Saturday 20 January 2018 : The Bully Wee Band
Since their reformation in 2004, the Bully Wee Band have proved that they are still a force to be reckoned with as one of Britain’s foremost exponents of acoustic folk/rock music.
Originally formed in the early 70s by brothers Jim and John Yardley, the Bully Wee Band successfully toured Britain, Europe and America through several line-ups until the last one of Ian Cutler, Fergus Feely, Colin Reece and Maartin Allcock finally called it a day in 1983.
20 years later a chance meeting between Messrs Cutler, Feely and Reece resulted in a very spirited jam session at Faversham Folk Club in Kent, and a subsequent decision to put a three piece Bully Wee Band back on the road in January 2004 “if only for the craic”.
So successful was the 2004 tour that Colin, Ian and Fergus decided to repeat the experience the following January, only this time with the addition of Bully Wee founder member Jim Yardley. Thus the current line-up of Ian Cutler, Fergus Feely, Colin Reece and Jim Yardley was complete and reunited.
tickets : https://bully-wee-band-at-vssc-2017.eventbrite.co.uk
Friday 23 March 2018 : Phil Beer
Phil is one of the most popular ambassadors for acoustic roots music. A dazzling instrumentalist, he is perhaps best known as a top flight fiddler playing with Show Of Hands and in the all-star line-up, Feast of Fiddles. He also plays slide, Spanish and tenor guitar, mandocello, viola, mandolin and South American cuatro, not to mention his rich vocals.
Born in Exminster, Devon, he started to play fiddle, guitar and mandolin while still at school. He played his first gig at 14 and started working as a duo with Paul Downes in 1974. He was a member of the legendary Arizona Smoke Revue and a key member of Johnny Coppin’s band. His toured with Mike Oldfield and was a member of the feted Albion Band from 1984-1991. Show of Hands became a full-time partnership in the early 90s, a band that has gone on to sell out the Royal Albert Hall three times and who were voted Best Live Act, by the public, at the 2004 Folk Awards.
Friday 27 April 2018 : Simon Kempston
Simon Kempston is ‘one of Scotland’s best songwriters’ (The Sunday Herald) and leading fingerstyle guitarists. Simon’s original, distinctive guitar playing is founded upon a complex, finger-picking style which technically reveals his classical training yet is steeped in the history of the folk, blues and celtic traditions and is complemented by Simon’s rich, powerful and compelling clipped vocal style.
An award-winning songwriter and an inspiring, poetic lyricist, Simon’s songs are amongst the most thought-provoking you are likely to hear, often sidestepping the usual themes of love and attraction in favour of offering social commentary and an insight into the everyday lives of people. His love of Celtic landscape coupled with his travels abroad, particularly in Eastern Europe, have also influenced many of his lyrics. Fascinations with architecture and English literature from a young age have further helped in the development of his unique lyrical style.
Simon is a powerful and intense live performer, and his true passion for music and song shines through in his acclaimed shows. Having performed at scores of esteemed venues and festivals in 27 European countries and Canada, including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (sell-out shows in 2010, 2011 & 2013 – 2016), the Maryport Blues Festival, the Glasgow Jazz Festival, Ronnie Scott’s, Celtic Connections, Sligo Live and Fairport Convention’s Cropredy Festival amongst many others. Simon has also performed live on BBC Radio Stations across the UK, and increasingly on continental music radio stations.
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