Lewes Folk Festival 2018


Click on the images for a larger version. Numbers after the artist names are links to the events they are involved in.

Martyn Wyndham-Read & Iris Bishop Martyn Wyndham-Read has been involved with folk music for over forty years. In his late teens he left his mother's farm in Sussex and headed off, with his guitar, to Australia where he worked on a sheep station Emu Springs in South Australia. It was while he was there that he heard, first hand, the old songs sung by some of the station hands at Emu Springs and he became captivated by these songs and the need to know more of them and where they came from grew.
He headed off to Melbourne and became part of the folk song revival there and throughout Australia during the early1960's.
Back to England in 1967 where he met up with the renowned singer and song collector Bert Lloyd, who himself had spent time in Australia. Martyn was asked by Bert Lloyd to be part of the album 'Leviathan' on the Topic label and soon after he started recording for Bill Leader and touring extensively worldwide.
In the early 1970's Martyn started the 'Maypoles to Mistletoe' concerts which portray the seasons of the year through song, music, dance and verse and illustration. Martyn is also the instigator of the well known Song Links Project.
Iris Bishop is one of the UK's outstanding concertina players and she plays a wide range of music with an inspired musicality. As well as playing with Martyn as a duo, she also works in his 'No Mans Band' as well as with Elsie's Band, The Other band and with Jim Ward.

Jackie Oates Jackie Oates is a fine young singer & fiddle player from Staffordshire. Her unique treatment of English ballads & songs, & pure, haunting singing style, has established her at the forefront of the new English folk revival.
Jackie Oates' website

Jackie Oates Tristan Seume is one of the UK’s leading acoustic guitarists. Strongly influenced by folk, jazz and country, he has released two instrumental solo albums, You Just Know and Middle Child, featuring a mixture of original compositions, traditional tunes and a few choice covers
Tristan Seume's website

The Young Coppers The Young Coppers are Bob Coppers' grandchildren. Jill's three sons Mark, Andrew and Sean, together with John's sons Ben and Tom, and daughter Lucy are all part of The Copper Family lineup, thus completing seven consecutive generations of singing Coppers.
The Young Coppers's website

Shirley Collins & Ian Kearey Shirley Collins has been the our festival patron since it was re-formed in 2010 and this Lewes resident has contributed to it in many ways, but previously, she has never sung for us! The story of this iconic figure's return to singing after a gap of nearly thirty years has been of enormous interest to the British folk scene. In recent years her vast contribution has been widely recognised with awards like the M.B.E. an honorary doctorate from Sussex University, the presidency of the E.F.D.S.S as well being as a recipient of that society’s Gold Badge and The BBC Folk Awards “Good Tradition” award. All these are in recognition of a multiplicity of important involvements over six decades.
The same weekend as the festival there will be the World Premiere of a film about her life, “The Ballad of Shirley Collins” at the London Film Festival. Her hugely successful new album “Lodestar” was produced by the man who will accompany her at her concert at the Westgate Chapel. Ian Kearey is a talented and inventive multi-instrumentalist and singer with a deep love and understanding of traditional and roots music. He first came to prominence as a member of the almost interchangeable bands, Fiddler's Dram and The Oyster Band. After many years as a full-time musician, his move to Brighton coincided with his leaving the Oysters. He became a founder member of the popular local folk dance band, the Sussex Pistols which he still plays with nearly 30 years later. He has played with a large number of other bands, most recently with the exciting Pigeon Swing.
Shirley Collins's website

John & Di Cullen John and Di Cullen have been described as “an inspirational music partnership” performing contemporary and traditional material with harmony, humour, guitar and bowed psaltery. First album, Moonlighting, is available plus their second, Two for the road, was released in November 2016.
John & Di Cullen on Youtube

Dan Quinn DAN QUINN Dan helped to form the seminal English country dance band Flowers and Frolics in 1976 and, with them, was resident as singer and musician at the Islington Folk Club at the Empress of Russia until the mid-eighties, enjoying Bob Davenport's eclectic booking policy. From the ashes of Flowers and Frolics arose the phoenix of Gas Mark 5, a band in which he played for five years before his re-settlement in Sussex. He continued to play with Ken Lees and Sue Bainbridge from the Islington folk club days as The Dan Quinn Trio and, with additions to the line-up, as The Dan Quintet. He now plays in the dance band The Watch and sings in a duo with Will Duke, specialising in unaccompanied unison singing. He has toured Sweden (with Gas Mark 5) and has performed at major British folk festivals from Shetland to Sidmouth. He also performs in the very popular trio, Duck Soup.
Dan Quinn's website

Bob Lewis Bob grew up at Heyshott in West Sussex and comes from a family of traditional singers, notably his mother. As a young man he spent time seeking out the country pubs and ale houses in various parts of the county where you could still hear the old songs and he became friendly with many of the older singers who sang these songs, notably George Belton, Cyril Phillips and Gordon Hall. He has been widely sought out by folk clubs and at many and varied events in the county and throughout England at folk and traditional music festivals as one of the finest surviving singers of traditional songs. His incisive but gentle voice has been heard on a number of fine recordings.

Mandy & Aishling Murray Mandy Murray is an all-Ireland champion Anglo concertina player and fine singer. Her daughter Aisling Murray is also a delightful concertina player and intelligent, sensitive singer of mainly Irish traditional songs. Mandy runs wonderful Irish music sessions in Brighton which attract top local and visiting musicians. She is featured on the definitive set of Anglo concertina CDs Anglo International.
Mandy Murray on Youtube

Will Duke Will Duke lives in Sussex and has been playing the Anglo concertina and singing English traditional songs since 1971. He played in the Etchingham Steam Big Band, the Albion Dance Band, the Pump & Pluck Band, and the Bob Davenport Band; he is in a duo with Dan Quinn, plays in the Twagger Band and also does solo work and workshops. His last CD, Out of the Box, his first solo recording, was issued in 2008 on the Country Branch label. Will was greatly influenced by the playing style and repertoire of Sussex concertina player Scan Tester (1887-1972), and he plays one of Scan's concertinas. He also sought out traditional singers in Sussex in the 1970s and 1980s, and spent many hours in their company.

Steve and Diane Nevill It was a shared interest in folk music that brought Steve and Diane together many years ago. Steve played melodeon and anglo concertina for a number of local morris sides throughout the 1980's and 1990's before concentrating on singing and playing a variety of instraments in the local clubs. They have been performing together since 2003 and are regulars at both Seaford Folk Club and the Lewes Saturday Folk Club.

Valma Goodyear and Bryan Creer Valma Goodyear and Bryan Creer have been playing concertinas together for getting on for twenty years as a duo and as part of The Spare Parts Concertina Band. They run the Lewes Favourites and Concertinas Anonymous practice sessions in Lewes and have taken the same format out to festivals around the country.
Spare Parts Concertina Band website

Sussex Harmony Sussex Harmony was founded in 1992 to research, reconstruct and perform the little known music of the English Church and Independent Chapel from 1700 to 1850, and its derivatives from New England and the Southern States - a tradition that continues with new music to the present day.
They have brought their vibrant music to other choirs by arranging workshops for them. They now have longstanding friendships with choirs such as the Bexhill Methodists and Catsfield parish church. Both have invited them back several times and thoroughly enjoyed performing along side them, often dressing up for the occasion too.
The quire's membership is drawn from people of all ages with a variety of interests and consists of an enthusiastic band of amateur singers and instrumentalists. Weekly practices are held on Thursdays in Lewes and new members are always welcome. Their current membership is around 20 and they have a curtal, oboe, clarinet and recorder, with occasional flute and violin.
They are of all – or no – religious persuasions. Though they tend to practice and perform in churches and chapels they have also performed in venues ranging from theatres to breweries!

Last updated 07/07/2017