Alex Ultradish was born into the active Folk scene of the UK. From crazy clog/rapper dance cabaret, ballad singer or musician to MC of International dance competitions she has honed her skills in entertaining crowds and holding the attention of an audience.
As established solo artists, Bryony & Alice are no strangers to the folk scene, but this powerful new duo is sure to turn some heads. Hailing from West Yorkshire, both are long-time purveyors and performers of traditional English folk music, united by a mutual fascination with local folk song and tune collections. Combining a respect for tradition with their own contemporary style of performance, they present a unique repertoire of harmony, history and Northern banter, featuring fiddle, harmonium, tenor guitar and intricate vocals in their distinctive regional accents. Their much-anticipated debut album is available to pre-order now at bryonyandalice.com
Keith is a very [very!] funny, globe-trotting, Geordie tall-tale-telling-singer-songwriter-guitarist.
Keith could make sheep laugh! (Jasper Carrott)
‘Crows’ were a popular feature of the folk scene from 1978 to 1988. The combination of four strong voices and expert musicianship gave them a simultaneously unique yet broad appeal. With the sad death of Ralph Jordan, in 2013, previously unreleased radio recordings were discovered. A ‘new’ album (‘Time To Rise’ Wildgoose Records), was released in 2016, and enthusiastically reviewed (‘All the songs are really inspiring….spellbinding’ Mick Tems ‘Folk Wales’).
Two of the original line-up remain in the revived band, Mick Ryan and Dave Bordewey .
Crows are now joined by Pete Harris (vocals, guitar, bouzouki) who worked in an acclaimed duo with Mick for many years, adding a unique blend of power, warmth and harmony to the band’s vocal mix. Dave Bordewey adds his astonishing high harmony lines and plays fiddle and mando-cello . Finally, the inimitable Paul Downes on guitar, banjo, mando-cello and harmonies, takes over from Ralph. All four are well known and highly respected performers in their own right.
For the new ‘Crows’, it is very clearly ‘Time To Rise’!
and The Whole Hannekin
Cyber Playford comes to Whitby@Home! Come and join us for an evening of Playford dancing and music, hosted by Daisy and Andrew.
There will be fabulous live music from The Whole Hannekin, featuring Manny Grimsley (fiddle), Simon Dumpleton (accordion) and William Marshall (woodwind/brass).
In recent times, Daisy and Andrew have moved their usually Sheffield-based ‘Playford in the Pub’ events online and have been hosting regular ‘Cyber Playford’ dances on Zoom, and we are very happy to have them leading a Cyber Playford night for us at Whitby@Home along with some of Playford in the Pub’s excellent musicians.
They have kindly provided sheet music for the tunes they’ll be using, in case you would like to play along at home: Sheet music for the Playford event
Daisy is a caller based in Sheffield, where she runs the popular dance and music session, Playford in the Pub. She calls for a lot of ceilidhs, tends to mix older dances with more modern ones, and has called Playford dances at Sidmouth and Stonesfield. She particularly enjoys making seventeenth century dances lively and accessible for new and more experienced dancers. When not calling, Daisy is a lecturer in medieval performance at the University of Wolverhampton and works as a storyteller and theatre practitioner. Her dance programmes are energetic, dynamic and occasionally somewhat silly.
Andrew Swaine began calling and teaching workshops upon joining his University Playford group The Round in 1996. He is now considered one of the country’s leading Playford callers and workshop leaders. The combination of his enthusiasm, in-depth knowledge and gentle, friendly teaching style make his dances and workshops a real treat for the dancers.
Maria takes traditional tales and makes them her own, breathing life into characters and taking the listener on journeys of magic and myth. She has a warm and engaging, humorous style which is well suited to sharing story secrets with her audiences. Her favourite stories are those that leave you feeling that all is well in the world…..perhaps those are just the sort of stories we need at the moment…
Maria has excelled at adapting to online media for sharing stories and made it her own. Her warmth and humor shine through the screen and she ‘shares’ her tales in the truest sense of the word. During lockdown Maria has told extensively at storytelling events and clubs across the country, and is one of the storytellers invited to tell online for The World Storytelling Café.
She has recently been commissioned by The Royal Shakespeare Company to create new stories based on the recollections of their costume department and will be a featured artist at Marrakech International Storytelling Festival in February 2022.
“Storytelling gold” Lisa Schneidau, South Devon storytellers.
“Glorious – an irresistible combination that drew the packed house into a vivid world of story” Alastair Daniels Surrey Storytellers.
‘Beautiful storytelling so warm hearted and gentle…loved it’’
‘Haunting and evocative tale telling’
‘Humour drier than a sloe and wit sharper than a blackthorn’
‘Loved your story today. It felt as though we were sitting and “gossiping.” Your relaxed style envelopes like a warm hug.’
Take Three is a special one-off collaboration for Whitby@Home of three of England’s most popular contra dance musicians, Ali Messer on accordion (Mollie & Ali, Momentum, Ali and Sundry), Linda Game on fiddle and Gareth Kiddier on piano (both of English Contra Dance Band).
Earlier in the year they produced a number of superb recordings together which were used at online contra dances during times when playing together live was not possible. This is your one and only chance to hear them – and dance to them – playing that material live!
Charlotte Rich-Griffin is an enthusiastic folk dance caller based in Oxfordshire, with experience in calling for ceilidhs, American style contra dances, and Playford dances. She loves sharing dances with everyone from absolute beginners right through to die-hard fans. Since the pandemic started, Charlotte has been working hard adapting dances for zoom, making sure that groups of all sizes from solo dancers and couples to longways sets have dances that work for them.
Jess & Rich Arrowsmith are one half of festival patrons Melrose Quartet, two-fifths of top ceilidh band Hekety, and produce superb music in their own right as a fiddle/melodeon duo. They will be playing live for the Whitby@Home Themed Ceilidh alongside caller Martyn Harvey, and we are hoping there may also be a few (pre-prepared) special guest appearances from the Melrose Quintet ceilidh band…
Barbara and Christopher are a pair with many and varied musical collaborations behind them and a vast experience of performing. The Herald has described their stage shows as: “a musically enjoyable, mischievously entertaining performance from a well-matched duo”.
Barbara was brought up in Fife, learning Scottish and Irish songs from her grandparents. At Dundee Uni she began singing with the newly formed Ceolbeg, and was amazed that people were interested in hearing her granny’s “auld sangs”. She has been pleasing crowds with her traditional songs ever since, and in 2011 was nominated as Scots Singer of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards.
Chris has been a musician since his teens, working in many distinct fields from bighair rock to sophisticated pop with Danny Wilson via London’s Theatreland. The majority of his time was spent recording and performing with his brother Michael Marra, producing albums for Michael and the legendary Saint Andrew.
In 2016 Chris produced and played on Barbara’s well-received album: “Leaf an’ Thorn”.
Both Linda and Pauline have been morris dancing for more years than they care to remember, and met at an annual new year’s holiday. Linda Glanville is currently foreman of Silhill Morris and a member of Chinewrde Morris and Chiltern Hundreds. Pauline Woods-Wilson is currently a member of Stone the Crows Border Morris, Rivington Morris, Chiltern Hundreds and Windsor Morris (and sometimes Downes on Tour). Jay Glanville provides the music, and is a member of Silhill Morris and Chiltern Hundreds.
Border Morris Workshop – Sunday 11am-12noon
Linda and Pauline will teach a newly devised Border-style dance for 1 or 2 dancers in a square space. It is a single step dance with 5 figures and 6 choruses. The workshop is aimed at those who already have some Border or Cotswold dancing experience.
The dance will be taught first with a ‘Basic’ chorus, then variations for a ‘Progressive’ chorus will be provided for more experienced dancers. Music will be provided by Jay Glanville.
Whip the Cat Rapper & Clog are a lively women’s Rapper team from Nottingham with a pleasing blend of youth and experience. They perform a number of exciting Rapper dances, both of traditional origin and their own compilation, together with some lovely step clog routines. They are a regular folk festival side and are twice DERT (Dancing England Rapper Tournament) winners.
Simon is one of only a handful of commercial clog makers left in Britain. Having trained as a furniture maker and after working with leather for 10 years or so, he was eventually persuaded into taking clog making seriously by his mentor Trefor Owen, and has now been making clogs full-time for 3 and a half years.
Simon makes clogs for step dancing, morris dancing and, increasingly, for people who just want a cool and unique pair of shoes to go to the pub in. He can normally be found on his stall at Whitby Folk Week, but this year will be doing a live demo from his Sheffield workshop instead.
Once you have heard Sara Grey you will never forget her. She has a certain quality of voice that compels you to give her your undivided attention. Her voice is both powerful and sweet with a distinctive and lovely tremolo. It is a voice well suited to ballads and song that have travelled across the Atlantic to North America.
One of the best things about her singing is that it reflects her great knowledge of and feeling for traditional singing. She just seems to know what is right in the interpretation of a traditional song. She is a singer of great strength with a fine understanding of the importance of understatement in the art of ballad singing. The breadth of her repertoire of songs is enormous.
A predominantly traditional Irish band based in Yorkshire, playing a variety of tunes and songs from Ireland, Scotland, Brittany & England.
Peter and Barbara Snape have a great love of traditional British folk music especially that of the north of England where they live.
Their songs and music offer a refreshing and individual approach which effortlessly embraces the carefully researched repertoire of material they love performing.
They are convivial company, a proven quality act and a close-knit partnership that’s fully assured in its research, preparation and performance, and deservedly popular with audiences.
Pete is a fine singer and melodeon player with a song repertoire that includes many songs from his own collecting. He first came into contact with the riches of traditional song when he was a student at St Andrews University and a member and organiser of the folk club. His contacts with the Stewart Family of Blairgowrie led to song collecting on the berryfields and exploration of traveller tradition in Scotland, England and Ireland. He runs Springthyme Records, is an organiser of the FifeSing Traditional Singing Festival and continues a life-long involvement in traditional song and music.
One of the best Folk voices of his generation. Nick Dow has been singing and collecting Traditional Folk Songs for over forty years. His Guitar playing is sensitive and well thought out and his repertoire contains many songs you will hear nowhere else. Nick has gleaned songs from the West Country, and been given songs by the Travelling people with whom he has lived and worked.
Nick Dow will be introducing you to ‘A Secret Stream’. Volume one of a two volume book of songs collected from the English Gypsies. Find out how Cecil Sharp had a brush with death in a Gypsy Caravan, and how song collector Ella Leather had a curse put upon her. Discover the Gypsy Language and it’s meaning, and hear a few songs and tunes from Nick, and Cohen Braithwaite -KIlcoyne.
‘A Secret Stream’ book can be ordered though https://francisboutle.co.uk/
Mike Bettison is the artistic director of Blaize, a community arts company which has been working in rural areas since 1980.
He played melodeon and sang with the folk group Flowers & Frolics. They recorded two albums. He performed with the Fabulous Salami Brothers 1979 – 1999.
He is the lead researcher for the Music at the Heart of Teesdale youth music project which incorporates the band ‘Cream Tees’. He has run regular ‘Singing for the Brain’ sessions for the Alzheimer’s Society in the Teesdale area.
He was the Arena Theatre Director at the Sidmouth International Festival 1999 – 2004. He is the Towersey Festival Showground Director 2009 – present.
Fine voices with a plethora of songs serious and comic.