After a sell-out in 2016, Hartlepool Folk Festival is back for its third year between 13 – 15th October – and it looks like being bigger and better than ever!
Legends including Martin Carthy, Jon Boden and John Kirkpatrick headline a bill that oozes pure class – take the likes of Leveret, a collaboration between three of the finest folk instrumentalists in the country: Andy Cutting, Sam Sweeney and Rob Harbron. Andy has played with Sting and The Who, while Sam was part of folk juggernaut Bellowhead.
Lady Maisery is another sophisticated offering, who deliver the purest and most intricate of harmonies. Multiple BBC Folk Award-winner, Jackie Oates introduces her new duo with Megan Henwood, and The Voice finalist Sally Barker delivers the smoky, emotional vocals that brought Tom Jones to tears.
Young protest singer, Grace Petrie will stir things up with her unique take on life, love and politics, delivered with bags of warmth and wit. The line-up also features BBC Folk Awards Best Band of 2017, the Furrow Collective, which includes Folk Musician of the Year Rachel Newton. The music of the North East will be well represented by concertina maestro Alistair Anderson and Festival Patrons the Wilsons, Johnny Handle and Bert Draycott.
If Americana is your thing, the festival has scored a couple of real coups. Jolie Holland & Samantha Parton, co-founders of the legendary Be Good Tanyas, have reunited to deliver their mesmerising brand of outsider folk, replete with rootsy harmonies and superb songwriting. The Tanyas’ luminous debut album, ‘Blue Horse’, was named one of 2002’s top 50 releases by Q Magazine.
Tim Eriksen is acclaimed for transforming American tradition with his startling interpretations of traditional songs and tunes.The only musician to have shared the stage with both Kurt Cobain and Doc Watson, he’s featured on everything from A Prairie Home Companion to the Academy Awards. He’ll perform his only UK set with Eliza Carthy this year, while also joining his erstwhile Cordelia’s Dad bandmates, Cath & Phil Tyler, for an earthy, raw slice of Appalachia.
And that’s just a taster of all the fantastic artists in store! The festival also features innovative original events, like Rudyard Kipling and Peter Bellamy’s The Barrack-Room Ballads. An imaginative new performance celebrating the 40th anniversary of this seminal folk album features Martin and Eliza Carthy, Jon Boden, Damien Barber and the Wilsons. Broadcaster Hardeep Singh Kohli provides narration drawn from a range of Kipling’s writing. Instrumental passages will conjure the atmosphere of the times, from rousing martial brass to the evocative strings and percussion of Indian classical music. It will be a truly unmissable performance.
Other unique offerings include the very silly folk panel game Never Mind the Bandoggs, hosted by Jim Moray, and the No-folk Cabaret, which this year will take place in a pop-up Tiki lounge on board HMS Trincomalee!
The festival takes place at the National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool, where you can wander the 18th century Historic Quay and discover concerts, sessions, talks, workshops and screenings – performances are tucked into every nook and cranny!
The star venue is HMS Trincomalee: concerts in the Captain’s Cabin and cosy gigs on the Mess Deck let you experience this beautiful ship in a completely unique way. Function rooms in the main building provide the setting for mid-scale concerts, as well as talks and screenings earlier in the day.
Mainstage concerts take place a short walk away at the lovely Victorian Town Hall Theatre.
For tickets and information, visit www.hartlepoolfolkfest.co.uk or ring 01429 299330. There’s also a discount on weekend tickets for Hartlepool residents.