Preview: Hebden Bridge Roots Festival

The 309's will be appearing at Hebden Bridge Roots Festival. Picture: Craig Shaw
The 309's will be appearing at Hebden Bridge Roots Festival. Picture: Craig Shaw
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Hebden Bridge Roots Festival returns this weekend.

The event, which is run by a group of musicians, enthusiasts and folk-loving people, has been created organically, and is connected to the heart of the community. It is exciting to see it grow and evolve bringing in a wonderful mix of artists, dancers, storytellers and musicians from all over the world.

Steve Tilston will be appearing at Hebden Bridge Roots Festival.

Steve Tilston will be appearing at Hebden Bridge Roots Festival.

Musical director Dave Boardman says: “We are looking forward to another great Folk Roots weekend here in Hebden Bridge starting on May 11-13, kicking off with a Yorkshire night at Hope Baptist Chapel featuring Jon Palmer’s Acoustic Band and Roger Davies supported by our own, Reggie and the Krayfish.

“The weekend also brings top singer songwriters like Reg Meuross, Steve Tilston and Ewan McLennan to the Hebden Bridge stage. The Americana and Bluegrass event has become a regular for the Folk Roots and is happening at the Hebden Bridge Acts such as Henry Priestman, Blanty, The Harmony Jar, JJ Hayden, Ghost School, Will Kaufman, Logan and Manley will all be singing at Hope Baptist Chapel.

Happening at Hebden Bridge Trades Club on Saturday there is Americana and Bluegrass bands such as, Cousin Pearl, Farrago, The Groovin Brothers, Catfish Skillet and joint headlining this event is G-Runs n’ Roses who are an energetic band from the Czech Republic. The G-Runs n’ Roses have been voted No 1 European Bluegrass Band in 2010 and No 1 Audience Popularity award in 2012, so expect great things.

Helen Hutchinson, event organiser for the Americana and Bluegrass Stage, says: “They will take your breathe away with their hot picking, they are delighted and excited about playing at the Folk Roots here in Hebden Bridge.”

Folk dancing at Hebden Bridge Roots Festival. Picture: Craig Shaw

Folk dancing at Hebden Bridge Roots Festival. Picture: Craig Shaw

West Yorkshire, five-piece the 309’s will certainly live up to their reputation at getting everyone up on their feet and dancing till the early hours. Phoenix Ceilidh Band is playing at the Mytholmroyd Community Centre on the Friday evening, all families are welcome. Then it is on to the Mytholmroyd Shoulder of Mutton for an Americana and Bluegrass session.

Storytelling has always played a major role in the festival and this year, Shonaleigh who was brought up by Drut’syla tradition by her Bubbe (Grandmother) is sharing her tale called ‘The Sapphire Staff’ ‘an ancient warlord is looking for three objects that will give him possession of all the kingdoms in the world. The Sapphire Staff given to Adam at the beginning of the world can make waters part....only two people can stop him. Go to Shonaleigh event to find out what happens next... on Friday May 11 at The Stubbings Wharf, doors open at 7pm.

Award-winning storyteller, Ursula Holden Gill has new stories on her ‘Beyond the Veil of Calderdale’ Ghost walk around Hebden Bridge. Ursula has developed this deliciously dark, ‘Original Hebden Bridge Ghost Walk’ so that all who accompany her can squirm at the horrible histories and blood thirsty tales she has recently discovered. Join her on Saturday May 12 near the wavy steps opposite The White Swan (see website for details) Suitable for families, prams, wheelchairs and dog lovers alike, this promises to be a magical evening of mystery and mayhem.

‘Choirs across the valley’ are coming together to put on one big concert at St James Church on the Friday evening, we have Calder Valley Voices, Three Valleys Gospel Choir, Remingtons, Corista, Recovery Choir and The 4 Hoarsemen. This is something to be seen and listened too, as it is not often you get to hear a choir of valley angels under one roof.

Local talent appearing at the festival includes Jack Parker, Thomas Graham, Frank Leigh, Creedy, Rock Salt, Jacky’s Fantastic, Magdalen Bath, Soma, Henry Parker, Doggerland and The Amazing Slipper Men.

With street performances and entertainment from The Fire Man Dave, The Landlubbers, Mike Hancock, Moonshine Creek, traditional and contemporary dancing from Lancashire and Yorkshire including Leap to your Feet, Oakenhoof Cloggers Hill Millies and The 400 Roses and many more, this is going to be a wonderful weekend of folk, fun and friendship.

‘World on your Doorstep’ finishes off the festival with Town Musicians of Bremen, Trixxi Corish, Leeds-based Mambo Jambo and Don’t Feed the Peacocks. On the Sunday evening at Hebden Bridge Trades Club supporting the Klezmer night is Manouche North, they are a newly formed band and legends in their own right on the Klezmer and Gyspy Jazz scene creating their own versions of the masterpieces of Django Reinhardt, Brandwein and Dave Tarras. Headlining is the well known Klezmer, balkan, beats, gypsy, jazz bohemians Tantz.

The official festival camping is at Old Chamber Farm and Campervans at Mytholmroyd Community Centre. Links to other accommodation can be found on the website, along with day and weekend tickets: www.hebdenfolkroots.org

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