ARTISTS' BIOGS

FRIDAY Evening - 23 March

THE URBAN FOLK QUARTET
The premise is simple: four highly accomplished musicians, a dozen instruments and four voices coming together to put on a high-energy show of grooving, globally-influenced folk music that will take your breath away. The result is a show like no other. Blistering beats, burning fiddle tunes and elements from all four corners of the globe delivered with boundless energy and humour. It's true fusion - not just the careless splicing together of genres. The UFQ are equally at home delivering a sombre air or harmonised Appalachian folk song as they are ripping into a rock-infused reel. It's the rich palette of musical experiences brought to the band by it's members that give the UFQ it's unique sound and approach. Having worked across the world with acts such as The Cheiftains, Bellowhead, The Albion Band and Carlos Nunez, it's easy to see the folk pedigree. Add acoustic punks The Violent Femmes, gypsy maniacs The Destroyers, The Mediaeval Baebes, Cerys Matthews and Chris While into the mix and you start to get a glimpse of the band's multi-disciplinary credentials.

KORASONG RADIO
Korasong Radio are  three globe-trotting musicians: Rebecca Askew, Jeremy Avis and Surahata Susso who compose, create and perform together.Three soaring voices in  glorious harmony, accompanied by the grooving sounds of the Gambian kora, guitars, bass, kit, melodica and African percussion........... like Fleet Foxes or Crosby, Stills and Nash but also defined by the driving grooves of the Kora and West African rhythms. KSR's music combines real trans-global funkiness with soaring melodies of heart-melting poignancy. It's a genuine collaboration, an exploration of new musical territory brought about by the multi-cultural landscapes of modern Britain and the Gambia.

FEARNE
Based in Bournemouth and with a firm reputation around the South, this thoughtful quartet play meaningful, lyrical pop music that covers subjects as broad as Lily Allen, Formula 1, love triangles and praying for sunshine.  Winners of the 2011 Dorset Music Awards, Fearne have appeared at Larmer Tree Festival, Beach Break Live and have toured with Athlete, Feeder, Nizlopi and many more but what makes Fearne unique is the natural ability to make even the most extravagant Pop song feel intimate. Principal songwriter Alex performs with his audience in his palm and his heart on his sleeve and is perfectly complimented by the multi instrumentalists Nick, Adam and Darren. Heavily tipped for big things by BBC Introducing as a “Folk/Pop band with a moral compas”. just look out for the band with the lucky gold cat…

ALEX ROBERTS
Alex is an artist who represents all the best aspects of the songwriter’s craft. His songs are shaped, sculpted and coloured by the myriad experiences of his life, from his time spent travelling and absorbing various cultures across Europe and the Indian subcontinent, which gave birth to his debut album 'The Giant Killer Sessions'; to his reclusive lifestyle in a tepee, and the writing of his second album 'By The Ley'. His is a craft well learned, and invested with depths of emotion and empathy that are unique. Alex Roberts blends genres from baroque to blues, with a warm soulful voice, finger-style guitar, some fine lapsteel playing, mandolin, and a stompbox to boot. At home Alex teaches guitar. This includes work with Billy Bragg's ‘Jail Guitar Doors’; A project to aid rehabilitation, through music, in a young offender’s institute.


SATURDAY 24 March

MARTYN JOSEPH
Martyn’s ability to transcend preconceptions about how one man and a guitar can sound is testament to his talent and stage presence. In fact, you’d be forgiven for thinking that there’s more than one musician on stage. He continues to tour extensively on both sides of the Atlantic, building up a constantly expanding and enthusiastic fan base. The shows are intelligently constructed, Martyn presenting his audience with challenging narratives and with an intensity that hits with the power of a right hook. He tempers this with songs that comfort and speak to the soul. His great improvisation and immediate topicality lead to an organic fluidity that makes every show different. His comfortable rapport and conversation with his audiences, his sense of humour and his ability to make everyone feel at home lie right at the heart of the evenings success. 
"Songwriters don't get better than this! (Maverick)

MARTHA TILSTON and The Woods
Martha Tilston is a captivating performer, an enchanting singer-songwriter blessed with a gloriously clear and seductively beautiful voice. Weaving her magic spell over listeners wherever she plays - from the concert hall to the campfire, from folk clubs to main festival stages - she is a rare gem who has the power to draw an audience into her world and create an intimate space where her words and music dance and delight, leaving all those present with a smile, a warm feeling inside, and a few issues to ponder, too. 
The Woods is a seven piece band which gives a very sophisticated backing to Martha's music.

EMILY BARKER and The Red Clay Halo
Hailing from Western Australia, Emily Barker is a compelling songwriter with a gift for weaving melody and words. Together with her band The Red Clay Halo, she has recorded three albums, dazzled audiences at music festivals and seen her song ‘Nostalgia’ become the Bafta-winning theme tune to BBC One drama Wallander. 2011 has seen the release of Almanac, attracting play on BBC 6 Music, Radio 2 and Radio 4’ Loose Ends. A stream of sold-out UK tour dates followed, culminating in a rapturously received show at London’s St Giles-In-The-Fields church at which Almanac was performed in its entirety including a stunning, stark version of Pause, soon to feature as the theme to forthcoming BBC 2 drama The Shadowline. The band’s albums are entirely self-financed and released on Emily’s own imprint Everyone Sang. 
“This is a dream of a record. A new Marling, then? No, Barker offers something else..." - BBC Music Editor.
The Red Clay Halo includes: Gill Sandell (flute, bass, accordion), Anna Jenkins (fiddle) and Jo Silverston (cello).

ANDY CUTTING
Andy Cutting is a rarity. A musician's musician: a soulful and technically outstanding melodeon practitioner with an ear for a fine tune. Many of his tunes have been purloined along the way: some considered contemporary classics on the folk scene. But then, Andy is also a warm and emotive perfomer, modestly engaging his audiences with his self-deprecating wit and then flooring them with downright staggering musicianship..
Andy has been consistent musical force since he came swiftly to prominence with the innovative Blowzabella. As well as a thorough grounding in the English tradition, Andy's influences extend way beyond these isles, particularly to the music of Central France and to the storming Quebecois tradition. Andy's commitment to, and sense of pride in traditional music, as well as his sensitivity and understanding of the form, has made him one of the folk scene's most wanted. He has played with Kate Rusby, John McCusker Martin Simpson, June Tabor and Chris Wood.

GRUPO LOKITO
Grupo Lokito fuses contemporary Congolese and Latin music creating a modern day cocktail of two of the great world musics. Formed in 2006 by British Latin pianist Sara McGuinness and Congolese singer Jose Hendrix Ndelo, Grupo Lokito’s musicians are a mix of Congolese, Latin and British artists who have chosen to make London their home. Lokito’s energetic front-line of singers are true performers, and when the groove steps up a notch in the blistering salsa and seben sections, their outlandish dancing has to be seen to be believed – witness it first-hand on their video clips! In 2010 the band released their first CD “Esengo Ya Ko Bina” (The Joy of Dancing) capturing the vibrancy and spirit of their stage show. Grupo Lokito have been included in several compilation CDs including: Latin Beat on Putumayo (Aug 30 2011), Urban Africa on Cavendish Music (2010) and “The Rough guide to African Street Party “ on the World Music Network (2008).. 
Don’t miss this great band who are making waves both here and in Kinshasa.

THE MOULETTES
Cellist Hannah Miller, bassoonist Ruth Skipper and Ollie Austin (guitar, drums) have been playing and singing together for several years. But with the addition of violinist Georgina Leach and percussionist Rob Arcari in 2008, the Moulettes’ sinewy, melodic sound has come into true focus. The band have shared stages, recordings, and personnel with the likes of Mumford & Sons (Ted Dwane of the Mumfords used to be their bassist) Mystery Jets, Band of Skulls (Emma Richardson guests on the album), Liz Green and even the Ting Tings – supporting the latter on tour as three-quarters of electro-pop band Modernaire. And they can count the Unthanks, Noisettes and Robert Plant as fans. Live, they have charisma to burn. The record itself is the most ambitious ‘folk’ album you’ll hear all year. It splices together strands of classical, gypsy, jazz, alt.-rock and even some avant-garde to create a complex yet accessible whole.

CUTASHINE
A hoedown-cum-ceilidh band which guarantees a wild evening of dance, Cutashine are a troupe of musicians, callers, dancers and singers spreading barn dance mayhem across the country. Cutashine host their own Barn Dance Parties in resplendent and underground venues across London, rip it up at the hottest summer festivals, and bring their brand of barn dance madness to many private events.

MEGAN HENWOOD
Megan won the BBC RADIO 2 Young Folk Award in 2009 with her brother Joe.Her debut single “What Elliott Said” was released last September and won a number of new fans through its playlist at BBC Radio 2 and sessions at various stations including the Janice Long show on Radio 2. Megan has since been writing and recording her debut album, “Making Waves” which features a number of celebrated guests such as Peter Knight (Steeleye Span) on fiddle, Barriemore Barlow (Jethro Tull) on drums plus Joe Brown, Sam Brown and Mollie Marriott, among others. Megan is clearly rooted in the folk tradition but is by no means bound by it. Her songs have a timeless and universal radio-friendly appeal. Here is a truly talented young British singer-songwriter.

JIGFOOT
Jigfoot create inventive arrangements of English dance tunes, played with energy, wit and swing.  The distinctive Jigfoot sound combines a robust and rhythmic approach with excellent musicianship.
We specialise in tunes from southern English sources, although we play tunes from other areas of the country too.  Whether we’re discovering lesser-played melodies languishing in tune books or rehabilitating tunes that have fallen out of fashion, we are always mindful that these tunes are, above all, dance music.  All of the band either dance or play regularly for dancing, and understand how the music and the dance work together, whether it’s morris, e-ceilidh, or ballroom classics.