Wickham Festival News

Ray Cooper

Ray Cooper is an independent singer/ songwriter and multi-instrumentalist currently living in Sweden. His first solo album ‘Tales of Love War and Death by Hanging’ was released in 2010.

His second album, ‘Palace Of Tears’ was released on September 22nd 2014.

Born of a Scottish mother and an English father, Ray Cooper grew up in England and started to play in bands when he was 16. Moving between rock, punk, pop and world music, and working as a singer, bass guitar player and cellist, he finally hooked up with Oysterband in 1988 and began a long exploration into his own roots. 
Moving to Sweden in 2000, Cooper continued playing with Oysterband, eventually touring in 27 countries and recording 19 albums. In 2012 they won 3 awards from BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for best group, best album and best traditional track and were dubbed by fROOTS magazine as one of the 3 ‘Icons Of Folk’. Despite their success, Cooper took the decision to leave the band and go solo in February 2013 and has since been touring Europe extensively.

‘Tales of Love War and Death by Hanging’ has a strongly historical theme and was recorded in a small log cabin in Sweden. The sound is simple but at times evokes a much bigger scale. Citing influences such as T-Bone Burnett, Ennio Morricone, Johnny Cash and June Tabor, Cooper played cello, guitar, harmonium, mandolin, mandola, harmonica and kantele to accompany his songs.

His second album ‘Palace Of Tears’ is more of a singer/songwriter album but retains a distinct nordic flavour with the inclusion of Swedish fiddles and the Finnish kantele which runs like a seam throughout the album. ‘It’s about my experiences of living and working in northern Europe over the last quarter century. I define myself as a northern European now, rather than being Scottish‘.


Isle Of Wight songstress BeX will be making an appearance on The Hapi Festival Stage on Sunday at 1pm.  She is an accomplished professional performer & singer songwriter. A truly unique independent and feisty country girl who’s attracting plaudits from some of the industry’s leading lights, the latest TV breakthrough was being invited to perform her music on Showbiz TV ‘Country Sessions’ show featuring on Sky TV this year.

She recently gave a live acoustic performance at BBC Solent Introducing with Steph Nieuwenhuys on May 20th 2017 which included the title track of her debut album…

Her debut album, Story So Far, is available at:

iTUNES: http://apple.co/2qQmYQv
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2s6ZO8m
Spotify: http://spoti.fi/2rzG629

BeX has developed into a true professional performer with her powerful vocals, versatility, stage presence and her great passion and talent for song-writing. With influences growing up listening to the likes of her icons, Eva Cassidy & Carole King, these artists really have inspired her creativity, BeX style brings the elements and qualities from her favorites artists P!nk, Sheryl Crow & Anastacia, and a country feel of the Dixie Chicks & Lady Antebellum.

With the essence of all these influences ‘BeX’ Creates her own unique and original sound as an artist/ songwriter in her own right across the Country/Americana and Soulful Pop, Rock genre. BeX expressive creative lyrics and catchy hooks and melodies appeal’s to a wide range of music lovers around the world.

One for the Road

One 4 the Road are an Acoustic Duo covering popular songs from the past 6 decades.. They specialize in Vocal Harmony atop an acoustic guitar foundation. They will be appearing on Friday on the Main Stage 2 at 13.00 – 13.45.

Amy Goddard

Originally from South Wales, Amy Goddard now lives in Portsmouth where she sings and plays regularly at local folk and acoustic clubs. She is a keen singer/songwriter and guitarist. She is also a guitar, piano and theory of music teacher.

She co-wrote and released one CD with a friend and musical partner, Helen Harris, before circumstances dictated she continue alone. She has been pleased to receive much help and support from Igloo Music UK, a local music school and regularly performs at their events and is also a member of the Igloo Songwriting Choir.

60th Parallel

A psychedelic rock’n’roll band from Portsmouth and Southampton. Influences include 60s garage, psychedelia & punk which have also evolved into a more contemporary sound.  The band consists of:

  • Stone River – Lead Vocals
  • Ralph Walling – Guitar/Vocals
  • Mark Smith – Guitar
  • Simon Johnson – Drums/Vocals
  • Paul Hopkins – Bass.

Burnt Ice

Portsmouth’s longest running blues band Burnt Ice have been around since 1987! That’s a scary thought, but in that time they have developed one of the most powerful sounds around. The blues of Burnt Ice blend raw funky grooves with jazzy riffs to create a vibrant danceable sound. Music to listen to but best listened to on your feet!

Burnt Ice formed in 1987 and have evolved through various lineups always featuring the hardcore of Andy Broad on guitar and vocals; Simon Tufnail on bass and Alan “Blackie” Blackmore on Drums. In 2009 they were joined by Martin Bird on guitar after his return from Sweden, as Martin had previous worked with Simon and Blackie for many years in other projects this new addition added extra energy to an already powerful and funky combination. A new EP was recorded in June 2010 to reflect this new sound and featured both new original material and a few old favourites.

The EP was particularly well recieved when Burnt Ice played at the Festival Elouges en Blues in September 2010.

At the start of 2012 Burnt Ice were rejoined by virtuoso harmonica player Matt Beckwith, Matt has had several stints in the band over the years, first joining a very early lineup, leaving to tour the world for a couple of years, then joining again for a longer stint, before taking a break in 2009 to work with some other projects, most notably the White Knuckle Blues Band, he rejoined us just as saxophonist Chris Shaw departs to take up along contract in Guernsey, perfect timing!


three)(fold are a brand new band made up of seasoned players who have been around the Folk-Rock scene for over 25 years.

The band’s line-up is:

  • Hanna Burchell: Vocals, guitar, mandolin, low whistle, flute, percussion
  • Steve Holland: Vocals, percussion, keys
  • Jon Wood: Vocals, guitars

The band consist of one half of the long established (23 years and counting) Folk-Rock band, The Fold. The idea to try something different came up at an acoustic rehearsal in Spring 2017 and three)(fold is the result. Since then it has been rehearse, rehearse….and rehearse!

Going out under the banner ‘Acoustic folk-rock & beyond’, the material is a mixture of new songs from songwriters Jon and Hanna, selected covers and new arrangements of Fold tracks.

The band will only have played a handful of gigs prior to this festival performance so come and catch them at the very start of their journey.
The band haven’t had time to do a demo yet, but here they are in the studio some years back as members of The Fold (this clip also features Linda Game of The Fold on fiddle).

Mark Handley

Singer/Songwriter Mark Handley is happy to embrace all styles of music, though Rock, Reggae and Acoustic Roots are certainly amongst his favourites! He has a natural “feel” for a rhythm and the uncanny ability to find and write a song in any situation or on any subject. These are “real” songs with great lyrics and hooks that will have you singing along by the second chorus…. as well as getting your toes a tappin! (of course!)

Whether performing solo or with his band “The Bone Idols”, playing a pub, club, festival, concert hall or just busking on the high street hardly seems to matter to Mark as he always puts everything into his performance. He knows how to entertain an audience and his energy and passion are sure to leave an impression on all those who have seen and heard him play.

Quite how Mark’s music remains so unknown to the World is a mystery. He is certainly a Troubadour, a true Artist putting his heart, soul and every penny he has ever made back into his music producing many fine Albums available online, via his website and wherever he is playing live. His following maybe small but the word is spreading and those who do check out his music usually come back for more.

Gaz Brookfield & The Company of Thieves

Gaz Brookfield made his debut at Wickham Festival in 2017, performing a solo accoustic set.  His performance caused quite a stir with many requests for him to return, so he returned in 2018 with his Company of Thieves.  We’re pleased to say he will return for Wickham Festival 2021.  This is one not to be missed!

Since winning Acoustic magazine’s 2010 Singer Songwriter of the year, Gaz Brookfield has spent his time on the road, touring the UK and Europe. In this time he has shared the stage with the likes of The Levellers, Frank Turner, New Model Army, Nick Harper, Newton Faulkner, Miles Hunt, and Seth Lakeman.

Often playing as many as 200 gigs a year, Gaz’s relentless and never-ending tour schedule takes him to every corner of the country and beyond. The last few years saw Brookfield play at over 100 UK festivals, including Glastonbury, Beautiful Days, Bearded Theory and many more, firmly cementing him as a festival favourite for the future.

His latest studio album I Know My Place is out now, available on CD, limited edition 12″ Vinyl and digitally from Bandcamp. All of Gaz’s previous albums are available digitally on Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon and many other digital outlets.

Ross Couper & Tom Oakes

Ross Couper and Tom Oakes are a fiddle and guitar duo deeply rooted in the traditions of Scotland and Ireland with a vital modernity that chronicles their many musical journeys so far.  Ross’ explosive fiddle playing lies at the heart of the mighty Peatbog Faeries. Tom Oakes is a multi-award winning guitarist and flautist composer who was a founder member of the genre defying Auvo Quartet and now heads up his own ‘Tom Oakes Experiment’ highlighting Oakes as a flautist and composer.

Ross and Tom have over the last five years have (amongst many other things!) played three sell out performances at Celtic Connections, toured Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the UK (Including Cambridge, Shetland and many more festivals) Played in front of 5000+ collaborating with Danish popstar Lukas Graham at Tonder festival. Appeared as the band on the BBC’s ‘Shetland’ drama twice, on multiple TV broadcasts for BBC Alba and provided music for the latest advert by clothing giant Anthropologie.

Expect their trademark, unrivalled energy and virtuosity interspersed with moments of spine tingling beauty and a warmth and humour that guarantees a smile on the face.

A new album is out later this year.


Mancunia is a new trio comprising Tim O’Connor, singer-songwriter based in France; Andy Dinan, twice all-Ireland Fiddle Champion; and Maartin Allcock, internationally acclaimed multi-instrumentalist (Fairport Convention, Robert Plant, Yusuf Cat Stevens, Jethro Tull). Three world travelled musicians, all originally from Manchester and sharing Irish origins, coming together to create a dynamic, eclectic musical melting pot with powerful songs and fiery Irish fiddle, all set in an exciting multi-layered dimension.

Tim O’Connor is a well-known songwriter, now living in Savoie in the south east of France. Tim has already made many independent albums and written many songs, one of which, The Lizard, was just nominated in a French film festival. He has performed all over the world and is highly thought of by the likes of Mike Harding, Mike McGoldrick, and Arty McGlynn.

Andy Dinan is a force of nature, a master fiddler of great renown and very well known on the Manchester Irish scene, where he has been a regular collaborator with such luminaries as Mike McGoldrick, as well as touring for years with Ducie, among others. Andy lives in Manchester.

Maartin Allcock is a multi-instrumentalist, mostly known from his work in the folk-rock scene, but is also a session musician and record producer with around 350 albums in his discography. Maart lives on the west coast of Snowdonia.

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.”

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

Blyth Power

Formed in late 1983 by singer/drummer Joseph Porter, Blyth Power remains one of the most original and innovative bands around, and one of the prime features about the band is their all-consuming individuality. They have a strikingly identifiable and personalised sound built around Joseph’s epic songs, with their colourful personnel, exotic story-lines and crashing, impassioned choruses.

Overriding everything is the breadth and content of the lyrics, which Mr Porter claims are his first love, and his most cherished care. Irony and subtext mingle with plain-speaking and historical metaphor in brilliant tapestry of colour and irreverent speculation. Will Charles succeed to the throne? Will politicians ever keep their pants on? Why was Mary Tudor so uncouth as to burn total strangers, and will the legacy of sweat and boredom left in the desert by the Templar Knights be rekindled in the Kevlar helmets and SA80s of the modern armies bound for Baghdad? Anyone can make music, but not everyone can find the time to make every word count for a dozen, or to unravel the intricacies of human fallibility with a perception that rarely falls short of sympathetic.


In 1988 Simon Edwards (ex. Boothill Foottapper) and some pals in Chaddar put together an accordian-led folk rock band called K-Passa, with the expectation of having a bit of fun – now, they enjoy an enviable reputation of being THE live band to see in the South West of England.

Local recognition led to their appearance on the main stage at the 1992 Glastonbury Festival. Their blend of Folk, Cajun, and Rock wins a grassroots response to their fiery performances, and has garnered this UK-based folk/roots rock band a huge audience following across Europe and the UK.

Recently reformed, with a new rhythm section, Edward’s voice, songs and accordion playing are still the foundation for K-Passa’s position as a favourite live folk-based act in Bristol, England.

“With their shiver up the spine mix of Cajun Reggae & Rock, the audience had no chance but to leap around in a frenzy to the hypnotic grinding of K-Passa” – Folk Roots


One of Scotland’s most popular folk-based groups to emerge in the last decade, chart-toppers Talisk have toured the world stacking up major awards for their explosively energetic yet artfully woven sound, including Folk Band of the Year at the BBC Alba Scots Trad Music Awards, a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award, and the Belhaven Bursary for Innovation.

Mohsen Amini (BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards’ Musician of the Year 2018), Hayley Keenan and Graeme Armstrong fuse concertina, fiddle and guitar to produce a ground-breaking, multi-layered and instantly enthrallingsignature sound that has captivated audiences around the globe.

Appearances at leading festivals – including closing out Saturday night’s main stage at the 2019 Cambridge Folk Festival, Denmark’s Tønder Festival, the Rainforest World Music Festival in Malaysian Borneo, WOMADs UK, Chileand Las Palmas, Edmonton Folk Festival, Milwaukee Irish Festival, three back-to-back years at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, and five successive outings at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections – have amassed a die-hard following, whilstfolk and world music media have also lauded high praise upon the genre-bending trio.

Their hotly anticipated second album, Beyond, quickly rose to No.1 in the iTunes world music charts upon its late 2018 release, meeting a five-star ‘Top of the World’ review in leading world music magazine Songlines, who brilliantlysummarised the band: “incredibly infectious and endearing… fresh, invigorating, accomplished.

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    Were looking forward to welcoming The Longest Johns to Wickham on Fri. 2nd Aug.  Full Friday line-up here:  www.wickhamfestival.co.uk/line-up/FridayImage attachmentImage attachment+1Image attachment

    We're looking forward to welcoming The Longest Johns to Wickham on Fri. 2nd Aug. Full Friday line-up here: www.wickhamfestival.co.uk/line-up/Friday ... See MoreSee Less

    11 hours ago

    3 CommentsComment on Facebook

    Love The Longest Johns!

    So excited! Not sure how we are going to keep the stall staffed for their slot 🤣

    Don't forget Shamus O'Blivion and the megadeath morrismen

    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


    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