Stop Look Listen with Zoe Konez and Chance Kellner

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I will be performing as a duo with the brilliant Chance Kellner on violin at this lovely night in Manor House hosted by Zoe Konez.

I shared a stage with Zoe’s band ‘Cat Bear Tree’ a few months back and they were superb – have a listen to their music here https://catbeartree.bandcamp.com/

This will surely be my last show before Christmas and maybe until April if my winter time plan to hibernate at a meditation centre goes to plan. It would be lovely to see you if you can make it down.

Tuesday December 2nd @ 7.30pm – The Finsbury, 336 Green Lanes, London, N4 1BY – http://www.thefinsbury.co.uk

Gig with ‘3 Cane Whale’ for Edward Thomas Symposium

bedales 3cw pf et gig banner

3 Cane Whale are without doubt one of my favourite bands in the world so I am thrilled that I am going to be sharing a stage with them next month.

We are putting on this one off event in the Lupton Hall at Bedales School to celebrate the life and works of Edward Thomas during his annual symposium.

Saturday 15th November 8pm (doors 7:30pm)
Lupton Hall, Bedales School, Steep, Hampshire, GU32 9DG
£10 (£8 concessions)

http://www.bedales.org.uk/bedales-arts/events/pedal-folk-and-three-cane-whale

Edward Thomas is one of our country’s literary heroes, whose work deals with themes that still have huge resonance today such as the encroachment of industry and large scale mechanised agriculture into the natural world and the search for traditional values and national heritage during uncertain times.

Many contemporary poets and musicians cite Thomas as an influence and the members of Pedal Folk and Three Cane Whale have been brought together from Bath, Bristol and London in their admiration of his work.

Their music draws inspiration not only directly from his words but also the themes of an English culture that he searched for and reflected upon through his love of poetry, of folk song and the joy that he took in traveling the land. Guaranteed to be a brilliant evening of music that will delight and engage fans of Thomas’ work as well as those who haven’t experienced his words.

 

TA&aC at the cock & bull festival

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I will be performing ‘Three Acres And A Cow – A History Of Land Rights And Protest In Folk Song And Story’ with Rachel Rose Reid at the Cock & Bull Festival in Wiltshire on 26th July after lunchtime around the 2pm mark.

Have a little peek at their website by clicking on the poster … there is loads of great stuff going on including some brilliant friends of mine such as Nick Hart, Pete The Temp, Whiskey Moonface and a host of others. The festival is a fundraiser for a really great farm charity which connects young people from the city with food and the countryside.

Rachel and Robin 1400


Here is a beautiful video about Jamie’s Farm –

photos from pedal folk spring tours

review of ‘pedal folk’ by folk radio uk

folk radio ukI have just got back from the fourth Pedal Folk tour – this time cycling from Somerset to Oxford.

This lovely review landed in our inboxes and can be read in its original form here – http://www.folkradio.co.uk/2014/06/live-review-pedal-folk-swindon-central-library-30052014/

Live Review: Pedal Folk @ Swindon Central Library, 30/05/2014

6 June 2014 by

Swindon exists roughly at the centre of an imaginary cross whose four arms connect four of the most important places in the life of poet Edward Thomas. To the northwest are the Cotswold hills, where he spent time walking and writing with friend and fellow poet Robert Frost. To the southeast is the village of Steep in rural Hampshire where he lived from 1906. East is London, his birthplace, and west are the Quantock hills, the subject he chose for his final book of prose, In Pursuit of Spring.

Swindon was also home to the father of modern nature writing, Richard Jefferies, who was a great early influence on (and subject of a biography by) Thomas. So it is doubly appropriate that Pedal Folk should have chosen the town’s Central Library – home, incidentally, to an extensive collection of Jefferies’ works – as a venue on their In Pursuit of Spring tour.

The premise is fairly simple. Three musicians and their bicycles follow the route taken by Thomas in his book, stopping along the way to perform songs taken from or inspired by it. Of course, traveling by bike does not allow for much in the way of luggage, so the choice of instruments if fairly small – a guitar shared between the project’s joint instigators Tim Graham and Robin Grey, a ukulele and the fiddle of Katie Stone-Lonergan.

2014-05-28 14.15.44But the necessary simplicity in no way limits the range of material on offer. There are jaunty instrumental fiddle tunes (including a stirring Bath Carnival) and lusty shanties (tonight’s rendition of Santy Anna, a song Thomas loved to sing while traveling, gives Paul Clayton’s definitive version a run for its money). There are also a number of original compositions, among them Leaving London, which concludes with a spoken passage of Thomas’ prose. Grey – whose background is in pop rather than folk – emerges as an accomplished songwriter, throwing around cutting couplets and catchy hooks whilst referencing Leonard Cohen, Ani DiFranco and Weezer or eulogising his favourite inner-city vegetable-grower. Graham, more used to the folk circuit, is an excellent interpreter and re-appropriator of songs, with a hearty voice and an uncluttered Bert Jansch-esque guitar style. His spirited, unaccompanied Chiffchaff is one of many highlights, suggesting both the wonder of nature and the tragedy of trench warfare. Stone-Lonergan, who has played with the Proclaimers and west country favourites Port Erin, provides a clean, fizzing fiddle accompaniment and sweet backing vocals.

The trio have an engaging between-song repartee, important in a show like this when a certain amount of background information has to be delivered. Their enjoyment and passion for the subject is obvious and unfeigned, and they take every opportunity to include the audience in the performance, notably in John Ball, a feisty sing-along originally penned by Lord of the Dance writer Sydney Carter. It is the kind of song that thrives in a live setting.

Pedal Folk promo smallIn the folk tradition, nothing evokes the spirit of the great outdoors – and the spirit of the underdog – like a good poaching song. The best – Thorneymoor Woods, The Rufford Park Poachers, Van Diemen’s Land – manage in varying degrees to combine the romance of the sport with a serious message about class distinction and social upheaval, a message that would have appealed to Edward Thomas with his innate distrust of authority. So it is fitting that tonight’s performance ends with a stirring version of one of the best (and best-known) poaching songs, The Lincolnshire Poacher, a rousing favourite that manages to coax some singing out of the shyest quarters of the audience.

leigh folk festival – music by the sea

This summer I am totally chuffed to be back at the Leigh Folk Festival again. I will be performing on the Squeezebox Folk Stage at The Scout Hut on Sunday 29th June somewhere around the midday mark – please check the program to confirm this.

It is the biggest and IMHO best free folk festival in the country – I have seen so many brilliant performances there over the last few years – you can get there from London Fenchurch Street station in under and hour… and there is a BEACH. A real beach which you can sit on and eat ice cream.

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three acres and a cow at tolpuddle martyr’s festival

tolpuddleReally happy to announce that I am performing ‘Three Acres And A Cow – A History Of Land Rights And Protest In Folk Song And Story’ with Rachel Rose Reid at the Tolpuddle Martyrs’ Festival this year.

I think we are on Sunday afternoon in the Martyrs’ Marquee but this may change so do check the schedule if you are planning on heading down.

This festival is a must for any one interested in music and politics. The Tolpuddle Martyrs’ were given hugely cruel sentences in the 1830’s for setting up an early union to campaign for agricultural labourers’ wages – their sentences were eventually overturned after massive nationwide outrage, laying foundations for all people campaigning for a fairer and more equal society ever since.

artists corner interview on jamendo

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The good folk over at Jamendo did a nice interview with me a little while back and it is now online. In it i confess to performing with Cliff Richard at the Royal Albert Hall as a child chorister #whoops

http://artistscorner.jamendo.com/2014/03/silence-tends-to-be-my-default-soundtrack-robin-grey.html