First announcement of some of the fantastic acts confirmed for Folk Festival 2017

Derby Folk Festival 2017

Wed 25 Jan 2017

Following our recent exciting announcement that early bird tickets are now on sale for the 11th Derby Folk Festival, many fantastic artists have already been confirmed for a variety of venues in Derby’s Cathedral Quarter.

With more headlining acts still to be announced we thought it would be nice to give you a little info on a few of the many amazing acts who will be joining us. 

After a successful performance at last year’s festival as a duo with Lukas Drinkwater, Ange Hardy returns to Derby Folk Festival for 2017. Nominated at the 2015 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and celebrated by The Telegraph as “one of Britain’s top folk musicians”, Ange Hardy has grabbed the attention of the traditional folk music world by writing new material and embracing modern technologies whilst maintaining a traditional feel. Appearing this year as a solo act she’s proved herself to be a captivating stage presence and her return is sure to be much anticipated.

Joining the festival as the headline act for Sunday night are the folk rock group False Lights. Formed by BBC Folk Award winners Sam Carter and Jim Moray in the spirit of the genres late-60s originators, their sound is also informed by the music of Sam and Jims more recent youth. The band made their live debut headlining Suffolk’s Folk East festival in 2014, boasting an impressive array of musicians. False Lights live show aims to be a joy to watch, providing folk music you can really jump to.

Nancy Kerr and James Fagan are one of the best-known and most experienced folk duos on the British circuit today. With a lifelong grounding in traditional singing and instrumental playing, acclaimed original compositions and chemistry Kerr and Fagan won the inaugural Horizon Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2000, and were the first ever recipients of the “Best Duo” Award, in 2003, and again in 2011. In 2015 Nancy Kerr won “Folk Singer of the Year” at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, whilst James Fagan is a multi-instrumentalist and singer, specialising in bouzouki, guitar and mandolin. James is also part of The James Brothers, another fantastic duo who will be performing at the festival on the Saturday.

 Also playing on the Saturday will be Derbyshire’s own Barry Coope and Lester Simpson together with Jim Boyes for Coope Boyes and Simpson. Formed in 1993 their first album Funny Old World was named Roots Album of the Year by Q Magazine. Twenty three years later, with a career that has encompassed at least a dozen albums, numerous tours and festival appearances, as well as a Folk Awards nomination, Coope Boyes and Simpson released what will be their final studio album, Coda. Sadly billed as their ‘Final Performance’ and joined by special guests this is sure to be a show to bring a tear to the eye.

Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman have long established themselves as one of the UK folk scene’s most rewardingly enduring partnerships. Returning to the festival for the third time after their wonderful headline show in 2015, the couple’s intimacy and strength of passion on stage have won them many fans and an enviable reputation as “Songwriters par excellence”-fRoots. Their acoustic sound and diverse original songs has secured them the award for ‘Best Duo’ at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards twice in both 2016 and 2013.

During his decades as a prominent presence on the folk scene Martin Simpson has become known universally as a guitarist of formidable talent. Equally at home playing English traditional folk, American folk and blues and his own compositions, he is consistently named as one of the very finest fingerstyle guitar players in the world. He is listed in Gibson Guitars’ Top 30 Acoustic Guitarists of all time, and Acoustic Guitar readers voted him number 12 guitarist in the world in 2005. He has been nominated 31 times at the BBC Folk Awards, the most of any performer, 12 of those as Musician of the Year, winning that particular accolade twice. Whether interpreting material from tradition or singing his own potent self-penned songs, his solo shows showcase Simpson as a remarkable storyteller: captivating and profoundly moving.

Inspired by the folk tradition Kim Lowings and the Greenwood perform their songs with a contemporary twist. Their live shows are an energetic blend of original compositions and traditional songs. Their latest album Historia has been heralded by Living Tradition as “beautiful and enchanting”. Having been billed alongside folk greats such as Dougie MacLean, Jackie Oates and Martin Simpson, the band will be bringing their multi-instrumental skills to the festival on Sunday.

Bringing their harmonies to the Guildhall Theatre on Saturday are O’Hooley and Tidow. With a personal invite from Billy Bragg to play Glastonbury, sessions on 6 Music and Radio 2, a five star live review and feature in The Guardian, O’Hooley and Tidow are regarded as “one of British folk’s mightiest combinations” Mojo. Their ground-breaking album The Hum earned them a place in Mojo’s Top 10 Folk Albums of 2014 and a nomination for ‘Best Duo’ in last year’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. The duo’s powerful, deeply moving, and soulful performances are infused with an honesty and empathy that will disarm the hardest of heart.

Three years after their last amazing appearance in the festival marquee Show of Hands return to headline the Saturday evening of the festival for 2017. After a quarter of a century on the road, 25 album releases, 2 Honorary Doctorates, 3 BBC Folk Awards, 4 Royal Albert Hall sell-outs and tours in 14 countries, Show of Hands have unequivocally become one of the leading forces in British folk. The trio will be performing at the festival on the Saturday.

With more names still to come, the line-up is already a who’s who from the broad spectrum of folk music, including False Lights, Show of Hands, Coope Boyes and Simpson, Martin Simpson, O’Hooley and Tidow, Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage, Ange Hardy, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman, The James Brothers, Nancy Kerr and James Fagan, Winter Wilson and Kim Lowings and the Greenwood.

The 11th Derby Folk Festival takes place from Friday 6 to Sun 8 Oct 2017, with early bird tickets now on sale!

Please keep an eye on the event page and the Derby Folk Festival website for announcements of headliners and new artist information very soon!