A Ludwig van Beethoven rollercoaster of drama and daring, triumph and trauma, from the shadows of his father to the guiding love of his mother, from losing his hearing to the Ode to Joy. Meet Mozart, the pink wigs of Vienna and a dancing puppet all wrapped up in Wild Words’ trademark magical invention.
Playshop 2pm – Learn a song to sing in the show and ‘Meet the Instruments’ from strings to brass to accordion (40 minutes) Performance 3pm – Show Time (55 minutes)
After the show come on stage to meet, ask questions and play some instruments, including hosepipe trumpets!
“An intoxicating mix of sound and story to leave a magical world lingering in the minds of their young audience for a very long time.”
Catherine Freda, Head of Education at St George’s Bristol
“Loved the performance, the acting and music were splendid. The message about his deafness was beautifully done.”
“Thank you for such a rich, touching, sad-joyful occasion. Musical accomplishment and participation – you have all the bases covered. A dramatic delight.”
Michael Loader – storyteller, storywriter and flugel horn
Alison Francis Black – violin and voice
Martin Solomon – violin, harp, accordion and piano
Caitlin Alais Callahan – piano, flute and bass
Dedicated to my special friend Henry, ‘the Boy with Spirit’ and my Mum who opened my ears to Beethoven.
The Fantasy Orchestra is a community project led by Jesse D Vernon, based in Bristol and also in Paris. The Orchestra (motto: ‘more is more’) brings together 40+ musicians, professional and amateur, to create a kaleidoscopic symphonic brigade.
Their eclectic repertoire covers film soundtracks (Morricone, Barry, RD Burman), rock and pop favourites (Hendrix, Beatles, Bowie), and some more obscure treasures. Think psychedelic loveliness, rousing choral noise, and some choice costumes.
Sierra Hull has been recognized from age 11 as a virtuoso mandolin-player, astonishing audiences and fellow-musicians alike. Now a seasoned touring musician nearing her mid-20s, Hull has delivered her most inspired, accomplished, and mature recorded work to date; no small feat. Weighted Mind is a landmark achievement, not just in Sierra Hull’s career, but in the world of folk-pop, bluegrass, and acoustic music overall. With instrumentation comprised largely of mandolin, bass, and vocals, this is genre-transcending music at its best, with production by Béla Fleck and special harmony vocal guests Alison Krauss, Abigail Washburn, and Rhiannon Giddens adding to the luster. Hull speaks eloquently, in her challenging and sensitive originals, her heartfelt vocals, and once again breaks new ground on the mandolin. Béla Fleck special guests on banjo on two tracks and duo partner, Ethan Jodziewicz, not only anchors the record on bass, but introduces us to a major new instrumental voice.
“I think she’s endless. I don’t see any boundaries. Talent like hers is so rare, and I don’t think it stops. It’s round.”
“She plays the mandolin with a degree of refined elegance and freedom that few have achieved.”
Five times BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominee Jim Causley is a singer/musician who is passionate about traditional song and particularly that of his native Westcountry. He became involved with traditional music from a young age via his family, the local folk scene and an historical tradition of wassailing in his home village of Whimple, East Devon. After studying Jazz & Popular Music at Exeter College he went on to study Traditional Music at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. During this time he became involved in the wider folk scene and gained interest as a solo performer in folk clubs and festivals throughout the country.
His recording debut came in 2005 as part of Martyn Wyndham-Read’s ‘Song Links II’ project (Fellside) which linked English Traditional songs with their American variants. That same year he released his first solo album; ‘Fruits of the Earth’ (WildGoose) and was nominated for Best Newcomer at the 2006 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Causley received further acclaim for his work as part of a cappella trio; The Devil’s Interval whose album ‘Blood & Honey’ (WildGoose) also received another BBC Folk Award nomination in 2007. As one third of The Devil’s Interval he toured with Waterson:Carthy for seven consecutive years as part of their annual Frost & Fire Christmas show and joined them in the studio for on their last album ‘Holy Heathens and the Old Green Man’ (Topic).
He then went on to collaborate with the rebellious Essex ceilidh band ‘Mawkin’ to form Mawkin:Causley whose albums received excellent reviews and their highly energetic live shows brought them yet more plaudits. Since then Causley has recorded with several respected artists including Show of Hands, John McCusker and David Rotheray of Beautiful South fame. In recent years, projects have included touring with Steve Knightley and Kate Rusby. Causley’s latest solo project was creating an album of poems written by his relative, the late Charles Causley, which Jim had set to music and recorded in Causley senior’s cottage to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the death of this celebrated Cornish poet.
Jim has become reknowned for natural gift for interpreting traditional song, his deep, rich voice which belies his years and his relaxed and playful stage presence.
Kentucky-based singer-songwriter Joan Shelley followed her debut album ‘Electric Ursa’ (2014) with ‘Over and Even’ (2015), which was named album of the year at NPR Music and in the Los Angeles Times. Rolling Stone gave it 4 stars and called it “a masterfully turned set of folk reflections.” Shelley made the record with guitarist Nathan Salsburg, recording the bulk of the tracks over just two days. She has since spent timing touring the US and Europe, and will be releasing an album in 2017.
Joan Shelley’s new album ‘Over And Even’ was written in the back of an abandoned beauty parlour on the island of Thessaloniki, a collection of smart, beautiful songs full of poetry, history, mystery and nature. She lands on a note like a laser beam on a diamond. People say her voice reminds them of Sandy Denny. It’s more than the vocal range; it’s a quiet power that draws you in.
Goldilock, Stock & Three Smoking Bears is going to Edinburgh Fringe 2017 but we need your help to get there!
Join Goldilock, Harry, Barry and Vinnie plus all your favourite characters from The Wardrobe Theatre’s hit alternative comedy show for an unmissable night of entertainment and laughter, soundtracked by our house band.
Don’t miss this stellar line-up of Bristol acts (announcements to be made soon).
Nick Cope is a professional singer and songwriter and has over 20 years of experience in music, including international success as lead singer and songwriter with The Candyskins in the 1990s. He now writes and records music for children and has established a fanatical army of little people and their parents, from all over the world.
His five CD’s of original songs for children have become a must have for thousands of young families. Nick performs all over the UK at all the major art and music festivals including Edinburgh Fringe and Book Festival, Hay and Cheltenham literary festival and hundreds of theatre and arts centres.
“Funny, profound, educational, our children have talked about everything from gravity to grieving thanks to Nick Cope’s songs. Our family’s favourite singer/songwriter.”
“A brilliant show.”
★★★★★ Edinburgh Reporter
“Even the shyest of kids will warm to his unpretentious style.”
★★★★ Fest Magazine
Nuala Honan, a soulful artist, writer of fiercely fragile songs, player of deftly-wrought guitar and passionate singer of extraordinary charm and style. She has that uncanny ability to write new songs that sound like they have been written before, somehow conjuring the sense that the lyrics have been worn smooth by the passage of time. Bringing a fresh and captivating intimacy with the warming breath of a bubbling country heart and some traditional fireside honesty. The charming Nuala herself sure knows how to command an audience – all frothy hair, winsome smile, quick with a joke and a voice that would smack you round the ear when you least expected it.
There are at least 4 bands you might have seen Nuala Honan singing with around town, and plenty of Bristol events employ her skills, she even has a radio show on BCfm! But since the final chapter of Live in the Lion’s Den, an undiluted, uninterrupted, pure in it’s original form ‘Nuala Honan’ show has been a rare thing, soon to be rarer still in 2017, for this dazzling performer is taking a sabbatical to reconnect with her song-craft.
Nuala is putting together a special show with band members Kit Hawes, Ear Trumpet’s own John Blakely and their Sheelanagig counter-part Jon Short, for a night of her own beautiful songs.
InMiriam “Ellie Rose Rusbridge is a rare and totally individual talent… Her music straddles folk, pop and classical and cannot be easily pigeonholed into any genre. In a favourite song of mine, ‘Hejira Again’, she responds to Joni Mitchell’s 1976 album and reveals a humility and awareness of the rich heritage of female singer-songwriters into which she has stepped.”
Well-known for his work with Cahalen Morrison, Tim O’Brien, Jayme Stone and more, the Seattle-based singer and multi-instrumentalist oozes understated talent. We recently witnessed both Martin Simpson and Richard Hawley utterly floored by his skill. Truly a sublime musician!
Eli’s recent debut solo album, The Both, sees him taking the lead, on electric and acoustic guitars, banjo, and pedal steel, whilst remaining a thoughtful collaborator – here with some of his close friends and personal heroes, like jazz great Bill Frisell, new Americana discovery Dori Freeman, and Anna & Elizabeth.
The album focuses on the story of his two grandfathers; one a decorated WWII prisoner of war, the other a Brethren preacher and peace advocate. They couldn’t have differed more, but together they shared a family. In this spirit, the theme of the album is duality: the first half showcases carefully built arrangements of six American folk songs, the second revisits these as instrumental passages, revealing new sides to the other.
What attracts people to English folk music is never just one thing. There is the tradition – a taking and passing on of the people’s music. And there’s an otherness – the way a singer uniquely inhabits a song while echoes of its past remain. These are haunted tunes. That delicate balance between then and now, respect and reinvention, tradition and otherness has made Jackie Oates a name synonymous with the thrillingly rude health of English folk music in the 21st century.
A folk festival child, Jackie had the luxury of growing up surrounded by the music she plays. That unfair advantage meant she started her career as a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards. She went on to win the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Horizon prize in 2009, and take home a statue for Best Traditional Track on the same night.
Jackie began recording as a member of Rachel Unthank & The Winterset (now known as The Unthanks). Her plaintive viola and voice helped define the dark Northumbrian sound that won them Mojo Magazine’s Folk Album Of The Year in 2005. As a solo artist Jackie Oates has surprised and beguiled critics and fans with each album; never repeating an idea or sticking to the safety of a formula. Yet at all times being unmistakably her.
“Over the course of her solo albums and side projects Jackie Oates has been in possession of one of the most gorgeous and lyrical singing voices. There is a faraway quality to it, as well as a melancholy and a note of surrender in the sweetness and warmth.”
“Velvet voiced treasure of the British folk music scene.”
Hands Of The Heron
Hands of the Heron is a fledgling folk collective who emerged from Bristol’s twisting streets during the strange autumn of 2016. Drawing influence from diverse musical sources such as Fleet Foxes, Joni Mitchell, This Is The Kit and Gustav Holst, their songcraft is inquisitive and intuitive, capturing moments of high emotion and distilling them into vivid, memorable melodies.
Sometimes there’s a couple of musicians, sometimes there’s six or seven. Together, they weave tales of love, loss and regeneration featuring mandolin and harmony vocals amid a changing cast of (mostly) string instruments.
Bethany Roberts is responsible for most of the songwriting, but she likes it best when other people join in. They are due to record their debut album in spring 2017.