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." +

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    http://www.livingtradition.co.uk/sites/default/files/imagecache/News-Fader-Pictures/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." +

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    http://www.livingtradition.co.uk/sites/default/files/imagecache/News-Fader-Pictures/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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    http://www.livingtradition.co.uk/sites/default/files/imagecache/News-Fader-Pictures/issue127_newsfeed.jpg

    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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    http://www.livingtradition.co.uk/sites/default/files/imagecache/News-Fader-Pictures/issue126_newsfeed.jpg

    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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    http://www.livingtradition.co.uk/sites/default/files/imagecache/News-Fader-Pictures/issue125_newsfeed.jpg

    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....

Buy the printed version of this issue from our online shop

Or subscribe here!
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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.
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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.
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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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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.
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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
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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.
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Bromyard has new Local Patrons

The directors of Bromyard Folk Festival invited local folk trio, Granny’s Attic, to become the patrons of the festival, after having appeared on their stage for many years. The band were both surprised and gracious in accepting the invitation.
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  • Birnam CD
  • Greentrax Recordings
  • Fellside Records
  • Hobgoblin
  • Celtic Music Radio - Listen
  • The Tradition Bearers

New Releases

Whitby Folk Week - 17-23 August

More than 600 events, spanning seven days, Whitby Folk Week is a firm favourite in the festival calendar. Visitors can enjoy over 300 concerts over seven days spread across 50 venues; you can dance until you drop, with ceilidhs and dances for everybody led by some of England's best callers; you can try your hand at one of the many workshops in anything from melodeon to Medieval dance, banjo to Border, or join the Festival Orchestra. There is also a huge range of children's and youth events.
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Dartmoor Folk Festival - 9-11 August

The 42nd Dartmoor Folk Festival will take place on the 9th, 10th & 11th August 2019 in the village of South Zeal near Okehampton in Devon. A packed weekend of concerts, ceilidhs, workshops, song and music sessions, children's festival, craft displays, folk service, Dartmoor ramble and much more, don't miss it!!! Guests this year include Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys, Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar, Sara Grey & Kieron Means, Moirai, The Jellyman's Daughter, Kirkophany, Luke Daniels, The Postman Poet Show (Liz Shakespeare, Nick Wyke, Becki Driscoll), The Stowes, The Dartmoor Pixie Band, Ramsley Minors, Crazy Goat, plus more to be confirmed...
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Wickham Festival - 1-4 August

Wickham provides a wonderful setting for the Wickham Festival. It is a lovely village in which to spend a weekend enjoying excellent music, fine food, great company and lovely surroundings. Set in rolling downland two miles north of Fareham in Hampshire, the village of Wickham has a picturesque Georgian Market Square, scenic water meadows, the historic Chesapeake Mill, plus attractive church and village buildings. The festival is on a lovely site, with camping/motorhome areas, and all the usual amenities including various stages, food vendors, traders, a children's area, bars and tearooms, and even a cinema!
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Speyfest - 26-28 July

At the end of July, the playing fields on East Street in the Moray town of Fochabers will be home to the 24th annual Speyfest, three days of the best in traditional and contemporary Celtic music. The tented village hosts a variety of seated and standing events including the Friday and Saturday concerts and stomps, the music marathon that is Speyfest Sunday, a craft and food fair with taster sessions and an ecumenical Celtic Kirk service. The event is fully licensed and offers a wide range of hot foods and a variety of drinks from a number of onsite concessions.
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Warwick Folk Festival - 25-28 July

Billy Bragg will be headlining on the Thursday of Warwick Folk Festival 2019 as they celebrate their 40th year on Thursday 25th - Sunday 28th July. The line up also includes other leading names from around the world including Skerryvore, Karan Casey, Will Pound & Eddy Jay, Breabach, O'Hooley & Tidow, Nancy Kerr, Calan, Melrose Quartet, Granny's Attic, John Kirkpatrick, Mick Ryan's Here At The Fair and more.
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Joe Mooney Summer School - Drumshanbo, Co Leitrim - 20-27 July

Drumshanbo is a small picturesque town situated in the very heart of County Leitrim, Ireland. Every July Drumshanbo plays host to the award winning Joe Mooney Summer School, a week long festival of traditional Irish music, song and dance named after the man who did so much to promote the cause of Leitrim and his beloved town. The committee continue to emulate his high ideals, endeavouring to promote Leitrim's heritage of traditional music while handing on the best traditions of the past to future generations.
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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.
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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.
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Obituaries