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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 - Skiddaw View Main Satge

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 - St James’ Church

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 ***** 

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 s 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. The duo were nominated in the 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in the ‘Horizon’ category for Best Emerging Artist.

‘The Waters and the Wild’ (released in April 2018)
*****English Folk Dance & Song Society’s EDS 
*****Mike Harding…’absolutely monumental’
*****Maverick Magazine.’Immaculate’
*****The EFDSS ‘An absolute joy’

Emily Mae Winters 
‘photo credit www.elly
Friday - St James’ Church - Saturday - The Globe Hall
Sunday Mae’s Tea Room, Uldale. 

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.

Emily’s self-penned debut album Siren Serenade was produced by Ben Walker of BBC Folk Award winning Josienne Clarke and Ben Walker fame and Lauren Deakin Davies who’s worked with the likes of Laura Marling and Peggy Seeger. Described as “Vibrant and experimental” by Songlines magazine, one of the record’s standout tracks ‘Anchor’ won her the Guardian Songwriting Competition.

Reviews for Siren Serenade- April 2017
“Outstanding. Rich and Expressive.” **** R2 Magazine
“Vibrant and experimental" **** Songlines

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Luke Daniels
Saturday - St James’ Church

Award-winning singer and composer Luke Daniels brings his solo show which uses an original 19th century Polyphon machine as part of the performance. Live, clockwork and sampled sound beautifully crafted into modern morality tales and intriguing instrumental music. Luke’s work as a member of the Cara Dillon Band or Riverdance Orchestra sets his pedigree at the very highest level and promises a performance of outstanding acoustic songs and music.

Described by Songlines as “a future classic” and by Acoustic Magazine as “an enchanting delight” ****

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.

Together they have toured the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands, appeared at Rotterdam Bluegrass Festival, Cambridge Folk Festival, Towersey Festival, Broadstairs Folk Week, Folk East, and concert halls and folk clubs across the UK.

"A great sound altogether" Bruce MacGregor, BBC Radio Scotland
"Sparky, charismatic and intensely assured” fRoots


Molly Evans Photo Credit
Friday - The Globe Hall and Saturday St James

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.

Will Pound and Eddy Jay

Will Pound and Eddy Jay
Friday - The Globe Hall and Saturday - 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.

He has performed with musicians as diverse as Martin Simpson, Concerto Caledonia, Michelle Burke and Guy Chambers. His own projects include Haddo, Walsh and Pound and The Will Pound Band.

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 whizkid WP creating sounds you just wouldn’t credit coming out of those instruments.' Tom Robinson, BBC6 (June 2017) 

Elaine Davidson
Saturday - The Globe Hall 

Listening to Elaine’s music recalls a time of mastery in songwriting and story telling and you will get lost in the uncluttered, unfiltered true beauty of it. She is a one of a kind true English Folk Singer with a beautiful voice as well as an accomplished acoustic guitarist, see her live whenever you can, it will be a truly magical experience.' Warren Huart (Aerosmith, James Blunt, The Fray) record producer, Los Angeles

 'A very accomplished album.’ Harry Thomson, Fatea Records (Can't Tell The River
'If Galadriel wrote songs they would sound like this, hopeful and ethereal' Noleen Devlin, Artist Liaison, Ireby Festival

Will Finn and Rosie Calvert

Will Finn and Rosie Calvert
Saturday - Ireby 12th Cntury Chancel and St James; Church

Will Finn and Rosie Calvert are a dynamic up-and-coming duo from the heart of Newcastle. Playing traditional music with a contemporary flair, their shows are a veritable smorgasbord of folk fusion, utilising piano, steel pan, and close knit harmony singing to tremendous effect.

They are graduates of the Folk and Traditional Music BA at Newcastle University and have been taking the festival circuit by storm with their a capella harmony quartet The Teacups...who performed at Ireby Festival in 2018. Their duo work has been met with accolades from their performances at Beverley Festival, Towersey Folk Festival, and The Sage Gateshead.

“The playing and singing is excellent” – Dai Jeffries,

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Louise Peacock’s Young Folk Ensemble
Saturday  - main arena storytelling tent

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Ian Douglas - Storyteller
Saturday - main arena storytelling tent

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,

Ian 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.

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Ben Gates Sound Sculptures
Saturday main arena

With twenty years of development, Ben has made his own unique twist on giant percussion and interactive sound sculpture. Focusing on accessible fun musical interventions for all the family. Ben has installed permanent instruments in public parks and schools whilst continuing to deliver inspirational music making workshops for festivals and communities across the UK. Ben is currently based in Brighton, Sussex.


David Gibb
Saturday Main arena storytelling tent

After several successful years playing on the UK folk scene, in 2014 David found himself frustrated at the lack of high quality music available for families. Inspired by the strong independent children’s music movement in America, he set himself the mission of writing an album of songs aimed at families, with quality, musicianship and song writing being the focus. The result was Letters Through Your Door, an album packed full of catchy toe-tapping songs guaranteed to get families around the country singing along. 

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Stew Simpson
Saturday - The Globe Hall

It has been 15 years since Singer/songwriter Stew Simpson (40) (Frontman for Hadrian’s Union) recorded his first solo album (The Best of ... Yet To Come). Stew’s  performance will be celebrating the release of his brand new album 'Milk Man Son’.

Without the framework of Hadrian's Union, Stew has allowed himself to explore different sides of his journey into folk music using his roots in traditional mining songs from the North East of England, from his previous show Hyem through to such Folk and Rock cross over songs by Led Belly/Nirvana, (Where did you sleep last night) and to his more outrageous surrealist poetry.

With titles such as 'There's an eyeball in my dragon soup' and 'The Fangle Dooble Dozer'  lovers of Ivor Cutler and Edward Lear will be able to see the influence in the spoken word  which features on 'Milk Man Son' 

Stew's show is eclectic, raw and real, with the ideals of a punk, some sweet guitar picking and with the aid of a tank top of a 70 year old shanty enthusiast, audiences are promised to be moved to tears, some of them will be of joy. The rest may just come from the sheer disgust at the Faire Isle Pattern jumper and retro moustache. A true English Eccentric.

© Ireby Festival 2019