Wickham Festival News

Nick Parker & The False Alarms

Nick Parker was 13 when he first picked up a guitar and tried to string together a few chords. By 14 he had put down the guitar and picked up the mandolin. Not least of all because he wanted to be in his brother, Ant’s band and they needed a mandolin player. The first few gigs came and went, under the name ‘The Mandolin Brothers’ (genius name) before they changed their name to ‘Why?’ (equally genius name) and they spent the next 10 years bouncing around on stages at hundreds of venues around the UK and Europe, reeling out their folk/rock/skiffle (latterly known as friffle) sillyness to sweaty teens and twentysomethings. In February 1998 Nick finally put down his eight string and picked up a six (mainly because his fingers had gotten too fat for the intricacies of a mandolin) and along with guitarist Mark Stidson started guitar band ‘Tobermory’.

After various false starts, a few flirtations with industry ‘big’ boys and a few mini tours to Germany (including one where they went all the way to the east for a three gig weekend, two of which were cancelled) Tobermory played their last gig in 2004. ‘The Gadabout Crowd’ was next on Nick’s ‘to do’ list, which was more of a folky/rocky affair. The crowd dispersed after only a few months of gatherment and Nick decided to go it alone. Now under the name of ‘Nick Parker’ (again quite clever), Nick has recorded his first solo album. Produced and engineered by former band mate Luke Stidson (now at the helm of Twin Falls) the 12 track album ‘The King of False Alarms’ was recorded on location in a quiet cottage in North Devon during the terribly sunny June of 2010.

Panatical

Panatical steel band is made up of past and present pupils of Crestwood Community School.  They were formed in 2007 when the school was asked to provide a band at an international music festival in Gołuchów, Poland. In the years since then, the band has welcomed over 80 students of Crestwood Community School and has gone from strength to strength, performing at over 30 gigs per year.

Recent highlights include performing at Music For Youth’s school proms at the Royal Albert hall in November 2016 and CarFest South in August 2017 and 2018. The band are looking forward to performing at CarFest again this year as well as RunFestRun, Wickham Festival and the Taunton Flower Show.  The band has over 3 hours worth of memorised repertoire ranging from soca, calypso, reggae and ska, to pop and rnb to even some classical pieces!

Luke Daniels

A BBC award winning folk musician and former Riverdance band member who has performed with Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, Cara Dillon and De Dannan. Folk Musician in Residence of the Scottish National Museum of Rural Life and tutor on the traditional music course at Royal Conservatoire Scotland in Glasgow. His 2015 album of melodeon music transcribed from early wax cylinders and 78s was described in the Scotsman as “outstanding.” A soloist on the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit soundtracks he performed at the Royal Festival Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. His commissioned work for the PRS for Music New Music Biennial in 2014 was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 from London’s Barbican Centre and Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. He has performed at the Edinburgh Festival’s Assembly Rooms and on Broadway with Riverdance. His musical partnership with the School of Philosophy at Edinburgh University culminated in sell out shows at Celtic Connections Festival on two consecutive years with Songs of the Scottish Enlightenment. He recently sang and played live for Mark Radcliffe on his BBC Radion 2 folk programme and was described by Mark as a “master melodeon player.”

Cara Dillon

Born in Dungiven in 1975, surrounded and infused with the rich cultural heritage of her native County Derry, Cara has risen to become one of the finest exponents of traditional Irish song anywhere in the world. Possessing a rare and unique voice that has been lauded since her very beginnings winning the All Ireland singing trophy aged only 14. Together with her husband and musical partner, Sam Lakeman, she has successfully steered an eclectic musical path defying the typical pigeonholes that hinder most artists in her genre. Celebrated for entwining traditional and contemporary elements she has earned both commercial success and astonishing critical acclaim.

Recent years have seen her return wholeheartedly to her Irish roots creating fresh interpretations of traditional standards with stunning results. Her reach is truly global with fans to be found all over the world with her clear, Northern Irish voice even seducing giants such as Disney who, in 2010, asked her to sing the title song to the animated movie “Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue”. She’s won countless awards and accolades including “Album Of The Year” at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, The Meteor Music Award for “Best Irish Female”, and Tatler’s “Woman Of The Year in Music” and has appeared in prestigious concert halls and at festivals the world over. Always looking to introduce her voice and music to new listeners, Cara’s topped the charts with dance remixes, guest appearances and, more recently, presented her songs with full orchestral backing bringing her music to an entirely new audience.

Whether she’s singing her native traditional songs of lost love and emigration, or original compositions, you will be hard pressed to find a more emotive and captivating performer. Cara Dillon is at the very top of her field and one has the feeling she’ll remain there for a very long time.

Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls

Frank is one of the most successful UK solo artists of the past decade and what’s special for Wickham is that he grew up right on our doorstep in Meonstoke, Hampshire! So we hope Wickham Festival will give him a real “coming home” welcome as our main festival headliner on Saturday 3rd August 2019! It promises to be as good as any folk-punk performance could possibly be.

He has stated his early influences included Counting Crows, The Levellers, and The Beatles before discovering his punk, hardcore and metal period. More recently he cites the Johnny Cash “American Recordings” series as influencing his direction towards many artists such as Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, and in particular Billy Bragg. Over the last decade he has carved out an immensely successful career as a hard-touring, punk-folk troubadour giving him a large international following. His last 3 albums have all made the top ten in the UK.

His career began with the post-hardcore band Million Dead as their vocalist. He then moved into a primarily acoustic-based solo career. For Wickham Festival 2019 Frank will be accompanied by his backing band, The Sleeping Souls, which consists of:

  • Ben Lloyd – guitar, harmonica, mandolin. Also a member of the rock band “Dive Dive”, he recorded and produced Frank’s first EP Campfire Punkrock (2006) and his first two albums.
  • Tarrant Anderson – bass.  Based in Oxford and previously a member of the British punk band Dustball, he is also a director of the tour bus hire company Vans For Bands Ltd.
  • Matt Nasir – piano, organ, guitar, backing vocals.  Also a member of the rock band “The Pressure Room”, he is a multi-instrumental musician based in London.
  • Nigel Powell – drums, percussion, backing vocals.  Whilst at school he was in a band that featured future Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, he was also formerly a member of “Unbelievable Truth”.

Perhaps one of Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls’ most bizarre performances was at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. Other acts to perform at the ceremony included Paul McCartney and Arctic Monkeys. Frank’s quoted as saying “Directly in front of us was a field with sheep and horses and people pretending to play cricket. It was weird.” As a concept we can’t disagree but with Danny Boyle at the helm directing it proved a memorable vision and certainly a noteworthy achievement bestowed upon very few musicians.

Amongst Frank’s many other accolades and claims to fame is that he broke the most consecutive performances at Reading festival. Certainly a memorable moment was being introduced by his *disapproving* mother and entering the stage in a wheelchair with a *bad back* before performing Four Simple Words in 2013.  He first played there in 2005 with his band Million Dead and then from 2007 went on to perform every year to achieve a record number of sequential performances in 2016…

In 2015 Frank released a book entitled The Road Beneath My Feet, which is named after lyrics from his song The Road. Consisting of tour diaries and travel memoirs, it was a frank story of Frank’s career to date. It gave an accurate and intimate account of what it’s like to spend your life continuously touring and enduring the associated challenges. All for the love of playing live across the world. The book inevitably went on to become a chart bestseller. His brand new book, Try This At Home, is an updated memoir that takes songs from his back catalogue to explore his song writing method.

Click image to view info on upcoming events.

It gives the stories behind some of his most popular songs. Spending almost all his time thinking about songs and songwriting, he felt it time to get it down on paper to reflect on and share his thoughts.  It promises to be essential reading not just for his fans, but also for those interested in understanding what it’s like to be a touring songwriter and all that it entails. Or perhaps give inspiration to those wishing to tread this path.  This openhearted nature to share his story and talents are illustrated in videos on his YouTube channel.

Along with his band of accomplished musicians we are guaranteed a Saturday headline performance that is rousing, intimate and poetic. Judging by his hugely successful recent tour, the set promises to be Frank at his very best incorporating his most distinguished tracks.  For those of you lucky enough to have attended this tour you’ll know his support act was Grace Petrie who’ll also be performing earlier on Saturday 3rd August. What a night to remember it promises to be.  We can’t wait to welcome Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls to the Wickham Festival stage!

Lucinda Williams

Three-time Grammy Award winner, Lucinda Williams has been carving her own path for more than three decades now. Born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, Williams had been imbued with a “culturally rich, economically poor” worldview. Several years of playing the hardscrabble clubs gave her a solid enough footing to record a self-titled album that would become a touchstone for the embryonic Americana movement – helping launch a thousand musical ships along the way.

While not a huge commercial success at the time Lucinda Williams (aka, the Rough Trade album) retained a cult reputation, and finally got the reception it deserved upon its reissue in 2014. Jim Farber of New York’s Daily News hailed the reissue by saying “Listening again proves it to be that rarest of beasts: a perfect work. There’s not a chord, lyric, beat or inflection that doesn’t pull at the heart or make it soar.”

For much of the next decade, Williams moved around the country, stopping in Austin, Los Angeles, Nashville, and turning out work that won immense respect within the industry (winning a Grammy for Mary Chapin Carpenter’s version of “Passionate Kisses”) and a gradually growing cult audience. While her recorded output was sparse for a time, the work that emerged was invariably hailed for its indelible impressionism — like 1998’s Car Wheels on a Gravel Road, which notched her first Grammy as a performer.

The past decade brought further development, both musically and personally, evidenced on albums like West (2007), which All Music Guidecalled “flawless…destined to become a classic” and Blessed (2011), which the Los Angeles Times dubbed “a dynamic, human, album, one that’s easy to fall in love with.” Those albums retained much of Williams’ trademark melancholy and southern Gothic starkness, but also exuded more rays of light and hope. This all lead to the 2014 release of Williams’ first double studio album Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone. The album received overwhelming praise from the media and fans, thus proving that Williams’ songwriting is as strong and important as it has ever been.

The Outside Track

Winner of ‘Best Group’ in both the Live Ireland awards and the Tradition In Review awards, The Outside Track are one of the top Celtic acts in the world. They were ‘Best Live Act’ nominees in the MG Alba Scots Traditional Music Awards, and won the German Radio Critics Prize, for their album Flash Company. Live Ireland called them, ‘Among the top bands in the world – stunning on every cut!’

The Outside Track’s marriage of Celtic music, song and dance has been rapturously received around the world. Hailing from Scotland, Ireland, and Cape Breton, its five members are united by a love of traditional music and a commitment to creating new music on this as a foundation. They blend fiddle, accordion, harp, guitar, flute, whistle, step-dance and vocals with breathtaking vitality. Their blend of boundless energy and unmistakable joie de vivre has won them a large following around the globe.

Stanley Jordan

Stanley, widely regarded as one of the world’s best ever guitarists, last wowed is in 2019 with his incredible and unique skills.  This time he is back with a completely different show … playing Jimi Hendrix music like probably Jimi would play if he was still alive today!

World-renowned guitarist Stanley Jordan has developed a new live show called “Stanley Plays Jimi.” This is a tribute show, but it’s not pure imitation. Instead Stanley builds on Jimi’s legacy in a creative way. As Stanley explains it, “This is my fantasy Jimi Hendrix concert if Jimi were still alive and playing today. By re-imagining his music and channeling his persona I try to bring that fantasy to life.”

It may be surprising that Stanley Jordan would take on a project like this. After all, Stanley is already a well-known guitarist with a signature style, four Grammy nominations, a cameo in a Blake Edwards film (Blind Date), and a host of TV appearances over a long career including Jimmy Fallon, David Letterman, Jay Leno and Johnny Carson to name a few. But Stanley explains, “I feel a strong connection to Jimi Hendrix because he was the first guitarist I emulated as a child. Out of love for Jimi and his music I feel a strong desire to try to keep his legacy alive.”

It may also be surprising that a rock legend like Hendrix would get so much love from a jazz legend like Jordan. Stanley’s 1985 album Magic Touch was #1 on Billboard’s jazz chart for 51 weeks, and Stanley has shared the stage or recorded with jazz artists such as Benny Carter, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and Billy Cobham. But again, hearing it from Stanley, “I actually played rock and blues before I played jazz. In fact, Jimi’s constant searching for new sounds inspired me to move toward jazz in the first place.”

In recent years Stanley has performed with many artists in the rock and jam band worlds, including the Dave Matthews Band, Umphrey’s McGee, Moe. and more. Stanley says, “Returning to my rock roots has been an absolute joy artistically, and with this project I’m taking that to a new level.”

Another important aspect is the embodiment of Jimi’s persona. Stanley actually steps onto the stage as Jimi Hendrix so there is a theatrical element to the show. But this is not a comedic caricature nor is it a theatrical play – it’s a concert. It’s a concert built upon a sincere and heartfelt effort to recreate the jaw-dropping experience of witnessing Jimi Hendrix live while at the same time bringing Jimi’s legacy up to date in a believable way. Wow! Tall order to fill–no? That’s why you need a world-class artist of Stanley Jordan’s caliber to pull it off.

This extra touch of portraying the Hendrix of today rather then yesterday keeps the show creative and fresh for both Stanley and the audience and it gives Stanley’s fans a new insight into Stanley’s own evolution. It also makes the show more authentic in a certain sense, because a real Hendrix concert would have surprises and unexpected turns. “Stanley Jordan Plays Jimi” tries to re-create both the energy and the creativity of the real thing.

“This would be a challenging endeavor for anyone,” Stanley explains. “For sure you can put on an impressive show with just 2 or 3 of his techniques. But I’m trying my best to cover as much of his work as possible while at the same time trying to build on it, which I think is really the heart and soul of this project. The truth is, no one really knows what Jimi would be doing today. But we do know he would have kept evolving. This gives me some creative leeway and it lets my own identity come through because we’re viewing Hendrix thru my lens. But it’s also challenging for me because I can’t do just anything; It has to make sense and to come across as something Jimi might have actually done.”

One way Stanley builds on Jimi’s legacy is by expanding on some of the jazz elements that Jimi was evidently reaching for toward the end of his life. Stanley says, “We know that he jammed with Rasaan Roland Kirk and Larry Young, and plans were underway to collaborate with Miles Davis and Gil Evans. You can hear him reaching and expanding his vocabulary on albums like Nine To The Universe, which was very influential to me as a youngster. And some of his compositions have a kind of jazzy shuffle, such as ‘Up from the Skies’ and ‘Belly Button Window.’ I try to expand on that.”

Stanley also builds on Jimi’s work by incorporating touch, or two-hand tapping techniques. Many people associate that more with Van Halen than with Hendrix but Stanley says, “I actually got the idea from Jimi Hendrix. I saw him do it with just his left hand, but that’s all I needed to see. I just added the right hand, which was an obvious extension.” And extend it he did. Today Stanley Jordan is considered by many to be the World’s best tapper, having developed it into a rich pianistic style.

Jimi Hendrix was no stranger to electronics and Stanley builds on that as well, saying, “Of course I use feedback and effects just as Jimi did. But I avoid programmed sequencers and prerecorded tracks because there just isn’t enough evidence that Jimi would have gone that route. And the real genius of what he did consisted in making himself part of the circuit rather than externalizing it. For Jimi, electronics were not an end in themselves but a means to an end–an extension of the instrument and a channel of his spirit.”

Stanley also adds a few original compositions to the setlist–fantasy songs that could have been written by Jimi today, just to fill out the repertoire and to give shape to some of the new concepts Jimi was developing. Remember–this is the Hendrix of today, not yesterday.

In terms of look and style, Stanley stays mostly faithful to Jimi’s traditional style. Of course we know Jimi could have evolved significantly in his clothing style by now but Stanley doesn’t speculate much in that area, explaining, “The truth is, in this show I’m both a musician and an actor, and I want my character to be believable. I feel that the best way to do that is to be fairly faithful to the Jimi Hendrix that we all know.”

“Stanley Plays Jimi” is a new project but it’s based on an old idea. Stanley says, “Back in 1970 at the age of 11 I was saddened to hear of Jimi’s passing. I decided there and then to try to continue his legacy, so I took up guitar. Of course my main goal was to be an original artist in my own right, but the concept of a Hendrix tribute has been in my mind pretty much from the start. Now, in the year of the 50th anniversary of Jimi’s historic Woodstock performance the time feels right to bring this idea to fruition.”

STANLEY JORDAN – GUITAR AND VOICE
GABOR DORNYEI – DRUMS
LAURENCE COTTLE – BASS

National Youth Folk Ensemble

The National Youth Folk Ensemble celebrates excellence in youth folk music, bringing together talented young musicians from across England to create and perform inspiring new arrangements of traditional music.

The Ensemble receive expert tuition and guidance from a team of leading folk artist-educators. This is their last tour with their inaugural Artistic Director, Sam Sweeney, who has shaped the Ensemble’s activities over the past three years.

The standard was excellent – their musicianship, stage presence, performance skills and enthusiasm made it an evening to remember for a long time
Songlines, June 2018

The National Youth Folk Ensemble is an English Folk Dance and Song Society programme, funded by Arts Council England.

Graham Nash

Legendary artist Graham Nash is a two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee – with Crosby, Stills, and Nash and with the Hollies. He was also inducted twice into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, as a solo artist and with CSN, and he is a GRAMMY Award winner.

Towering above virtually everything that Graham Nash has accomplished in his long and multi-faceted career, stands the litany of songs that he has written and introduced to the soundtrack of the past half-century. His remarkable body of work began with his contributions to the Hollies opus from 1964 to ’68, including “Stop Stop Stop,” “On A Carousel,” and “Carrie Anne”.

It continues all the way to This Path Tonight (2016), his most recent solo album. Fifteen of his songs are celebrated in the 2018 release, Over the Years…, a 2-disc collection of some of Nash’s best-known works from the past 50 years and more than a dozen unreleased demos and mixes.

The original classic union of Crosby, Stills & Nash (& Young) lasted but twenty months. Yet their songs are lightning rods embedded in our DNA, starting with Nash’s “Marrakesh Express,” “Pre-Road Downs” and “Lady Of the Island,” from the first Crosby, Stills & Nash LP (1969). On CSNY’s Déjà Vu (1970), Nash’s “Teach Your Children” and “Our House” beseeched us to hold love tightly, to fend off the madness that was on its way.

Overlapping CSNY, Nash’s solo career debuted with Songs For Beginners (1971), whose “Chicago/We Can Change the World” and “Military Madness” were fueled by the Long Hot Summer, the trial of the Chicago Eight, and the ongoing Vietnam war. Songs from that LP stayed in Nash’s concert sets for years including “I Used To Be A King” and “Simple Man”.

His next album, Wild Tales (1974), addressed (among other issues) unfair jail terms for minor drug offenses (“Prison Song”), unfair treatment of Vietnam vets (“Oh! Camil”) and the unfairness of fame (“You’ll Never Be the Same”).

The most resilient, long-lived and productive partnership to emerge from the CSNY camp launched with the eponymously titled Graham Nash/David Crosby (1972), bookended by Nash’s “Southbound Train” as the opening track and “Immigration Man” as the closer. The duo contributed further to the soundtrack of the ’70s on their back-to-back albums, Wind On the Water (1975) and Whistling Down the Wire (1976).

On the CSN reunion studio LP (1977), Nash took top honors with “Just A Song Before I Go” (written in the space of one hour, and a Top 10 hit single). Lightning struck once more on CSN’s Daylight Again (1982), on which Nash penned their second (and final) Top 10 hit, “Wasted On the Way,” lamenting the energy, time and love lost by the group due to years of internecine quarrels.

Nash’s passionate voice continues to be heard in support of peace, and social and environmental justice. The No Nukes/Musicians United for Safe Energy (MUSE) concerts he organized with Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt in 1979 remain seminal benefit events. In 2011, Nash was instrumental in bringing MUSE back to the forefront with a concert to benefit Japan disaster relief and groups promoting non-nuclear energy worldwide. That same year, he and Crosby were among the many musicians who made their way to the Occupy Wall Street actions in lower Manhattan.

In September 2013, Nash released his long-awaited autobiography Wild Tales, which delivers an engrossing, no-holds-barred look back at his remarkable career and the music that defined a generation. The book landed him on the New York Times Best Sellers list, and was released in paperback in late 2014.

Click image to purchase or look inside book

In recognition for his contributions as a musician and philanthropist, Nash was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth. While continually building his musical legacy, Nash is also an internationally renowned photographer and visual artist. With his photography, Nash has drawn honors including the New York Institute of Technology’s Arts & Technology Medal and Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters and the Hollywood Film Festival’s inaugural Hollywood Visionary Cyber Award. His work is collected in the book Eye to Eye: Photographs by Graham Nash; he curated others’ work in the volume Taking Aim: Unforgettable Rock ‘n’ Roll Photographs Selected by Graham Nash (2009).

Nash’s work has been shown in galleries and museums worldwide. His company Nash Editions’ original IRIS 3047 digital printer and one of its first published works—Nash’s 1969 portrait of David Crosby— is now housed in the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution in recognition of his revolutionary accomplishments in the fine arts and digital printing world.

John Jones & The Reluctant Ramblers

John Jones, the charismatic lead singer of award-winning Oysterband, has been an avid walker for many years. “I had the crazy idea of walking to gigs a few years ago and somehow managed to persuade reluctant musicians and a smiling but sceptical agency to help. Rushing from gig to gig, crowded motorways, increased stress levels and time wasted staring out of tour bus windows at inviting hills rolling by just made me think: walking 20 miles, setting up in a pub, church, canalside…anywhere…was worth trying as a much-needed alternative. It caught people’s imagination...”

John Jones and the Reluctant Ramblers will lead a Thursday daytime walk on the beautiful South Downs prior to the opening of Wickham Festival 2019 and then play a set that evening. What a great way to kick off our weekend!

Click here to read our news post about the walk or click here to see / comment on our Facebook post.

Starting in 2009, John combined his love of walking with his music and led a group of walkers and musicians from his home on the Welsh Borders, via the Wychwood Festival in Cheltenham, to the Big Session Festival then in Leicester. They walked during the day and either played a gig or enjoyed their own session in the evening.

Other walks followed: in 2010, from Lyme Regis, along the Wessex Ridgeway, to the Larmer Tree Festival; in 2011 the “Spine of England” tour with the mid-point being the Shepley Festival; in 2012 saw two walks, the first in June from the original site of the Big Session to that years festival at Catton Hall, the second in July along part of the Ridgeway in Berkshire then along parts of the White Horses Trail in Wiltshire leading to the Village Pump Folk Festival in Westbury.

The main walk in 2013 was the “Song of the Downs” tour, covering the South Downs Way from Eastbourne to Winchester – seven gigs and just over 100 miles in seven days – and there was also a day’s walk as part of the Kington Walking Festival, to the source of the River Arrow. 2014 saw three walks: “Two Moors, Two Seas” – the main walking tour over the week of the late May bank holiday, in Devon, crossing the county from north to south; plus shorter walks into two festivals, Wickham and Shrewsbury where John is a patron.

In 2015, following his return from illness, John led two walks: the first was a “Return to the Ridgeway” and followed by “October in the Lakes“, 3 walks, a house concert, a session and a “Big Gig” over 3 days in the Lake District.

In 2016, John led two walks to raised money for Macmillan Cancer Support:  “3 Castles, 3 Breweries, 4 walks” in the Spring Bank Holiday week and the “Hereford 100” in September. Throughout the year, John raised £7,220 for Macmillan Cancer Support, which put him into the top 1% of their fund-raisers in 2016.

Towards the end of 2013, John was delighted to be asked to be President of The Powys Ramblers Association.

In the gigs and sessions at the end of a days walking, John and the Reluctant Ramblers musicians perform songs from his two solo albums Rising Road and Never Stop Moving.

Gordon Haskell

Gordon Haskell has been a musician and singer/songwriter for 50 years. He was born in a nursing home near Bournemouth, Dorset UK on 27 April 1946. His young mother had been widowed in 1943 when her husband Wing Commander Walter Ralph Haskell was shot down, leaving her with two small children. His father Harry Hionides was an American/Greek pilot in the US Air force, who swept her off her feet at a local dance – where, very aptly, a jazz trio were playing. Gordon would not discover that Harry Hionides was his father until he was a teenager.

At a very young age Gordon was naturally drawn to music; he would play the family piano and pick out tunes on his sister’s boyfriend’s acoustic guitar. During his last years at Wimborne Grammar School, his class mate Robert Fripp introduced him to the bass guitar and the two friends played together in The Ravens and the first incarnation of The League of Gentlemen.

The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican

Put on yer finest knitted gladrags, style your barnet, put on your dancing shoes and bring your finest singing voices, as we cordially invite you to witness the Greatest Show On Earth (in tank-tops).

Hailing from Barnsley Rock City in t’North, Yorkshire’s hardest working comedy band, The Bar-Steward Sons of Val Doonican, are on a mission! Determined to follow in their spiritual father’s immortal footsteps and keep his legacy alive, they have a talent for Bar-Stewardizing other famous people’s songs with new comedy lyrics, on acoustic geetar, ukulele, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, accordion, keyboard and kazoo. To complete their squeaky-clean image, estranged brothers Scott, Björn and Alan have become instantly recognisable for their immaculate hair and their stylish choice of knitwear.

The Bar-Steward Sons have, in their 11 year history played over 850 side-splitting shows and have brought smiles and belly-laughs to audiences across the UK; from Barnsley to Barnstaple, from Glasgow to Glastonbury.

They continue to wow audiences with a fine selection of their greatest hits, including the likes of “Jump Ararnd”, “Tarnlife”, “The Lady In Greggs”, “Nandos”, “Fight For Your Pint”, “Bono Bloody Bono”, “Since You’ve Been Ron”, “She’s From Dodworth”, “Walking In Manpiss” and “If I Could Punch A Face… It’d Be Justin Bieber’s”.

Skinny Lister

As music fans we’re only ever given fragments of lives well lived, and we scrabble vicariously through them. Skinny Lister, though, have really given us as much as they can since 2009, passing the growing flagon of their experiences with every album and tour. They’ve led an endless parade gathering fans old and new, from the respected folk circuit to the riotous Download Festival, igniting pogoing mosh-pits at each. Over the past ten years they’ve travelled from rain-soaked London to the vast arteries of the USA, upgrading from narrow boat to Salty Dog Cruise, played huge tours across Europe and North America with Frank Turner, Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly as well as headlining themselves across festivals, sweatboxes and ever-larger venues.

After three albums taking confident steps into an ever larger world, their fourth offering, The Story Is… (produced and mixed by Barny Barnicott – Arctic Monkeys, The Enemy, The Temper Trap) takes the tales of the everyday, the minutiae of our lives, and turns them into potent pop that rings oh so true. Skinny Lister have opened their lives up more than ever before on this record, allowing us in and giving everyone a space to express joy, to deeply relate to the lines that strike a chord, and to throw ourselves into living with renewed abandon, hope, happiness and excitement, with stories enough to fill several lifetimes.

Alan Burke

Alan Burke is widely regarded as one of the finest ballad singers of his generation. Well-known as a member of Rambling Boys of Pleasure, Alan possesses an almost inexhaustible repertoire of traditional, contemporary and self-penned songs in both the English and Irish languages. Accompanied by his unique driving guitar style, Alan’s powerful presence and technique have featured on two highly acclaimed solo albums, On The Other Hand (1998) and Tip Of The Tongue (2000) alongside numerous recordings and collaborations with the bands and projects that have formed the core of a great life in music. A commanding stage presence, with a voice that is powerful, sensitive and crystal clear, Alan’s gigs are always truly memorable.

He began his musical career as a drummer, before making his name in traditional music circles in the 1980’s and 90’s as the lead singer, guitarist, and bodhrán player with the tremendous band Afterhours, with whom he made three albums – Afterhours in 1988, Hung Up And Dry in 1990 and Up To Here in 1992 – and toured extensively worldwide. Since then Alan has appeared as a member of bands including At First Light, Airla and Tulsk.

More recently Alan has been heavily involved in collaborative projects, including the Afterhours Bothy Band Tribute, and he was the cornerstone of the four acclaimed annual Irish Sea Sessions concerts and albums produced in Liverpool, Ireland and London that saw him combine with Declan O’Rourke, Damien Dempsey, Pauline Scanlon, Emily Portman and many more, and from which Rambling Boys of Pleasure evolved. Alan has worked extensively both as a record producer and as an actor, including the play This Is What We Sang that won Production of the Year at the First Irish Theatre Festival in New York 2010. He has also presented TV programmes in the Irish language for the BBC and TG4.

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    Our new Wickham Festival site looking lovely in yesterdays sunshine.  Flat, well-grassed, well-drained with excellent pedestrian & vehicle access, its so much better than our old site.  Do join us from 1st-4th Aug.  Info./Line-Up/Tickets via this link: www.wickhamfestival.co.ukImage attachmentImage attachment+5Image attachment

    Our new Wickham Festival site looking lovely in yesterday's sunshine. Flat, well-grassed, well-drained with excellent pedestrian & vehicle access, it's so much better than our old site. Do join us from 1st-4th Aug. Info./Line-Up/Tickets via this link: www.wickhamfestival.co.uk ... See MoreSee Less

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    It's going to be a great weekend! If you've yet to buy your tickets, please do so. If you buy them quick you can still save £30 on the full price of 4-day weekend season tickets www.wickhamfestival.co.uk/tickets

    Looks lush

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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!