Wickham Festival News

Curtis Stigers

Curtis Stigers has had several top ten hits as a long-haired, blue-eyed soul singer and he’s written and sung an Emmy nominated TV theme song. He’s recorded a track for one of the biggest-selling pop albums of all time and he’s released nine critically-acclaimed, award-winning jazz albums. He’s played for presidents and princes and he’s appeared in two Seth MacFarlane movies about a foul-mouthed cuddly bear called Ted. He’s recorded thirteen studio albums and a live album singing Sinatra songs with the world-famous Danish Radio Big Band. He’s toured with symphony orchestras, written songs with Carole King and duetted with Al Green, Shawn Colvin and Tom Jones.

For the past 30 years, the singer, songwriter, saxophonist and guitarist has been making records that confound those who try to categorize his music or put him in a box.

Curtis Stigers’s new album This Life is the answer to that question. It’s a celebration of three decades of musical exploration, evolution and growth. It’s a look back at 13 albums, thousands of concert performances and millions of miles on the road. “We created most of these arrangements onstage, during soundchecks and concerts,” says Stigers. “My songs have changed and grown as they’ve gotten older, just like I have.”

Curtis Stigers burst onto the recording scene in 1991 with his eponymous debut album, which sold 1.5 million copies and spawned several self-penned, pop/soul-flavored hit singles, including “You’re All That Matters To Me,” “Never Saw A Miracle” and the worldwide top-ten hit, “I Wonder Why.” The 25-year-old NYC-based musician then toured the world in support of the album, opening shows for the likes of Elton John, Prince, Eric Clapton, James Brown, Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart and Bonnie Raitt, and made multiple appearances on the TV show circuit, including The Tonight ShowDavid LettermanArsenio and The Today Show.

“Inspired marriage of visceral clout and intellectual savvy.”
New York Times

“I cannot think of another vocalist who creates such an exuberant combination of bebop artistry and raw emotion.”
London Sunday Times

“When Curtis Stigers came on stage on Wednesday night, it felt as if someone had upped the wattage in the bulbs.”
Wall Street Journal


RURA are a multi award-winning act and one of Scotland’s most popular folk-based bands. The quartet’s compellingly fiery, rugged yet refined and progressive instrumentals on fiddle, Highland pipes, flute, guitar, keyboards and bodhran has placed them firmly at the forefront of 21st century Scottish folk, and a a mainstage highlight at the world’s leading folk music festivals for over 10 years, touring across Europe, Canada, Asia Australia and New Zealand.

“One of the most exciting bands on the Scottish folk scene” *****

RURA returned to stages across the UK and Europe in 2023 with their hotly anticipated fourth studio album Dusk Moon. By far their most collaborative record to date, Dusk Moon is a continuation of the creative journey RURA embarked upon in 2018 with producer Euan Burton, with the release of their critically acclaimed album In Praise of Home. Inspired by a deep sense of reflection and hope, Dusk Moon sees the band’s progressive, emotive and powerful sound continue to develop, connecting with fans and music lovers around the globe. Renowned for cinematic arrangements that draw from people and landscape throughout Scotland, their spellbinding live show is not to be missed.

“RURA are one of the most dynamic bands in Celtic music, at the very leading edge of Scotland’s traditional revival”
Irish Music Magazine

Jack Smedley, Steven Blake, David Foley and Adam Brown’s entrancing performances have been a main stage highlight of many of the world’s leading folk festivals – including Cambridge, Tønder, Woodford, Winnipeg, World Music Shanghai, Edmonton and HebCelt, amongst countless others across more than 20 countries. Television audiences alongside have been in their millions, including BBC1’s Hogmanay Live, broadcast live to the world over New Year 2016/2017 from Glasgow’s iconic Old Fruitmarket – where they returned to record their five-star live album in 2020, marking their 10th anniversary.

“The perfect soundtrack to a Scottish summer”
The Skinny

“Genuinely stirring stuff… there’s something very exciting about RURA”

Katherine Priddy

Since emerging with her debut EP ‘Wolf’, UK singer-songwriter Katherine Priddy has quickly become one of the most exciting names on the British music scene. Priddy’s haunting vocals and distinctive finger-picking guitar style have already seen her sell out a headline tour, perform at prestigious festivals around the UK and abroad, including Glastonbury where she featured on their BBC 2 coverage, and support a number of world class artists including Richard Thompson, Loudon Wainwright III and Vashti Bunyan, as well as a recent show with Guy Garvey at The Roundhouse. She also recently featured on a Double LP of Nick Drake covers released by Chrysalis Records with other artists such as Self Esteem, Aldous Harding and John Grant.

Her debut album, ‘The Eternal Rocks Beneath’, was released in June 2021 to great acclaim. The album singles received 200+ plays across national radio including BBC Radio 6 Music and BBC Radio 2 and reached No.1 in the Official UK Folk Charts. Now, early 2024 sees the release of Priddy’s eagerly-awaited second album, The Pendulum Swing, on February 16th, via Cooking Vinyl. The LP explores themes of home, family, love and memory, as Priddy seeks to move forwards whilst acknowledging and honouring all that has gone before.

“The Birmingham folk artist’s exceptional voice shines through on a confident, expansive second album….. a rich, thoughtful creation” ****
The Observer

Her live performances are engaging, moving and amusing by turn, delivering original songs with emotional maturity, depth and particularly noteworthy lyrics. Despite the delicate nuances of her sound, Katherine Priddy is not a fragile wallflower, but a determined young woman making her mark.

New album The Pendulum Swing, out 16 February 2024

This new album has already been getting great reviews.  Click here to read the below Sunday Mail article on PressReader.

There are further reviews on The Guardian and KLOF Magazine.

Honey and The Bear

Honey & the Bear were a tour de force on the UK Folk Festival circuit in 2022. The British folk and roots duo combine delicately interweaving vocal harmonies with emotive and evocative songwriting. With a diverse range of sounds and textures, and rhythms that flow from the fast and furious to gentle ballads, their live performances are spirited and dynamic. Conjuring stories in song, they tell tales of Suffolk folklore, courageous people they admire and their passion for nature which has been enchanting audiences up and down the country.

The multi-instrumentalist pair, comprised of songwriters Jon Hart (guitar, bass, bouzouki) and Lucy Hart (guitar, ukulele, bass, banjo, mandolin & percussion), are often joined on-stage by band guests Evan Carson (percussion) and Toby Shaer (Fiddle/Flutes/Whistles) who also feature on both Honey & The Bear studio albums. Together they have played at many revered venues and festivals across the UK as well as travelled across the channel for their first European tour. They supported Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys on two UK tours and opened for The Shires at world renowned Snape Malting’s Concert Hall. They returned to Snape Maltings under their own steam just two years later to perform a sold out show.

2020 and the onset of the coronavirus pandemic saw the duo grounded and all gigs cancelled, but their music prevailed in the form of Sunday night facebook livestreams of which they performed thirty-two throughout the year 2020. After challenging themselves to write a new song for the first 12 weeks of the livestream, they successfully managed to produce a second album. ‘Journey Through the Roke’ was released on 23rd April 2021. The album features many talented musicians including Toby Shaer (whistles, harmonium, flute, fiddle, bass), Evan Carson (drums, bodhran, percussion), Archie Churchill Moss of Moore Moss Rutter (melodeon) and Graham Coe of The Jellyman’s Daughter (cello). Journey through the Roke received airplay by Mark Radcliffe on the BBC Radio 2 Folk Show.

Their debut studio album ‘Made In The Aker’ (released July 2019) was followed by a UK tour as a four piece band in October 2019. The album was well received by both their ever growing fan base and the critics.

Born and raised in Suffolk, Lucy learned violin and drums at school, sung in the Suffolk Jubilee choir and started songwriting at age 15. She taught herself guitar whilst at university in Canterbury, and began performing her creations not long afterwards. At 27, she released her debut band album ’Step Right On’, songs from which you now hear her perform with Jon.

Jon, a Yorkshire boy, raised in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, has been performing his own songs since his teens. A self taught guitarist, his love of driving guitar riffs is a core aspect of his song writing process. He has released three band albums, the latest of which was entitled ‘Level with me’, featuring ‘wristburner’ which is a gig favourite.

“Lucy and Jon’s vocals are gentle, rich and mellifluous throughout… This is an accomplished album from a masterly duo”
Nygel Packett, Folk London Magazine

“Dexterously played with beautifully crafted arrangements around a perfect pairing of voices delivering personal fine songs this is a stunning album.”
Marc Higgins – FATEA

“This album is one of the clearest recordings I’ve heard in a decade, holding its head above the roke and into the sunlight on every track”
Seán Laffey, Irish Music Magazine

“The vocals of Lucy are as beautiful as ever….and she is now one of this country’s best folk singers”
Stephen Foster, Radio Caroline & EADT

Tara MacLean

Canadian singer/songwriter Tara MacLean has been an internationally renowned and award winning recording and touring artist for over 25 years. She released her first album with the Nettwerk Music Group in 1996 and Sony Music Publishing Canada. Since then has been signed with Capitol Records, and EMI Canada with her JUNO nominated band Shaye. She has written and recorded six solo albums and two with Shaye.

Tara has recently received the Senate of Canada Medal for her activist work in her community. She finished a run of three summer seasons with her hit theater show that she wrote, produced, and directed called, “Atlantic Blue-The Stories of Atlantic Canada’s Iconic Songwriters” in Charlottetown. The summer of 2019 saw Atlantic Blue produced and directed by the world famous Charlottetown Festival playing three nights a week to sold out crowds.

Tara received the SOCAN Songwriter of the Year award as well as Solo Recording of the Year for her latest album, Deeper at the PEI Music Awards. Deeper was nominated for Pop Album of the Year at ECMA 2020. Her duet with Catherine MacLellan, “This Storm”, received the award for Song of the Year. She performed “Songs from Atlantic Blue” in Concert with the PEI Symphony Orchestra. Last year, Tara received the Stompin’ Tom award by the East Coast Music Association, marking an outstanding contribution to music in the region.

Tara MacLean is an environmental and social justice activist, a zen student, a poet, author and a playwright. She resides primarily in her home province of Prince Edward Island, and also lives part time on Salt Spring Island, BC. She considers herself bi-coastal. Her greatest joy is being a mother to her three beautiful girls.

Her first book, Song of the Sparrow, hit the Best Seller List the week it was released and Tara quickly followed up with “Sparrow” – the soundtrack for the book.

Click here to order her Album, Sparrow.

Fine Lines

Championed by Matt Spracklen on Absolute Radio Country “A brilliant mix of amazing, rootsy, Americana, country goodness!” and Tom Robinson on BBC 6Music “They play like they mean it!” Fine Lines is a six piece British band that plays exquisite roots-infused Americana. Started by singer-songwriter David Boardman in 2016, the band has build a deserved reputation with fans of authentic live music up and down the country. The debut album ‘Hour Of Need’ and follow up, ‘Gaslight Roses’, both received universally glowing reviews upon release in 2017 and 2019 respectively and they have been performing to increasingly more appreciative audiences ever since including festival appearances at The British Country Music Festival, Carfest, Beardy Folk Festival and Pub in the Park. The band also recently toured the UK as special guests of Kiefer Sutherland.

Their sound has echoes of Dylan & the Band, Gram Parsons and Bruce Springsteen whilst maintaining a unique quality that is singularly their own. Centred around the twin vocals of Boardman and Zoe Blythe, the band is perfectly complimented by the fine playing of musicians Gary O’Brien (piano & Hammond organ), Emily Doggett (fiddle), Jim Broughton (bass) and BBC radio & TV presenter Mark Radcliffe (drums).

The band’s 3rd album ‘Deadbeat Lullabies’ and accompanying single and video ‘The Island’, were released in October 2021 on Parade Recordings. The eleven tracks were written by the band’s songwriting partnership of Boardman and Radcliffe; David’s yearning melodies perfectly complimenting Mark’s nuanced, observational lyrics.

“A brilliant mix of amazing, rootsy, Americana, country goodness …I absolutely love that!”
Matt Spracklen – Absolute Radio Country

“They play like they mean it!”
Tom Robinson BBC 6Music

Tony Christie

One of his most memorable songs, (Is This The Way To) Amarillo, was famously brought to a new generation by comedian Peter Kay. Since then, Tony has enjoyed somewhat of a revival, sparking renewed interest in his extensive career as one of the most popular UK singers around. Tony enjoyed his first taste of commercial success back in 1971 when his track Las Vegas took the British charts by storm. Written by famous songwriters Peter Callander and Mitch Murray, the song was instantly recognised for its great songwriting. This success was followed up with the songs I Did What I Did For Maria and Is This The Way to Amarillo, which brought him further attention.

In 1972, Tony’s performance of Avenues and Alleyways was included as the soundtrack to the British action thriller The Protectors, marking Tony’s first feature in the world of television. His most famous song of this era, Is This The Way To Amarillo, would go on to become his most notable commercial success. By 1972, the record had sold over a million copies, earning itself a gold certification in the process.

Not long after, Tony began to enjoy popularity as a talented performer on the international stage. As a result, Tony came to make an appearance at The Golden Orpheus, a music festival held in Bulgaria. The success of his performance there saw the live show released as a full-length record, further increasing Tony’s popularity. Over the next several decades, Tony enjoyed a rewarding career on the European mainland, recording several notable albums in Germany alone.

Tony’s musical output came to enjoy somewhat of a resurgence when his song Is This The Way to Amarillo was featured on Peter Kay’s comedy series Phoenix Nights. As a result of this renewed appreciation for his work, the song was re-released in aid of Comic Relief. The song stormed the British charts yet again, reaching the very top of the UK charts. When Tony re-recorded the song several years later, he was eventually awarded the freedom of Amarillo, Texas, proving the success of his song with the city’s population. Always eager to further hone his craft, Tony continues to build upon his status as one of the most famous British singers around.

Over the course of his career, Tony has performed a vast array of memorable songs – many of which remain popular to this day. He has sold over 10 million albums worldwide, continually finding new audiences through his thrilling performances. In doing so, he continues to enjoy vast popularity as an ideal choice for corporate events and music venues alike.

Chris Walker’s Pedigree Jazz Band

Chris Walker presented a weekly Jazz Programme broadcast by radio stations all over the world for over 30 years. However he is also a very fine musician and was a founder member of the famous Real Ale and Thunder Band, who’s many T.V appearances, included a “Songs of Praise” for the BBC.

A while ago he decided to get back to his roots and recreate the hit tunes of the British “Trad Jazz” boom of the 50’s and 60’s. To do this he formed The Pedigree Jazz Band. In their show “SALUTE TO TRAD JAZZ they play the most popular tunes of the era, such as ‘Midnight in Moscow’, ‘Petite Fleur’, ‘Green Leaves Of Summer’ and many others. The band has proved to be a resounding success, with rave reviews and repeat bookings from nearly everywhere they perform.

Hence they now tour extensively, and if you miss them when they are in your area, you will miss out on a great show. The success of this venture is greatly helped with continuing sponsorship from Marston’s Brewery.

Ryan Young

Ryan Young, a multi award winning fiddle player, is injecting fresh and innovative ideas into the realm of traditional Scottish music. He has gained international acclaim for his captivating fiddle interpretations. Ryan’s debut album, produced in collaboration with four-time GRAMMY winner Jesse Lewis (notable for his work with artists such as Bela Fleck and Yo Yo Ma), was unveiled at the Feakle Traditional Music Festival in County Clare. He was accompanied by the renowned guitarist Dennis Cahill, known for his work with Martin Hayes and The Gloaming.

Ryan’s musical focus revolves around traditional Scottish tunes, but he breathes new life into age-old and sometimes forgotten melodies through his unique approach. His fiddle artistry is characterized by fresh melodic innovations, an infectious rhythmic energy, and an impressive range of dynamics and precision. His signature sound takes the audience on an emotional and adventurous journey with each performance.

Ryan Young boasts an impressive academic background, holding both a first-class honours degree and a Masters from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He earned recognition as a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards on two occasions and was twice a finalist in the prestigious BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of The Year competition. In 2017, he was honored with the ‘Up And Coming Artist Of The Year’ award at the Scots Trad Awards. In 2018, he received a Horizon Award nomination at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and was crowned Folking.com’s Musician Of The Year.

His accolades further extend to multiple MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards nominations, including Album Of the Year,  Folk Band Of The Year and Live Act of the Year. Ryan Young was notably the sole UK artist chosen to perform at the esteemed World Music conference, WOMEX, in 2019. In 2023 Ryan toured the USA and 2024 sees him touring the world with concerts from Australia to Austria.

Ryan’s second album ‘Just a Second’ was relaesed in the USA in September 2023 and was released in the UK and Europe in October 2023 to critical acclaim…

“Young’s technical ability is simply jaw-dropping, the pace frantic, dizzying, triumphant.”


Fàilte bhlàth oirbh uile!

Multi award-winning Scottish supergroup Mànran have been at the heart of the Scottish traditional music scene for over a decade. Internationally recognised as one of the most iconic and respected Scottish bands on the road today, the seven-piece show no signs of slowing down as they continue to push boundaries and explore new musical and geographical territory, bringing their uplifting and unique live performances to stages across the world.

“Listening to Mànran made us want to sing and dance like primal animals”

“Twin-bagpipe attack could heat the blood of any non-Celt”
Sydney Morning Herald

“Mànran are a band we’d put money on to succeed”
The Financial Times

Having played in over 30 countries, including the USA, Asia and Australia (where they were awarded the accolade “International Artist of the Year” at the Australian Celtic Music Awards) this multifaceted musical powerhouse has gathered a loyal fanbase worldwide, due to their self-penned tunes performed on a mixture of traditional and modern instruments, outstanding songs in Gaelic and English and vibrant live performances.

“Mànran live are electric and quite simply unstoppable”
Sunday Herald

“Mànran are up there with the best folk-rock bands our country has ever produced.”
The Daily Record

“Gaelic folk superstars”
BBC Radio Scotland

Archives by year

  • 2024 (4)
  • 2023 (13)
  • 2022 (13)
  • 2021 (20)
  • 2020 (12)
  • 2019 (25)
  • 2018 (25)
  • 2017 (27)
  • 2016 (23)
  • 2015 (19)
  • 2014 (2)
  • Facebook Posts

    Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

    Our Twitter Feed

    Steve Harley was an audience favourite at Wickham Festival, and a delight to work with. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

    Steve Harley: Cockney Rebel singer dies at 73


    The Saw Doctors would like to say a Big Thanks to everybody who has bought or streamed ‘All We Love’ today —the new single is Number 3 in Ireland and No. 23 in the UK. Here’s the link to buy or stream ‘All We Love’   

    Wonderfully evocative and typically catchy song from our old friends @sawdoctors ready for #StPatricksDay
    Would love to hear them do this at #wickhamfesival one day. Great stuff!

    Our new line-up inc. Curtis Stigers with a few more artists inc. Jerry Douglas to add. We hope to unveil last confirmed artists inc. one more headliner soon. Day & Tier 4 Weekend tickets selling fast. Save £50 on every 4-day weekend ticket. Book now. http://www.wickhamfestival.co.uk

    We're delighted to announce that 16-times GRAMMY Award winner Jerry Douglas, one of the world's finest dobro & lap steel guitar players, will be at this year's Wickham Music Festival on Sat. 3rd Aug. Day & Weekend tickets selling fast!

    After announcing the great American singer Curtis Stigers for the Wickham Music Festival yesterday we'll be announcing another great American musician this evening (Tuesday). A clue. He's a 14-times Grammy Award winner. Any guesses?