From 1-7 November, during the major rebuild, the Londons South Bank is hosting the annual gathering of folk and roots musicians with some of the top artists on the scene. In Londons grandest celebration of Folk Music (Colin Randall), artists from all corners of the UK, Ireland and even Sweden will be descending on the South Bank Centre for Folk in the Fall, a series of 8 concerts.
One of the highlights will be June Tabor and musicians, with special guest Martin Simpson in the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 6 November. The Purcell Room plays host to Swåp with Anglo-Scandinavian roots-n-reel; Bailey ~ Carthy ~ Kirkpatrick, a stellar line-up of three of the best performers on the English and international folk scene; Karine Polwart, the winner of three BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2005; the fiery four-piece Flook celebrating their 10th Anniversary concert plus performances from outstanding slide-guitarist Johnny Dickinson and Irish singer Mary McPartlan. On English Ground features Morris Offspring and English Acoustic Collective with powerful new English dance and music from the next generation. There are also free foyer events on Saturday 5 November open to all.
Swap (Purcell Room - 1 Nov) bring their magnificently chilling, thrilling musical adventure where Swedish polskas & schottis shake hands with jigs & waltzes from all over the British Isles. Expect rave energy and string quartet subtlety by turn!
Bailey ~ Carthy ~ Kirkpatrick (Purcell Room - 2 Nov). A rare chance to see three giants of the English folk scene on stage together, Roy Bailey the greatest socialist folk singer of his generation (Tony Benn), Martin Carthy arguably the greatest English folk song performer, writer, collector and editor of them all (Q magazine) and instrumental virtuoso and master of the buttons John Kirkpatrick.
Triple BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards winner Karine Polwart (Purcell Room 3 Nov) is a Scottish borders based singer-songwriter whose edgy and evocative writing and voice poise have won her respect both in the UK and internationally. Melodic and literate songs, her wealth of experience has given her writing a satisfying depth and rounded wisdom (The Times).
Johnny Dickinson (Purcell Room - 4 Nov) has been dubbed the most potent slide player in the UK and with good reason. He is a fast rising talent bound for international recognition with a unique style which crosses Celtic flavours with American blues.
Mary McPartlan (Purcell Room - 5 Nov) is one of the most talented folk singers to come out of the Irish scene in recent years. Her album The Holland Handkerchief reached No. 1 on the Top 10 Folk Albums of the Year 2004 in the prestigious Mojo Magazine who described Mary to have A voice that pins you against the wall.
June Tabor and musicians, with special guest Martin Simpson (QEH - 6 Nov). BBC Radio 2 Singer of the Year 2004, June Tabor draws on a glorious careers worth of repertoire with a 6-piece band that features not only Martin Simpsons stunning guitar work, but also enjoys the considerable fruits of a 15 year plus association with pianist Huw Warren.
On English Ground featuring Morris Offspring and English Acoustic Collective (Purcell Room 6 Nov, 5.30pm) provides a window to the haunting sounds and elegant shapes of English heritage. Morris Offsprings 14 dancers put the mystery back into Morris (Billy Bragg) and coupled with the Sheer unthrusted brilliance(Verity Sharp, BBC Late Junction) of the English Acoustic Collectives music and song create a spellbinding and powerful show.
Flook (Purcell Room 7 Nov) return to the South Bank Centre to celebrate their 10th Anniversary. A unique combination of flutes underpinned by fluid guitar and hugely impressive bodhran playing has brought them to critical acclaim. Sensational and unmissable.
There is an afternoon of free foyer events on Saturday 5 November in the Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer from 1pm 5pm. Expect fantastic performances from Gog Magog Molly Dancers, Mawkin, The Devils Interval and Meridian.
Make a day of it on Sunday 6 November starting with the now regular Family Ceilidh with The Bursledon Village Band (2.30pm-5pm), On English Ground in the Purcell Room at 5pm and finish with June Tabor and musicians in the Queen Elizabeth Hall at 7.45pm. Buy a ticket for June Tabor and On English Ground and save £5.
Tickets are available from the Royal Festival Hall Box Office on 08703 800 400.
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