Hebden Bridge Folk Roots Festival
May 10/11/12 across town
It is a tribute to those organising the event that they can attract the likes of Michele Stodart and Kathryn Williams to their annual festival.
However they are just two artists in a three day programme that will fill Hebden Bridge with music, dance, spoken word and entertainment at a host of venues, big and small.
Stodart is a member of Mercury-prize-nominated The Magic Numbers who released their fifth studio album, Outsiders, in May 2018 to great critical acclaim.
Stodart herself released an album of her own songs Wide-Eyed Crossing back in 2012, a southern drenched journey into American country blues. “I never thought I’d release a solo album but I needed closure from those songs, so recording them was the only way to truly move on”. Michele later signed to Bjork’s record label ‘One Little Indian’ releasing her second solo album in 2016. She is set to record a new album this year.
Kathryn Williams best-known work is characterised by rich and honest songwriting, inspired by the greats - from Nick Drake to Joni Mitchell and beyond.
“The things that influence you aren’t necessarily going to come out in obvious ways, unless you’re trying to copy,” she said. “I don’t sound like Lou Reed or Tom Waits. But when I listen to them, I learn.” Kathryn William’s music goes ‘from dusty Americana to playful jazz re-workings, and so much more besides, every record Williams puts her name to burns with meticulousness and honesty. Stodart and Williams are joint headliners at Hope Baptist Chapel on Saturday, May 11 - an evening that is hosted by folk circuit regular Keith Donnelly who will also be performing.
Meanwhile The 309’s, Cajun Aces, Howlin’ Johnny And The Devil’s Rejects will fill the Trades Club on Saturday with Americana, swing and blues.
During Saturday visitors in town can listen to swing band David Broad Trio, Cobalt Tales, Phil Dirt And The Heavy Machines and The Redwood River Band, while children’s entertainment comes from Donnelly. Lunchtime Live makes a special festival appearance at Hope Baptist Chapel on Saturday while St. George’s Square will be overrun with dancers throughout the weekend with performances from Bacup Coconutters, Hornbeam Molly, Buttercross Belles, Malkin Morris, Royal Preston, 400 Roses, Thieving Magpies and Hebden Bridge Hill Millies.
The festival kicks off with English folk rockers Merry Hell at The Trades on Friday, May 10. They’ll be supported by Triton. Meanwhile Rakish Paddy will be having the craic at the Old Gate pub. Also on Friday, choirs across the valley’ will come together for the festival and perform one big concert at St James Church.
On Sunday the Trades welcomes Freak Riots, Fez, Cats Cradle, Creedy and the Colour, Doggerland and more in the afternoon and to wrap things up Birds and Beasts, Red Hippo and a Klezmer, gypsy jazz experience with Manouche North in the evening.
lTo find everything happening and at what time go to hebdenfolkroots.org