simply unmistakable about Keston Cobblers Club. It’s something that their growing legion of fans knows. It’s something you can’t fail to miss if you catch them live. It’s something that oozes out of their carefully crafted artwork – all created by the band themselves – from the CD that folds up into a train set to the ‘Cobblers Passport’, a personalized fan-book of set lists and sundries that fans can get ‘stamped’ at each show. The Cobblers’ music isn’t just uplifting – it’s often a full-on celebration. Their live shows are joyous occasions with a genuine warmth that would convert even the hardest of hearts.

But don’t be fooled by the fun-factor; these are serious musicians with serious skills. They have an enviable knack with cleverly catchy choruses and can dash off a euphoric anthem as easily as a haunting ballad that can move audiences to a spellbound silence.



Lasair are a South West based ceilidh band with a diverse tune-set, backed by a funk-rock driven rhythm section. Having impressed in their debut at Sidmouth Folk Week in 2013 theyn followed up, in 2014, with a blockbuster Late Night Extra set which has catapulted them onto the festival ceilidh scene.


Leveret features three of England’s finest musicians in an exciting new collaboration. Andy Cutting, Sam Sweeney and Rob Harbron are each regarded as masters of their instrument and are involved in numerous collaborations with a huge range of artists. Together their performances combine consummate musicianship, compelling delivery and captivating spontaneity.

Andy Cutting is a unique player of the melodeon, known for his work with Martin Simpson, Blowzabella, Chris Wood, June Tabor, Kate Rusby, and many more. Sam Sweeney, the fiddle player in Bellowhead, is also in demand as a multi-instrumentalist, working with Jon Boden and the Remnant Kings, The Full English, Fay Hield and the Hurricane Party, and his own project Made in the Great War. Rob Harbron has reinvented the English concertina and is known for his work with The Full English, Jon Boden and the Remnant Kings, Fay Hield, Emma Reid and the English Acoustic Collective.

Leveret’s music is firmly rooted in the English tradition but is fresh and new, with original settings of ancient tunes sitting alongside new compositions by some of today’s finest tunesmiths. Sophisticated and honest, considered and spontaneous, there is nothing else that sounds quite like this trio.


At the age of thirteen, bass player John Parker and singer Luke Concannon met on the school bus. They became good friends, and sat in a room for hours after school, playing and writing songs. They evolved in to the duo ‘Nizlopi’. Their difficulties at school, later inspiring their number one hit, ‘The JCB Song’.

In 2013 after a four-year respite, Nizlopi came back to play some wonderful shows together around the UK. This November they are touring the UK and Ireland, and hosting one of their songwriters residentials! Songs are getting written, and Nizlopi hope to record another album in the near future.


The amazing Orcadian duo Douglas Montgomery ( fiddle/viola) and Brian Cromarty (songs/guitar/mandola) jointly known as Saltfishforty have won a devoted following throughout the UK and beyond. Their music unites the deep rooted sources of traditional Orcadian music with an exhilarating breadth of influence and expertise catalyzed by a creative empathy born from decades of friendship.

Saltsishforty have appeared at many of the world’s top festivals including Celtic Connections, Cambridge, HebCelt, Shetland, Lorient in Brittany and Canada’s Celtic Colours. Their focus on traditional, contemporary and original Orcadian music also includes influences from Americana to Eastern European folk.

“A footstomping feast of fun… a class act from start to finish” (Living Tradition)

Serious Kitchen Story Telling

Nick Hennessey, Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer combine as seriouskitchen to create a brand new show. Drawing on the rich heritage of Scandinavian myths and stories, The Whispering Road blends Nick Hennessey’s spellbinding storytelling with Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer’s experience in the Swedish folk music scene.

Drawing on the rich Swedish folk tradition and instruments, through spoken word, song and music ‘The Whispering Road” tells the story of hope in the darkness, of two strangers bound by a ring and of the one who could not love.

The show content is suitable for children, 8+


Telling the Bees

Telling the Bees are an innovative acoustic band making a unique and original music they call darkly crafted folk. They met in 2007 at Oxford’s legendary Catweazle Club, and have released two acclaimed albums, Untie the Wind and An English Arcanum. In 2011 they expanded to the current five-piece line-up and are currently working towards a new release.

Taking their inspiration from folklore, landscape, psychedelia, paganism, and the politics of protest, Telling the Bees mix driving songs and tune-sets with haunting ballads. Intelligent lyrics, exotic rhythms and modes, and instruments as varied as fiddle, mandolin, cello, double bass, concertina, stomp box and English bagpipes are brought together in skilful arrangements, wild at times, gentle at others. With a powerful sound, Telling the Bees conjure vivid images, as crafted, rugged and graceful as a woodcut.


Forged amongst the hustle and bustle of North London’s folk scene, Teyr (“3” in the Cornish language) are a trio of players who showcase the many sounds of the British Isles. With roots running from Ireland to Wales to Cornwall, James Gavin (guitar and fiddle), Dominic Henderson (uilleann pipes) and Tommie Black-Roff (accordion) capture the hybridity of contemporary life within traditional music, injecting it with a shot of youth and transform. Having met on the Trad music scene through late night sessions, each performer holds an intuitive sense of folk music, evident in their deft new arrangements of fiery tunes and songs as well as original material.

Influenced by neo-folk groups such as Lau, Kan and Lúnasa, the trio are a force to be reckoned with, particularly in a live setting. And with high-drama, high-energy and high-jinx, their performances will remain stamped on the audience’s minds for a long-time after.

The Harry Browns

The Harry Browns are a Bristol based shanty group with over 25 years experience mainly singing songs from our part of the country or associated with Bristol and its maritime past. They have sung at most of the major maritime festivals both in this country and Europe and are widely regarded as the premier shanty group in the Bristol area.

Their singing is mature and well balanced, like a good beer, with voices able to deliver a paint stripping, gale force shanty, or tender songs about love and loss in soaring harmonies.
They sing for the love and enjoyment of singing, to share this with an audience and to keep alive the music and traditions of all who go to sea or wait on the shore.

The Roaring Trowmen

Four hearty men who sing sea shanties and songs of the salty deep! ‘The Roaring Trowmen’ celebrate the working songs sung by sailors around the world which have endured the test of time. Hear old favourites combined with original new songs, delivered with passion, energy and plenty of silly banter!

‘The Roaring Trowmen’ have been performing together at gigs and festivals for around 4 years now. Inspired by the heritage of our home city of Bristol, we celebrate sea shanties, but include many other songs with a watery theme. We sing these with a humour and vitality. At times you’ll be clapping and stomping with us, next you’ll be melted by the glorious harmonies, or groaning at our bad jokes…. Come and get nautical with the Trowmen!

The Teacups

Alex Cumming, Kate Locksley, Rosie Calvert and Will Finn met whilst studying on the Folk Degree at the University of Newcastle and formed The Teacups in 2010. It’s an age-old format – a quartet of singers: two men, two women – performing an age-old collection of songs.

But The Teacups are new, they’re young, and their debut album , One For The Pot, revels in the vibrancy of youth, and all that heartache, or confusion, or euphoria, that goes with it.

And the best way to get that across to the listeners? Through unadorned, gutsy singing, where arrangements add the intrigue. With open mouths and hands chopping through the air like scythes, the listener will be compelled to join in on impact, learning the words and the tune in tandem if they didn’t know it before.


Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer

Vicki Swan & Jonny Dyer have developed a strong reputation for a delivering great performances time and time again. Once known mainly for for their instrumental skills with Scottish smallpipes, accordion and Swedish nyckelharpa, they are now being accepted as impressive song arrangers and writers.

Vicki & Jonny effortlessly blend traditional material with contemporary interpretations whilst equally creating original self penned tunes and songs that are entirely at home in the tradition. Out of this combination they have developed a sound that is both familiar and fresh.

Will Pound Band

The Will Pound Band is the brain child of Harmonica wizard Will Pound. Recognised as one of the best harmonica players on the planet, Will has sort out some of the UK folk scenes leading instrumentalists to join him in creating a unique sound that draws on many aspects of traditional music from around the world. The WPB explore Irish, Scottish, English and Appalachian music during a typical set combining this with shades of the Blues, Bluegrass and Jazz to create a sound that is both steeped in tradition and progressive in its approach.

Joining Will is Henry Webster – Fiddle, John Parker – Double Bass and beat-boxing and Chris Sarjeant – Guitars and Vocals. All three musicians have made names for themselves on the UK folk scene in their own right, all have released albums and as one half of Nizlopi, John has even scored a number 1 with 2005’s ‘JCB Song’!

Wizz Jones

Inspired by hearing Big Bill Broonzy and Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, Wizz Jones learnt his guitar licks from the likes of Davy Graham and Long John Baldry whilst playing in the coffee bars of London’s Soho in the late 1950’s.

He then followed the time-honoured buskers’ trail from the streets of Paris to the markets of Marrakech during the early 1960’s and returned to Britain with a unique acoustic guitar style, an eclectic repertoire and a ‘right hand worthy of Broonzy’!
John Renbourn, Clapton and Keith Richards have all named him as an important early influence and in May 2012 Bruce Springsteen opened his Berlin show with Wizz’s song ‘When I Leave Berlin’.

After more than 50 years ‘on the road’ Wizz continues to tour on the Acoustic Folk and Blues circuit, usually solo but sometimes with his Son Simeon on Sax, Flute and Harmonica.


In 1989, Duncan Chisholm, a first-class exponent of the traditional Scottish Highland fiddle, along with vocalist and acoustic guitarist, Stuart Eaglesham, formed ‘Wolfstone’.

Later that year and with all the other ‘embryonic’ members of the initial line-up firmly in place, the band performed their launch-pad gig at the very first Highland Traditional Music Festival in Dingwall.

The rest as they say, is history, and for more than 21 years, Wolfstone, with Duncan and Stuart and long term Piper Stevie Saint, as the mainstays of the band’s line-up, have taken their living, breathing, adrenalin inducing version of the evolving folk tradition across the World.
With several highly successful performances at major Festivals in the UK, Continental Europe and Scandinavia last year; including the renowned Celtic Connections, the Gosport Easter Festival, the Burns Festival, The Wickham Festival, the award winning Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival and the superb Tonder Festival (Denmark) plus many more in Spain and Switzerland, etc; Wolfstone is well proven as a very popular ‘Festival’ band and guaranteed to have any crowd singing and dancing the night away!

ZZ Birmingham

Bringing his blues to the people in a career spanning three decades, his charismatic stage presence, dynamic musical skills and fund of blues lore continue to enthral blues fans nation-wide. Equally at home fronting his powerful electric band in a Howling Wolf song, trading harmonies at a folk festival with washboard wizard Miss Carmen and acting the bard with his stories and ballads, ZZB is all blues.


Old Somerset Russets

Formed in 2012, The Old Somerset Russets have been running workshops at Priddy since 2013, as well as playing for the festival church service in true Thomas Hardy style. A group of West Country musicians (strings, woodwind, squeezeboxes and a touch of brass), the Russets combine words and music to recreate the sound and spirit of the village bands of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Playing in three or four part harmony, they draw on the old tunes as well as a few modern ones, punctuated with readings – sometimes moving, sometimes hilarious – to tell the story of the players whose music provided the soundtrack to the life of English villages.


Play English dance tunes in glorious 3 or 4 part harmony with The Old Somerset Russets and help recreate that village band sound so loved by Thomas Hardy. The ability to read music is recommended but non-readers are welcome to pick up the tunes by ear. Suitable for all melody instruments.


With live music and Welsh cakes ‘Hiraeth’ explores the decline of Welsh tradition and identity through the story of one woman’s struggle to escape and let go.

In the summer of 1989, a farmer’s wife gave birth to a baby girl named Buddog James Jones. In this moment she became heir to the family’s three hundred year old farming dynasty.

Desperate to leave her family farm, Bud wrestles with the knowledge that her departure will sound the death knell for the family farm. Leaving five generations of tradition behind her as she sets out alone into the big smoke…

Created by Jesse Briton, Buddog James Jones and Max Mackintosh. Presented by the Buddog James Jones Collective


Hiraeth was premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2014, after winning the Ideas Tap Award 2014, to great success.

Jez Hellard & the Djukella Orchestra

A singer of potent songs, stunning harmonica player, guitarist and producer, Jez Hellard thrives on music of all stripes. His band, The Djukella Orchestra, play traditional and contemporary folk music, from jigs and reels to tango, rhumba, funk and reggae. From original and traditional songs to rare gems from some of the world`s greatest, if lesser known song-writers; often fellow troubadors who Jez has met in many years on the road.