Folk On The Lawn

"innovative folk for innovative folk"

Line-up (Artists and Crew)

Andy Ponsford

If you’ve been to FotL, you will probably have seen Andy dashing from stage to stage, from mixing desk to mixing desk. You may have wondered over the purpose of these sprints: for the last decade and more, Andy has been making high quality recordings of FotL performances. These have been highly valued by artists, with a number finding their way into albums and many receiving radio play. 

Each year, Andy compiles a ‘Best of…’ CD/download, sales of which help raise funds for those playing. In addition, the years’ collection represents a significant and sizeable aural record of our lovely event. 

Andy is also a fine bass player and has, over the years, graced every stage, performing with a number of bands.  

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Caim

After a wonderful debut at FotL in 2019, we were delighted that Caim agreed to return to Tintern this summer.

Heather Innes, Jacynth Hamill & Pauline Vallance, the three members of Caim harmony trio, may be separated by the Irish Sea but they are not divided musically.  Pauline’s roots in Scotland, Jacynth’s in Northern Ireland and Heather’s in Zimbabwe, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Australia – and England, where she moved last year. All contribute to Caim’sstrong and varied traditional repertoire, together with the richlife and musical experiences of each woman. 

Heather’s vibrant a cappella singing served her well in her early days on the folk-club circuit, while Jacynth has a solid choral background. Together, these two sang as an a cappella duo – Celtic Caim – for 16 years, made nine albums and toured in the UK, Ireland, US, Canada, Australia and Thailand. After last year’s FotL, they spent two months touring Australia and New Zealand 

In 2015 Pauline –from both a folk and classical background – joined the group: leading to Caim becoming a harmony trio with harp and flute – and drawing on Pauline’s songwritingabilities. Pauline also features as a solo performer this year, showcasing material commissioned by Creative Scotland. 

Caim self-describe: ‘You’ll find music that goes straight to the heart, songs and stories to make you laugh, tunes to set your feet a-tapping and haunting harmonies that will uplift your spirit’. Last year, we were struck, also, of the sheer variety and innovative spirit present in each performance. 

https://celticcaim.com/

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Chelsea Taylor

Chelsea is a singer/songwriter based in Aberystwyth who has been compulsively writing music since she was around 10 years old. After becoming a mother to two children in 2012, she decided to pick up a guitar and began writing more prolifically. Her music is influenced by an array of artists from the Cranberries, Beatles and Sheryl Crow to Lauryn Hill and Stevie Wonder.

Chelsea recently released a rough ep on Spotify named ‘Turbulent’, containing 9 tracks which were self-written, performed and recorded on her phone and a multi-track recording app during lockdown.

Additional band members include Colin Armstrong on bass; Colin approached Chelsea in 2014 after seeing some of her YouTube videos with the idea of forming a group to play her music – Colin is the motivation and organisation behind the band! Steve Hicks and his incredible licks on lead guitar, Richard Gott who keeps everyone together with his drums and Elfyn Jones who is always happy to play around with some beautiful sounds on the keyboard.

The first appearance of Chelsea and band at Folk on the Lawn and one not to be missed!

https://www.facebook.com/MsTaylorMusic/

https://www.facebook.com/Chelsea-Taylor-Company-853828191367364/

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Dark Valley Revival

Dark Valley Revival emerged from the darkest depths of the south Wales valleys in 2016, with a shared love of bluegrass and a ridiculous number of guitars. 

Seasoned Folk on the Lawn performers/goers, the band’s current, eclectic line-up includes: members of legendary psychedelic folk band Soft-Hearted Scientists; previous members of bluegrass band Gwair; and the guitarist from one of John Peel’s favourite punk bands, Helen Love.

Influenced by the likes of Doc Watson, The Carter Family, Gillian Welch and Gene Clark, Dark Valley Revival revisits bluegrass, gospel and country songs of the past and throws in some self written material, resulting in a uniquely brilliant energy and sound.

Delighted to have them back in Tintern! 

https://www.facebook.com/darkvalleyrevival/

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Darren James

Darren James is a Welsh singer-songwriter based in Cardiff. Born in Quakers Yard in the Merthyr Valley, he began playing in various bands at the age of 16.

Aged 18 he moved to Swansea, where he studied for a degree and PhD in psychology. He later moved to Cardiff to study for a doctorate in clinical psychology. As well as being a busy performer, writer and recording artist, he works part-time in the NHS as a clinical psychologist.

This will be Darren’s third FotL appearance. Each has seen as increase in the size of his band and, indeed, his prestige! Since last year he was signed by Sondar Records who released a debut album – Better Late Than Never  which was produced by Nick Brine (Oasis, The Verve, Stereophics, The Darkness. He’s worked with Bruce Springsteen…and the list goes on!)

His guitar playing is influenced by Hendrix, Clapton, Knopfler and Gary Moore. Songwriting influences include Paul Simon, Tom Waites, Chris Difford (Squeeze) and musical influences include Muse and Radiohead.

Darren’s songs are observational, story-based and draw onreal-life experiences. He tackles difficult subjects such as love, relationships, loss and happiness in a down-to-earth way.

His songs are uplifting, sometimes funny, sometimes sad but always tug on the emotions and are catchy, melodic and more-some!

www.sondar-records.com/darren-james  

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Dave Evans

‘Hi, one and all. My name is Dave and I’ve been known to have a pint, collect Daleks and play self-composed songs, though not always in that order. I occasionally go to open mics and have supported The Creakin’ Gates , a friends band when they have giggled in local pubs. I haven’t had anything thrown at me yet so I consider these performances a success. 

I love writing and performing songs, so I am honoured and humbled to be part of the wonderful Folk on the Lawn. Hope to see you there all the best Dave. 😊’

We welcome Dave to FotL for the first time as a performer. After a hiatus of two decades or more, in 2019, Dave returned for a visit to south Wales, where he trained as an artist. The visit took in FotL. 

When residing in Newport in the 1980s, Dave’s immediately catchy, quirky and hitting-the-nail-right-on-the-head songs brought vibrancy to many, with Dave performing solo and with his band, The Frozen Grins, far and wide. It was wonderful for us to hear his new material: his writing and performing have lost none of the qualities he displayed in late boyhood. 

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Davey Woodward and the Winter Orphans 

Davey Woodward has spent 4 decades contributing to the alternative indie music scene. His band The Brilliant Corners came to prominence in the ‘80s as part of the C86 scene playing ‘jangly pop’, three chord noise and country music. The Experimental Pop Band, championed by John Peel, took eclecticism to extremes, mixing electronic sounds and samples with organic sounds, often with Davey’s Joycean lyrics adding an undercurrent of darkness. 

His current musical projects include the Winter Orphans: a band hard to pin down in terms of musical descriptions, but possibly an outfit combining the aforementioned ‘jangliness’and noise, but with a certain Velvet Underground feel about the lyrical exposition, particularly, together with an Americana twist. As we type, they are in the middle of making a new record which, hopefully, will be complete by the time they step out onto the Lawn. We think you’ll really love them! 

https://daveywoodward.bandcamp.com/

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Dragons Breath

Dragons Breath are a South Wales based band specialising in traditional music for ceilidhs, twmpathau, weddings, fundraisers and street parties…and concerts, which is how the band will appear at FotL 2021.

Moving between a five- and six-piece band (For gigs requiring ‘drive’, the skilled, high-energy drumming of Jake is added), Dragons Breath play traditional and contemporary songs and tunes from the British Isles and America. They deliver a heady mix of fiddle, concertina and whistles with a driving back line of saxophone, bass, guitar and drums. The band has gigged all over south, mid and west Wales and over the border into England, playing many clubs and festivals for almost a decade. Their eclectic set also features comedic song, with a fully interactive show – sometimes including …sweets!

If you’re not joining in, check your pulse! 

https://dragons-breath.co.uk

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Hannah Scott

From Suffolk via Italy, Hannah Scott performs contemporary folk music and is picking up a loyal following thanks to her distinctive voice, strong melodies and thought-provoking lyrics. She has found her musical home with creative partner Stefano Della Casa and their music has been heard on BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music, including a live session on Dermot O’Leary’s show… and praise has arrived from publications such as The Guardian and Clash Magazine. 

Hannah’s arresting live performances have earned her support slots for artists including Madeleine Peyroux, 10cc and Seth Lakeman and she has twice travelled to the New York festival “Mondo NYC”, receiving PRS Foundation funding and running a successful crowdfunding campaign to fund the trips.

During lockdown, she still managed to release some singles – and we would comment these to you!

A newcomer to FotL, we are honoured to be able add Hannah to this year’s event. 

www.hannahscott.co.uk

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Heather Innes

In a concert Heather takes you through the gamut of emotions, from powerful ballad to gentle lullaby, with a timely sense of humour in between! 

Heather’s forte is unaccompanied song and she sings with great feeling and delicacy in her fine clear voice. Her singing has been described as peaceful and calming to listen to and her solo concerts, acapella or with one of her excellent backing musicians, sheer relaxation after a hard day at the office! 

As well as singing on albums with other bands and duos, Heather has recorded nine CDs with Caim (also performing at FotL 2021) and five solo albums – All’s Fair in Love and War(1989)A Song’s for Singing (1991), Coaineadh: Songs from the Heart (Fellside Records 1994), Here Comes The Day(2017) and Finding My Song (2020). 

Incredibly committed to the music she plays and a hugely authentic human being. 

https://heatherinnes.com/biography/

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Hey St Matthew

Hey St Matthew are an Anglo-Welsh project featuring guitarist Sheena Bailey (Helen Love), singer songwriter M G Boulter (Simone Felice & Emily Portman’s Coracle Band) and bassist Mike Bailey (Soft Hearted Scientists & Nathan Hall and the Sinister Locals). Drawing on diverse influences Hey St Matthew combine to produce music that’s reminiscent of late 60s singer/songwriters, gentle psychedelia and chamber folk.

Their new collection of songs explores the pastoral and suburban through classic song craft and storytelling. The band’s debut album will be available early next year.

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Huw James

Huw James is a Singer/Songwriter from the Gwent Valleys of south Wales. He writes in a variety of styles although mostly his songs can be seen to be influenced by a folky, bluesy feel.

For many years Huw was part of a successful covers band called Flashback who played extensively around south Wales and the south west of England, as well as making a couple of appearances at – no less! – The Queen’s Birthday Ball in Cairo.

About six years ago, Huw left the ‘covers scene’ and formed the band 3MPH which became a vehicle for his original songs which are mainly acoustic based.

His main instrument is guitar, which he has been playing since teenage years. He has also added the harmonica to his repertoire to help enhance some of his bluesy feeling tunes.

Huw released a solo EP on 4th September 2019 entitled ‘Never Too Late’ containing six original tunes, which is available on all major digital sites including Bandcamp, Spotify, iTunes Tidal, Deezer, etc. and in hard copy CD Format via his Facebook page, link below.

Other releases can be found on the Bandcamp link listed below

http://facebook.com/huwjmusic

http://twitter.com/@contact_3mph

https://huwjames.bandcamp.com/releases

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Huw Knight and Viv Bell

Americana and songs closer to home…

Huw Knight and Viv Bell are an acoustic duo who play mostly original material – featuring vocal harmonies and distinctive guitars. Huw has Welsh connections (…and, indeed, connections with a number of those who are organising and playing at FotL!) but he and Viv are based across the border in the Herefordshire town of Bromyard. 

They describe their music as a mixture of alternative folk and country rock. The duo have been playing together since 2018and have performed at numerous venues across the English West Midlands – in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and beyond – including the Lakefest and Nostock festivals. 

Their first CD (‘Ghosts on the Highway’) was released in 2019 and is available via their Facebook page (below). A further album has been recorded over the last 12 months, with just the lockdown restrictions delaying the production of the artwork. It will be complete and available by July! 

https://www.facebook.com/huwknightvivbell

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Jeff Japers

Award winning comedian Jeff Japers originated from Glossop in the north of England, and moved to Pontypridd in south Wales in 1992. He’s been writing comedy songs for over 20 years, performing them on the Welsh music scene to great acclaim, both with his band Gaudy Orde and as a solo artist.

In 2015 he brought his songs to the comedy circuit and by 2016 got to the finals of the Welsh Unsigned Stand-up Awards (WUSA). Since then he has become a regular headliner on the South Wales scene providing an entertaining musical performance of inoffensive daftness.

”A musical comedy genius / idiot” – Neath Comedy Festival

“Like John Shuttleworth on Pro Plus…The audience loved the daftness of it.” – Chortle

Jeff played a single set in FotL some years ago that is stillbeing talked about – and phone videos shared. Unmissable. A guaranteed lift. 

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John Sambook

Born and raised in Aberystwyth. 1964 Engineering Apprentice, RAE Aberporth. Hitch-hiked through Belgium, Luxembourg &. Germany, ending up working in various jobs in Rotterdam living on a canal boat with an American, Italian, and Indian Sikh. Came back to Cardiff and tried a few factory jobs… which he didn’t like. Got into DJing after doing a Theatre Arts Course at The Theatre Royal in Norwich, and meeting other DJs at Hospital Radio. 

Joined Radio Ceredigion after moving back to Aberystwyth with a legendary, specialist show, Fishfry, which allowed all to take in John’s inimitable, infectiously received manner and his huge enthusiasm for (rhythm and blues, jazz, soul, rock ‘n’ roll, roots and world music…with a particular interest in music coming out of and featuring Wales, including live studio sessions). He has taken ‘Fishfry’ from station to station(to station). Presently it is on Radio Aber (with previous shows to be found on Mixcloud). 

John has done a magnificent job presenting at Folk on the Lawn over recent years. We’re grateful that he has agreed to add his genial demeanour and vast musical knowledge to the festival this year. 

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Jon Airdrie and the Enablers

The Enablers project began at a New Year’s Eve party in 2018 when Jon mentioned to three talented guests of a distinct dozen piano songs he’d written that he’d like to rehearse for a few months before recording live (i.e. not track layered upon track, but everyone playing at once) in the studio. This conversation led to the release of (ironically!) ‘The Guest’ in 2019, with Julie Powell (guitar) and the Ponsford brothers, Andy (bass) and Jem (drums). The album was recorded at the renowned Towpath Studio, where Jon, Jem and Andy returned the following year, joined by the talents of Martha and Josh Lee (of the excellent Platform 1), to record a further themed record, ‘The End of Summer’: this time, the musical centrepiece of the piano giving way to the narrative infusions of the poetry/reflections on the life of the poet Patrick Kavanagh. 

As soon as was allowed, the band came together this year, rehearsing a further unique group of songs, characterised by a return to the piano, the use of varying narrative perspectives and the integral involvement of Martha’s incredible voice and Josh’s ambitious guitar arrangements. 

At this year’s festival, the band will perform material from all three ventures. 

https://jonairdrie.bandcamp.com

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Kahlo After Frida

This is the first time we’ve been able to welcome themusically ambitious and far-reaching Kahlo After Frida to Folk on the Lawn. The duo bring together the solo (flamenco/folk) guitar playing of Simon Cottle with the arresting vocals of Louise Armstrong. A unique fusion of ambient compositions and reinterpretations results (and performed in the independent spirit of the artist Frida Kahlo).

https://www.facebook.com/simon.cottle.9/posts/3386960824723748

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KoKo

KoKo played at FotL some years ago. We’re delighted at their return. The band features multi-instrumentalist, Liz Mullins, here, singing and playing electro acoustic guitar or accordion. She is complimented by the beautiful timbre of vocalist, Lucy, and the much-travelled and ubiquitous Arnie Edward’s playing bass…plus, they suggest, a surprise percussionist (A mystery yet to be revealed!). 

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Marc Gordon

Marc Gordon is a guitarist, composer and coach living in the magical Teifi Valley in west Wales, and has been playing guitar on and off for nearly sixty years. His musical roots are in blues & jazz (from his dad’s regular playing of all manner of 1950s & 60s blues and trad jazz)and has played guitar in a broad spectrum of styles, both as soloist and also in Welsh & Irish folk groups/blues bands/soft rock bands/pop bands/etc. 

The last twelve years has seen Marc focussing on composing, arranging and performing his own descriptive solo pieces: of nature, of ‘portraits’ of people he meets. Here, he uses the vitally of music to communicate images and emotions to his audience.  

Marc enjoys what he describes as ‘fresh’ music: any of his pieces are primarily improvisation around a concept framework, which means that no two performances are exactly the same. So you can either get involved in discovering the images his music provokes…or just chill-out and enjoy. 

When asked to categorise his music, Marc struggled to identify a genre that suits, as his special style embodies classical, jazz, folk, blues and rock. His coach suggested ‘Isomorphism’ as his music ‘provokes involvement in his imagery and allows space for you to explore your own images and emotions’.

As he is not yet able to make a full living from music (in common with most musicians), Marc supplements his living expenses by running an (AMAZING) music shop stocking a wide range of instruments from around the world spanning the last 150+ years, many restored by himself. Some of that shop will also be at FotL 2021! 

Discography: 2011 ‘Pendulum’ – a collection of portraits & descriptive pieces; 2015 ‘Do We Listen? Will We Ever Learn?’ – a guitar concerto about our destruction of our planet. Work is also in progress on three new albums, each with its own theme. With The Chilly Dogz (Marc  with Harry Rogers, a Teifi poet): 2009 ‘Boomtime in Dystopia’; 2010 – ‘Smear on the Windscreen’; 2013 ‘Ripples in the Water of Love’

http://www.marcgordonmusic.co.uk/

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M G Boulter

MG Boulter is a singer songwriter living on the Thames coast,in Essex, United Kingdom. His songwriting has been described as “Gorgeous, in a word” by Uncut and “Highly Recommended” by the Independent on Sunday. His second full length album, With Wolves the Lamb Will Lie, was listed as one of the ‘Best Folk Albums of 2016’ by the Daily Telegraph.

MG has been a member of Blue Rose Code, Emily Portman’s Coracle Band and The Lucky Strikes and was a touring member of US groups, The Duke and the King and the Simone Felice Group.

MG’s performances at FotL 2019 received rave reviews. His records sold by the gallon. Music and words holding both intrigue and ease: compelling. The same can be said of his blog – on his website – which we would encourage you to dip into. 

Earlier this year, he released a new album, ‘Clifftown’ (via CD/LP/DL) to much critical acclaim.

Great to have MG back at FotL 2021!

www.mgboulter.co.uk  

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Nick Smith

Nick’s connection with the FotL team began more than a decade ago when he stumbled into an open mic night run by many of the same folk, at his local Miner’s Institute. He received such a warm welcome that he soon became a regular player, and before long got involved with running the event too – introducing acts and running the group’s web pages.

When the fledgling FotL event took off a few years later it was natural that Nick got involved, again first as a player and then as a volunteer – and he’s been part of the team in one form or another ever since. Regulars to the festival will recognise Nick as the voice and face of the Mill Stage, and he also continues to play a role in the background, running the website and producing posters.

Nick is also a talented guitarist and songwriter, who has left the announcer’s for the performer’s mic a number of times at FotL. His youthful, healthy appearance contrasts with the age-/depravation-ravaged looks of many of ‘the Team’. Below, however, it is Nick pictured on the left!

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Nina Lifely

Nina Lifely is a folk singer-songwriter based in Bristol. Her beautifully crafted and heartfelt songs of hope and despair, love and desire are the fruit of healing from deep childhood trauma, the process of which has led to a long-overdue creative outpouring. Her lyricism and varied style lend a distinctiveness to her work, and her enchantingly pure voice blends eloquently with delicate guitar picking, and catchy rhythms and riffs. Growing up in Gravesend, with the towers of Tilbury Power Station an ever-present backdrop, Nina learned to express herself through playing the flute and singing with the Kent Youth Choir, and later Queens’ College Chapel Choir, Cambridge. The music-making was interrupted by the demands of a career in social research and two children, to be resumed only when counselling unexpectedly unlocked her creativity. Her debut album, Dragonfly Clouds, was released in 2019.

www.ninalifely.com

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Pauline Vallance

Pauline is an award-winning singer/songwriter and accomplished solo performer. She is also part of the band, Caim, who will grace the Lawn again this year. Pauline ‘likes to play interesting places with her clarsach’! In 2019, shestarted off in famous rock venue, King Tuts, in Glasgow and finished off in Stirling Castle. She also loves festivals and played the Eden Festival, Doonfest and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with her show ‘From Burns to Blondie’. Her songs have been described as “brimming with wit and invention” by James Grant, who will be producing her next album, supported by Creative Scotland.

We jumped at the chance to have Pauline appear at FotL 2021as a solo artist and we’re more than certain you’ll find her performances both enchanting and intriguing. 

www.paulinevallance.co.uk

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Peter Gowen

Peter Gowen – A Life

“This man is a comedy genius”: The North Wales Pigeon Fancier’s Gazette.

“I haven’t laughed so much since the last time I saw a dog sliding on some ice on YouTube”: The Sheep Breeder’s Times.

“He  should be famous”: Car World  (in-house magazine).

“I wish he’d stop following me around”: Wendy (Peter’s wife).

“He’s ok”: Peter’s son.

Peter was born in Caerffili but very quickly got fed up with the bright lights of the city. By the age of nine months he had moved to a village in the Rhondda where the dust of a thousand miners started to permeate his soul.

Inspired by his Welsh Bardic heritage and to ease a tortured youth (he couldn’t get a girlfriend) Peter began writing serious verse. As it was really bad, he changed tack and, instead of having people laugh AT him, he decided to get them laughing WITH him.

He now writes terrible verse that is intended to make you giggle and lighten what seems to be a stressful time to be alive. However, he isn’t afraid to tread where other poets fear to go- he once wrote a poem about eating a puffin (“take that environmentalists!”). Another time he wrote about the struggles with the local council because he had vampires in his attic (he lost – they stayed). However, most of his work is less controversial and (let’s be honest) plain silly.

So, why not trot along and forget the worries which dog us through our everyday lives. Grab a pew and settle down, nothing beats exercising your chuckle muscle. He wants an audience, but not just any audience- he wants YOU to attend.

“What me worry?”: Alfred E. Neuman (Mad Magazine)

“Laughter is the best medicine (unless you need a transplant)”: Peter Gowen 2021

(Ed. Peter has become a staple at FotL, as presenter/raconteur. It’s great to have him back as ‘poet’ this year also). 

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Platform 1

‘We are Martha and Josh, aka Platform 1. Our music has been described as being melodic folk/country, which is often mellow but on occasions upbeat, combining acoustic and electric guitars and from time to time, bass and violin. 

Originally from west Wales, we spent our early days playing locally as a duo before broadening our horizons and setting off to Bristol to explore new musical opportunities. Now back in Wales due to the pandemic, we have used our time to collaborate with other musicians, including the fantastic ‘Jon Airdrie And The Enablers’ (Ed. It was a sizeable payment that persuaded Platform 1 agreeing to this insertion!).

Like many others, we struggled to come to terms with the pandemic but music collaboration and the opportunity to connect with others virtually whilst still being able to create has been a huge help. It has also given us the time to really work on our latest EP which has been a brilliant and insightful process and has given us a new perspective in many ways. 

We are looking forward to what the next year brings and hope to be back playing at as many gigs as possible and collaborating with more artists.’

Platform 1 – who are still incredibly young by any standards – first came to FotL when both Josh and Martha were still at school. We were impressed by the thoughtful songs, the skilled arrangements, Martha’s elevating and eloquent voice and Josh’s musical mastery. The development of the band has matched its portentous beginnings. Delighted to have them back at FotL 2021. 

https://www.facebook.com/platform1music/

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Rob Connolly

Rob Connolly are an acoustic group based in Chepstow playing an energetic mix of well-known and self-penned songs. Mike and Andy first got together in guitar back in 2015 and now play with Jill on cajón and percussion with all providing fabulous harmonies. 

The band has name a unique origin: the founding members, Andy and Chris, in an effort to give one of their early songs increased credibility, they ascribed it to ‘Rob Connolly’. The pretence lasted minutes but Andy vowed that, if they were to start gigging, they would sing under the moniker of their fictional singer-songwriter. 

As with all ‘folkies’ they sing a lot about joy, love, life and loss but all with lots of fun and verve. Come and see these guys and expect to be entertained, challenged and involved!

https://www.robconnollyband.com/

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Rufus Pearce

Rufus’s self-description: ‘I’m a multi-instrumentalist session-musician, an inventor, sound engineer, and an easily-distracted hippie. I build weird instruments and use them to teach music and music theory. I like hats and cups of tea.’

We are privileged and delighted to have Rufus on board this year. His knowledge of all things technical is immense and his innovative outlook fits in with the whole FotL ethos. 

You will find him, for much of the time, behind a mixing desk on the Mill Stage. 

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Spencer Segelov

Spencer Segelov is a composer and musician who has released six albums under different names (Spencer McGarrySeason, Instructions) and played drums with various artists (including Sweet Baboo and Soft Hearted Scientists…and, at FotL 2019, a wonderful impromptu performance with The Adventures of Bert and Henry). 

Preferring to work in different genres each time, his 2018 record, ‘Loser Leaves Town’ (Country Mile 2018 – with a review here: http://www.newsoundwales.com/cd-reviews/spencer-segelov-loser-leaves-town/) was a bittersweet collection of piano ballads.

The next album, ‘Signs, Wonders & Miracles’, recorded in 2019, was created completely live, with a folk band, and was influenced by old time/mountain music, country and primitive blues. During the early lockdown of 2020, he produced another album within just a week: ‘Mitigating Circumstances’ (“Written & recorded a song a week during lockdown with merely a laptop and GarageBand for company- things got out of hand and I was in doors longer than expected. I go crazy without playing music so to keep my mental health together, I turned it into a discipline”). Both these albums are available on Bandcamp.

Spencer is an enigma in every sense. Don’t miss him! 

https://www.facebook.com/soundofsegelov/

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Ste Halliwell (Oddfellow and I)

Under the name of Oddfellow and I, Ste performed a (wonderful) set at one of the early Folk on the Lawns. It is a joy to have him returning. 

Ste describes the act of making music as, for him, a ‘compulsion’. He writes, ‘I read an article about a Japanese composer the other day who apparently hates music. I think that is a bit strong, but I can empathise with the essence of it. It is certainly at odds with the status quo, perhaps like an author who doesn’t like books/reading books.’ Whatever the joy – or otherwise – he receives from the creative act, he needs to go through with it. Lucky for us! 

Ste writes and performs on piano and guitar…and is both accomplished on each and draws from plucked strings and hammered keys hugely varied sounds: from what is basically electronica (‘My Father’s House’) to more traditional acoustic playing, with a vocal timbre and inflection reminiscent of Tim Buckley (‘Mother’s Hymn’) and then to bar room jazz (‘Pig Street’). Check out his Ste’s tracks placed on Soundcloud!

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The Meadows

The Meadows are a vibrant multi-instrumentalist Celtic-Crossover folk band, all drawn from one family.  Bringing cutting-edge techniques and an exciting, contemporary vibe to every show, the band – made up of four siblings – perform original works which weave between foot stomping reels to rich vocal harmonies, taking their audiences on a spellbinding journey.

The band grew up surrounded by the beautiful countryside and coastline of south west Wales and have drawn inspiration from the local area.  The four – Melody, Fantasia, Harvey and Titania – play an assortment of instruments including violin, flute, guitar and piano…and they all sing, beautifully!

The Meadows have twice played at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections, the International Music Eisteddfod in Llangollen, the Fishguard Folk Festival, How the Light Gets In, The Little Big Gig, Cardiff’s WMC and many other festivals. Their record, Force of the Tide, was awarded the ‘Debut Album of the Year’ in Fatea’s Annual Awards 2019 and was nominated for the 2019 Sound Board Magazine Awards among the top four artists from Wales in the ‘Best Album’ category.  

“Such a beautiful recording, from such an unaffected band. And hugely, luminously talented too, of course… Don’t let anyone change or spoil you. I imagine that is the last thing anyone could do… Transfixingly beautiful!”  Adam Walton, BBC Radio Wales

“A lovely, lovely album, and for me one of the nicest albums I’ve heard this year so far!”  John O’Regan, Eclectic Celt

“A hugely confident and impressive debut that see them comfortably ride the tide to wider recognition.”  Mike Davies, Folking.com

“There’s something magical about the way their vocals weave in amongst each other on these tracks and the playing is impassioned and faultless…just beautiful from start to finish.”  Michael Kennedy, Sound Board Magazine

www.themeadowsband.co.uk

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The Rohan

The Rohan (‘Rohan is a kingdom of horsemen, the Rohirrim, in J. R. R. Tolkien’s fantasy setting of Middle-earth. It is mainly a grassland, and provides its ally Gondor with cavalry’ c/o Wikipedia): a duo that sing and perform traditional folk music, sourced from these isles and America…and more.

Featuring:

Dan James – a talented songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who’s famous for his trusty mandocello (You’ll have to come/watch to see it!), and…

Ruth Thompson – with her mandolin and melodic voice.

Delighted to have secured The Rohan at FotL for the first time. 

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Tom Izett

The fantastic sound we get on the River Stage – ample loudness with crystal clarity – is down to Tom Izett. Tom works – usually from near dawn to well beyond dusk – with huge skill, drawing on an encyclopaedic knowledge of sound production. He does all this with sniper-like focus, but manages it with an easeful, personable, explanatory manner…accepting the ample ignorance contained within the non-technical members of ‘The Team’s’ questions with good grace and patience. 

Tom’s story: ‘I started out building disco lights and party sound systems in my early teens. After studying audio at university, I got the live music bug, built a (amazing. Ed.) PA system, and busied myself mixing gigs in and around my home town of Aberystwyth. After a few years of that, I left to work for a large rental company in Liverpool, alternating the occasional gig with working in the repairs workshop. I’m now living in the south west of England, where I’m working as an electronics designer for a pro audio and hifi manufacturer.’

We first met up with Tom when hearing his aural prowess at a festival in mid Wales. We were honoured that he agreed to be part of The Team and remain feeling privileged that he chooses to offer us his services.  

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We Are Muffy

We Are Muffy (Angeline Morrison and Nick Duffy) have been having a busy lockdown, pursuing their solo careers online while simultaneously adding to the We Are Muffy songbook. They are ready to bring that songbook to Folk on the Lawn, to sing to a real audience for the first time in a long while…and we are privileged to host them. 

‘A unique blend of the biographical and the imaginary, arranged for a distinctive array of instruments, their songs are like ‘the good bits of Belle and Sebastian with all the drums and electrically powered stuff removed and replaced by thumb pianos.’ (PopMatters). 

‘We Are Muffy ably demonstrate how easy and natural it can be for homespun, charmingly ramshackle indie pop to elide with authentically-flavoured (and even quite dark and haunting) English folk’ (The Key/WXPN

‘If you’re looking for something different, a little unorthodox perhaps, with a quirky sense of humour, reflective moods and traditional in spirit then look no further. Trad folk that skips past time and place has a melancholy taste’ (Americana UK).

https://www.facebook.com/wearemuffy

https://www.tapeterecords.de/artists/we-are-muffy/