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Seth Lakeman
Friday -  Skiddaw View Main Satge

Seth Lakeman, last performed in Ireby in 2013 Seth will make a welcome return with a no-nonsense, organic, classic folk-rock approach with hints of Fairport Convention, Neil Young, Nick Cave and Billy Bragg - plus his own trademark foot-stomping, fiddle bow-shredding and soaring vocals.

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CoCo and the Butterfields
Saturday night - Skiddaw View Main Stage

CoCo and the Butterfields are an English indie-pop band, from Canterbury, Kent. The band currently consists of lead vocalist Dulcima Showan, guitarist and vocalist Tom Twyman, keys player Jamie Smith, guitarist Rob Wicks and bass player Patrick Channon.

The band have spent much of their time on the road, touring the UK and Europe, selling out headline shows and featuring at many major festivals. Hitting upon a winning formula with their crowd pleasing live act, the band showcased music from their first four EPs, selling thousands of copies to audiences around the world.

After signing a publishing deal with peermusic in 2016, CoCo took a short break from performing and returned to their home studio in Canterbury, to work on a new EP. This break has resulted in a brand new bank of work, showing a rapid development into a more mature, radio ready act.

Having successfully road tested the new material at their biggest London headline show to date at the O2 Academy in Islington, plans are now under way for the release of their brand new EP this May.

Friday - Skiddaw View Main Stage

Calan bring together the remarkable talents of 5 young musicians giving a fresh and vibrant sound to traditional Welsh music. With a contemporary and lively approach they breathe new life into the old traditions through their sparkling melodies, foot tapping tunes and spirited and energetic performances of Welsh step dancing.

They blast their way through some of the old favourite reels, jigs and hornpipes with fast paced and uplifting arrangements before melting into some of the most beautiful and haunting songs. 

With their unique instrumental blend fiddles, whistles, guitar and bagpipes and a traditional reed instrument from Wales called a pibgorn made from a wooden pipe and the horns of a bull.  Great fun, a sense of humour and step dancing from a champion dancer who dances in a style unique to Wales

"...there’s nowt as dear as folk – especially when played with the grace, daring and sheer joy this multi-instrumental five-piece bring to a winning selection of reels, jigs and hornpipes."
The Daily Mirror 

"Folk just got a kick up of the Noughties... stunning use of instrumentation, gorgeously crafted songs, sprightly foot-tappers, verve and raw excitement.”
Belfast Telegraph

Sam Kelly and the Lost Boys
Saturday night - Skiddaw View Main Stage

Fast becoming firm favourites at festivals and venues across the UK. rising star Sam Kelly has developed a reputation for fronting an incredibly high class and dynamic live show with his band who were nominated for Best Group at the 2018 Radio 2 Folk Awards.

"This is the album that the folk world has been awaiting... The Lost Boys is going to be huge."


Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar
Friday -The Globe Hall and Saturday afternoon Skiddaw View Main Stage

Making a welcome return to Ireby, Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar joined forces in 2011. Combining Russell’s powerful vocals and driving guitar style with Algar’s All-Ireland winning fiddle playing, the duo have become one of the most sought after acts on the British folk scene. In 2013 the pair won the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award before going on to win the Horizon Award for best breakthrough act from the same source in 2014. In 2015, they were nominated in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Best Duo category.

Exuberant Folk from the winning duo**** John Roffet Maverick Magazine

One of the best young folk duos around **** Ian Croft R2 Magazine

Saturday afternoon - Skiddaw View Main Stage

Glasgow-based five-piece Ímar stand out from the crowd - by taking things back to basics. With a line-up featuring members of Mànran, RURA, Talisk and Barrule, and a heavyweight collective haul of top prizes including the 2018 BBC Radio 2 Musician Of The Year, 2016 BBC Radio Scotland Young Musician of the Year, BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award, Young Folk Award, nine All-Ireland and eight All-Britain titles.

The band’s unmistakable synergy centres on the overlapping cultural heritage between Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man. All three places once shared the same Gaelic language and a similar kinship endures between their musical traditions.

"exceptional" - The Living Tradition
"Genuinely jaw-dropping collective virtuosity" **** The Scotsman

Midnight Skyracer
Friday - Globe Hall Late session and Saturday afternoon Skiddaw View Main Stage

Formed in 2017, Midnight Skyracer is a new, all-female 5 piece bluegrass band playing hard driving traditional and modern classics, lesser known songs and a few originals. Featuring an all-star lineup of some of the UK’s top instrumentalists and singers…
Leanne Thorose - Vocals & Mandolin  Tabitha Agnew - Vocals & Banjo
Laura Carrivick - Vocals, Fiddle & Dobro Charlotte Carrivick - Vocals & Guitar
Eleanor Wilkie - Vocals & Double Bass


Goat Roper Rodeo Band
Friday - The Globe Hall and Saturday - St James’ Church

With just an upright bass, two old guitars and a bucketful of aching harmony, The Goat Roper Rodeo Band are preaching ‘Country Blues’ like you never heard… It’s up, it’s down, it’s soft and loud, it’s dark and lonesome too, there’s hurt and shame and some mean old pain but there’s love in what they do! There’s a hint of Gram, a sniff of Dylan and a twist of Waylon’s blues … Simply put, it’s exactly what it says on the tin.

“Like the Everlys fronted by Gram Parsons” (Fatea)

“Amazing” - Bob Harris

Emily & Jamie Promo

Smith and McClennan
Saturday - Globe Hall

Multi award winning Scottish singer Emily Smith and New Zealand born songwriter and multi- instrumentalist Jamie McClennan have been performing together for fifteen years. Their new album ‘Unplugged ‘features originals by McClennan and reworked traditional material from Scotland and New Zealand drawing on influences from the folk tradition, Americana and beyond. 

Alongside their solo careers they have performed with musical greats including Richard Thompson, Barbara Dickson, Jerry Douglas and Mary Chapin Carpenter. TV and Radio appearances include Transatlantic Sessions, BBC Songs of Praise, BBC Radio 2's Good Morning Sunday & The Bob Harris Show. With rich vocal harmonies, accordion, fiddle and sublime guitar backing they are one of the most vibrant duos on the UK folk scene today.
"Sublime” Maverick ****
“Beautiful country-folk” Americana UK
“The freshest sounding folk album in an age” Sunday Express ****
"One of Scotland’s most distinctive voices....simply entrancing”
R2 ***** 

Will Pound and Eddy Jay

Will Pound and Eddy Jay
Friday - The Globe Hall and Saturday night Skiddaw View Main Stage

Will has been awarded Spiral Earth Magazine Musician Of The Year 2015, FATEA Instrumentalist of the Year 2013 & 2014, and been nominated three-times for BBC Radio 2 Folk Musician Of The Year.

Eddy Jay performed in the stage musical version of Noel Coward's Brief Encounter' (Kneehigh theatre) which toured US theatres including Studio 56 on Broadway (NY) He has performed with Cathal Coughlan and Tina May, and also devised his own shows of Prokofiev's 'Peter and the Wolf' and a musical biography of Edith Piaf.

One of the most breathtaking live acts I’ve ever witnessed; The wild man of the accordion EJ and harmonica whizzkid WP creating sounds you just wouldn’t credit coming out of those instruments.' Tom Robinson, BBC6 (June 2017)

“Stunning: two quite brilliant musicians demonstrate dynamic instrumental work****
Paul Collins, Maverick Magazine 

Emily Mae Winters

Emily Mae Winters
Friday - The Globe Hall and Saturday afternoon Skiddaw View Main Satge Photo credit

Fast rising star on the U.K. Folk/Americana scene Emily Mae Winters has that rare quality in a singer that makes critics reach for the superlatives. Described as having a voice that “stops you in your tracks” and “arresting, enthralling, tantalising” by Folk Radio UK, Emily combines straight-to-the-heart bittersweetness with her own unique passion and drama in performance. Emily Mae Winters’ exquisite songs which sit between the gentle seas of folk and country are influenced by artists including Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch and Sarah Jarosz.

“Vibrant and Experimental” **** Songlines
“Outstanding.. rich and expressive.” **** (R2) 

Luke Daniels
Saturday - St James’ Church

There is a truly fascinating show visiting venues throughout the UK in Spring 2019, featuring musician Luke Daniels and a new instrument he has created form an 19th Century mechanical music machine called a polyphon. 

Luke is a folk musician and singer who has performed at Celtic Connections and Cambridge Folk Festival among many others. His past work as a soloist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, member of the Riverdance band or with singer Cara Dillon sets his pedigree at the very highest level and promises a night of outstanding acoustic songs and instrumental music. 

Described by fRoots magazine as “a genius”, by Songlines as “a future classic” and by The Guardian as “an enchanting delight ****” 

Friday - St James’ Church and Saturday The Globe Hall

Ninebarrow are a multi-award-winning folk duo who are impressing  audiences across the country with their innovative and  captivating take on the folk  tradition. Described by Mark  Radcliffe as sounding like two halves of one voice, by Seth  Lakeman as a fantastic duo and by Kate Rusby as absolutely amazing.

Jon Whitley and  Jay LaBouchardiere combine breath taking vocal harmonies and  melodies, delivering songs that are inspired and rooted in the landscape and  history  of the British Isles. Most  recently, the duo were nominated in the 2017 BBC Radio 2  Folk Awards in the Horizon category for Best Emerging Artist heir latest album, The  Waters and the Wild (released in April 2018)

‘Stunning’ ***** Maverick  Magazine.
‘Immaculate’ ***** The  EFDSS
‘An  absolute  joy’ *****The  Morning  Star
‘Another  example  of  how  strong  British  folk  music  is  at  the  moment.’ **** The  Telegraph.

The Shackleton Trio
Friday - St James Church and Saturday The Globe Hall

The Shackleton Trio are Georgia Shackleton (fiddle, vocals), Aaren Bennett (guitar) and Nic Zuppardi (mandolin). Together they play an exciting blend of folk and self-penned material that showcase Georgia's unique songwriting skills, alongside a vibrant and eclectic display of instrumental brilliance influenced by British, American and Scandinavian folk traditions, with a regional twist from the group's native East Anglia.

"A great sound altogether" Bruce MacGregor, BBC Radio Scotland”

"An excellent debut album” **** R2 Magazine

Hadrian's Union

Hadrian’s Union
Saturday - The Globe Hall

Hadrian’s Union are a five piece Contemporary Folk Rock band from the debatable lands of England and Scotland. The name originates from the locality and mindset of the band, Hadrian's  Union (or HU for short) as separate members are based along various points of Hadrian's Wall, they all come from various music genres (Folk,  Punk, Rock, Blues, Celtic, Ska etc)  which reflects in the music they  create together.    

"Great Band, Great Songs, Great Sound"…Roy Bailey

Elaine Davidson
Saturday - St James’ church

Cumbrian born singer and songwriter, Elaine will take you on a magical journey that will reflect upon the sights and sounds of her homeland lakes. mountains and people observations.
Elaine is a staunch and long time supporter of Ireby Festival and over the past few months she has been working on new material for her next album. 

“Elaine’s music recalls a time of mastery in songwriting and storytelling”...Warren Huar - Record producer, Los Angeles.


Molly Evans
Friday - The Globe Hall and Saturday St James’ Church
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Molly Evans is a lively young singer from Cheshire with a largely traditional repertoire, known for her strong voice and distinctive song settings. 

After reaching the final of the New Roots competition in 2015, Molly has gone on to perform at festivals and folk clubs around the UK, including Sidmouth, Warwick, Bromyard, Shepley, Towersey and Shrewsbury. 

Her latest project, ’Deep Time and Narrow Space’, is a collection of original songs based on the traditional folklore work of Cheshire writer Alan Garner. In this unique exploration of words and music, Molly has adapted and recorded new settings of Garner’s collected tales, stories and poems into songs texturally and melodically inspired by the English folk song tradition.

“The tunes are highly memorable – they’re Molly’s own but one might swear they are traditional... EP of the year so far, for definite.” Fatea magazine.

“One of the most distinctive traditional voices heard in some time” Shire Folk

Will Finn and Rosie Calvert

Will Finn and Rosie Calvert
Saturday - The Old Chancel and St James’ Church

Husband and wife duo, Will Finn and Rosie Calvert, are singers first and foremost. Their voices complement in that way family performers do – aural choices made by gut before ear, instinctively knowing when to twist and turn for listener intrigue.

Their approach to orchestration is informed by their singing, too, seeking out the empty spaces and filling them, gently broadening their palette to a deceptively full sound. And it’s no mean feat when one of those instruments is a steel pan.

Their duo work is met with accolades wherever they go, and their debut album, 'Beneath this Place' (which was fully funded following a successful kickstarter campaign) is being critically lauded as 'Distinctive' and 'Excellent’.

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Ian Douglas - Storyteller

Always a popular guest at Ireby, Ian Douglas is a Storyteller and Theatre Maker Who works extensively across the British Isles. With over 20 years of experience delivering storytelling, performance and theatre activities for schools, arts organisations, communities and festivals across Britain,

He has developed a practise approach which mixes sensitivity, Comedic energy and wit leading to a style all of his own.The origins of Ian's work are steeped in the traditions of street theatre which has helped him develop his unique storytelling style.

His work has been described as 'truly inspirational' and draws upon a rich vein of British folk tales and world myths.Ian works with organisations across the UK and can regularly be seen at festivals and events throughout the year.

© Ireby Festival 2019