The Fringe is an opportunity to get to know bands and musicians from around Somerset and beyond. This year’s programme features a wonderful mix of traditional and new folk, Americana and RnB and Eastern European music – with a bit of country thrown in too.
And what’s more, it’s free!
Here’s a preview of what’s on:
West Country talent
Many performers at the Festival Fringe are locals from the Mendips, Somerset and the West Country.
We’ll hear from West Country singer-songwriter Sue Harding, whose second album “Darkling” was inspired by late Victorian poetry and was described by the Financial Times as “an ode to the English landscape”.
We’ll also hear from Cheddar-based husband-and-wife duo Issy and David Emeney. Issy plays the melodeon and David the guitar. FRoots magazine described their first album as: “one of those thoroughly companionable discs which invariably satisfies in the ‘quietly pleasing’ category on each subsequent play.” Sounds good!
BoyBovis is the solo folk project of Sid Plimmer, a mixed-media artist, writer and labourer from the Mendips whose work combines experimental sound and graphics and a preoccupation with changing rural landscapes, hard times, folk tales and the past.
Other acts from the Somerset scene include harmony duo The Willbees and the West Mendip trio Ochre Trails. The Avalonian Free State choir is also local: it was set up in Glastonbury. But this a capella choir performs songs from around the world, including salsa vocal percussion, sacred songs from Georgia and heartbreaking melodies from Bulgaria.
If you like hard-driving, foot-stomping blues, check out Bruton-based seven-piece Mojo Workin’. We guarantee you’ll want to be dancing by the end of their set! Another band presenting driving rhythms is Steal-Easy, a five-piece band from Somerset who like to blend Americana and country with a touch of rock.
Singer-songwriter Mandy Woods has a different sound – but she is also influenced by American music: now based in Glastonbury, she’s lived and worked in Texas, Tennessee and Florida.
Accomplished performers and strong harmonies
Singer-songwriter Simon Cousins set up his his first band at 13. Since then, he’s performed with the Wiltshire progressive garage band Random Gender, the American bluegrass/country/punk band The Onset and the folk/roots/rock group Ophiuchus. After a long break, he’s returned to performing and has delivered his laid-back original songs and covers at Glastonbury and Liverpool’s Everyman Folk Club.
The duo Old Friends are two solo performers who got together a few years ago. Now they blend their accomplished harmonies on songs from the dating from the 1960s to the present.
You can find more details of all the performers on the Priddy Folk Festival Fringe on our Fringe page.
Stepping up to the main stage
The Fringe is a seedbed for future appearances at the ticketed venues. Two of the 2022 Fringe performers, solo singer Sam Evans and bluegrass champions Old Baby Mackerel are back by popular demand. This year, they will be performing on the main Eastwater stage – check them out!
To help you plan your listening pleasure, we’ve published a quick guide to who’s on when. And of course, the full programme, with details about all the performers, will be available from the Festival office.
Open Mic sessions: Why not introduce yourself?
Do you want to introduce yourself to the Priddy Folk Festival audience? We’ll be holding Open Mic sessions on Friday and Saturday evenings – you can sign up from 7 p.m. each night.