All acts and perfomers

Spare Hands   program

Spare Hands_1Hull’s foremost maritime band originally formed to provide recordings of local whaling songs to play in the background for visitors to the Hull Maritime Museum, with a line-up of Steve Gardham, Mick McGarry, Bill Sowerby and Les Ward, each of whom were highly regarded local folk musicians. Later joined by Tom Gaynard, singer and very talented whistle player, and more recently, Andy Buckton, they are now working on their third album, A Dead Bod; Songs of the Humber Waterways, as well as projects with students and tutors from both Pickering School, Eastfield School and Five Senses Charity in projects that remember the 1968 Triple Trawler Disaster.

STEViE – One Bloke One Mandolin  program

Spare Hands_1 Stevie Simpson has been playing regularly at festivals all over the UK since 2000, performing alongside the likes of Status Quo, Jethro Tull, Dave Edmunds, Dr Feelgood, The Levellers, The Damned, Fun Loving Criminals, Wilko Johnson, Hawkwind, and The Stranglers. He’s developed a great reputation, not only for his songwriting and musicianship, but as a raconteur and all-round force of entertainment, and makes new fans at every gig. He will certainly bring something a little unusual to the festival! .

Kim Lowings and The Greenwood  program

Spare Hands_1 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. Kim Lowings, Andrew Lowings, Tim Rogers and Dave Sutherland bring together their multiinstrumental skill and individual experience resulting in an innovative and sensitive approach to arrangements. The motivation is to keep the tradition alive and to share their own tales and there are whispers along the grapevine that this group are one to watch out for!

Dan Walsh   program

Spare Hands_1 Nominated for best musician at last year’s BBC Folk Awards, Dan Walsh combines ’virtuoso playing and winning songwriting’ (Morning Star). Describing what Dan does is no easy task but at the heart of it is British, Irish and American folk music delivered with a healthy dose of funky grooves - all performed with his unique and dazzling take on clawhammer style banjo helping to challenge all preconceptions about the instrument. Add to all that poignant songs, astonishing musical departures and lively humour and the result is a truly memorable live show which has wowed audiences across the world from intimate seated rooms to huge dancing crowds in festival fields.

Kentucky Cow Tippers   program

Spare Hands_1 Since forming as buskers on the streets of Newcastle, the Kentucky Cow Tippers have earned a reputation as one of the most exciting acts on the UK’s acoustic music scene. Their unique approach to bluegrass draws from a deep appreciation of every aspect of the genre: they’ve absorbed everything from gospel harmonies and traditional fiddle tunes to the progressive music of Béla Fleck and Punch Brothers. The result is a driving, energetic quintet that delivers a tight yet spontaneous stage show. If you enjoy close vocal harmonies, wild bluegrass improvisation, witty stage banter and brown corduroy jackets, then you’ll love the Kentucky Cow Tippers – just don’t ask about the name!

Rory McLeod   program

Spare Hands_1 Ex-circus clown and fire eater, Rory McLeod is a one-man-soul-band, and poet, with a natural troubadour’s talent for weaving magical, musical, storytelling spells accompanied by his own bizarre solo orchestra of distinctive instruments. The spoons, finger-cymbals, bandorea, Djembe-drum, harmonica, guitar, trombone and-tap-dancing shoes accompany the rich, raw, deeply resonant voice of this singular and liberating performer. A long-standing friend of the festival – this is his third appearance with us - Rory is a musical gypsy, whose melodies are infused with influences from Flamenco to country blues, through to Celtic, Eastern European and Calypso rhythms, and if seeing him on stage isn’t enough, you can usually catch him at close quarters in one of the late-night sessions around the festival!

Stick In The Wheel   program

Spare Hands_1 Described as ‘a shot in the arm for contemporary folk music’ in The Independent, four-times BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominated Stick In The Wheel are taking the folk scene by storm with their incendiary performances of traditional English folk music, seamlessly blending it with their own songs and breathing new life into this culture for new generations. Their debut album From Here was awarded fRoots Critic’s Poll Album of the Year 2015, and received wide acclaim, resulting in a personal invitation from Billy Bragg to play his Left Field stage at Glastonbury, as well as a host of top folk festivals, and sessions on the BBC Radio 2 Folk Show, BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour and BBC6Music. Their slot promises to be a real highlight of the festival, and we can’t wait to see them in action!

The Mighty Doonans   program

Spare Hands_1 The original ‘Doonan Family Band ‘ have been part of the British folk scene for over 40 years, and have a deserved reputation for their imaginative and innovative interpretations of traditional and contemporary songs. With brass, drums, keyboards, electric guitars and amazing vocals, they have the ability to blend different genres of music and dance (and the occasional joke) into their act, and they have entertained and delighted crowds at venues and festivals all around the world. The band continue to deliver their traditions and influences, along with powerhouse arrangements and sensitive interpretations of a wide variety of material, while retaining their renowned rapport and relationship with their audiences, and we know you are going to absolutely love them!

Fitty Gomash   program

Spare Hands_1 Folk music is winning. The streets of England once more smoulder with the dirge of shanties and the lilt of solemn airs. Is there now a single corner of the country where the quiet insurrection of the ceilidh is not in swing? Running in this tradition, the sensational Fitty Gomash are our final main stage act on the Saturday night, having rolled from session to pub to festival, back to pub and onto wedding, leaving a trail of unruly revelry in their wake. This 6-piece band from the west country play a ramshackle collection of songs, tunes and ceilidh dances that fly with the tradition that gave them life. A must-see band and an act guaranteed to get you dancing!

BoomAlay!  program

Spare Hands_1 The BoomAlay! sea shanty choir formed at the Trad Academy folk music school, and have played in locations as diverse as London, Cornwall, France and Finland. Members of the choir hail from various places around the globe, (from Hull to New Zealand) and perform sea shanties and maritime songs in several languages, including English, French, Swedish and Cornish. The choir is committed to social justice and equality, and they adapt folk songs in a way that honours history whilst allowing contemporary relevance. Each performance is an interactive experience; watch BoomAlay! And you’ll be sharing shanties with your mates down the pub in no time!

Reg Meuros   program

Spare Hands_1 With a dozen albums to his credit, Reg is described by his peers as one of the most talented singer-songwriters of our generation. His clever and imaginative lyrics have earned him the title of “Master Storyteller” (Pennyblack Music) and led Mike Harding to introduce him onto the stage of The Royal Albert Hall as “one of the finest singer-songwriters this country has produced”. Whether it’s a village hall or the Albert Hall, Reg brings to the stage a collection of extremely beautiful songs, performed with humour and depth, and sung with the voice of an angel. He has that rare gift of being able to touch people, through his songs and performance, on a really human level. His words and music paint pictures that remain with the listener long after the song has been sung.

Half Deaf Clatch   program

Spare Hands_1 Drawing from his obsession with pre-war country blues, Hull’s very own Half Deaf Clatch (aka Andrew McLatchie) has been impressing audiences all over the UK for the last six years with his raw down-home blues sound and his original song writing. Described as a Slide Stomp Blues Machine, he has been nominated in the finals of the British Blues Awards eleven times in the last four years. Not one to rest on his laurels, his new album 'Forever Forward' was released on April 14th this year and has already been critically acclaimed by the worldwide blues music press. Half Deaf Clatch has graced the stages of most of the UK’s top Blues events and festivals over the past six years including, Hebden Bridge, Colne, Maryport, Broadstairs, Shetland and Orkney, and recently played on the daytime line-up of BluesFest at the O2 Arena in London.

Flossie Malavialle   program

Spare Hands_1 Flossie is a French born singer who has been based in the North East of England since 2002. Several years on, she has become an accomplished performer playing at folk clubs and festivals all over the UK (and beyond) and supporting acts such as Fairport Convention and Show of Hands. Flossie’s voice has been described as being ’as clear and tuneful as a lark, with a pureness of quality to stop you in your tracks in the forest of a song’ and her charismatic and engaging stage presence has made her a real draw on the national folk circuit.

The Higher Planes   program

Spare Hands_1 The Higher Planes went out one day and bought a cauldron, threw in some boys and girls, some rock and roll rhythms, the leftovers from the night before’s Memphis soul stew and some harmonies. After pouring it all out into the middle of a stone circle, they were aghast to find their shadow forms, born of the soup and soil, playing a very reasonable cover of a nice Van Morrison tune. The two groups fought, until the shadow Planes, in a sublime moment of victory, ate the real ones, and stepped into the light to live and play as the humans do. Well, that’s the info they sent us. We’re not sure if it actually happened. What we DO know is that these guys will bring something cool, beautiful and soulful to our festival.

Granny’s Attic   program

Spare Hands_1 We generally avoid booking the same acts two years in a row, but Granny’s Attic blew us away last year, and when we heard the boys were available again, we jumped at the chance. They make an absolute mockery of their tender years, playing the tradition with verve, energy and in their own inimitable style, each proving themselves to be exceptional musicians and fine singers. Performing a range of English, Irish and Scottish traditional music, as well as their own compositions, they have been heralded for their high-energy performances and are surely destined for great things.

Tantz   program

Spare Hands_1 Tantz deliver a failsafe fusion of virtuoso instrumentalism, smart-alec arrangements and all manner of pulse-grabbing grooves that turn on a sixpence and keep you on your toes. It takes a special kind of talent to take an old school musical idea and turn it into the Next Big Thing, but that’s what they did. After a year packed with storming shows, including festivals like Bestival and Secret Garden party, it seemed inevitable when they were picked to headline the Brit Awards After Party in 2014. With a headline slot at Klezmer in The Park, countless festival appearances and a string of gigs to promote the upcoming album, the coming year is set to be even more exciting for Tantz, and they promise to bring the curtain down on the main stage with their usual high-energy show.

Joe Solo  program

Spare Hands_1Joe Solo Joe Solo is an award-winning musician, writer, poet, activist, broadcaster and washing machine engineer from Scarborough. Live, he has a growing reputation as both a performer and raconteur, being both thought-provoking, comical and punch-the-air political, often in the same breath. He is not an artist you forget in a hurry.

The HarriWatts Band   program

Spare Hands_1: HarriWatts Band The HarriWatts Band perform self-penned songs blending both contemporary and traditional sounds and straddling various genres, combining sharp musical ability, with considered three-part harmonies, unique guitar melodies and a soaring violin to add colour and atmosphere. An act with a gentle, whimsical, but sometimes quirky edge, they will be performing material from their new album “Made In Hull”.

Quite By Chance   program

Spare Hands_1 Quite By Chance Quite By Chance started as a duo playing a mix of French cafe music and ragtime numbers from the 1930s and 40s, on accordion, guitar and ukulele. They have since grown, in terms of personnel and their musical scope, and their repertoire now also includes early swing and soft popular classics from the war years. It all adds up to something quite sophisticated and classy; God knows why they’re playing for a load of oiks like us!

The Smugglers   program

Spare Hands_1 Friends for over 25 years, The Smugglers started playing folk music together after camping trips to the famed city of Robin Hood’s Bay and spending many happy evenings at the Bayfolk Folk Club in Ye Dolphin pub. The five Smugglers blend vocal harmony with an increasing arsenal of instruments. From traditional standards to shanties, to more modern folk songs, they are not to be missed.

Carrie Martin   program

Spare Hands_1Carrie Martin Carrie Martin returned to music after raising a family, encouraged by none other than Gordon Giltrap, and she cites her meeting him as the most important thing that has happened in her musical career. Influenced by Eva Cassidy and Ann Wilson from Heart, her writing and performing style nevertheless defies categorisation, and her album, "What If" featured guest appearances from Giltrap, Oliver Wakeman and Ric Sanders. Carrie is currently touring with Gordon and is recording her third album due for release this autumn with some surprise special guests .

Peavy Ark   program

Spare Hands_1 Pavey Ark are an alternative folk band from Hull. Fingerpicked guitar, atmospheric vocals and violins glide like migrating birds over melodic bass lines and complex percussion. The result is a beautiful, folk inspired sound that makes you wish you were gazing out to sea next to a bonfire of your worldly possessions. Influences such as Nick Drake, Jackson C Frank, Radiohead, Rodriguez and The Walkmen have inspired their debut EP (Leaf by Leaf) released in June 2017.

Alan and The Big Hand   program

Spare Hands_1 Alan McClure is a songwriter and poet from Galloway, south-west Scotland. He has released eleven albums with bands such as The Beaker People, The Razorbills and The Mountain Sound Session, as well as solo material, and has received national acclaim for his lyrical depth and melodic ear. His current album, Yellow Car No Return (Lost Wasp Records/Warren Records 2017) is his second collaboration with Hull legends Dave Gawthorpe, Andy Swift and Mark Knight, and covers topics from humanity’s place in nature to mortality to politics, all with a dark humour and an eye for a good rhyme.

Work In Progress   program

Spare Hands_1 Although their name suggests something that isn’t quite the finished article, this couldn’t be further from the truth, as these boys knock out high-tempo Americana with real expertise, covering bluegrass, country and folk influences, including covers of both traditional and modern tunes, as well as their own numbers. Some are joyous, others tell of heartache, but all are catchy, foot-tapping tunes that will having you moving your feet and raising some dust!

Bossa Revista   program

Spare Hands_1Bossa Revista is a celebration of the legendary bossa nova music and a tribute to the world's greatest song writers, Antonio Carlos Jobim. This famous music was born in Brazil in the late 50's, as folk rhythms collided with the dynamic urban lifestyle of Rio. Lyn Acton leads the band with beautiful interpretations of the songs that seduced the world.

Snake Oil Charmers   program

Spare Hands_1Featuring four local musicians of high repute, and utilising acoustic guitars, dobros, mandolins, acoustic basses and a ukulele, the Snake Oil Charmers provide an infectious fusion of hokum, country, blues and western swing backed up with a good dose of humour along the way. Having played in various local bands over many years, they got together in 2015 and have since built up a keen following for their toe-tapping sounds, and they have also recorded their first album ‘Bolder’s Brass’, which is a rollicking mixture of self-penned tunes.

Black Kes   program

Spare Hands_1 After years of being snubbed by the Tin Gods of Hull’s music scene, Black Kes mounted a charm offensive and a relentless programme of self-promoted gigs, and simply could not be ignored any longer. Classing themselves as a progressive skiffle band, they wrote and performed the operatta ’The Beast Of Barmston Drain’ to great acclaim, wowed audiences with their redux of ’Ziggy Stardust’ and appeared on BBC4, so it hasn’t been a bad few months for the lads. Once seen, never forgotten; Black Kes are claiming the mantle of ’Hull’s greatest live act’. Self-publicising trash-talk, or a simple statement of fact? Decide for yourselves!

Edwina Hayes   program

Spare Hands_1Edwina was born in Dublin and grew up in Preston, Lancashire, before moving to East Yorkshire as a teenager, where she has been based ever since. Her beautifully written songs, charming stage presence and voice of an angel – Nancy Griffith calls her ‘the sweetest voice in England’ - have won her a reputation as a true natural talent of gentle folk-Americana. She has opened numerous shows for Jools Holland and Van Morrison, as well as her own gigs playing stages everywhere from Glastonbury Festival to The Royal Albert Hall, and her cover of the Randy Newman song ‘Feels Like Home’ was featured in the Cameron Diaz film ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ and has since had almost ten million plays on YouTube. Yes – Edwina is the real deal!

Sarah Johns   program

Spare Hands_1Sarah Johns’ stripped back guitar and vocals give her work an immediate and honest feel that is at once comforting and yet unnerving. Heavily influenced by nature, with much of her work echoing the repetition of 19th Century American black and white Christian Spiritual Song, her live work continues this likeness by exploring the therapeutic and meditative effect of music upon the audience, mindful of the ritual of people coming together to listen to and play music

Beggar’s Bridge   program

Spare Hands_1With a sound that straddles both the contemporary and traditional arms of folk music, Beggar’s Bridge write songs based upon the folklore that has developed around the people, places and events of their home county of East Yorkshire, encapsulating its rural, urban and maritime heritage. The first class musicianship and compelling lyrical content is complimented by some fascinating background stories, often interlaced with a good helping of humour, and it all combines to make them one of the most entertaining folk acts around at the moment.

Paula Ryan   program

Spare Hands_1 Paula is an award-winning singer-songwriter from Tipperary, and provides "a unique voice in the contemporary folk world" (Classic Rock Society Magazine). Her music is a wonderful blend of Celtic lyricism and passion with truly original songwriting and a fascinating array of instruments (marimba, guitar, bodhran, bazouki). Paula performs at venues and festivals nationally and internationally and her performances, laced with the warmth, wit, musicality and "craic" of her Irish roots, are "well worth seeking out" (Irish Music Magazine).

MG Greaves and The Lonesome Too   program

Spare Hands_1 Mike Greaves made his name in the 1990s when, as MG Greaves and The Lonesome Too, he released the highly acclaimed ‘Diamonds’ album in 1993 and record companies big and small from both sides of the Atlantic were drawn to this unique artist with the rich, soulful voice and wonderful songs, and puzzled over the contradictions within. Tours and appearances with some of the big names of country music followed, and we are delighted to see him performing for us at the festival, where he will be accompanied by another local maestro on accordion, in Andy Watson.

Thieving Harry’s Salad Research   program

Spare Hands_1A lo-fi-alt-rock blend of alt-folk with a dash of Celtic influencemelding post-prog, complex-minimalist Scandinavian melody with a nod to the gothic and a Nordic twist in Bb. Composed imporvisations with abstract constructs and a fragmented portraiture echoing Orwellian dystopian ardent leavers - a triptych dictation on modern and future civilisations both past and present. A musing from Montremartre reflected from Jacobean waters and salad research.

The Dyr Sister   program

Spare Hands_1 Hailing from Hull, Sally Currie AKA The Dyr Sister is a multi-instrumental cervine beats mistress who conjures up surreal tales with the aid of a viola, mandolin, voice and an array of samples. Performing her catalogue of haunting, ethereal, modern day folk songs as a one-woman band she paints a fascinating canvas of sound. These original and innovative pieces are influenced by a wide range of genres from jungle to trip hop ending somewhere deep amongst the many varieties of traditional folk music from around the world. Expect an enchanting performance from this most unique of musical artists.

Slim Tubby and the Vitamin D’s   program

Spare Hands_1Slim Tubby and The Vitamin Ds create what they describe as being a fusion of various influences of each band member and their previous musical episodes, resulting in something akin to bluesy, funky, reggae with a solid groove, beneath bouncy party tunes! Starting out as a solo project, then becoming a three-piece, before mutating into a full-blown outfit complete with drums, sax, bass guitar and loads of percussion, the lads are sure to end proceedings on the Humber Street Stage with a bang, no matter how many of them turn up!

The Cod Ends   program

Spare Hands_1 The Cod Ends are a folk/bluegrass/blues duo, playing jigs, reels and ballads, consisting of Jim Gray on vocals, guitar and occasional banjo and Edd Williamson on vocals, banjo, mandolin, dobro, fiddle and anything else he can lay his hands on! Based in the Ottringham/Keyingham area, in wild and woolly South Holderness, Edd is originally from the Shetland Islands, while Jim is a born and bred ‘Ull lad, and they were founders of the Keyingham Folk Club, now one of the largest in these parts.

Barry Cundill   program

Spare Hands_1 After a long career as a Police officer, then a road accident investigator, Barry Cundill was a late starter when it came to folk music, when he dared himself to go on stage sometime in 2012 to perform “a silly Rambling Syd number”. He’s now a familiar and popular face on the local scene, with an entertaining repertoire which has a special emphasis on local nostalgia, often tinged with wry humour.

String Theory   program

Spare Hands_1 String Theory hail from Barnsley, South Yorkshire and are Dave Bottomley, John Platt and Sarah Greenwood, three friends who share a love of American roots and British folk music. They sing old songs - story songs about tragedies, heroes, events or ways of life that are in danger of being forgotten, yet ultimately they consider themselves a good-time band, their enthusiasm for the music coming through in their performances.

Paul & Liz Davenport   program

Spare Hands_1 Based now in South Yorkshire, Paul and Liz were both born in the city of Hull and both of their families carry several generations of traditional singing and music making. Their songs rise partly from their roots and partly from their personal experiences, either drawn from extensive research into the tradition or springing from Paul’s ever-fertile pen, and are both accompanied, on duet concertina, or unaccompanied. Their repertoire is personal, idiosyncratic and charged with an authentic drama which makes their performances compelling and distinctive. Unsurprisingly, their songs are now to be found in the repertoires of some very well-known performers both in UK as well as further afield.

Lucy Clarke   program

Spare Hands_1 Lucy Clark is your typical Hull lass. Tackling the everyday qualms in life such as doing your ‘big shop’ at the supermarket, the sights at your local gym or even the way food is served nowadays, she says what we’re all thinking. But in rhyme. She shows great pride in her home city, and you might recognise her Hull accent from BBC Radio Humberside’s ‘Absolutely Clueless’ every Saturday with Andy Comfort.

The Fates   program

Spare Hands_1 The Fates are Bay Whitaker, Sue Cain and Tegwen Roberts. They are based in Sheffield and have been singing together since 2005. All three members of the band are experienced writers and performers in their own right with very different voices and styles, which come together in The Fates to create an intricate and layered sound. Their acappella arrangements reimagine traditional material with rich, uncompromising harmonies and unexpected discord, blended with precision and humour. They also have a good ear for a tune. In their own words, “We love anything with a good rhythm and we can’t resist a jig.”

Kimber’s Men   program

Spare Hands_1 We are delighted to be able to announce that Kimber’s men are appearing on our lineup this year. For many years, they have entertained audiences across the UK and Europe with their close harmony shanty singing. They have featured twice on Sunday brunch for Channel 4 and also starred in the BBC2 and BBC4 production of Sea Songs, with Gareth Malone. Sit back and prepare to be blown away by the power of the human voice!

Paul Child   program

Spare Hands_1 Paul Child is a very respected singer and banjo player from Leeds who has performed at clubs, pubs and folk festivals all over Yorkshire for many years. He delivers songs, many of them comedic, in his own inimitable style and with a wonderful West Yorkshire dialect, almost reminiscent of the old music hall performers. It’s the first time he has appeared for us here at the Hull Folk Festival and he will add a touch of something a little different to the proceedings.

Colleen’s Fancy   program

Spare Hands_1 Colleen’s Fancy are a Yorkshire based duo, Kevin Young and John Pencheon, both of Irish backgrounds, with many years experience of playing bars, clubs, festivals and TV work, as well as private functions both at home and overseas. As well as singing all the popular Irish drinking songs and ballads, they have a good range of country, sea-shanties and oldie numbers too. Colleen’s Fancy never work to a set list of songs and are always willing to perform requests when asked, as they have a repertoire of over 1000 songs!

Sam Martyn   program

Spare Hands_1 Sam Martyn is a busy girl; as well as being a member of Hull folk band Beggar’s Bridge, the White Horse Ceilidh Band and the Green Ginger Garland dancers, she gives occasional – and invariably memorable - solo performances. Combining her rich, traditional singing style with piano, low and high whistle, and harmonium, her eclectic repertoire stretches from folk ballads to her own reworkings of musical and popular songs.

Monkey’s Fist   program

Spare Hands_1 Monkeys Fist are an internationally recognised band from Leeds, specialising in maritime songs, shanties and ballads with strong voices, a wide repertoire, close harmonies and musical accompaniment on guitar, concertina, harmonica and even double bodhran. The band have performed at maritime festivals, folk clubs and folk festivals all over the UK, as well as making international appearances at the Rosses Point Festival in Ireland, Bie Daip in Holland and the Vegesack and Papenburg festivals in Germany.

The Roaring Forties   program

Spare Hands_1 With a great reputation for the powerful and authentic delivery of the finest of unaccompanied sea songs, from rip roaring shanties to the delicate sea ballads beloved of any sailor far from home, The Roaring Forties also have an extensive repertoire of songs for landlubbers, from drinking songs to love songs, suited to all occasions. They place a firm emphasis on powerful choruses and plenty of audience participation – key ingredients in the recipe for an exciting, entertaining and at times hilarious experience of British folk music at its best.

Dicky Deegan   program

Spare Hands_1 These days a resident of Hull, Dicky Deegan has been playing traditional Irish music on the Uilleann Pipes for 30 years and the tin whistle for over 45 years, and is now regarded as one of the world’s finest exponents of the art. As a live artist, as well as regularly appearing at traditional Irish music venues and festivals, Dicky has also performed several times in the Sydney Opera House and once even on top of it! His appearance with us this weekend marks a rare opportunity to see a genuinely world-class musician performing in his adoptive home city.

Linda Kelly   program

Spare Hands_1 Linda is a singer songwriter based in Beverley. She was formerly a member of Hissyfit, an a capella duo which sang both her own songs and traditional songs, mainly with a maritime theme. As a duo they performed at festivals and folk clubs all over the UK and Holland and in addition to their own recordings they recorded and performed with other artistes such as John Conolly and Grace Notes. Her own songs, many of which highlight the demise of the fishing industry in Hull, have been sung by kids in schools, in pub sessions and on the radio, and recorded by other artists both here and in the US.

Jim Eldon   program

Spare Hands_1 To a lot of people, Jim Eldon is simply ‘The Brid Fiddler’, entertaining holidaymakers taking trips out of Bridlington harbour aboard The Yorkshire Belle, singing local songs accompanied by his fiddle. However, this son of Hull is a prolific song and tune collector and has been a revered figure on the local scene since the days when the legendary Folk Union One Club saw the city play an important role in the folk revival of the 1960s. With a unique vocal delivery and his fiddle slung low across his arm, he is an unmistakable Northern treasure.

Pegleg Ferret   program

Spare Hands_1 The three and only Pegleg Ferret - Keith Pollard, Geoff Anderson and Benny Graham - specialise in three-part harmony singing and lean towards material which is either traditional or written in the traditional idiom. The band’s pedigree goes back to the late sixties and the lads toured extensively in Britain and Europe for over twenty years. They started singing together again in 2001 after a layoff that had lasted longer than some bands’ entire lifecycle, and they are now touring the British club and festival circuits again, re-kindling relationships with old friends and finding new audiences in today’s folk scene.

Jim Radford   program

Spare Hands_1 Folk singer, peace campaigner, and political and community activist, Hull-born Jim Radford has been on the side of the underdog for five decades now, although it is only in recent times that his name and face have become more widely recognised. It was 2014 that the BBC and the Royal British Legion learned that he was the youngest allied veteran of the Normandy invasion, and he was invited to perform his song ‘The Shores Of Normandy’ at The Royal Albert Hall in a series of commemorative concerts held there in 2014, two of which were screened on national television, and we are delighted and honoured that Jim is coming back to do a home town gig at the tender age of 87. The lad will go far!

Hull Folk Collective   program

Spare Hands_1The Hull Folk Collective formed out of The QC (don’t ask!) Shanty Choir, out of a desire to turn something ad-hoc into something more permanent. Although initially performing mainly maritime folk songs, the idea is to broaden the repertoire to include the full spectrum of folk music. In May of this year, in conjunction with Hull College, Hull University, The Arts Council and Hull City of Culture, The Collective performed at the Soundscape2017 event at Hull’s Ferens Art Gallery, to great acclaim. They draw upon the experience of talented performers John & Rosie Butler, Andy Buckton, Jerry Walker and Chris Jordan.

Chris Jordan, aka The Bard of Holderness   program

Spare Hands_1 Chris Jordan, aka The Bard of Holderness, is a folk and protest singer who has performed at protests, events and festivals throughout the country, including The Houses of Parliament (fair to say, this was an uninvited appearance!). He has also recorded at the famous Sun Studios in Memphis, and he mixes self-composed songs with traditional folk, played on stick dulcimer and guitar. Expect a lot of energy and a good degree of social and political comment topped off with a dash of humour.

Shanty Jack   program

Spare Hands_1 Shanty Jack’s interest in the music and songs of the sea has taken him singing around the world for 40 years, while he also has a repertoire of songs and stories from the traditions of the barges and fishing smacks of the East Coast of England, collected while working for over 30 years on the tugboats of the Humber. He’s retired now though, so has more time for his beloved shantying, and we are delighted to welcome back a man who, as a founder organiser of the Sea Fever events from which our festival originated over 25 years ago, has a long-standing connection to this festival.