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Hebden Bridge Folk Roots Festival review

Friday, 20 May 2016

Thanks to Fiona Pattison for this piece

What a weekend here in the centre of Hebden Bridge, crowds came in from Huddersfield, Bolton, York and as far as Australia to catch some of our amazing talent we have here in the Valley. For some performers it was their first opportunity to try out new material.  

Steve Tilston

Steve Tilson - Photo: Craig Shaw

Sarah Courtney performed the Singalong at the Hebden Fringe in the - White Lion and she loved it so much, she thinking of continuing it for the locals. Sarah had this to say: "I have loved performing at the Festival there were great audiences. I also managed to see the amazing Kathryn Williams and Michelle Stodart on Friday.  It was spellbinding set. Beautiful, soulful and inspiring."

Michele Stodart

Michele Stodart (The Magic Numbers) - Photo: Craig Shaw

"The storytelling this year ranged from raucous laugh a minute comedy to epic myth, music hall and thought provoking fairytale. We set out to offer something for everyone in the programme and had it fed back to us repeatedly over the weekend that we'd more than achieved this. Job done!' said Ursula Holden Gill on behalf of The Shaggy Dog Storytellers.

Winston Powles, our well known poet, performed at the spoken word event with friends and will be continuing to put on nights in Hebden Bridge, so please make sure you attend.

This festival could not have happened if it wasn't for our creative partners, sponsors and volunteers. Dave Boardman says, "Thanks to Calrec who sponsored the PA at Birchcliffe and lent us their excellent sound engineer Jim Green - all the performers complimented him on his excellent sound." 

Jess Morgan

Jess Morgan - Photo: Craig Shaw

Hebden Folk Roots would like to thank, The Real Cider Company for our festival tipple, Calderdale Council, The Birchcliffe Centre, Pennine Heritage, Pennine Provisions, Hebden Royd Town Council, Rotary International for they support.  Doddnaze Artists and The Factoryline for booking some outstanding performers; we had Grammer award winner, Amy Wadge, Mecury Nominated Prize Winners, Kathryn Williams and Michele Stodart, and our amazing home grown talent that made Brian Toberman's job easy.

"There is just so much talent here, you are spolit for choice. Everyone loved the fringe because there was a variety of music being performed." 

Peace Artistes

Peace Artistes - Photo: Craig Shaw

The Street performances nearly broke social media, we had Sheffield City Giants, Moaning Lisa, The Peace Artistes, Sowerby Bridge Morris , Oakenhoof cloggers of Littleborough, The Thieving Magpies from Marsden, Hebden Bridge Hill Millies, Royal Preston Ladies Morris, 400 Roses Ladies Morris, Stone the crows border morris all in the centre. There really was something for everyone, the craft fair was a great success at the Town Hall and local Jeweller, Rachel Lucie said, "This has been my first craft fair in my home town and I am happy to say I have done really well."  

Moaning Lisa

Moaning Lisa - Photo: Craig Shaw

On Sunday, we had a Bluegrass Day up at the Birchcliffe centre

Helen Hutchinson, the  Bluegrass organiser for the Hebden Folk Roots Festival said, "Thank you to all my amazing friends and family for making Hebden Bridge Bluegrass Day a great success . The Ryman Auditorium (Birchcliffe) worked so well thanks to Calrec. Great bands, great performances and great fun. Big hugs to everyone involved" 

Then we finished off on Sunday evening with the 'Night of the Troubadours' at Machpelah with the outstanding talent of Chris Helme, who now wants to move here. Local singer, Terry Logan performed on BBC Leeds and premiered her solo music at the Hebden Folk Roots Festival which was she said "simply amazing to be given the opportunity to perform on the same bill as artists like Chris Helme.  Duende Dj finished off the evening with the some cosmic dreamy folk and Socs Blakley carried on reciting poetry to the early hours and got himself another gig. Great Success all round. 

The local choirs sang their hearts out and the audience loved it, plus i hear they all ended up at the Fox and Goose for a late night singalong. Good Spirits all round.

The Hebden Folk Roots will be releasing an album consisting of a compilation of songs donated by artists from 2015/2016 Folk Roots Festival, released on May 31st.