20 Years of Malinky

For the last 20 years Scottish folk band, Malinky, has made a name for itself as one of the great champions of traditional Scots song. As the band prepares to launch its 20th anniversary album, Handsel, I caught up with two of its founder members, Steve Byrne and Mark Dunlop. They start by telling me a bit about the early days - the line-up back then consisted of Steve, Mark, Karine Polwart and Kit Patterson. Mark begins: “As I recall, the scene at the time comprised either instrumental bands who did the odd song (e.g. Deaf Shepherd), or purely instrumental acts." +

  • http://www.livingtradition.co.uk/sites/default/files/imagecache/News-Fader-Thumbnails/issue129_newsfeed.jpg

    20 Years of Malinky

    For the last 20 years Scottish folk band, Malinky, has made a name for itself as one of the great champions of traditional Scots song. As the band prepares to launch its 20th anniversary album, Handsel, I caught up with two of its founder members, Steve Byrne and Mark Dunlop. They start by telling me a bit about the early days - the line-up back then consisted of Steve, Mark, Karine Polwart and Kit Patterson. Mark begins: “As I recall, the scene at the time comprised either instrumental bands who did the odd song (e.g. Deaf Shepherd), or purely instrumental acts." +

  • http://www.livingtradition.co.uk/sites/default/files/imagecache/News-Fader-Thumbnails/issue128_newsfeed.jpg

    Pete Coe, Brian Peters & Laura Smyth - The Road To Peterloo

    August 16, 2019 is the bicentenary of the Peterloo massacre when 60 cavalrymen charged into a peaceful crowd of men, women and children who had assembled to protest against poverty and their deteriorating conditions and to demand improved democratic representation in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. The event took place in St Peter’s Field Manchester, just four years after the battle of Waterloo - hence the name. +

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    Iona Fyfe - The Real Deal

    2018 was a remarkable year for Aberdeenshire singer Iona Fyfe. It kicked off in January with a ‘live’ performance of her album, Away From My Window, at Celtic Connections, and ended in December with her walking away with the Scots Singer of the Year prize at the Scots Trad Music Awards. In between, she toured so extensively at home and abroad, including appearances at prestigious events like the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, that one paper said she “made Metallica look like skivers”. Post Trad Awards she has been congratulated in the Scottish Parliament, released a new EP, and is preparing for her finals at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in July. +

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    Jack Rutter

    The chances are that anyone attending a folk festival this summer will probably have seen Jack Rutter making an appearance somewhere along the line. Perhaps best known as the final name in the young traditional and mainly instrumental group, Moore Moss Rutter, this is the year that Jack has progressed from being well-known as a guitar player and one third of a group, to a multi-instrumentalist solo artist with a CD of his own and a string of bookings. +

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    Andy Cutting - At The Cutting Edge

    I first heard Andy Cutting with the wonderful Blowzabella at The Brewery, in Kendal, in the mid-1990s, and thought at the time how young he looked to be such an accomplished musician. I last saw him in 2017 when he was playing with the differently wonderful Leveret, and thought... how young he looked for such an accomplished musician..... +

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    Rowan Piggott - next generation

    Rowan Piggott is the fiddle-playing and singing son of Charlie Piggott of De Danann fame. He is currently making a name for himself around the folk scene in England as a solo musician and also as a member of the Georgia Lewis Band and as half of a duo with Rosie Hodgson. He is the next generation, not just of a family of musicians, but he is also part of the next generation of folk musicians, festival and club goers, working in the scene and making it their own. +

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    Will Pound - Through The Seasons

    Not many people who are known primarily as a folk artist can claim to have played on a number one record in the charts. Even one nominated three times for the coveted BBC Folk Awards ‘Musician of the Year’. However, Will Pound played the opening harmonica riff on one such record. He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother, by the Justice Collective, was recorded to raise money for the various charities associated with the Hillsborough families. It reached the highly coveted Christmas Number One spot in 2012. +

Breaking News

Living Tradition Issue 129 is out now!

Issue 129 of The Living Tradition (June/July 2019) featuring articles on: Malinky, Martin Carthy, Matt Quinn & Owen Woods, Ed Pickford, Emma Corbett, Tannara, The Gavin Greig Interviews 4, Gypsy Musicians in the British Isles, In The Family Way, Craiceann Bodhran Summer School, Transatlantic Connections, June-August Festival Listings, news, reviews and much more....

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Festivals getting Drastic On Plastic

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention is one of many festivals that have backed a call to say ‘no’ to single-use tents and are urging festival-goers to take tents home for re-use in an attempt to tackle the problem of single-use plastics. Together with over 60 other music festivals across the UK, Cropredy organisers have called on big retailers such as Argos and Tesco to stop marketing ‘festival tents’ as single-use items.

All Britain Fleadh set for Kirkby Lonsdale

Kirkby Lonsdale and the Lune Valley are set to take centre stage for one of Ireland’s most prestigious cultural events - the 2019 All-British Traditional Irish Music Festival. In its 61-year history, the All Britain Fleadh (pronounced flah) has never before been held in a town. Previously, the organisers have relied on schools or universities to provide suitable venues.

Wales Folk Awards 2019

The inaugural Wales Folk Awards, held on 11 April, was a great evening for Welsh music. The Trials Of Cato, Vri, Calan and Gwilym Bowen Rhys performed to a packed hall at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff. BBC folk show presenters Frank Hennessy and Lisa Gwilym hosted the celebration and guests from the world of music and the arts joined the evening to present some of the awards.

TRAD RECLAIMED: WOMEN IN FOLK MUSIC - Kings Place, London - 15-17 March 2019

It all started when Rachel Newton, who became Musician of the Year in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2017, wrote a Facebook post about the lack of women in folk music in 2016, citing as an example the experience of the seven members of the all-woman group, The Shee, including herself, when they were turned down for a festival as the organisers had already booked their quota of one 'girl' act for the year. The response online was overwhelming, and there followed a panel discussion at Celtic Connections in 2017.

Edinburgh Folk Music Walking Tours

This summer sees the launch of Edinburgh Folk Music Walking Tours by musician John Carnie. These will allow the visitor to learn about the history of the city, combined with the musical heritage of Scottish traditional folk music. John will sing songs and play tunes from the rich treasure trove of traditional music linked to the sites en route. For more info see musicalheritagetours.com

New Arts Centre for Newton Stewart

The closure of Newton Stewart's RBS branch may have a silver lining for Wigtownshire traditional music lovers. Plans are progressing to transform this spacious building into the Vault Arts Centre. The Trad Music Trust charity, organisers of the Newton Stewart and Minnigaff Traditional Music and Dance Festival, plan to use it for music, dance, arts and language tuition, exhibitions and live performances. This substantial space will be a welcome cultural addition to the town, and the local community is firmly behind the moves.

Alan Bell dies

We were very sad to hear of the death of Alan Bell on Thursday 25th April. Songwriter, performer, and founder and director of the Fylde Folk Festival, Alan will be hugely missed. A one-day revival of the festival on 22nd June to celebrate Alan's 85th birthday had been organised, and the family plan to continue with this celebration, in commemoration of Alan's life and music. Many sympathies to Christine and the family at this sad time.


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  • Celtic Music Radio - Listen
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New Releases

Ely Folk Festival - 12-14 July

Ely Folk Festival is a bijou weekend folk and roots music festival that takes place in the wonderful cathedral city of Ely. The festival is an opportunity to listen to some of the best folk and roots acts around in an intimate and friendly environment. With on-site camping facilities, a real ale bar, lots of kids activities, morris dancing displays, ceilidhs, workshops and music sessions, whether you visit for a day or the whole weekend, the festival is a sure winner for music and festival lovers of all ages.

Cleckheaton Folk Festival - 5-7 July

This July sees the 32nd Cleckheaton Folk Festival taking place in the Yorkshire town. With a great line-up, and sessions, singarounds, workshops, street entertainment and a craft fair, there is plenty going on. Artists this year include Jon Boden & The Remnant Kings, Daphne's Flight, Trials of Cato, Alden, Patterson & Dashwood, Flossie Malavialle, Kitty Macfarlane, Nick Hart, Steve Turner, Stanley Accrington, Bob & Gill Berry, Ruth & Sadie Price and many more.

Stonehaven Folk Festival - 12-14 July

Always a great weekend, Stonehaven Folk Festival has some of the best traditional and contemporary folk music with concerts, ceilidh, sessions, singarounds, workshops, the famous aqua ceilidh and world paper’n’comb championships! The festival was established in 1989 and has gone from strength to strength ever since, attracting 2,500 attendees last year.

Scoil Samhraidh Willie Clancy - 6-14 July

The Willie Clancy Summer School is a major traditional Irish music, song and dance event held annually in Miltown Malbay, County Clare, Ireland. The 47th Summer School will take place between Saturday July 6th and Sunday July 14th 2019 with instrument and dance classes, lectures, workshops, recitals and céilithe all through the week.

New Forest Folk Festival - 3-7 July

New Forest Folk Festival is a family run festival, held on Powells Farm, near Plaitford on the edge of the New Forest. The farm has been in the Curtis family for six generations. Situated in the beautiful village setting in the Test Valley district of Hampshire, the farm is perfect for hosting a folk festival. It is surrounded by trees and is almost flat with a gentle slope down to the stage and stream that runs through the centre of the farm.

St Albans Folk Festival - 28-30 June

St Albans Folk Festival 2019 will be on June 28-30, with the main events being on Saturday June 29, 2019. These will consist of a day of dance in the city centre, a day of music with free showcase performances in local pubs and other venues, sessions and singarounds and a festival concert featuring iconic band Flook at the Roman Theatre at Verulamium.

Fylde Folk Festival - one day revival - 22 June

To celebrate his 85th birthday, 65 years of gigging and 55 years of composing, Alan Bell, founder of the Fylde Folk Festival who sadly died in April, had organised to revive the festival for a one-day event on 22nd June this year. Despite Alan's death, this event will still go ahead, and will be held in the Marine Hall in Fleetwood.

Gate To Southwell Festival - 6-9 June

The Gate to Southwell Festival is now established as a leading international roots and acoustic music event rivaling other well-established festivals and receiving many accolades. The festival site is on the edge of the historic and beautiful market town of Southwell next to the racecourse, and approximately 13 miles from Nottingham and 8 miles from the A1 and Newark.