Frome announce 2013 artists and earlybird tickets
The picturesque Somerset market town of Frome is gearing up for the 2013 return of its vibrant new folk festival, successfully launched this year. The winter weekend festival became the West Country’s newest folk festival in February and proved an instant hit – the second successful festival that South West-based music promoter Jan Ayers has launched during a recession. The festival will return to the former 19th century market hall of Frome’s popular Cheese & Grain and other venues around the town and award-winning Irish songstress Cara Dillon, who lives in Frome, is festival patron. The event will be staged on 16th & 17th February 2013.
The inaugural event brought thousands of festival-goers, Morris dancers and the cream of the British folk music world flocking to the historic town, including a raft of BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards winners past and present. Now organisers have unveiled the 2013 event which will take place on the weekend of February 16/17.
Saturday and Sunday headliners are still to be revealed but among the first artists to be announced is Lucy Ward, who won the Horizon (Best Emerging Act) Award at the 2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Derbyshire’s Lucy, with her blue hair and big personality, is one of the most in-demand young artists on the acoustic roots scene. Another early addition to the line-up is the acclaimed Yorkshire-based duo of Belinda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow with their irresistible blend of striking arrangements, sublime harmonies and Northern banter. The captivating chamber-folk duo who have performed together since 2009, received 4 star reviews in The Guardian, MOJO, Uncut and Songlines for their latest album The Fragile. The duo’s unusual songs touch on everything from dark folk tales, ecology and cross-dressing historical figures to the invisibility of the elderly and the global economy.
Sublime genre-hopping musicianship will be on offer in the shape of Peter Knight’s Gigspanner. The legendary fiddler from Steeleye Span will be joined by guitar virtuoso Roger Flack and Vincent Salzfaas on congas and djembe. Interweaving British traditional and world music in a feelgood set, Songlines Magazine said the band represents “another milestone in folk’s rebirth of cool”.
Also heading for Frome will be two of England’s top singer songwriters -Gloucestershire’s Johnny Coppin and Cornwall’s Mike Silver. Coppin is the former frontman of cult 70s band Decameron and known for his collaborations with the late author and poet Laurie Lee, whilst Silver penned the widely playlisted song Not a Matter of Pride. Together as the duo Coppin Silver they have formed a winning combination which has been described as “a match made in folk heaven” and have recorded the album Breaking the Silence.
Hartlepool’s The Young ‘Uns – Sean Cooney, David Eagle and Michael Hughes - who are rapidly making their mark on the folk scene – are also on the bill. The trio’s material ranges from unaccompanied traditional sea and working songs to Cooney’s own originals which strongly evoke the North-East’s heritage.
Some of Newcastle’s finest young musicians have also been announced for Frome 2013 in the shape of The Monster Ceilidh Band. Accordion maestro Amy Thatcher (Kathryn Tickell Band, The Shee) and Scottish Borders fiddler Carly Blain (Border Fiddles) blaze their way through traditional and modern tunes underpinned by the unique rhythms of Kieran Szifris on mandocello and the dub-heavy electric bass of David de la Haye (Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies). They have entertained all over the world with their cross-genre ceilidh music -before 8,000 people at Glastonbury and at the Rainforest World Music Festival in Borneo.
Situated at the eastern end of the Mendip Hills, the perfect winter festival town of Frome is close to the cities of Bath, Wells and Salisbury and boasts steep cobbled streets, old weavers’ cottages and historic Georgian buildings.
Frome Folk Festival will run from 10am-11pm both days. Early Bird weekend tickets, price £58 (£48 concessions) now available from the Cheese and Grain box office on (01373) 455420, or online at www.cheeseandgrain.co.uk
or via www.seetickets
.com and www.Gigantic.com
. A family weekend ticket for two adults and 2 children (aged under 15) is £190.
For those wishing to camp, there will be provision locally for tents and camper vans and indoor camping will return to the town’s United Reformed Church. There are also numerous campsites, hotels and B & B’s in the area.