The sounds of modern Scotland comes to FolkWeek

Rachel Newton.

Rachel Newton. - Credit: Archant

Thanks to funding from Creative Scotland, FolkWeek is thrilled that some diverse sounds of modern Scotland contribute to the broad spectrum of over 700 events at over 40 venues during the eight-day festival.

Barbara Dickson. Picture: Brian Aris

Barbara Dickson. Picture: Brian Aris - Credit: Archant

Over the week, the festival features a platinum-album selling singing superstar Barbara Dickson, innovative musical wizards Lau, dynamic trad stars Ímar and RURA, Folk Award winners Rachel Newton and The Furrow Collective, exhilarating party starters Peatbog Faeries, exciting young piper Brighde Chaimbeul, exquisite Highland fiddler Duncan Chisholm, youth squad Feis Rois Ceilidh Trail players, superb guitarist and singer Ewan McLennan, soulful singers Kaela Rowan and Siobhan Miller and monster instrumentalists Laura-Beth Salter & Jenn Butterworth.

Kicking off with a pre-festival special acoustic performance with Barbara Dickson on 3rd August, the multi award-winning singer, with the support of her pianist Nick Holland, explores a song catalogue drawing on Barbara’s folk roots, her latest exploration of Gerry Rafferty’s material, and some of those classic hit records.

Headlining a Ham concert during the week, where there are three brilliant daily concerts at the festival’s central venue, instrumental pioneers Lau promise a thrilling performance, picking gems from a decade of innovative music making, supported by one the finest singers to emerge from Scotland’s traditional music scene in recent years, Siobhan Miller. BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Musician of the Year and Scottish Album of the Year nominee Rachel Newton is rightly riding the crest of a career wave right now. Catch her playing solo, and alongside her fellow Anglo-Scottish playmates, BBC Folk Awards Best Group The Furrow Collective! Also, taking centre stage at the Ham is the compelling collaboration, Breaking The Spell of Loneliness, with George Monbiot’s insightful words inspiring some powerful songs from Ewan McLennan.

Up at the Bulverton, the festival’s roots dance hub each night, Celtic party mode is engaged to the max with the incendiary sounds of Skye’s Peatbog Faeries and the future trad sounds of two amazing young bands, RURA and Ímar. A great night out is guaranteed!


RURA - Credit: Archant

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Amongst the many special shows at the Manor Pavilion during FolkWeek, is a specially commissioned collaborative sea-themed event with a performance from the local Sidmouth Sea Fest Community Choir plus film Working the Sea, following the story of well-known Sidmouth fishing family, the Bagwells, followed by a live soundtrack from Feis Rois and Duncan Chisholm to Kin and the Community, a film about one of the last Gaelic speakers in the seaboard villages of Easter Ross.

More intimate concert sets around the festival’s many venues during the week include the likes of mesmerising young piper from the Isle of Skye, Brighde Chaimbeul, the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award Winner in 2016, lynchpins of Glasgow’s thriving folk-session circuit and exciting instrumentalists and singers Laura-Beth Salter and Jenn Butterworth and Gaelic Singer of the Year nominee Kaela Rowan Band presenting songs from her critically acclaimed 2016 release The Fruited Thorn.

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For those wanting to get stuck in themselves, Kirsty Cotter, whose own fiddling is focused on the music of Scotland, particularly collections of tunes from the 18th and 19th centuries, leads a series of fiddle workshops and masterclasses as part of the 200+ workshop programme.


Lau. - Credit: Archant

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