Line-up for Visiting Acts
16:45 – 17:30, Saturday 2nd July, Vermerette Stage.
Bright, vibrant and captivating Celtic music; performed by three of today’s leading instrumentalists in full flight, the Calum Stewart trio blend old melodies together with new, in an inspiring, assertive and dynamic interplay.
A leading Uilleann Piper & Flautist, Calum Stewart’s powerful and lyrical playing style is rooted in the traditional music of his native northern Scotland. His distinct musical voice has been developed through his collaborations within the Scottish, Irish and Breton traditions.
Coming from a new generation of guitarists, Heikki Bourgault embraces the strong tradition of Breton musicians, whilst pushing the boundaries of the open tuned guitar. His knowledge of Fest Noz dance, both as dancer and musician, nourishes his composition in the Breton style, whilst giving him a solid base to explore new ground.
Yann Le Bozec is one of Brittany’s finest double bass players. In demand as both recording and touring artist, his upbringing in traditional music and dance is central to his playing.
20:00 – 21:00, Friday 1st July, Alligande Stage.
Since launching the band in December 2013, Dallahan have exploded onto the traditional music scene. Their unique arrangements of original music and traditional Irish tunes and songs have secured their presence Milwaukee Irish Festival (USA), Copenhagen Irish Festival and Celtic Connections.
Dallahan met through local sessions in Edinburgh and are established performers of a variety of music styles, from classical and jazz to Balkan and Celtic. The band members have toured with groups as diverse as Kalman Balogh’s Gypsy Cimbalom Band, Larsa, Fianna, Samling, Tcha Limberger and they regularly appear at international festivals and venues.
As individuals, they have received various awards; Ciaran Ryan won the title of ‘All Britain Banjo Champion’ in 2006, Jani Lang won first prize at the first ‘Hungarian Traditional Music Competition’ and Jack Badcock was recently a finalist in the ‘BBC Young Traditional Musician Of The Year Award 2014’.
As a band, they received an ‘Emerging Excellence Award’ from Help Musicians UK and were nominated for Best Up and Coming Artist of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards 2014.
16:45 – 17:30, Friday 1st July, Vermerette Stage.
Two time BBC Folk Award winners Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar are one of the most sought after young acts on the English Folk Scene. They have performed at venues and festivals such as Cambridge Folk Festival and Fairport’s Cropredy Convention as well as appearing live on Mark Radcliffe’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Show.
Performing as a duo since 2011, Ciaran became All Ireland and All Britain Fiddle Champion on numerous occasions before the age of 16 and Greg had begun a career as a solo musician, supporting acts such as Karine Polwart and Lau amongst others.
In January 2013, the pair picked up the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk award and received the Horizon Award for Best breakthrough act at the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Their second album, T he Call received 5 Stars in fRoots, 4 Stars in both R2 Magazine and The Telegraph and a host of other brilliant reviews.
16:00 – 16:45, Saturday 2nd July, Alligande Stage.
Now performing with a string section, three part harmonies and driving percussion, Gren Bartley is creating something truly original in the underground folk scene.
Described as “enthralling, persuasive and masterly” (fRoots magazine), if you think you’ve heard something like Gren Bartley before, then think again.
Gren has released three albums in the last three years, each one revealing him as an increasingly prolific and exceptional writer and musician. He is truly the future of folk songwriting, using his influences from folk and world music traditions to bring something unique to his modern day troubadour’s tales.
His recent album, “Magnificent Creatures” ‐ 2015, was recorded by Birmingham producer Gavin Monaghan (Robert Plant, Ryan Adams, Nizlopi, Paolo Nutini, etc.) & has been described as “A superb piece of work” (FATEA Magazine).
22:30 – 23:30, Saturday 2nd July, Alligande Stage
Sark Folk Festival is delighted to welcome back crowd favourites Hat Fitz and Cara Robinson for their third performance at the festival.
Hat Fitz is a “veteran” wild man of the blues scene in Australia. He has a record 18 straight appearances at Byron’s East Coast Blues and Roots Festival, a record that is not likely to ever be broken, and one which bears testimony to his amazing live performances and popularity with festival goers.
Cara draws on her soul background (she’s toured Europe and the United States with singers such as Jamiroquai and the hugely popular Corrine Bailey‐Rae), and although blessed with a sensational voice she was not content to be labelled as ‘just a singer’. She has taken to drumming duties as well as washboards, flute and tin whistle, sometimes all at once.
A hidden world can be found in the bellows, cries and song of our accordion.
Choose your tale, and let your eyes and ears be enthralled by forgotten stories and songs as old as the hills. With live music and beautifully-wrought puppetry, this is theatre for those who like stories, and storytelling for those who like theatre.
In The Bellows is a performance for small numbers at a time. Come as a family, with friends, with a lover or as a brave individual- there is a story for you, waiting to be sung.
Showing on the Saturday 2nd July and Sunday 3rd July.
21:15 – 22:15, Saturday 2nd July, Vermerette Stage.
French band Les Dièses (‘The Sharps’) have been performing together since 1999. We’re delighted to welcome them back once again to the Sark Folk Festival.
Often to be found on the fringes of the mainstream music scene, Les Dièses are a nomadic band, travelling throughout Europe, the USA, Quebec and the Indian Ocean and have performed extensively throughout their native France.
Influenced by a rich variety of musical styles, Les Dièses have a special attachment to the Celtic world and to traditional French music. They write and compose on the road, taking inspiration from places and people they encounter. Their performances have to be seen to be believed; joyful, energetic, chaotic and unpredictable – you’ll never forget them!
21:15 – 22:15, Friday 1st July, Vermerette Stage.
Mad Dog Mcrea blend a unique mixture of folk rock, pop, gypsy jazz, bluegrass and ‘shake your ass’ music ‐ from self‐penned songs of adventure, drinking, love and life, to traditional songs of gypsies, fairies, legless pirates and black flies.
Thanks to three storming gigs at Glastonbury 2013, the release of their official video ‘Happy Bus’, regular radio play by esteemed folk such as Mike Harding, and in no small part the utter dedication of their huge fan base – momentum is definitely gathering pace.
In constant demand and having played just about every festival and two‐bit, jibe‐arsed dive in Christendom, Mad Dog Mcrea never fail to capture their audience with their infectious songs.
12:00 – 12:45, Sunday 3rd July, Vermerette Stage.
BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winner, 23 year old Scottish singer Mischa Macpherson is a new folk artist who looks set to achieve great things.
Growing up immersed in the distinctive culture, music, language and landscape of the Western Isles, she discovered an enjoyment in creating music at a very early age, and it is these influences that the young singer now presents with clarity and tenderness, and to multi award‐winning acclaim.
A singer, Gaelic native and clarsach player from Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides, Mischa is joined by guitarist Innes Watson and piper Scott Wood. At 23 years old, she has performed to audiences across the globe, having toured in Australia, Canada, Germany and Romania, as well as leading UK folk festivals.
Alongside the national folk award, Mischa is also a holder of a prestigious Danny Kyle Award from Glasgow’s Celtic Connections and was awarded the title of ‘Gaelic Singer of the Year’ from the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Award 2014.
22:30 – 23:30, Friday 1st July, Alligande Stage
Monster Ceilidh Band are on a crusade to bring a powerfully modern and un‐patronising approach to ceilidh fusion music. Their experimentation with electronic beats has its roots in the traditional but has produced something innovative, contemporary and dynamic. They combine explosive and fiery folk with, funky riffs, glitchy Drum ‘n’ Bass beats and live drums. Monster Ceilidh Band’s music embraces the old dance traditions, while translating them into blood‐quickening crescendos for a twenty‐first century nightclub audience.
Since their debut studio album, Drum ‘n’ Bass producer ‘The Touch’ has joined the band on a permanent basis adding live drums to the show. This expands on the electronic beats and brings the music alive. This new line‐up has led to a slew of hugely successful festival appearances. Highlights included Bestival, Beat Herder, Knockengorroch, Glade and Kendal Calling along with traditional folk festivals such as Cambridge, Sidmouth, Shrewsbury and National Forest.
11:45 – 12:30, Sunday 3rd July, Tintageu Stage
Sark Folk Festival are delighted to welcome Nick Wyke and Becki Driscoll back to Sark for their third performance with us.
Nick and Becki are highly respected fiddle‐players and composers firmly rooted in North Devon. Their unique sound is a joyful collision of English traditional music and contemporary bowed strings.
Their music blends melodic, emotive violin and viola with driving fiddle chords and powerful vocals and will take you on a journey from the dark side of English ballad to toe‐tapping tunes and songs.
18:45 – 19:45, Saturday 2nd July, Vermerette Stage.
With a personal invite from Billy Bragg to play Glastonbury, sessions on BBC 6 Music and Radio 2, a five star live review and feature in The Guardian, culminating in one of MOJO’s Folk Albums of the Year award for groundbreaking album T he Hum, O’Hooley & Tidow are regarded as lionhearted trailblazers of contemporary music and songwriting.
Having the originality and skill to invite comparison with the most celebrated harmony duos, from early Simon and Garfunkel to the iconic Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Belinda and Heidi’s powerful, deeply moving, and at times spine‐tingling performances are infused with an honesty and empathy that will disarm even the hardest of heart. We’re delighted to have them back for what will be their third performance at the Sark Folk Festival.
12:45 – 13:30, Sunday 3rd June, Alligande Stage.
Shetland native Ross Couper and Devon‐born Tom Oakes are a fiddle and guitar duo deeply rooted in the traditions of Scotland and Ireland with a vital modernity that chronicles their many musical journeys so far.
Ross’ explosive fiddle playing lies at the heart of the mighty Celtic fusion band The Peatbog Faeries. Tom Oakes is a multi‐award winning guitarist and flautist composer who was a founder member of the genre defying Auvo Quartet and now heads up his own ‘Tom Oakes Experiment’ highlighting Oakes as a flautist and composer.
Ross and Tom have over the last five years have played three sell out performances at Celtic Connections, toured Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the UK and have played in front of more than 5,000 people while collaborating with Danish popstar Lukas Graham at Tonder festival. They have appeared as the band on the BBC’s ‘Shetland’ drama twice, on multiple TV broadcasts for BBC Alba and provided music for the latest advert by clothing giant Anthropologie.
Expect their trademark, unrivalled energy and virtuosity interspersed with moments of spine tingling beauty and a warmth and humour that guarantees a smile on the face.
20:00 – 21:00, Saturday 2nd July, Alligande Stage.
World renowned accordionist Sharon Shannon (who will be appearing at Sark Folk Festival 2016 with Alan Connor) is Ireland’s biggest selling traditional music solo artiste, with domestic and international units of her CDs amounting to one million sales.
Renowned for her collaborations, not just in Irish traditional music, but through Hip‐Hop, Cajun, Country, Classical and Rap, Sharon has recorded and toured with a who’s who of the Irish and Global Music Industry including Bono, Adam Clayton, Sinead O’Connor, Jackson Browne, John Prine, Steve Earle, The RTE Concert Orchestra, The Chieftains, The Waterboys, Willie Nelson, Nigel Kennedy, Alison Krauss and Shane MacGowan.
Sharon Shannon has had multi‐platinum album sales and several number one albums, singles and DVDs in Ireland. Her album ‘Galway Girl’ went four‐times platinum, with the title track winning her the Meteor award two years running for most downloaded song. She was also the youngest ever recipient of the Meteor Lifetime Achievement Award. Her music has been featured in several Hollywood movies (including PS I Love You) and the award‐winning Bulmers TV commercial campaign.
14:15 – 15:00, Saturday 2nd July, Island Hall.
18:30 – 19:15, Saturday 2nd July, Les Burons Stage.
American singer songwriter Steve Dan Mills was the co‐founder of Speed Limit 35, one of the first folk rock bands in the American South. Since the mid‐70s, he has performed as a solo artist at the Kerrville Folk Festival, Cornwall Folk Festival, Belfast Nashville Songwriter’s Festival and more.
His song “Dream On Texas Ladies” went to #18 on the Billboard Charts for country music artist Rex Allen Jr and sold over 4 million copies for John Michael Montgomery. His songs have been recorded by major country music artists such as Neal Coty, Mel MacDaniel and Benita Hill. Most recently, virtuoso guitarist Tommy Emmanuel covered his song “Inside Out Lookin’ In”.
Steve has recently moved to London and begun performing throughout the UK. He couples powerful vocals with acoustic guitar and harmonica, his masterful storytelling, based on rich and challenging life experiences, laying the groundwork for each song.
20:30 – 21:15, Friday 1st July, Les Burons Stage.
After daughter Martha’s stunning performance at SFF15, we’re delighted to welcome Steve Tilston to the fold. Steve is one of the UK’s most celebrated songsmiths, widely recognised within the world of folk and contemporary music; the words, arrangements and subtle, quite superb guitar playing could be no one else.
Born in Liverpool and raised in the Midlands, Steve made his recording debut in 1971 with the classic A n Acoustic Confusion and has been turning out quality albums ever since. He joined an illustrious band of guitarists including Martin Simpson, Michael Messer and Wizz Jones, when he was invited to contribute to the Guitar Maestro series of DVDs.
His 2011 release T he Reckoning garnered 4‐star reviews in the Guardian, the Observer and the Scotsman, a guest appearance on Later with Jools Holland and the BBC Four Songwriters’ Circle series, plus a Folk Award win for: “Best Original Song”. In 2013, Steve was also commissioned to write for the Olympics Radio Ballads series and the Harbour of Songs project.
A celebrated artist in Britain and abroad, winning accolades in Europe, Australia and the USA, others have also recorded his songs. ‘Here’s to Tom Paine’ is the adopted theme song for the Tom Paine Society of America and, it’s rumoured, has featured in Bruce Springsteen’s live set.
14:15 – 15:15, Saturday 2nd July, Les Burons Stage.
Comprising the singing talents of Alex Cumming, Kate Locksley, Rosie Calvert and Will Finn, this a capella foursome have been creating a storm across the UK festival circuit in the last couple of years with critically acclaimed performances at Shepley Spring Festival, Beverley Folk Festival, Warwick Folk Festival and more.
The Teacups met in 2010 whilst studying on the BMus Folk & Traditional Music Degree at Newcastle University. Since then they have gone on to perform around the UK and Europe, performing at some of the top festivals and venues.