Wickham Festival News

Phil ‘Swill’ Odgers & Bobby Valentino of ‘The Men They Couldn’t Hang’

On Sunday 5th August 2018 we’ll have a performance by Phil ‘Swill’ Odgers & Bobby Valentino of ‘The Men They Couldn’t Hang’.  TMTCH performed in 2017 so it’s a welcome return for Phil And Bobby.

Phil ‘Swill’ Odgers is one half of the legendary joint vocal strike force of UK folk rebel rockers TMTCH.  Audiences around the world from Cairo to Reykjavik, Brisbane to Vancouver and Berlin to London have submitted to his effervescent and heartfelt vocal style in stadium, theatre, hall and after hours lock in.

Bobby Valentino’s first success was as a founding member of The Fabulous Poodles, but he is most often recognised as the violinist and co-writer of the #1 hit single “Young at Heart”, by The Bluebells.  After leaving the Fabulous Poodles in the early 1980s, he was a member of the Electric Bluebirds before joining the Hank Wangford Band at the beginning of 1984.  His violin can be heard on tracks by artists including Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Bob Geldof, The Alabama 3 and Shania Twain. He is also an occasional member of Mark Knopfler’s current band. He has contributed to many recordings by THTCH as well as frequently performing with them on stage.

Shamus O’Blivion & The Megadeath Morrismen

Shamus O`Blivion have been plying their trademark super fast jigs and reels and powerful folk rooted songs at festivals and music events across the country and occasionally in mainland Europe since 1989.

Their mission is simply to make people dance and laugh. When you walk away from a Shamus O`Blivion gig dripping in sweat with a huge grin on your face, they consider it ‘Job Done !’.

Not easily pigeonholed, their music appeals to all ages and tastes , they are not limited to one type of venue or event. Audience participation is insisted upon, to which end they furnish the audience with colourful morris dancing sticks to aid the raucous dancing and frolics. Bounding on stage like five real life cartoon characters their performance is humorous, colourful and theatrical.

This band mean business and their business is FUN !

Shamus O’Blivion & The Megadeath Morrismen lineup:

  • Mick – Accordion & Vocals
  • Mel Gardner – Bass Guitar ,Electric Guitar, Whistle
  • Steve-the-fiddle – Violin , Bass, Vocals
  • Dave (Wolfie) Moon – Mandolin, Acoustic Guitar, Bass & Vocals
  • Paul Rhodes – Drums

Feldspar

Feldspar is a London-based alt-folk songwriting band. Their first EP “The Flat and Paper Sky Vol. I” was released October 1st 2012, the second volume in December. Will Tompsett of The 405 described the sound: “Gorgeous, autumnal soundscape, equal parts melancholy and inspiring.”

Roseanna Ball

Roseanna Ball is a dynamic solo singer songwriter from North Devon, inspired by the likes of Johnny Cash and Seth Lakeman.

Carlos Nunez

Galician multi-instrumentalist Carlos Nunez is probably the world’s most famous player of the Gaita, traditional Galician bagpipes. Born in Vigo in 1971, he is steeped in the rich celtic culture of the north-west of Spain.

That celtic influence is clear in his collaborations with The Chieftains and Sinead O’Connor among others as well as in his most recent album Inter Celtic.

Hailed as the “Hendrix of the bagpipes” he began playing the instrument at the age of eight and has since added many other whistles and pipes as well as the ocarina to his wide repertoire, staying true to Galicia’s rich heritage while exploring new dynamic directions.

Tinderbox

Tinderbox are an award winning acoustic duo featuring Dublin born Monique Houraghan with a distinctive ‘honey-like’ vocal, and Dan Tucker with an intricate finger style guitar technique.

In addition to countless headline shows in the UK, Ireland and America Tinderbox have played support for many high profile acts including Joan Armatrading, 10cc’s Graham Gouldman, Cara Dillon, Hazel O’Connor, Jon Allen, Eleanor McEvoy, Amy Wadge, Ben’s Brother, Ralph McTell, Squeeze’s Chris Difford and Ade Edmondson.

BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson described the music as “Gorgeous”. Tim Carroll of Folkwords magazine described Tinderbox as “highly accomplished – spectacularly inventive; intensely emotive” and BBC South’s Roger Day branded them “an early Fairport Convention”.

With a fast growing reputation amongst the UK folk and acoustic scene Tinderbox are an act to look out for.

The Gren Bartley Band

Gren Bartley is a prolific and exceptional songwriter. Showcasing his “phenomenal” guitar playing and poetry driven lyrics, Gren Bartley and his band are becoming a big attraction at venues and festivals throughout the UK and Europe. With stunning harmonies, driving percussion and intricate string arrangements for cello and violin, the new line up has been captivating audiences across the UK. Gren is truly the future of folk songwriting, using his influences from folk and world music traditions to bring something unique to this modern day troubadour. He is an artist not to be missed.

Les Barker

Sadly Les passed away on 14th January 2023.  He entertained us many times over the years.  We’ve left his profile unchanged below, as it was written in 2018 when he last took to our stage.  RIP Les … your friends at Wickham will miss you and your wordsmith wizardry.

For 2018 Les Barker will be appearing on Thursday 2nd August.  For early arrival campers he will also be performing on Wednesday in the Community Centre at 20.00 – 20.45.

Les Barker writes strange poems and comes originally from Manchester, but he’s now Welsh. He was an accountant before he became a professional idiot. He’s written 77 books, which sell in large numbers at his gigs because people don’t quite believe what they’ve just heard. His poems have spawned a number of folk heroes: Jason and the Arguments, Cosmo the Fairly Accurate Knife Thrower, Captain Indecisive and Spot of the Antarctic, to name but two.

His serious songs have also featured on albums by Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick, and by June Tabor and he made a name for himself on the circuit with his unlikely contribution to the Mrs Ackroyd Band. But it is his side-splitting poems and his elevation of the pun to new heights which guarantees an unforgettable if baffling evening.

The Hut People

The Hut People are constantly gaining more of a reputation as one of the most entertaining acts to appear on the folk scene in a long while. In their surprisingly engaging and often hilarious show, they perform a truly unique high-octane blend of folk music from around the world – perfectly formed & embellished with a foot stomping accordion and mind-boggling array of exotic percussion (with some Quebecois foot percussion & dancing thrown in for good measure too!). A hugely entertaining duo getting unbelievable feedback from audiences, festival organizers and music press alike.

Tankus the Henge

Tankus the Henge have built their reputation on unforgettable songwriting, spectacular live performances and relentless hard work, playing hundreds of shows across Europe and building a devoted fan base along the way.

“..I love that. It reminds me of a mixture of early Kinks, Squeeze and a bit of Blur mashed in. His voice is his own, …so great. I love it.”
Dave Davies – The Kinks

Their funk-fuelled repertoire is wildly eclectic, ranging from New Orleans inspired swing to heavy rock riffs, and since their beginnings in the ratty alleyways of London’s Soho, the band has evolved into a wild groove machine.

Musically inspired by bands from the British invasion of the 60s and artists such as Tom Waits, Blur, Randy Newman and Queens Of The Stone Age, and with lyrics influenced by 20th Century American Literature, specifically the Beat Generation and Gonzo journalism, Tankus the Henge defy categorisation. Their hair-raising show, like no other, has to be seen and heard to be believed. Like a psychedelic, rock n roll octopus – only with four more legs.

tankthehenge

“….a virtual carnival of sound that’s high on energy and deep on soul. With copious helpings of R&B blues, funk, disco, Django, a dose of Dexy’s, a drop of Ray Davies and a pinch of Madness emerging throughout the eleven tracks – it’s an exciting mélange of sound.”
The Guardian. Simon Wells

Moulettes

Moulettes are one of the UK’s most unique touring bands and are steadily being singled out from the wave of Bjork & Kate Bush influenced Alt.Folk artists that have arisen this decade. With Strings, Guitars, Drums, Bassoon and Synths, Moulettes’ music weaves between Indie Folk, Chamber Pop and Prog Rock to create an incomparable universe.

Renowned for their breathtaking live shows it is clear that few bands have the creative range and work ethic of Moulettes. They are constantly evolving with a brave approach to production and arrangement that seeks peculiar ways of blending acoustic and electric instruments.

logos_moulettes

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    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! www.wickhamfestival.co.uk/tickets
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    He's played & recorded with Paul Simon; Eric Clapton; James Taylor; Alison Krauss; Elvis Costello and The Transatlantic Sessions. You can read about this remarkable musician here: jerrydouglas.com/bio/

    Fabulous news. We look forward to hearing him. We’d have also liked to see award winning blues guitarist Dom Martin in the lineup. Hopefully one year.

    You really have to see this guy,along with the other musicians he will be bringing along...World Class stuff....

    Never heard of them but now I will get a chance to hear just what has made them a 16 times Grammy winner. Cool. 😎

    I have 4x tickets for sale

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    Our Twitter Feed

    Newly confirmed. Widely regarded as one of the world's finest exponents of Scottish Harp (clarsach) Rachel Hair accompanied by guitarist Ron Jappy will play Wickham Friday 2nd August joining @Suzi_Quatro @SethLakemanNews Day & weekend tickets now onsale http://www.wickhamfestival.co.uk

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    Change-of-date. 17-year-old Irish country blues sensation Muireann Bradley will now appear on Friday 2nd Aug. instead of Sunday 4th Aug. Anyone wishing to change day tickets please email eastfest@talk21.com

    Top Scottish Celtic-rock bands @ManranOfficial @RURAband award-winning singer-songwriters @KatherinePriddy @jimmoray shanty singers @TheLongestJohns & 17-year-old Irish country blues singer Muireann Bradley are among the latest artists confirmed for this year's #WickhamFestival.

    Newly confirmed. We're delighted to announce that Gaelic celtic-rock supergroup Manran will be at Wickham on Sunday 4th Aug. Day & weekend tickets selling fast
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WyS7e7N2WY0

    Nice feature on #wickhamfestival on @SGFolkClub1 Listen at 36 mins 50 seconds... but there is some great music if you tune in to the whole show!

    Pleased to announce The Spooky Mens Chorale will be back at Wickham this summer on Friday 2nd August. For full confirmed daily line-up so far + tickets please see http://www.wickhamfestival.co.uk