Todmorden Methodist Church
(Doors open 12 noon)
Off the wall, colourful, energetic.
With influences starting in early music, passing through Playford and the Morris traditions, picking up prog, soul, and pop, it’s impossible to categorise the sound they make as folk music is fed through their unique steam driven sound-mincing engine.
Nick and Mary Barber
Nick and Mary Barber play English traditional dance music on melodeon and fiddle, with Nick also playing horn and recorder. The sources of their material include unpublished manuscripts, English session tunes, Nick’s own compositions, with a few French and Swedish tunes thrown in – but you can be sure they will weave some musical magic, whatever the source! Nick and Mary form half of English Rebellion together with Anahata and Mary Humphreys. Nick is musician for White Rose Morris Men, and Mary plays for the women’s Cotswold side, Hexadaisy.
Sarah Watson’s country-folk portrays the heartbreak, tenderness and joy we recognise in our own experiences. Her voice, borne from a childhood spent singing in the valleys of Wales, and later studying music in Manchester, has grown into one reminiscent of Nanci Griffith or Mary Hopkin. Sarah plays festivals and events in Yorkshire, supports headline acts including Lucy Ward, Martin Carr and Bickers&Fij, and is a regular feature at The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge. With her guitar and songs about mortality, love and loss, Sarah’s music looks inside, elicits tears from men and women alike, and pulls us back to what’s important in life.
Music for the Many
A not-so-quiet revolution is taking place in Todmorden. Music for the Many is a new charity aiming to bring back equal opportunities to music education, with some of our town’s professional musicians offering free instrumental and singing lessons to children in our primary schools. Todmorden Folk Festival proudly presents this very special launch event, with children from many parts of our community singing a richly coloured musical celebration of our many traditions. Beautiful ancient and modern folksong from England, Ireland, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Poland and more is brought to life by Todmorden’s brilliant young voices. The future is right here!
The 4 Hoarse Men
Formed in 2015, The 4 Hoarse Men all hail from the upper Calder valley: Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Heptonstall and sing with several other local groups including Calder Valley Voices, Hepton Singers, Three Valleys Gospel Choir and Menfolk Waits. They sing an eclectic mix of folk, barbershop, self penned and Georgian in accapella harmony. They perform regularly around West Yorkshire including gigs in Huddersfield, Leeds and their own showcase as part of Hebden Bridge Folk Roots festival in 2017. They’re well chuffed to be invited to sing again at a home town festival.
The Masonic Hall
Stan Rogers Concert – presented by Roger Kennington
Todmorden Folk Festival Commission
(Doors open 12.00)
Stan Rogers, hero of the Canadian folk scene, was killed in 1983 aged only 33. He wrote a catalogue of iconic songs (e.g. Mary Ellen Carter, Barratt’s Privateers, North West Passage) and performed acclaimed versions of other classics. Come and hear about his life and join festival favourites to enjoy (and sing along to) some of Stan Rogers’ most memorable songs. Performers will include Kimber’s Men including John Bromley, Ruth & Sadie Price (with friends from She Shanties), and Karina Knight.
3 Wise Monkies
Pop-Up Concert- 6.30pm
The band Soma brings together four colourful musicians with very varied backgrounds. Between them, they have experience in many traditions. East European song, jazz, English folk, middle Eastern frame drums, Afro-Cuban rhythm, psychedelic rock, blues, shamanism… They formed Soma in 2016 with a passion to explore and celebrate connection: between individuals… traditions… mind and body… people and earth.
This is fusion at its best: the bringing together of elements to create something fresh, magical, without preconceptions. Music which is more than the sum of its parts. Music to gladden the spirit.
Todmorden Unitarian Church
(Doors open 7pm)
Nominated for Best Group, 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards
Melrose Quartet are truly an all-round folk act, with both tight a capella harmony and energy-packed instrumentals. They comprise leading English musicians Nancy Kerr (2015 BBC Folk Singer of the Year), James Fagan, Jess & Richard Arrowsmith with twin fiddles, guitar and bouzouki, melodeon and four strong voices.
The band present a bold take on old and new English songs and tunes, with a powerful treatment of traditional material alongside some of the best modern song-writing in the folk world. They reliably delight and tantalise their audiences with the infectious warmth and sparkle these four seasoned musicians feel when they unite.
In concert, Melrose Quartet perform a diverse repertoire, featuring music from their acclaimed debut album ‘50 Verses’ alongside new works destined for their new CD due for release early in 2017. There are carousing chorus songs, lively dance tunes, ancient stories and modern pieces written in celebration of everything from weddings & birthdays to issues that affect all of our 21st century lives. This is music for everybody.
Melrose Quartet are known for their outstanding workshops ranging from harmony singing to accompaniment, and they also can offer The Melrose Ceilidh Band, with the addition of Nigel Holmes on Bass. This is a ceilidh with a difference, as the band use singing as well as instruments for the dance music, to great effect.
Audiences rave over the harmonies of Kimber’s men. They have appeared at Festivals in Ostende, Appingedam, Portmagee, Portsoy, Fano in Denmark, and all over the UK. Featured twice on Sunday brunch for Channel 4 ,they also starred in the BBC2 and BBC4 production of Sea Songs, the latter being the most viewed programme of the year, on BBC 4. Expect to laugh, sing and be generally entertained.
TFF Youth Music Award Winners
Ursula and Sasha Glendinning are both classically trained musicians in vocals (Ursula) and guitar/double bass (Sasha). They are twins who have been playing together since they first picked up instruments. They often play music at school concerts and at charity events such as the Honley Summerfest and the Christmas Lights Switch On. Sasha plays double bass in Kirklees Musica Youth Orchestra and Ursula sings in Halifax Young Singers. As part of these groups we have performed in both regional and national competitions such as Music For Youth.
The Golden Lion
(9.30 pm start with singing session upstairs)
The Scattering were formed in 2014. They describe themselves as a Celtic Rock Band playing a fusion of traditional Irish, Country, Rock and Hill Billy music. In a few short years The Scattering have headlined at the Manchester Irish Festival, played at Feel Good Festival and are quasi resident at The Flying Horse in Rochdale. The Scattering are: Chris Addington- Guitar and Vocals, Andy Kelly- Bass and Vocals, Dan Maylott- Guitar and Vocals, Jeremy Sleith- Drums and Percussion, Chris Wilkinson- Accordion, Cliff Woodworth- Violin and Mandolin.