Wickham Festival News

Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker & John Doyle

The superstar trio of Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker and John Doyle will be appearing on Saturday 3rd August 2024.  Steeped in Irish and Scottish traditional music, the trio overflow with instrumental and vocal riches, playing varying blends of flute, fiddle, guitar, uilleann pipes, whistles, bouzouki and harmonium.

All three musicians have won global acclaim.  John Doyle (vocals, guitar, bouzouki, mandola) is an Irish music linchpin and a founder member of acclaimed group Solas.  John McCusker (fiddle, whistles, harmonium) has played recently produced albums for Eddi Reader, Heidi Talbot and Kris Drever. Mike McGoldrick (flute, whistles, Uileann pipes, bodhran, clarinet, congas) is a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner, founding member of Lúnasa, and current member of Capercaillie.

Amonst them, they’ve shared stages and recording studios with everyone from Bob Dylan and Mark Knopfler to Paul Weller, Joan Baez and Linda Thompson.

“One of the UK’s most gifted and versatile musicians in any genre, John McCusker is equally in demand as a multi-instrumentalist, producer and composer”.
The Guardian

“It takes a lifetime of playing to sound as effortless as these guys”
The Herald

“One of the greatest flute players in the world”
BBC Music

Jim Malcolm & Beth Malcolm

Both Jim Malcolm and his daughter Beth are making seperate appearences in the Friday, and on Saturday we’ll be welcoming them to the stage as a duo.  Jim, once the lead singer of the band Old Blind Dogs, will be entertaining us with his infectious humor, deft songwriting and guitar playing.

Beth Malcolm is a singer-songwriter and keyboard player from Perth. Beth’s music is folk-inspired, and she sings a mix of traditional Scots songs, with her own writing. Beth was named BBC MG ALBA Scots Singer of the Year in 2022.

The Johnny Quinn Macs

The Johnny Quinn Macs are a trio comprising John McSherry, Brendan Quinn and Francis McIlduff.

John McSherry is a major figure in Irish/Celtic music, hailed as one of the finest exponents of the art of Uilleann Piping in the world today – “a true master” according to Irish Music Magazine. He won two All-Ireland piping championships at the age of fourteen and was the youngest ever winner of the prestigious Oireachtas Piping Competition in 1988, going on to represent Ireland at the Lorient Inter-Celtic Festival that year as a result.

A founder member of top trad bands Lúnasa, Tamalin, Donal Lunny’s ground-breaking supergroup Coolfin, At First Light, and Ulaid, John has produced an array of critically acclaimed and innovative albums, both solo and collaborative, including his most recent solo album, ‘The Seven Suns’. His piping has featured on many film and TV soundtracks including, ‘There You’ll Find me’, ‘Waking Ned Devine’ and ‘This Is My Father’ and he has twice been the recipient of an IMA award: Best New Irish Album (2010) and Best Uilleann Piper’ (2009), as well as being nominated for ‘Musician of the Year’ at the 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. He is also co-author of the book ‘The Wheels of the World’ – 300 years of Uilleann Pipers which was released in the Autumn of 2015.

John has performed all over the world on many great stages from the Royal Albert Hall to Glastonbury Festival and is widely admired on the Irish traditional scene as an offstage character and an onstage magician. He is a prolific composer, producer, arranger and an established studio session musician of world class renown, recording and performing with a myriad of artists including Clannad, Sinéad O’Connor, Rod Stewart, Nanci Griffiths, Gary Kemp, The Corrs, and in projects bringing together top musicians including the highly acclaimed Irish Sea Sessions concerts and albums, produced in Liverpool 2011-2013 and touring to London’s Southbank, to Belfast and Derry.

John continues to push the boundaries of Irish music with his pioneering transatlantic post-rock band, the olllam, featuring Tyler Duncan, Joe Dart, Michael Shimmin, Sean O’Meara and Joe Hettinga, and the characteristic “dualling pipes” approach is also at the forefront of the John McSherry Trio, his latest project, featuring Francis McIlduff on uilleann pipes, whistles and bodhran; and Brendan Quinn on guitar, vocals and stomp. The trio made their debut at West Belfast Festival 2022 and appeared at the 2023 Lorient Inter Celtic Festival. The trio’s album ‘Féile Live’ was recorded at Red Box Studios in Belfast and launched at Ennis Tradfest in November 2023, followed by a tour of dates in England and Wales, supported by Culture Ireland.

Jerry Douglas

Dobro master and 16-time GRAMMY winner Jerry Douglas is to the resonator guitar what Jimi Hendrix was to the electric guitar, elevating, transforming, and reinventing the instrument in countless ways. Additionally, Douglas is a freewheeling, forward-thinking recording and touring artist whose output incorporates elements of country, bluegrass, rock, jazz, blues, and Celtic into his distinctive musical vision.

Called “Dobro’s matchless contemporary master” by The New York Times, three-time CMA Musician of the Year award recipient Jerry Douglas is one of the most innovative recording artists in music as a solo artist, band leader for The Jerry Douglas Band and his GRAMMY winning bluegrass band The Earls of Leicester, as well as a member of groundbreaking ensembles including Alison Krauss & Union Station, J.D. Crowe & the New South, The Country Gentlemen, Boone Creek, and Strength In Numbers. His distinctive sound graces more than 1500 albums with artists such as Garth Brooks, George Jones, Paul Simon, Little Big Town, James Taylor, Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, Earl Scruggs, Ray Charles, Dierks Bentley, Sierra Ferrell, Tommy Emmanuel, and many others.

In addition to touring, Douglas has co-produced and performed on a series of platinum albums. He has produced albums for Alison Krauss, The Del McCoury Band, Maura O’Connell, The Whites, Steep Canyon Rangers, John Hiatt, and recently Molly Tuttle. He is co-music director of the acclaimed BBC Scotland TV series Transatlantic Sessions. In 2004, Douglas was recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts with an American Heritage Fellowship, and he served as the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s “Artist In Residence” in 2008. 

As Jerry Douglas continues his incalculable influence on country, Americana, bluegrass and their many related genres, he forges ahead as a true pioneer in American music.

Jim Moray

Should you care to look back over the past two decades of British folk music, one musician in particular stands out for having a singular, idiosyncratic vision that has rarely wavered in style and substance. Jim Moray may have garnered initial attention for his digitally-driven approach to traditional music, but reflecting on his seven albums and numerous production credits it’s clear that imagination and invention are the real cornerstones of his work. The cinematic vision of albums such as Skulk (2012), Upcetera (2016), and his game-changing debut Sweet England (2003) show just how far the old songs can be taken. His arrangements of traditional songs such as ‘Gilderoy’, ‘Horkstow Grange’ and ‘Fair Margaret and Sweet William’ are regarded as amongst the classics of the folk genre, while his treatment of the ballad ‘Lord Douglas’ has become a must-learn for fingerstyle guitarists.

As Moray embarks on his third decade as a professional musician, he can count career-defining performances at Glastonbury, The Royal Albert Hall, and WOMAD, and has caught the attention of those in the know along the way. “I love this singer of old ballads”, enthused none other than Iggy Pop, no stranger to songs of love, life and loss. 20 years in the business also means that his influence is being felt among a younger generation of folk musicians, especially those who explore the wider canon and ways in which traditional music can be stretched. Frankie Archer recently spoke about how Moray’s work on Low Culture (2008) blew her mind. “It showed me for the first time what UK folk music could be”.

Never satisfied with staying still, the artist is still moving after shaking the folk world to its foundations twenty years ago. And in a genre where musicians reach their peak the older they get, there’s a sense that he has only just begun.

The Wilswood Buoys

Wilswood Buoys, formed in the summer of 2017, initially started as two friends simply jamming together. However, their passion quickly evolved into creating their own unique music. With distinct musical backgrounds, Josh and Joe blended various genres to craft a raw and fresh alt/folk island sound. Expect catchy riffs and soaring choruses that will keep you hooked throughout the night.

In 2021, Wilswood Buoys had an incredible year, with highlights including supporting the legendary Frank Turner in Colchester and gracing the stage at Lost Evenings IV on the Nick Alexander Stage at The Roundhouse in London. Their journey continued into 2023, where they supported Frank Turner on his UK tour and joined The Levellers for several dates.

The Copper Family

The earliest mention of The Copper Family is in the village of Rottingdean when in 1593, a male Copper was married in the parish church. There is a very good chance that the family were resident in or around Rottingdean long before this date. Always working in the agrarian community, most were farm labourers or shepherds, although James ‘Brasser’ Copper (b.1845) and his son Jim Copper (b.1882) were farm baliffs or managers.

Singing seems to have run in the blood and we know that the Coppers were particularly renowned. In 1896, ‘Brasser’ Copper and his brother Tom were ‘collected’ by a musicologist Mrs Kate Lee, who noted some fifty songs from them which in many ways became the foundation stone upon which the Folk Song Society (later the English Folk Dance and Song Society) was formed in 1898. The songs were kept alive in the village through the lean years of disinterest in the 1920s and ‘30s by Jim Copper and his bother John. Post-war, Jim’s son Bob Copper and his cousin Ron took on the mantle and, largely through Bob’s diligence and writings, they survive into the modern era.

Today the family is represented by Bob’s son and daughter John and Jill, his son-in-law Jon Dudley and their respective children, Mark, Andy Sean, Ben, Lucy and Tom. Recently Bob’s great grandson Flinn has joined the line-up thus making it the eighth consecutive known generation of The Copper Family to sing.

Dream in Colors

This is one not to be missed, with several Wickham favourites who have formed a new folk roots supergroup!  Dream in Colors will be performing on Saturday 3rd August 2023.

Renowned Musicians Steve Knightley (Show of Hands), Johnny Kalsi (The Dhol Foundation), Eliza Marshall (Ranagri), and Bennett Cerven (The Trouble Notes), unite to form ‘Dream in Colors’.

Celebrated singer-songwriter and former Show of Hands frontman, Steve Knightley, known for his soul-stirring melodies and evocative storytelling, is thrilled to announce the formation of a new festival band, Dream in Colors. This extraordinary ensemble of musical talents promises a unique and captivating festival journey that transcends boundaries of race, age, and background, to deliver some of the most exciting and uplifting global roots music of the decade.

Dream in Colors unites the song writing prowess of Steve Knightley, the mesmerizing percussion skills of Johnny Kalsi, the virtuosic violin performances by Bennett Cerven, and the renowned flute melodies of Eliza Marshall. Their enchanting fusion encompasses dance rhythms, anthemic songs, trance grooves, and world music heartbeats. Stay tuned for updates on live performances, festival appearances, and the release of their highly anticipated debut album.

“I am incredibly excited to introduce Dream in Colors to music lovers worldwide,” shared Knightley. “Our fusion of trance, rhythmic beats, and world music grooves creates a sonic tapestry that invites audiences to let loose, embrace the rhythms, and celebrate together. With the exceptional talents of Bennett, Eliza, and Johnny, we aim to transport listeners on a rhythmic journey that sparks joy and connection.”

Cut Capers

The Glastonbury & Boomtown Festival favourites will bring their infectious dance grooves to Wickam Festival again after they went down a storm in 2022.

Bristol favourites Cut Capers are embarking on their biggest-ever nationwide tour to celebrate the upcoming release of their brand new album “Sightseeing & Short Negotiations”.

The explosive 9-piece have built a killer reputation for their live shows; ultra-high energy experiences, with epic arrangements, booming brass hooks, and scintillating solos. This tour will see them performing a host of new material from their eagerly-anticipated third LP, as well as the crowd-favourites.

With special guests and extended sets, this is not a tour to be missed!

“Come on! That puts a wiggle in your walk!”
Craig Charles, BBC Radio 6

“Something really special and unique”
Steve Yabsley, BBC Radio Bristol

The Marching SKAletons

The Marching SKAletons are a horn led Day of the Dead group that can perform either as a street or electric band, being equally at home on stage or weaving through a festival crowd. They can play a set of traditional ska instrumentals for diehard ska fans or mix it up with surprising ska versions of hits from Depeche Mode, Taylor Swift, Kraftwerk and even Europe. The line up features a powerhouse horn section, guitars, marching drums and bass. The music is a celebratory energetic fusion of ska, Latin, electro, pop & mariachi that guarantees audiences will be dancing.

The band have performed at a varied selection of events and head a regular ska night at The Pelirocco in Brighton. They have entertained crowds at festivals and council events throughout the UK. Past performances include Glastonbury Festival, Together the People festival, Elderflower Fields festival as well as supporting Madness at the Brighton centre. They perform annually at Hove County Cricket grounds bonfire night and have entertained at the National Trust carnival at Montacute House as well as arts council funded Basingstoke’s Day of the Dead. Media appearances include Channel 4 News & BBC Hampshire.

Skipinnish

Skipinnish are riding an ever-growing wave of popularity and the last 2 years have been the biggest for the band since they began way back in 1999 when co-founders Andrew Stevenson and Angus MacPhail joined forces. With increased numbers in the band from these early days and with the addition of lead vocals and full back line, recent years have seen this band hit the very top of the music scene in Scotland. With hit after hit of self penned songs and a strong mix of powerful bagpipe, fiddle and accordion led tune sets, they encompass the very best of contemporary Celtic Music.

Their large and growing fan base is such that Skipinnish are regularly selling out in advance some of the biggest venues in the country. From Eden Court Theatre in Inverness – where they filled 2 consecutive nights – to the iconic Usher Hall in Edinburgh and from the Albert Halls in Stirling to the famous Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow, every show has been full and audiences have been going wild!

With their 20th anniversary year approaching, 2019 will be the biggest year yet for Skipinnish. The birthday celebrations will launch with an exciting return to the Usher Hall in Edinburgh on the 25th of May where numbers will be increased on last years appearance there by allowing for a standing crowd on the lower level. A flagship summer Highland birthday party in Inverness on the 5th of July will take the form of a 4500 capacity “big top” concert in the Highland Capital’s Bught Park. This will be the band’s biggest gig to date and to ensure it all runs smoothly they have teamed up with promoters LCC who ran Runrig’s amazing “The Last Dance” events at Stirling Castle. This is going to be one hell of a party!

As well as their own stand-alone performances, Skipinnish are one of the hottest acts on the vibrant music festival scene. Because of the major events planned at home for their 20th anniversary, the band are taking a year out from all Scottish festivals in 2019. They will however be appearing at various events in England, Ireland and the rest of Europe as their international following continues to snowball and look forward to returning to some Scottish festivals in 2020.

Ferocious Dog

Ferocious Dog will be performing at Wickham Festival 2024 on Saturday 3rd August.  They’ve been hailed as “a representation of our gut feeling, savage and merciless” and at the same time, called “folk in the grand tradition of it being the peoples sound.” Ferocious Dog, however are all those things.

Ferocious Dog has emerged as a prominent figure in the music world, renowned for their dynamic and authentic folk-punk sound that echoes the essence of Nottinghamshire. The band is celebrated for their narrative-driven lyrics that adeptly address social, political, and personal issues, striking a chord with their audience.

The journey began in 2011 with the release of their debut single “Ferocious Dog,” laying the foundation for a diverse and profound discography. Their first album, released in 2013, highlighted their dedication to storytelling, a hallmark of their musical identity.

“Ferocious dog are a very socially conscious band and their music and lyrics are designed not only to make you smile and sing along but also to make you feel something.”
Folk-Metal.NL.

Over the years, Ferocious Dog has expanded their repertoire significantly. Projects like “Ferocious Dog 3 Piece Acoustic” in 2014 and the acoustic version of “From Without” in 2017 showcased their ability to strip their music back to its core while retaining its impactful message.

Their albums, including “From Without” (2015) and “Red” (2017), have further established the band’s status in the folk-punk genre, blending poignant lyrics with engaging melodies and capturing a growing international fanbase.

The band’s commitment to exploring current issues was evident in their 2019 album “Fake News & Propaganda,” which ventured into introspective and critical territory, reflecting on complex societal themes.

In 2021, “The Hope” marked a significant milestone, highlighting the band’s expanding audience and the wide-reaching appeal of their music with its chart success.

“9/10 Earning a reputation as the UK’s most exciting Folk Punk band for good reason”
Vive Le Rock·

Their singles, such as “Hell Hounds,” “The Landscape Artist,” and the collaboration “Psychedelic Spin” with Dr. Peacock, have contributed to their evolving narrative, each revealing different facets of their artistic journey.

Ferocious Dog has established themselves as much more than a conventional band. They serve as a powerful voice for stories that are often untold or overlooked, embodying a spirit of resilience and insight. As the band continues to evolve, their unwavering dedication to producing music that is not just entertaining but also empowering and enlightening shines through. They express sincere gratitude to everyone who has contributed to their journey and warmly invite fans to join them as they continue to make their mark in the music world.

“This is serious social commentary with superb tunes and Dan Booth’s sublime violin takes the listener on a rollercoaster of emotion”
W.D Emsley

“Without doubt Ferocious Dog are one of the best bands on the UK folk punk circuit as they brought Rock City to life with their stomping, energetic sound. Not only are they one of the most hardworking bands around, but as their fans will testify, they are also one of the most approachable”
Nottingham Post. Kevin Cooper

John Otway Band

John Otway is an English singer-songwriter who has built a sizeable cult audience through extensive touring, a surreal sense of humour and a self-deprecating underdog persona.  Otway shot to fame on in the midst of punk rock and a gymnastic performance on The Old Grey Whistle Test.  Otway, ever the showman, decided to jump on to the amplifier of his colleague during a performance of Bob Lind’s Cheryl’s Going Home. (Un)fortunately for Otway, he misjudged his leap and sent Wild Willy Barrett’s amplifier tumbling as he crashed down straddling the box under the amp…

Despite numerous attempts to get back into the charts, Otway would have to wait 25 years for his next taste of chart success. In the intervening years, Otway would become an actor; write an autobiography (Cor Baby That’s Really Me: Rock and Roll’s Greatest Failure); perform sold out shows at London’s Astoria and Royal Albert Hall; make regular appearances at both Glastonbury and Edinburgh Festivals; and write the nation’s seventh favourite lyric of all-time (beating Bob Dylan and Paul Simon in the process).

In 2012, to celebrate his 60th birthday, Otway produced his debut movie titled Otway the Movie: The Story of Rock n Roll’s Greatest Failure. A screening for producers was held at London’s Leicester Square with the final scenes from the movie filmed on the red carpet and edited into the film. The film was then taken to Cannes Film Festival and a 50-date tour of cinemas in both the UK and North America. It was subsequently voted the 2nd best film of the year in a poll of its readers conducted by The Guardian newspaper.

Levellers

Levellers are still going strong after over 35 years in the game. They have long been, and still are, one of the best live bands around and in 2020 they released new studio album ‘Peace’ which entered the UK Official Album Charts at #8 – the band’s highest charting entry since 1997’s Mouth to Mouth reached #5 and improving on previous release We the Collective’s #12 position in 2018.

The band celebrated the 30th anniversary of their seminal platinum-selling, album Levelling The Land in 2021. During the summer of 1991 the album redefined the UK’s musical landscape. Levelling the Land features the hit singles One Way, 15 Years and Far From Home plus The Game, Liberty Song, Sell Out, Another Man’s Cause, Riverflow, Boatman and the incendiary Battle Of The Beanfield.

They decided to do something a bit different with their back catalogue in 2018 and enlisted legendary producer John Leckie (Radiohead, Stone Roses) to help develop new acoustic arrangements with a string string section for eight of their previous singles which they recorded straight to tape at the world-famous Abbey Road Studios – the result was Top 20 album ‘We The Collective’. Following on from that success, they released a second volume of acoustic reworkings ‘Together All The Way’ in March 2023 accompanied by an acoustic tour of theatres before then turning back to all electric shows for the rest of the year at festivals and venues.

2023 was an extra special year for the Levellers as not only did they celebrate 35 years of being a band, but it was also the 20th Anniversary of their hugely acclaimed Beautiful Days Festival in August – now one of the biggest independent music festivals in the UK.

Levellers 2024 live line-up features:

  • Mark Chadwick
  • Jeremy Cunningham
  • Dan Donnelly
  • Charlie Heather
  • Matt Savage
  • Jon Sevink

Saltfishforty

Saltfishforty are a fresh and dynamic duo hailing from the Orkney Islands in the north of Scotland. Douglas Montgomery (fiddle/viola) and Brian Cromarty (songs/guitar/mandola) combine the rich traditional music of Orkney with original compositions. The duo have four previous albums to their name: LIVE (2013), Netherbow (2010), Orkney Twister (2005) and Goose Music (2003).

The powerhouse partnership have won a devoted following throughout the UK and beyond, brilliantly transcending the duo format’s conventional confines. Linchpin figures in the currently flourishing revival of Orkney’s traditional music, they unite these deep-rooted sources with an exhilarating breadth of influence and expertise, catalysed by a creative empathy born from decades of friendship. The result is a sound of equally thrilling raw attack and multi-dimensional richness.

A partnership forged back in 2002 – more by accident than design – the two knew each other since primary school, and played together in sessions and various bands, until they were booked in a four-piece for a charity gig, and only the two turned up: “We decided to go on and just make as much noise as two people possibly could – which is kind of how it’s been ever since” they say.

Years later, Saltfishforty have delighted audiences at many of the world’s top folk festivals including Celtic Connections, Cambridge, HebCelt, Shetland, Lorient in Brittany and Canada’s Celtic Colours, as well as touring to the US and throughout Europe. Their focus on Orkney music takes in traditional, contemporary and original material, boldly cross-fertilised with influences from Americana to East European folk, plus a high-octane whiff of heavy metal.

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    16 x Grammy Award winning Jerry Douglas is coming to Wickham on Sat. Aug. 3. Here's his new video, a stunning interpretation of George Harrison's 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps'. ... See MoreSee Less

    2 days ago

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    Oh my, that was amazing! I'm very sad not to be able to make it this year.

    Stunning. Can’t wait to see and hear this live

    Awesome version , can't wait 👍👍

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    Newly confirmed! Swan Samba will be bringing their infectious beats back to Wickham on Sun. 4th Aug.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWDS2U76sV0&t=17s

    Line-Up Addition: By popular request, #FleetwoodCollective (Fleetwood Mac tribute) will be back at Wickham on our opening night, Thurs. 1 Aug., following their superb show last year.

    LAST CHANCE TO SAVE £30 ON WICKHAM FESTIVAL WEEKEND TICKETS 1st-4th Aug. Levellers; Suzi Quatro; Curtis Stigers; Tony Christie; Seth Lakeman; Ferocious Dog; Tankus The Henge; Michael McGoldrick; John Otway & so many more. Hurry! Prices rise on 1st July.

    As reported in The News, we're moving to a much better #WickhamFestival site after last year's mud! It's great to have our lovely new flat, grassed & well-drained arena field this summer!

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