LES BARKER - Let these plaudits speak for themselves.
Les Barker writes strange poems, parodies and monolgues and comes from originally from Manchester, but he's now Welsh. He was an accountant before he became a professional idiot. He's written 85+ books, some in Welsh, which sell in large numbers at his gigs because people don't quite believe what they've just heard. His poems have spawned a number of folk heroes venerated throughout the folk scene in Britain and overseas.
...he may be the best writer of parodies and wordplays that the English-speaking world has ever heard.
-Tom Nelligan, Dirty Linen
There are subtleties which you didn't notice the first time round, and there are clever puns and turns of phrase so good you look forward to hearing them again.
-Caroline Walker, Folk Roots
This man is a genuine genius of comic rhyme who appeals to people of all ages with a truly entertaining family show. I have seen him reduce a whole marquee full of festival goers at Victor Harbor to a mass of helpless laughter and aching sides.
-Ron Ashton, Port Lincoln Times, Australia
Les Barker is the greatest comedy talent we possess....This is probably the funniest tape I have ever heard. He's a master at exploiting the idiosyncracies of the English language, weaving in myth and history to build bizarre stories.
-Agraman, City Life
South Australian newspaper headline
The Lancashire monologist equivalent of Tom Lehrer....Scintillating daftness, absurdity run amok.
-Ken Hunt, Q Magazine
'Mrs Ackroyd Explores her Roots' is not about national or regional identity. Radio 2's gentle, modestly off-the-wall comedy is a discovery...mild-mannered presenter Les Barker blends Edward Lear's nonsense, Stanley Unwin's wordplay, the surreal inconsequentiality of Reeves and Mortimer and the demotic robustness of Stanley Holloway monologues.
-Martin Hoyle, Financial Times
...his jokes, having slipped the surly bonds of earthly logic, go marching on.
-Nick Beale, Folk Roots
The man's a comic genius with a solid presence in folk music and at folk festivals.
Depending on your state of health this man could be a real tonic to your wellbeing or fatal. Mostly he's a ray of sunshine capable of brightening up the darkest day.
He proved a masterful wordsmith, captivating listeners with his quirky verse and playful personality, touching on occasional tables, snails in a fast food restaurant and dachshunds with erections. His gallery of unlikely heroes included Cosmo the fairly accurate knife thrower, Arnold the Armadillo and Spot of the Antarctic. Truly a prince of the pun and sultan of the surreal.
Les Barker proves that poetry can indeed be entertaining,
dazzling the audience at Artworks with poems from his huge range of published works. His cardigan clad, unassuming manner on stage as he peers shyly at the audience through his spectacles, and his
soft Manchester accent delivers the brilliant flow of words and ideas, leaving the listener gasping with laughter.
-Gulf News, New Zealand
At his best, he is an inspired genius. The only man who could produce work to match 'Deja
vu' was the late great Spike Milligan.
...a piquant mix of hard to categorise skewed humour with purple flourishes. Stories of small animals and large furniture...
...a poetic onslaught of humor and thought....able to go bouncing through ludicrous situations.
Les Barker is more than silly; he is probably one of the silliest performers ever to grace Godfrey’s stage, and in a way that only a Brit could be silly. Part poetry, part monologue, but surely one of the most side-splitting evenings you can have. If you enjoy hearing the pun elevated to a true art form, this is the place to be. How can intelligence be so damned funny?
-Mike Space, Godfrey Daniels
Lifetime Achievement Award – BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2014
For more than 50 years Martin Carthy has been one of folk music's greatest innovators, one of its best loved, most enthusiastic and, at times, most quietly controversial of figures. His skill, stage presence and natural charm have won him many admirers, not only from within the folk scene, but also far beyond it.
Trailblazing musical partnerships with, amongst others, Steeleye Span, Dave Swarbrick and his award-winning wife (Norma Waterson) and daughter Eliza Carthy have resulted in more than 40 albums, but Martin has only recorded 10 solo albums, of which the much anticipated Waiting for Angels (Topic TSCD527) was the latest. Whether in the folk clubs (which he continues to champion), on the concert stage or making TV appearances (he was the subject of the acclaimed `Originals' music documentary strand on BBC 2) - there are few roles that Martin Carthy hasn't played.
He's a ballad singer, a ground-breaking acoustic and electric-guitarist and an authoritative interpreter of newly composed material. He always prefers to follow an insatiable musical curiosity rather than cash in on his unrivalled position. Perhaps, most significant of all, are his settings of traditional songs with guitar, which have influenced a generation of artists, including Bob Dylan and Paul Simon, on both sides of the Atlantic.
`Arguably the greatest English folk song performer, writer, collector and editor of them all' Q Magazine
‘Carthy is a master of the ballad of substance, songs that tell stories, whether they are traditional, his own or from contemporary writers.’ The Telegraph
50/50 Night with MANSANT and
NEIL & LOUISE THOMAS
(will go on 1st so the children can get to bed early)
Review from Mick Tems (Folk Wales) "The Lloyd Family – parents Geraint and Sara, and their children (fiddler and harper Mared, viola player and guitarist Carwyn and the youngest, little Tanwen, who was dwarfed by her double-bass) – showed striking originality in their sparkling arrangements. Sara even put down her accordion to take up and play her Welsh bagpipe, which thoroughly delighted the audience.
NEIL & LOUISE THOMAS
Lou and Neil kicked off their musical folk act in the early 70’s. Neil was dragged to Bridgend Folk Club by a friend, saw Louise singing in the folk group Folklore, turned to his friend and said “I’m going to marry her”.
They went on to perform together...musically, appearing in many folk clubs in the South Wales area, also folk festivals such as Pontardawe, Bromyard, Laycock & Chipenham, Folk Around the Wrekin etc.
Two fractured vertebrae in Neil’s spine stopped all that and they did not perform publicly for around 30 years.
They are back now (almost) still performing those songs which people request, sometimes remembering all the words but not necessarily in the right order. Enjoy!
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. There are few melodeon players who put so much feeling into their playing, whether it be a set of dance tunes, or accompaniment to a slow English ballad.
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. These influences will be well-known to all those familiar with Andy's duo with English fiddle player, guitarist and singer, Chris Wood. Wood & Cutting became one of the most influential, and enduring duos on the scene; paving the way for the explosion of many of today's thrusting young newcomers.
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, playing with Kate Rusby, John McCusker and Under One Sky to name but a few. There is also a growing demand for him to play outside this genre. He has recorded with Sting, John Illsley (Dire Straits), and was asked to join The Who for an acoustic concert in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust. As well as his ongoing work with Chris, Andy is currently working with Martin Simpson, June Tabor and Blowzabella. He is also a member of Leveret and Topette
In my musical life I've been lucky to work with a few musicians that I would call a genius, Andy Cutting without a doubt is one of these people. He is not only a true master of his instrument but a very inspiring musician to play with and be around. I've learned loads just by listening & watching Andy play. To top it all off, you couldn't meet a nicer fella. John McCusker
Hearing Andy Cutting play is like going through the wardrobe and finding Narnia. His music is glorious, joyful, moving, subtle, emotionally charged, a totally spell-binding experience that is never long enough. June Tabor
Andy is the consummate accompanist, harmonically, rhythmically and melodically and an exquisite soloist. There is no one I'd rather work with. Martin Simpson
Andy is a top drawer player who speaks with his hands. I had no idea how lucky I was to work with him until long after we had gone our separate ways. Chris Wood
© Andy Cutting 2010 (To be updated soon)
Cutting has won the Folk Musician of the Year award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards three times: 2008, 2011 and 2016
GRAHAM LARKBEY & DAVE ILLINGWORTH A return visit after a long gap from two old friends of the club going back to the 70s and 80s, both solo and with Pigfoot and Aunt Fortescue's Bluesrockers. They'll be doing some on their own and some together; expect an unpredictable and entertaining mixture of country, blues, originals.....and maybe even the odd folk song and uproarious AFB number thrown in for old times' sake.