Folk laying down roots in perfect place to grow...

STARS of this month’s Folk Roots festival are looking forward to the event in a town which they say is a perfect venue for it.

The festival takes place on Saturday, November 19, and Sunday, November 20, at Hebden Bridge Trades Club, where there will be a free local musican showcase from noon to 1pm before the festival proper, for which tickets are £20, opens at 1.30pm.

Between then and 10pm, artists including Ewan McLennan, Flossie Malaville, Roger Davies, Maia and Grace Notes - all Yorkshire based - will play on a bill which is headlined by Chumbawamba and a set which will unite two of the town’s musician residents - Steve Tilston and Becky Unthank will perform in Steve’s set.

Hebden Bridge is a great place to live for music and musicians and “tailor made” for a folk festival, according to Steve and Becky Unthank, who are also both involved in organising the festival.

In an interview with Dave Boardman of Phoenix Radio Halifax on www.hbfolkfest.co.uk (originally on Phoenix) they describe their excitement at playing together at the festival and the joy of living in a “folk ghetto” in the pennine town.

Becky, a member of the acclaimed Unthanks, said: “Its lovely to get a chance to play with Steve. Lots of people know about his guitar playing and songwriting. Since moving to Hebden it really feels like I’m part of a community. There’s so many musicians around who come in and out of Hebden.”

Though this first festival is based at the Trades Club, Hebden Bridge, Steve plans to expand it in future years to include the whole town.

After the main concert ends, there will be (free with a festival ticket, £4 without) further music in a late-night aftershow led by folk punk group Three Sheets in T’Wind Three Sheets in T’Wind is sponsored by Hebden Bridge based Real Cider Company, who are also co-sponsors of the festival.

As a result the audience will have the opportunity to try a variety of farmhouse ciders, all supplied by The Real Cider Company.

On Sunday, November 20, there will be a showcase of local musicians, free to all.

The radio interview highlights the nature of folk music being based in communities.

Folk is ignored by the national media even though it reflects localities across the country and is the music of the people, say the two, who both have a Beatle link.

With the Unthanks, Becky has recorded Sexy Sadie, which can be heard on the website as part of the interview, while Steve’s work was once praised by none other than John Lennon.

Steve Tilston knew Becky as one of the “Whitby Babes” along with her sister Rachel, Kate Rusby and a whole new generation of female folk singers who were taken to Whitby Folk Week by their parents, he says in the interview.

Becky is also part of the Unthanks’ pre Christmas tour in which they interpret the songs of Robert Wyatt and Anthony and the Johnsons.

They will appear at the Hebden Bridge Picture House on December 5 and 6.

Hebden Bridge Folk Roots Festival Sponsors include Hebden Royd Council, Halifax Woolshops and The Real Cider Company.

The full interview is available at www.hbfolkfest.org.uk