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Hebden Bridge Folk and Roots Festival 2018 – What you missed

Hi I hope everyone’s good and enjoying the sun!

So it’s been a few weeks since the Hebden Bridge Folk and Roots Festival, where the sun started to emerge and the musicians came out to entertain. We had quite a few highlights from the festival with (for us) an array of new talent and artists to share with the world.

Stay with us a while and have a read and listen to some of the acts that you missed!


The weather was as fine as could be, so a little outdoor song and dance always goes down well.
Near the bridge in the Town Centre we came across a motley group of Landlubbers (we wonder if they hate the sea or they were the tailend of an insult and the name stuck). However their name came to be they were as briny a crew or shanty singers as you could want. We thoroughly enjoyed their singing so much it made us wonder if their boat was on the river behind. A good crowd, and a great part of the festival.

There was some Morris Dancing as well! You can’t have a Folk Festival without a bit of Morris (knowing my luck I won’t have to  sit too long at my computer desk and await a festival without Morris to get in touch!) It was good to see an all-woman Morris Dance, and here they all are.. I presume as washerwomen. That reminds me, I have some shirts to dry! Heres a video to whet your dancing needs.

Ok.. we know that Chuck Berry did it long before it featured heavily in that 80s sci-fi comedy classic, but I’m a relatively young guy.. it’s the first thing that comes to mind. I have to sadly regret that I did not get these guys’ names as we were just passing, but we seriously felt that it was a great energetic aside to the day.



On Sunday we got to see a few artists in the excellent Trades Club where the beer flowed liberally. It was also a fine place to be eating a bit of Thai food that was on the go as well. One relatively new artist was Trixxi Corish a singer-songwriter covering a number of different genres including folk and country, but intriguingly she brought some spoken word as well. Despite a disclaimer at the beginning of the set that she had a bad throat, she went on to sing a number of traditional tunes as well as an excellent cover of “Fields of Gold.” Her monologue about a Southern Irish woman managing with anxiety and depression was really thoughtful and natural; she has strengths in song and in word. A great up-and-coming artist and spoken word performer, we saw some magic there, and we raise our glass to her future successes (especially if this was not her running at 100% !).


There were many fine artists to be seen amongst the picturesque surroundings and the old cobbled paths, it is a mammoth task narrowing it down. But as the mind’s eye roves back over the festival the clear breakout from the festival for us was Logan and Manley. As soulful as a spicy tea and a demonstration of a charging elephant into the music scene, Logan & Manley were something else indeed. Breaking the civility of Folk Gigs and getting people dancing to their sultry, emotional beat they kicked serious ass. As we said on Twitter:

“The most interesting duo we have seen live in recent memory. Exceptional presence and burning talent. Logan & Manley stole the show in many ways at Hebden Folk Roots Festival. Soulful and energetic they work it with unfettered talent.”

Their simple pairing of vocals and guitar with added flourishes of percussion and a good use of looping vocals brought the house down. Some favourites of what they performed included the “Tell Him (Her)” a cover of Lauryn Hill, the warm rush of frothy milk on expensive coffee of “Meteor Shower” (the opener), and “Wait a While”, a jazz/funk backing which should do plenty to cement the pair as icons.

Forward in style and approach, a ferociously dynamic presence, and great musicianship could be enough to convert this website to “Soul Phenomena.” Do not miss under any circumstances.


As the day turned to night, Henry Priestman et al. reminded us that in a rather jolly fashion that in  that transitional stage of life akin to being a teenager, things can stop making a lot of sense. In fairness, it wasn’t a set that dwelt on the twilight years experience as there were plenty of politics (Goodbye Common Sense, Not In My Name), folk (Ghost of a Thousand Fishermen), and fatherhood (He Ain’t Good Enough For You, We Used to Be You). With songs that are always something different and a good connection with the audience you are always on to a winner.

From what we saw from the festival of a whole, Priestman and band were of the most energetic and delightfully irreverent in all the best ways. Accessible, catchy and pop-infused it was supported by songwriting not unlike strong, thick treated timber cladding. If the music garden of your mind requires something extra, these guys are the shed you have been looking for.



For the cheery, dream-like “in between” time from the early morning entertainment and the build up to the evening showstoppers we had the pleasure of listening to the trio known as “The Harmony Jar.” Rather melancholic but also soothing and touching, The Harmony Jar excel as Americana, perhaps how you imagine the killer knots on a barbed wire of a fence. Singing about love, the prickling apologies of loss and leaving a husband (How We Part), angst through ukulele (Before You Are Through) and a more than serviceable cover of “The Way it Goes”, The Harmony Jar bit off a lot, but it wasn’t more than they could chew on. One of our favourites, we look forward to hearing from them in the future.


At one point during the festival it felt necessary to go rustic.

In terms of American Folk, you can’t get much more old-timey than some Woody Guthrie, who was as much a symbol of protest and liberty as a singer. This is definitely something we can say we like from our folk from time-to-time and Will Kaufman did not disappoint. As his page declares he is, “widely regarded as the world’s leading authority on Woody Guthrie” but it wasn’t just his academic credentials or his musicianship that impressed. He’s a thoroughly nice, extremely knowledgeable guy who told tales of Trump of old (Trump’s father) who was a less than stellar property landlord (with the song, “I ain’t got no home”), Mexicans and about a remarkable individual “Stetson Kennedy” a folklorist who infiltrated the KKK and gave away their secrets and codes to the radio.

There is something incredibly apt about an expert on a pioneer of folk following in his footsteps through both word and song.. Will Kaufman does that and does not disappoint.

And Many More..

There were many, many more great acts too.

Off the top of our heads: Reg Meuross (one of our perennial favourites) was playing his heartfelt, socially conscious brand of acoustic song to great effect, Steve Tilston brought the backbone of folk to the stage, and his daughter Molly Tilston performed a great dark folk set which much, much promise. The Roger Davies Band was one of the most confident and slick on stage and the Jon Palmer Band pretty much cleaned up with their jaunty songs that at times explored the best part of folk-pop. Here are some final clips to get you in the mood.

All-in-all Hebden Bridge was a good time, a great slice of local talent and a testament to West Yorkshire.

This year we liked the central location and how close the venues were to one another meaning it is very difficult to miss the acts you have been dying to see! Great shopping, great food and atmosphere, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what went down at the weekend beneath the warming sun but we hope this brings you a bit of a flavour.

We raise our glasses and hope to see you there next year! Keep your eyes peeled on the website

Festival Interviews PR

Hebden Bridge Folk Roots Festival 2018- Some Artist Interviews!

Looking ahead to Hebden Bridge Folk and Roots Festival ( 11th-13th May!) we are hoping it is going to be a sun-drenched affair with ice-cream, cool beer and the faint rustling of leaves on the breeze. If it’s not.. well, at least we will still have the music! Before it all kicks off we managed to catch up with some of the musicians at the festival and were delighted to hear what they had to say.

For further information on the festival, its line-up, programme and to book tickets visit

Tickets are available to collect from the Hope Baptist Chapel in Hebden Bridge at 2pm on the first day, Friday 11th May 2018.

Henry Priestman

First of all we spoke to Henry Priestman, a man who has been in the music business quite a while (over 38 years) who whilst in the band, The Yachts supported some impressive talent such as The Who and The Sex Pistols and contributed to the world in a huge number of other musical projects. We caught up with him to hear his thoughts.

I: Tell us more about yourself?

Henry: My name is Henry Priestman. I used to be songwriter/member of The Christians (big in the 80’s/90’s, ask your Mum about them!), and before that, new wave band Yachts (ask your Grandad about them!). I released my debut solo album The Chronicles of Modern Life in 2008, and have had an amazing time in the last ten years, at this new cottage industry level, on the folk/singer/songwriter circuit. Wembley Arena? Been there, done it, give me Hebden Bridge anyday!

I: Describe your music in five words?

Henry: Radio 2’s Johnnie Walker, he called it “Music for grumpy old men”!! Me, I’d go for “wry, poignant, warmth, protest, mayhem”

I: What’s your favourite song to perform and why?

Henry: Probably my song “We Used To Be You”, a song about kids leaving home to go to University (or a job away)…I love seeing how each verse resonates with certain members of the audience…I feel I can hear them saying “yes, that was us when young Billy left home”!

I: What are you looking for to most about performing at the festival?

Henry: Returning to Hebden Bridge for the first time in 4 years…love the place…also will be great to be back with my band The Men of a Certain Age.

I: Who else are you looking forward to seeing perform at the festival?

Henry: Especially looking forward to meeting up again with quite a few people I’ve performed with in the past…a while back I did a Hebden Bridge songwriter circle with Steve Tilston and Roger Davies, and Reg Meuross and I have also done a few joint gigs together, so will be great to see all them again. And Jon Palmer and band have done Beverley Festival and Folk on the Farm Festival a number of times on the same bill as me, and they’re always good value!

I: What’s next for you after the festival?

Henry: A house gig at Spurn Point the next day!…then a good lie-down, followed by more dates throughout the year

Henry Priestman will be performing at Hope Baptist Chapel at 9.15pm on the Saturday 12th May. For further information on Henry Priestman visit

Mambo Jambo

Mambo Jambo describe themselves as an acoustic-roots duo. With an uplifting sound and vast, almost continent-spanning array of instruments they have many tools in their arsenal and look to be a fabulous addition to the festival.

I: Tell us more about yourselves?

Mambo Jambo: This is what our website says about us! “Acoustic Roots duo, Mambo Jambo, might just be the biggest acoustic duo you’ll ever see. A truly unique two-piece with their own rhythmic and joyful sound, they’ll take you on a musical journey with a mash-up of sounds from roots, world, folk and jazz, plus their own compositions. With Frankie on sax, vocals, clarinet, flute, guitar and spoons plus other percussion and Pete on guitar, vocal, ukulele, tres (traditional Cuban guitar), banjo, accordion and suitcase ! Pete and Frankie have been gathering admirers at shows and festivals the length and breadth of the country. A fabulous musical treat is in store wherever they roll up, their tour bus packed to the brim!”

I: Describe your music in five words?

Mambo Jambo: Multi-instrumental Whirlwind of joyful roots music.

I: What’s your favourite song to perform and why?

Mambo Jambo: We don’t really have a favourite song as such; we keep it fresh for the audiences and ourselves with variety, variety of styles,moods and instruments. People often describe our shows as a musical journey and we don’t want to pick out just one musical stop off along the way!!

I: What are you looking for to most about performing at the festival?

Mambo Jambo: We’re looking forward to bringing a whole range of diverse roots music ourselves to the festival. We’re thrilled to be part of this festival with it’s great line up, we love the fact that there’s loads of great stuff going on in in venues, in the community and on the streets – all sorts of stuff going on!

I: Who else are you looking forward to seeing perform at the festival?

Mambo Jambo: We’re really looking forward to seeing all the musicians who are playing the same day as us, some of whom we’ve seen at other festivals they and we have played at, including Tantz, Mestisa, Don’t Feed The Peacocks. Also Steve Tilston; Musicians of Bremen, 309s; G-Runs And Roses;  and we’ll try and catch all the bands and musicians we haven’t seen before; so many great bands for us (and all the audiences) to discover! Not forgetting the storytelling sessions and workshops!

I: What’s next for you after the festival?

Mambo Jambo: We are constantly touring, which we love. So we’ve got a tour of the South West coming up, playing in venues in Bristol, Bath, and other venues in Somerset and Devon. Then a couple of festivals including The Big Malarkey Festival, Childrens Literature Festival where we’ve been commissioned to present some different workshops. Two other festivals we’ll be playing at are Beverley Puppet Festival, and a Cycle Festival in North Yorkshire. Later in the year we’ re playing some shows in Europe – lots of interesting playing for us this year! We’ve also got a fair few workshop sessions and school projects coming up, and are planning to do some recording in between all the touring!

Mambo Jambo will be performing at the Trade Club on Sunday 13th May at 3pm. For further information on Mambo Jambo visit

Once again, further information on the festival, its line-up, programme and to book tickets visit

Tickets are available to collect from the Hope Baptist Chapel in Hebden Bridge at 2pm on the first day, Friday 11th May 2018.