Wickham Festival News

The Spooky Men’s Chorale

As thunderous as a herd of wildebeest, as sly as a wagonload of Spike Milligans and as sonorous as a cloister of monks, the Spooky Men’s Chorale are the gift that keeps on giving.

They emerged blithering and blinking-eyed from the Blue Mountains of NSW in 2001, and armed with no more than their voices, a nice line in deadpan and an ill-matched set of hats, have been gleefully disturbing audiences everywhere since.

Formed by NZ-born spookmeister Stephen Taberner, the Spooky Men soon attracted attention with a judicious combination of Georgian table songs, pindrop beautiful ballads, highly inappropriate covers, and a swag of original songs which seek to both celebrate the “boof” and mock it.

The Spooky Men’s CV includes nine tours of the UK, six CDs, sell-out shows at theatrical venues like the Melbourne Recital Centre, and festival appearances too numerous to mention. Faced with a mid-life crisis, they chose not to become a tribute band to themselves, but instead find ever fresher, deeper, more ludicrous perspectives, such as those found in their latest album Welcome to the second half.

Always renowned for a combination of Visigothic bravado, absurdist humour and eye-moistening tenderness, the Spookies in middle age, and fortified with a new generation of wunderkids, are more masters of their territory than ever before. They will delicately garnish their much-loved black-catalogue with new incursions into beauty and stupidity, somewhat like a chocolate muffin with bits of chocolate in it. You must see them, really you must.

“Inspired – and a triumph of choreography! Catch them on the road – a fantastic night out is guaranteed!”
Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2

“High camp, epic folly – probably the best programming choice of the entire summer festival circuit”
The Irish Times

“Highly theatrical, they veer from weird to touching and back again. Grown up entertainment in the best, most infantile way. Don’t miss an opportunity to see them”
Daily Telegraph

Seth Lakeman

Westcountry folk singer and multi-instrumentalist Seth Lakeman was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 2005 for ‘Kitty Jay’. Seth’s thrilling solo performance of the eponymous title track on live television won him unanimous praise and started him on an incredible solo journey which has included record deals, 11 album releases (including 6 Top 40), BBC Radio 2 playlisted singles, a clutch of awards and touring all over the world. 2024 marks the 20th anniversary of the album’s release.

Seth released his latest and 11th studio album Make Your Mark in November 2021. The album features 14 powerful, brand-new songs including the singles Higher We Aspire and title track Make Your Mark which were playlisted at BBC Radio 2. Seth was also delighted to be asked in late 2022 to record on Van Morrison’s new album ‘Moving On Skiffle’ which was released in March this year and he collaborated with Public Service Broadcasting. He has previously worked and toured extensively with Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) with his band the Sensational Space Shifters.

The Proclaimers

After abandoning plans for a 2021 release/tour, 2022 has seen The Proclaimers recording their 12th studio album at the legendary Rockfield Studios in Wales with producer Dave Eringa. Confirmation of an autumn release date will be confirmed soon.

They kick of a 14-month World tour with a main stage appearance at the Isle of Wight Festival in June followed by a series of summer festivals and regional concerts.

October to December sees The Proclaimers embark on a 35 date UK & Ireland tour.

2018 had seen their ‘Angry Cyclist’ album released to immense acclaim, becoming their 8th UK Top 40 album debuting in the UK Official Album charts at 17 and at number 3 in the UK Official Independent Album Charts.

The Proclaimers “Angry Cyclist World Tour” began in July 2018 and ended in September 2019, 111 shows in 14 countries to over 400,0000 people. The tour began in Stroud, England and ended at The Hydro in Glasgow. The tour included their biggest ever tours of Scotland, England, Canada, New Zealand and Australia and notably in June 2019, The Proclaimers opened The Pyramid Stage for their 7th appearance at Glastonbury. The Proclaimers July 2019 Edinburgh Castle concert sold out in just under 10 minutes with Castle Concerts reporting this as the fastest sell out in their 25-year history. A second show at Edinburgh Castle was added, this show also sold out within 24 hours, which Castle Concerts are also reporting as never before seen demand.

Strikingly individual, twin brothers Craig and Charlie Reid emerged 31 years ago with their debut album This Is The Story and Top 3 single ‘Letter from America’. Since then their enduring appeal across generations has have over the years seen them enjoy huge success across the globe

The Proclaimers songs are timeless, capturing a gamut of human emotions, written with poignancy, emotional honesty, political fire and wit. Their songs feature at weddings, funerals and everything in-between and there is one song, an early celebration of falling head over heels in love that is known the world over and has become a staggering global anthem. There are many others that have gained great popularity in different parts of the planet and then there is a wide cross section of sublime songs embraced by a multitude that has kept up with The Proclaimers studio albums, compilation collections and extensive touring over three decades.

The Proclaimers have carved out a niche for themselves in the netherworld where pop, folk, new wave and punk collide. In the process, they have enjoyed Gold and Platinum singles and albums in UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Edward II

Edward II will be returning to the festival scene in 2023. This is a band that has incredible on-stage talent and energy that has to be enjoyed live. If you’ve got energy to burn and brought your dancing shoes … who doesn’t love some reggae beats with a twist.

Originally known by the neat title of Edward the Second and the Red Hot Polkas, Edward II reformed some 10 years after originally disbanding. With their unique mix of English folk, world music and reggae, they are a great live act who will bring the crowd to their feet.

Edward II, the English roots band that uniquely blend the rhythms of the Caribbean with traditional songs from the British Isles, have been secretly working on a totally new project and will be back in 2017. Temporarily turning away from the rural songs of the middle England Morris teams, this time around the band has been delving deep into a repertoire of songs born of the industrial revolution, specifically of their hometown, Manchester.

Wickham Festival favourites, Edward II, will get us dancing on Saturday 4th August 2023 with their blend of Caribbean rhythms & traditional English dance tunes.

Still upbeat, and with rock-steady rhythms, blazing horns, fabulous harmonies, and fiery melodeon melodies, this will be a new set mixed with some of the old favourites and a familiar sound for the faithful.

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  • Facebook Posts

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    We're delighted to announce that world class traditional musicians Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker & John Doyle are newly confirmed for Wickham on Saturday 3rd August. Day & Weekend tickets selling fast www.wickhamfestival.co.uk/tickets
    Click on pic or link for video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-8lyVCuAHU
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    4 days ago

    7 CommentsComment on Facebook

    Same day as their colleague from The Transatlantic Sessions, Jerry Douglas plus renowned Irish musicians John McSherry, Brendan Quinn & Francis McIlduff. It's gonna be one helluva session! 😀

    Julie, Suzanne…. It gets more fun by the day..! Just some nice weather please..🙏🏻 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

    Brilliant - really enjoyed the Transatlantic Sessions at Bristol, some great musicians

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    Our Twitter Feed

    We're sorry to report that London Irish band Neck will no longer be appearing at Wickham following the sad death of their frontman Leeson O'Keeffe from pancreatic cancer. 😢

    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

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-68590846

    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’   
    https://orcd.co/allwelove

    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!