The centrepiece of concerts at the festival, the Ham Marquee provides a comfortable seated-venue for three first class concerts each day. Afternoon Concerts included in Week, Weekend and Day tickets will feature:
Saturday 4th August – 3.15pm Steve Tilston & Jez Lowe plus Narthen
Two of the UK scene’s finest songwriters join forces for a concert filled with words, music, banter and intimate insights into their approach to their craft. Head to head, (guitar-) neck and neck, listen in as they rekindle the spontaneity of their late-night living-room song swaps. Questions, answers, anecdotes and anarchy… and a masterclass in songwriting!
Plus Narthen – The mighty four-part harmonies of Barry Coope and Lester Simpson (Coope Boyes and Simpson), Jo Freya (Blowzabella/Moirai) and Fi Fraser (The Old Fashioned/ Polka Works). The quartet, previously known under their own names for Christmas shows and as part of shows with the author Michael Morpurgo, are now happily not just for Christmas! We can now enjoy an all year-round selection of songs (and instrumentals) that will touch the heart, engage the intellect and wow the ears.
Sunday 5th August – 3.15pm Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys plus Alden, Patterson and Dashwood
From Prince Edward Island, Gordie MacKeeman exemplifies the term natural showman. An ace fiddle player nicknamed “crazy legs” for his frenetic loose-limbed step- dancing, he just loves to perform. Combine that exuberance and onstage dynamism with the stellar musicianship of his multi-instrumentalist comrades His Rhythm Boys, and you have an unstoppable roots music force
Plus Alden, Patterson and Dashwood – Christina Alden (vocals/ guitar), Alex Patterson (fiddle/ vocals) and Noel Dashwood (dobro/ vocals) – were last year’s festival showstoppers with their sweet homegrown Americana-tinged sound, all the way from Norfolk.
Monday 6th August – 3.15pm Stick in the Wheel plus Naomi Bedford & Paul Simmonds
East London five-piece – headed by singer Nicola Kearey, and guitarist/producer Ian Carter – are no ordinary folk band. New album Follow Them True continues to question the notion of what folk music is, and what it means in 2018. Known for Kearey’s fierce, authentic delivery, theirs is culturally and politically switched on music with its roots firmly embedded in the genre’s traditional, working-class heritage.
Plus Naomi Bedford & Paul Simmonds, the “English Emmylou” with Men They Couldn’t Hang guitarist, with a bold repertoire spanning heartbreak, freedom, dissent and strife. “A favourite voice of mine…I love to hear her sing…” Shirley Collins
Tuesday 7th August – 3.15pm Alistair Anderson & Northlands plus Pete Coe
From the heart of Northumberland, this exciting new line-up (featuring internationally acknowledged the master of the English Concertina and Northumbrian Pipes, Alistair Anderson, gifted singer and flautist Sarah Hayes, ‘go to’ guitarist Ian Stephenson and dynamic fiddler Sophy Ball), conjures the spirit of the people and landscape of the North with music that is rooted in the tradition underpinned by arrangements that make the music soar.
Pete Coe supports, a major player in the British folk scene since the early 70s. A tireless performer, impressive singer, songwriter, and a multi-instrumentalist, he switches easily from bouzouki to melodeon, banjo, dulcimer and “feet” and can handle anything from traditional ballads to comic material….with a good dose of bleak for good measure.
Wednesday 8th August – 3.15pm Martin Carthy & John Kirkpatrick plus The Rheingans Sisters
Two leading interpreters of English folk traditions and long-time collaborators in a variety of seminal musical projects: from John’s iconic 1976 Morris tunes album Plain Capers through Steeleye Span to Brass Monkey. Pure English folk pedigree!
Plus The Rheingans Sisters – with a great new album, award-winning fiddle-singers and multi-instrumentalists Rowan and Anna Rheingans make bold, playful and innovative contemporary music anchored in folk traditions, without being bound by them.
Thursday 9th August – 3.15pm Edgelarks plus Sam Carter
BBC Folk Award winning duo Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin bring us a new music which grows from the roots of their previous work – with traditional music of the British Isles, Indian classical slide guitar, stomping roots party beatbox harmonica, and a strong seam of original writing. “Subtle, atmospheric… Bravely original” Robin Denselow, The Guardian ****
Plus Sam Carter, described as “the finest English-style finger-picking guitarist of his generation” by Jon Boden, performs in an intimate acoustic solo show, combining observation, social comment and personal reflection in his insightful songwriting.
Friday 10th August – 3.15pm Faustus plus Kitty Macfarlane
The pioneering, ‘bloke folk’ triumvirate of Benji Kirkpatrick (Seth Lakeman Band, Bellowhead), Saul Rose (Waterson:Carthy, Whapweasel) and Paul Sartin (Bellowhead, Belshazzar’s Feast). With a wealth of experience between them, they perform together in a virtuosic display of musicianship and testosterone, rooted deeply in the English tradition.
Plus Kitty Macfarlane, popular young Somerset-based singer/songwriter combines honest snapshots of everyday humanity in her songs with the bigger questions that have connected minds and voices for centuries, all driven by her own fingerpicked guitar.