London Folk Magazine and News
The Harrison All Day Folk Festival XIV
The legendary Harrison All Day Folk Festival returns for its fourteenth instalment in conjunction with the Bloomsbury Festival. Ten hours of magical music all for FREE!
Old Time & Bluegrass at 3.30pm and Irish sessions at 8pm on the ground floor - Sunday Roasts served all day - UNMISSABLE
Plus live in the basement venue from 2pm....
JALLY KEBBA SUSSO
Jally Kebba Susso is a UK based Gambian kora player and composer.
In West African culture, the kora is the traditional harp of the griot. The griot plays a key part by bringing together the skills of a historian, musician, storyteller and diplomat to steer the community and its leadership to a better future. You can only be born a griot, inheritance being the only path, and Jally Kebba plays from a background of 74 generations of musical heritage.
Jally learnt kora from his father and elder brother from the age of seven. By 13 years he was touring internationally across West Africa, Belgium, Holland and UK. This early exposure and inherent ambition led Jally to his mission:
to expand the boundaries of the griot tradition whilst keeping its heart and soul intact
After settling to London, Jally’s musical horizons widened where he started arranging music – combining jazz, rock, blues and Afro-funk. He formed his band Manding Sabu in 2007 and released their first album Malaye Warr in 2012. His songs, sung in Mandinka, call for unity and togetherness. They are songs of love and praise for the ancestors. Album two is under production.
With speed and accuracy, Jally commands the the kora’s 21-strings in his own distinctive style. He plays solo, with his band Manding Sabu, and as a member of live African dance music group, Afriquoi.
´The Kora resides at the heart of his music but with lashings of more funky rhythms.´ Jazz FM
´Not your usual kora player and not your usual griot´ Rhythm Passport
´His playing showed that he had been trained as a kora player in the true jali playing but also that he was trying to extend the scope of his musicality by playing in a style that was way beyond his traditional roots.´ fRoots
Haunting harmonies, toe-tapping rhythm and twisted folk from rising stars.
“Energetic, original … excellent stage presence and varied, enchanting material … extremely deserving winners of the Bath Folk Festival New Shoots Competition 2016.”
- Bath Folk Festival
‘Young Waters have a refreshing, completely natural sound…pastoral of arrangement and dexterous of lyric.’ CLASH
GARANCE & THE MITOCHONDRIES
Garance Louis. Extrovert, eccentric composer, singer and accordionist from Perpignan, who finds a fresh and new way of interpreting the French Chanson tradition with her formidable band The Mitochondries. Her band is a mixture of Tom Waits, Edith Piaf and Frank Zappa, with the melancholy softness of alternative post-musette songwriting. Garance has appeared in the bars and street corners of her adoptive London for 4 years, always surrounded by the most curiously talented musicians she can find.
"The genres dipped into are familiar, but it is the idiosyncrasies that this French singer, composer and accordionist brings to her waywards waltzes, slippery chansons, and teetering tangos that holds the attention. Thanks to her musical ambitions, Garance´s second album is a sprightly and atmospheric pleasure from beginning to end.´ SONGLINES
"It is a nicely eclectic eccentric and unpredictable set with 25 musicians [...]Garance´s high, light voice flots over it all supplying a fine cohesion to all the disparate arrangements" RnR Magazine
FELIX HOLT & THE RADICALS
Felix Holt and The Radicals are an alt country band from north London. Born in London, Felix spent his formative years avoiding school in any way possible before taking it upon himself to get a whole new education, saturating himself in the history of folk, blues and lyric poetry. A history which is reflected in his traditional yet original songs; the gentleness of voice is belied by the gravity of lyrics and impact of song.
In June 2018 they released their debut album ‘The Next Big Nobody’ via Maiden Voyage Recording Company to critical acclaim.
‘…classic country and rock & roll play out with analogue authenticity….an accomplished debut album.’ RnR Magazine
THE STEVE & BEN SOMERS COUNTRY BAND
Steve Somers started as a young singer/songwriter in the London Folk Clubs of the 60’s. In 1975 he won a national TV talent show called ‘New Faces’, after which he joined British hit pop/folk group ‘The Settlers’ and appeared on National and international TV, radio and records. Steve played for Skiffle Legend Lonnie Donegan, Cockney chart topper Joe Brown, American Legend Johnny Tillotson, sung on TV behind British legend Lulu, Don Everly and toured with Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, Billy Jo Spears whilst still performing and broadcasting with his own band Ben Somers was practically ‘born in the dressing room’ and grew up listening to his Dad Steve from the side of the stage. Ben made his own way in music and after completing a degree in Jazz on the saxophone, he was rapidly in demand as a composer, arranger and session player on various instruments, recordings and performing live around the world. Hs recent employers have included ‘Seal’, Dr John (Celebrated New Orleans pianist/singer), Taylor Swift, Dizzee Rascal and many others. Alongside the pop and jazz world Ben can be seen playing Bluegrass with some of the UK and USA’s top players, touring both sides of the Atlantic and across Europe
Steve & Ben, after years of playing together have found a group of musicians that have inspired them to form ’The Steve & Ben Somers Country Band’ . The new recording from Steve & Ben Somers , “The Highway Is My Home” is a collection of Americana, Western Swing and Country old and new, sung and yodelled in harmony.
Stanlaey is currently a trio led by Bethany Stenning (vocals, electric guitar) with Ed Holland (Bass, soundscapes), and Ben Docwra (drum-kit, congas, percussion) where the band´s soundscape has developed in a diverse genre pool of folk/jazz/pop, drawing influence from artists such as Joanna Newsom, Dirty Projectors and Kate Bush.
Stanlaey has previously performed live in venues in the Southampton, Bristol, Bath, Dublin and London scenes, and last year she took her 2017 album Ouroboros on a successful Girl Power Tour in celebration of female musicians where Bethany performed arrangements of the album with her Seaweed String Quartet (a live album was recorded of the tour which is available via bandcamp). Since, Bethany has been working on upcoming album and film The Human Project.
Bethany’s experimental song-writing topics (seaweed snakes, mannequins coming to life, growing into mountains), and soundscapes that meld genres together (Ice-chambers, bi-polar folk songs, obscure melodies) are made extra special by the unique and ethereal nature of Bethany’s voice, and the nebulous developing textures of the band.
Andy Skellam is a Bristol based musician who creates an idiosyncratic blend of surreal folk & dissonant blues using acoustic/electric guitar, banjo and his baritone singing voice. His music reflects darkly humorous & deeply affecting absurdities.
Andy has opened for artists such as Alastair Roberts, This is the Kit, Gravenhurst, Diane Cluck & Spiro, and has collaborated with Bristol contemporaries Rachael Dadd, Wig Smith & Dan Weltman. He has toured Europe, South America and the UK.
THE LONDON MUSIC HALL CHOIR
The London Music Hall Choir sing songs that were sung in the Music Halls of the East End of London and other related repertoire.
Music Hall songs are great! They’re funny, irreverent, sentimental and filled with interesting bits of local vernacular, history and culture.