The Life of Riley Music Club

Keeping Live Music Alive; showcasing great artists

Previous Gigs

16-10-12 Megan Henwood

Megan-Henwood-2Megan grew up in Henley-on-Thames. Her first public performance was at the age of 9 at the Henley Youth Festival. As a teenager Megan performed both as a solo artist and with her band on the local live circuit. At the age of 18, she busked around Venice, Thailand, India and Nepal – returning to the latter twice to record and perform with some of the country’s musicians. She has since supported the London-based Child Action Nepal charity by donating profit from record sales.

Megan regularly contributes to music therapy sessions and was recently awarded a Sue Ryder Care “Woman of Achievement” award as Performer of the Year. Sue Ryder have also asked her to be an Ambassador for the charity.

In 2009, Henwood – along with her saxophonist brother Joe – won the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award. She’s performed at events such as the Cambridge Folk Festival, and Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, and performed at Glastonbury Festival.

Her first album, Making Waves, was released in July 2011 ahead of various festival appearances including Larmer Tree, Cambridge Folk Festival and Secret Garden Party.The album features musicians such as Peter Knight, Andy Crowdy, Joe Brown, Sam Brown, Mollie Marriott, Barriemore Barlow and Nick Fyffe.

It attracted the attention and praise of many; Megan performed live on Radio 2 for Janice Long, Bob Harris and Terry Wogan as well as for Paul Mansell on Marlow FM 97.5 who made ‘Making Waves’ his album of the week.

Supporting Megan was local singer/songwriter Richard Lee from Maidenhead. If you were at this year’s Marlow Town Regatta & Festival you will have been one of the many people there applauding enthusiastically following a great set that Richard delivered. This was his second appearance at the Town’s biggest event of the year.

It was a truly memorable night. In addition to tracks from ‘Making Waves’, Megan played a few brand new numbers which will be on her new album due for release later this summer.

26-10-12 Marlow Oxjam

This was an eclectic mix of music featuring bands and singer-songwriters across various genres of music including folk, rock, soul and reggae. The venue was the main hall of Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School which is situated in the heart of Marlow, Bucks. 

the-drop-1The Drop are a 9-piece roots-rock-reggae outfit based in and around London. They are part of the small but significant front-line of British new-wave reggae bands, pushing with a sincere awareness for the British reggae revival. They effortlessly walk the syncopated path laid by generations before. The arrangements are meticulous, leaving plenty of air for the booming dub bass to vibrate, never suffocating the thoughtful lyrics of vocalist Dandelion.

The band has quickly built a reputation for infectious melodies and an authentic heavy roots sound laced with a refreshingly eclectic originality. Dandelion, the most recent addition to the band, is already an established reggae artist in his own right.  His solo projects have seen him sing on several successful Dubstep releases, most notably CCTV on the Hyperdub label which was supported by the likes of Mary Anne Hobbs and Giles Peterson on Radio 1. The band have already stormed the UK festival circuit with over 20 festival appearances over the last 2 years including sharing the stage with acts such as Toots and the Maytals, Dreadzone, Babyhead, Rodney P, DJ Derek and Blackslate. Their material and enthusiasm has taken them this far in such a short time. Green Man, Electric Picnic, Secret Garden Party, Boomtown Fair and Beach Break Live to name but a few.

hot-fiction-1Hot Fiction are a hotly tipped English Soul/Rock band. They’ve been aired on Absolute Radio, courted by Christian Dior and featured by festivals up-and-down the country. The band released their second album ‘Apply Within’ in early 2013. The two members, Andy Yeoh (Drums & Vocals) and Simon Miller (Guitar & Vocals) met in school where their shared musical understanding began to take root. By the time the pair finished university in 2008, both were experienced musicians with plenty of song-writing and performance experience. It was only natural that Hot Fiction, formed in 2008, would follow. The band continued to gig regularly in venues all over the country, finding their centre of gravity in London, where the pair gained a cult following.

megan-in-grassMegan Henwood won the BBC RADIO 2 Young Folk Award in 2009 with her brother Joe, at the age of 20. Megans debut single “What Elliott Said” won a number of new fans through its playlist at BBC Radio 2 and sessions at various stations including the Janice Long show on Radio 2 and Paul Mansell’s shows on Marlow FM 97.5. Megan released her debut album, “Making Waves” the end of 2011 which features a number of celebrated guests such as Peter Knight (Steeleye Span) on fiddle, Barriemore Barlow (Jethro Tull) on drums plus Joe Brown, Sam Brown and Mollie Marriott, among others. Megan is clearly rooted in the folk tradition but is by no means bound by it. Her songs have a timeless and universal radio-friendly appeal. Here is a truly talented British singer-songwriter with a long and fruitful career ahead of her.

paul-j-rileyPaul J Riley’s ‘Alba Place’ is a well crafted album, full of heartfelt relationship songs that strive for meaning and understanding on the back of lingering melodies and detailed musical minutiae that makes each track a consummate delight.

“The vocals are smooth, the lyrics well written, it’s all emotive stuff – pleasant listening.” Joe Geesin – Get Ready To Rock

“Riley creates a cosy, dreamy landscape that’ll have you swaying”. – Guitar & Bass Mag

“A beguiling collection of soft rock with touches of Al Stewart & Neil Young. Full of songs that seduce through straight forward tight arrangements & muscianship.” – Fireworks Mag

“Paul Riley – lovely new track from him.” – BBC Radio 2

“Chosen as my album of the week and certainly a ‘stand out’ album of the year.” – Paul Mansell, Marlow FM 97.5


06-11-12 The Jar Family, The Swaps + Chuck & Pap Shirock

TheJarFamilyPromo4Joining forces just over two years ago to form The Jar Family, singer-songwriters Max Bianco, Dali, Al Devon, Richie Docherty, Chris Hooks and former Squeeze bassist Keith Wilkinson quickly gained a loyal fan-base in the North East following a series of sell-out live shows and the release their now highly collectable 5 track ‘Livingston Studio EP’ in July 2010. Filled with confidence, the band added Kerry ‘jubjub’ Edwards on Cajon and James Clarke on keys, completing the 8-piece line-up. The band then decamped to the seminal Sawmill Studio to record their debut album ‘The Jar Family Album’, released in May  this year. The album was produced by Keith Wilkinson and mixed by the legendary John Cornfield (Muse, Supergrass, Razorlight, Oasis, Athlete, amongst others etc). It was chosen by Marlow FM 97.5 presenter Paul Mansell as his album of the week and he’s been a stalwart supporter and advocate since he was first introduced to the band.

The Jar Family’s forward momentum continued in August 2011 when they performed at Camp Acoustic at the Hop Farm Festival and released their debut single ‘Poolie Strut’, described by Al Devon as “an urban romance about a raggy lad from the council estates of Hartlepool who somehow charms a well-to-do girl without even trying – she just loves his ‘Poolie Stut.”

‘Poolie Strut’ quickly became the most requested song in Radio Hartlepool’s history and, in addition, was picked up by Hartlepool United Football Club and is now played before every home match, resulting in the song now being chanted on the terraces by the home faithful. With its accompanying video filmed during the recording sessions at Sawmill Studios, The Jar Family’s single ‘In For A Penny’ followed UK tour dates supporting the legendary Alabama 3. The tour provided the band with the platform to undertake numerous radio interviews and live sessions, gain many new fans and further enhance their reputation as a must-see live act. As their star continues to rise, 2012 saw The Jar Family release their debut album and tour the UK extensively on the back of it. They also produced a wonderful video to go with their single release ‘Broken Minded’. Their new album, Jarmalade, is due out this summer.

the-swaps-2In support we were two contrasting but equally talented outfits. First up was The Swaps who are an amazing band to see live, delivering their own distinctive brand of blues. They say: “We come from Leamington and we sit in a room, write songs and make music. Inadvertently we have reinvented the blues for the modern age.”

They have an excellent hand stenciled, limited edition 6 Track EP available called ‘Miss Sold’.

Kicking off this exceptional evening of music were husband and wife duo Chuck and Pap ShirockSHIROCK_Color-2 who are the driving force behind the exciting new US indie/rock band Shirock. They were over in the UK promoting their single releases ‘New Solution’ and  ‘Still Young’ which are taken from their new album ‘Everything Burns’. It’s also the name of a movement they’ve founded to foster social change and to try and help people in a constructive way.

20-11-12 Maia & The August List

MaiaNewColor-Small-2Maia are a 4 piece alternative, acoustic band from Huddersfield playing all sorts of disco sci-fi folk pop on ukulele, cajon, trumpet, banjo, mandolin or whatever else is lying around! Their next single “The Grandfather Plan” is released on November 5th 2012. You can watch the video here for their single The Grandfather Plan.

Their album “Pepper Stars” was chosen as his album of the week by Marlow FM’s Paul Mansell on his Eclectic Light Show.


Tom Clegg – Guitar/ Ukulele/Vocals
Joe Haig – Piano/ Trumpet/Vocals
Simon Robinson – Guitar/Banjo/ Mandolin /Vocals
Will Fletcher – Drums/Cajon/Percussion

2010: “We Invented sci-fi Folk, supported Anais Mitchell, played our first festival, saw the M1, M2 ,M3, M4 and M62 what seemed like a million times, released an album in a wooden sleeve and got played on the Radio!”

2011: Now into outer space……………

Comments from the press:

Stirrings Magazine: “sheer breadth of the band’s vision is breathtaking.”

Folk World: “The vocals seemingly come from another dimension in a less demonstrative Antony (and the Johnsons) Heggarty style. This has enough elements of folk for genre fans but covers an awful lot of ground and is one of the more compelling listens I have had in a while.”

For Folks Sake: “The most impressive aspect of Maia the Band is that they are more adventurous and eclectic within the course of a single song than some artists dare to be in their entire career”

Kim Headley, Artistic Director, Broadstairs Folk Week: “This multi-talented quartet combine instrumental and vocal skills with an originality, exuberance and panache which is seen too only too rarely. Following their appearance at Broadstairs 2012 I immediately booked them for 2013 – while I can still afford them!

Hooting and Howling Magazine: “Making music that’s simply outrageous, but a LOT of fun, and a marvel to experience.”

“Like The Beta Band but in listenable sound quality, like Mumford & Sons but with all the right production, but also like nothing you’ve ever heard.” 

Acoustic Magazine (In The Woods Festival): “Eclectic with surprising twists and turns throughout their set, Maia are very good atexecuting their own brand of whimsical folk. Upbeat and multi-instrumental, they set the right mood in the glade as feet tap and heads turn.”

Time Out: “Using a charming combination of brass, Spanish-style guitars and fairytale lyrics, this song (The Grandfather Plan) is a beguiling beaut!”

LSD Magazine: “The four create gentle melodies and moderate the pace with timeless acoustic instruments”.

For Folks Sake: “There’s a bit of Beirut, some Deliverance- style banjo, a Mariachi band, some falsetto harmonies that sound a bit like MGMT (if they came from Yorkshire)”.

Folk Radio UK: “ We’re really looking forward to hearing more” .

Never Enough Notes: “Odd, catchy and quite charming” .

Frost Magazine: “Their Duran-gone-folk sound is as infectious as a yawn, but they’re never likely to raise one from you”.

augustlist2Support came in the shape of  husband and wife Americana duo, Martin and Kerraleigh Child, AKA The August List, who made a welcome return. They performed songs from their 4 track EP ‘Handsome Skin’.





04-12-12 Kaz Simmons & Paul J Riley

kaz-simmons-WP1Kaz Simmons is a very accomplished vocalist, guitarist and songwriter. She has won high praise for her album Dandelions which was chosen as Paul Mansell’s album of the week on his Eclectic Light Show.

“A very fine new album” – Jamie Cullum, BBC Radio 2

“Powerfully emotional” – Metro

“Absolutely unique” – JoAnne Good, BBC Radio London

“A shining future for her is assured” – Musician Magazine

“From hard-hitting, commercially viable pop songs such as ‘Whatever’ and ‘Dandelions’, to sombre, heart-aching love ballads like ‘Almost’, Kaz’s music certainly has the ability to both delight and deeply affect an audience” – The London Word

2005 saw the release of her debut album ‘Take Me Home’ which featured arrangements of jazz standards and tunes by Tom Waits and Nick Drake.

Kaz is an increasingly acclaimed, young UK singer, songwriter & guitarist. Her second album ‘Different Smile’ was a new departure of originals and arrangements with Spanish and Brazilian classical guitar styles as well as influences from the likes of Rufus and Martha Wainwright, The Divine Comedy, and her background in jazz.

Kaz’s original compositions showcase her conversational, often humorous lyrics coupled with an unaffected delivery and sublime accomplished guitar playing.

Check out some great videos here.


18-12-12 Van Susans + Doris Brendel & Lee Dunham

van-susans-WPThe Van Susans from Bromley have gone from playing for friends and family in a sports hall to performing before thousands at the O2 in just twelve months. They played to a huge crowd at IndigO2 at the Greenwich centre in April last year less than a year since their first gig for friends and family at Goals in Elmers End.

The group are made up of Olly ‘Van’ Andrews on lead vocals and guitar, Holly McLatchie on violin and vocals, Will Showler on bass and backing vocals and the Dullaway brothers Rob on drums and percussion and Ed on guitar and backing vocals. They also swap piano duties between them.

Now on the cusp of becoming stars, the Van Susans say they can’t believe how far they’ve come in a relatively short time.

Drummer Rob Dullaway says: “It’s amazing how far we’ve come since that first gig at Goals. The band just seems to be getting bigger and bigger.”

And they have high hopes for the future. Lead singer and guitarist Olly Andrews says: “In five years time we’d love to be playing Wembley and headlining at the Reading Festival.”

The unusual name of the band is a way of keeping alive the memory of their friend Dan Susans, who died five years ago in a motorcycle accident.

Olly says: “When Rob and I were younger we had a band called Man Versus Blender, and Dan always used to say he was going to buy a van and have our name printed on the side. So when it came to naming this band, we thought Van Susans was a good way to commemorate him.”

They received critical acclaim following the release of their impressive 5 track EP ‘We Could Be Scenery’.

The band are touring the UK on the back of the release of their excellent debut album ‘Paused in The Moment’.

“A Levellers for the new generation” – Chris Hawkins / BBC 6 Music

“Real charisma, great live shows” – Steve Harris / XFM

“A great band, watch out for them”  – The Music Mag

“Chart Topping Sound” – SupaJam

“A Splash of Primary Colour” – God Is In The TV

“Brilliant stuff” – Rhythm&Booze

“Utterly charming album” – Undersong 

08-01-13 Sean Taylor, Richard Lee & Cheryl Hillier

Love against Death is the last album from Sean Taylor. You can buy it online from Proper Music here.

“Peace against war. Hope against hate. Unity against division. Freedom against fear. Love against death.”

The album was born and brought up in Kilburn, England, and comes to you by way of Austin, Texas. Sean is an unwilling member of the generation defined by neoliberalism. One of Thatcher’s children, who became one of Blair’s adults, this album is a howl against both, a direct challenge to a world where we are judged by what we consume rather than what we contribute.

Love Against Death is a direct challenge to a reality dominated by greed, inequality, and injustice. Love Against Death is the choice we make at every moment, in every relationship, and by every action. It’s about taking sides.

The album was recorded in Austin, Texas, and produced by Mark Hallman. After hearing Mark’s work, with Eliza Gilkyson in particular, Sean realised he would be perfect. Sean wanted to capture his live guitar sound, and Mark is the absolute master in this area. As a session guitarist himself, he knows exactly how to record and mix different guitars. Mark has also produced Carole King, Ani di Franco, Tom Russell, Iain Matthews, as well as working with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Oasis, and Lyle Lovett.

In 2009, Sean was booked onto the main Acoustic Stage at Glastonbury Festival playing to over three thousand people and selling out within minutes of the stock of CDs he took with him. Exactly the same thing happened when he supported John Fogerty (Creedence Clearwater) in Switzerland.

Over the last few years Sean Taylor has played at scores of festivals both in the UK and the rest of Europe, including three stages at Glastonbury, Blue Balls in Lucerne, Tolpuddle Martyrs, Tenby Blues and the Broadstairs Folk Week. Apart from his many and varied headline shows he has also supported a wide array of notable artistes including the Neville Brothers, George Benson, John Fogerty, Band of Horses, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Dukes, Nine Below Zero, Big Joe Turner, Curved Air, Otis Grand, The Groundhogs and Chicken Shack to name but a few. He has also played over a dozen gigs as part of ‘Love Music, Hate Racism’ campaign and wherever he performs he is always asked back.

Sean Taylor has rapidly grown to be one of the hottest new names in the UK blues/acoustic scene. His incredible passion for performance, sheer talent and songwriting of the highest calibre is a testament to his frequent comparisons with John Martyn, Chris Isaak and Tom Waits.

He has had extensive coverage and outstanding reviews in publications such as ‘Uncut’, ‘Maverick’, ‘Classic Rock’, ‘Acoustic Guitar’ and ‘Rock N’ Reel’ to name but a few, and has been often accredited by BBC Radio 2’s Bob Harris and Mike Harding.

See his great video for ‘So Fine’.

Supporting Sean were local singer/songwriters Richard Lee from Maidenhead and Cheryl Hillier from High Wycombe.


05-02-13 Marcus Bonfanti & Hot Fiction

Marcus Bonfanti is a beautifully rugged and rustic blues/rock artist whose gritty live performances have seen him win awards for his original sound and songs. Marcus has a true gift for telling a story through his music and he is one of those artists who sound even better for the truthful realness of live performance. He is able to relay emotion through his lyrics and the tone of his voice is mesmerising. Encompassing everything there is to like about country music, minus all the cheese and cowboy hats, Bonfanti hits the nail on the head with his all-together new and original sound which merges together several genres to create its own.

Marcus was born in North London and from an early age was played Joe Cocker, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and an array of blues andfolk by his mother and father who made him tapes of old LP’s he owned, Marcus proceeded to break these tapes through over playing quickerthan his dad could make them till he was given a guitar made from a shoe box and elastic bands to keep him occupied. It wasn’t till 12 years later at the age of 15 he actually picked up a real guitar.

Heavily steeped in delta blues his music combines elements of folk, rock and soul. He’s been likened to a modern John Martyn, Seasick Steve and Tom Waits. It’s not often one comes across a new blues artist that has a complete mastery of all the different styles of blues and roots that even though there are hints of influences on all of his music Marcus Bonfanti still has his own defined voice. Marcus doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, he simply uses his influences to guide his compositions and mould them into great songs.

“Bonfanti deserves to become the next British Blues Guitar Hero”
The Guardian

“With a voice like sand & glue, a punchy guitar technique & stockpile or careworn tales, his appeal becomes unisex. Highlights are plentiful”
Classic Rock – Blues Album of the Month

“Varied & confident album. This outing proves Bonfanti has the potential to take the blues somewhere intriguing”.
Guitarist Magazine

“This blues guitarist will be loosening the plaster from the ceiling with outings from a powerful new album.”
The Independent

hot-fiction-1Hot Fiction are a hotly tipped English Soul/Rock band. They’ve been aired on Absolute Radio, courted by Christian Dior and featured by festivals up-and-down the country. The band have released their second album ‘Apply Within’. The two members, Andy Yeoh (Drums & Vocals) and Simon Miller (Guitar & Vocals) met in school where their shared musical understanding began to take root. By the time the pair finished university in 2008, both were experienced musicians with plenty of song-writing and performance experience. It was only natural that Hot Fiction, formed in 2008, would follow. The band continued to gig regularly in venues all over the country, finding their centre of gravity in London, where the pair gained a cult following.

At the Marlow Oxjam Concert back in October 2012 they stole the show.

22-02-13 The Simpson Band, Troydon Bent and Richard

From the ashes of 80’s/90’s London bands Guilty Heads and Faster Than Sheep, singer Laban moved to France to retire. His sons Oli and Elliot soon showed signs of inheriting the musical bug and took up their apprenticeship; they began playing regularly as a family threesome. Growing interest in France for the live music scene provided the perfect opportunity for The Simpson Band to try out their ‘family brand of music’.

The band consists of Oli, 17, on guitars and much dabbling on the mixing desk, Elliot, 13, drumming when not skateboarding, Laban on vocals and guitar and the recently recruited Nico Morin (no genetic link with The Simpsons found as yet!) on bass.

Their last album was  ‘Hotworks’.

Why not check out their videos?

Supporting The Simpson Band wass rising Jamaican reggae/soul singer Troydon Bent and the talented local singer/songwriter Richard Lee from Maidenhead.


05-03-13 Tinderbox & Julie Hawk

Tinderbox-Glastonbury-WPTinderbox are an acoustic duo featuring Dublin born Monique Houraghan with a distinctive ‘honey-like’ vocal, and Dan Tucker with an intricate finger style guitar technique.

After meeting whilst studying at York University in 1997, Monique enticed Dan to return to her hometown of Dublin where they worked on writing and performing new material for the next four years.

Tinderbox then travelled the world for two years taking their sweet and mellow sound to countries such as America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Hong Kong, and Thailand.

After settling in Bournemouth in 2004 Tinderbox have performed a number of headline shows to capacity crowds. Additionally, they’ve played support sets for high profile acts including Cara Dillon, Jon Allen, Amy Wadge, Corinne West, Kris Drever, Ben’s Brother, Ralph McTell, Emily Maguire, Uiscedwr, Chris Difford and Megson.

The new album ‘Counting Time’ was released in 2012 and was 14 months in the making! The original digipack CD (includes full lyrics and sleeve-note booklet) can be purchased directly. Alternatively you can download the full album or choose individual tracks via iTunes. To get Tinderbox music, or just to listen to tracks nowclick here.

“Outstanding”- R2 Magazine

“The best acoustic duo album I’ve ever heard!” – Mick Jackson – Songwriter/Producer

“Fantastic songs” – Johnny Coppin – BBC

“Beautiful…the best thing they’ve done so far…” – Roger Day – BBC

“The care and attention spent in making this album shines through; thoroughly enjoyable” – Brian Player – Radio UK International

“Two very talented music makers. Quite simply, a lovely couple who produce lovely songs. I love this album.” – Paul Mansell – Marlow FM 97.5

“At times pained, at times sounding like a fairy, Hawk’s vocal dexterity is her biggest strength” – Supajam

Julie-Hawk-web-1Julie Hawk is an Irish singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, pulling up the London unsigned scene by its roots.

Julie grew up in an eclectic musical household in the rain-choked West of Ireland, listening to everything from Bob Dylan to Arvo Pärt. She took up piano at age 5, followed by fiddle and later guitar, all the while singing in as many styles as she could mimic. Following one cloistered winter in 2011, Julie emerged with a sound and lyrical style wholly her own, and since then has been captivating audiences across the UK with her dynamic vocal style and ethereal lyrics. Her ornate finger-picking guitar style lends a constant heartbeat to her soaring vocals, echoing artists such as Kate Bush and Joanna Newsom. Her lyrics are rich with imagery of life and decay, of light and dark, leaving the listener suspended in Julie’s world. In 2012, Hawk supported reknowned singer-songwriter, Benjamin Francis Leftwich and The Magic Numbers’ Michele Stodart in London, and made her first festival appearance at Hop Farm. Her debut single, The Value of Gold has already recieved praise from BBC6music icons Steve Lamacq and Tom Robinson, and the B-side, a cover of This Charming Man, was highly acclaimed by Amzing radio DJ and Bella Union founder, Simon Raymonde.


07-03-13 The Diamond Family Archive

laurence-collyer-wpAlthough The Diamond Family Archive may sound like the name of a big band, it consists only of one man, by the name of Laurence Collyer. Settled on the south coast of England in Brighton, this ZZ-Top-bearded singer is a veritable jack of all trades in the music business. Along with writing, recording and producing his own songs through his own label, he also drops in to play with other local British bands and occasionally records EPs on friends’ labels. It’s near impossible to know how many albums Collyer has put out between his own projects and colleagues’ and he often limits printed album copies to less than 100 (including hand drawn artwork and other treasures). Despite being this busy, The Diamond Family Archive’s website labels him “reclusive.”

Collyer started out in a 10-piece Brighton band named Chimp that recorded two albums together in 2001 and 2002. He soon quit Chimp and poured his heart into writing his own music, which resulted in his formation of The Diamond Family Archive. His live performances are said to be a wonder of looping soundscapes, soft folk vocals and various acoustic instruments married with sorrowful lyrics.

In 2009, The Diamond Family Archive released The Wanderer, a 12-track album consisting entirely of cover songs. Perusing some of the well-known titles, it would be easy to blow off his cover choices as novelty. “Runaround Sue” as a folk song? Billy Joel’s “She’s Always A Woman?” But what Laurence Collyer does is pour out his heart in the same way he does in his original work. In turn, each song becomes heartbreak with his lonely voice and sparse arrangement. It’s clear that this guy has loved and lost… and is still losing.

Amongst those cover songs are many gems; Dion’s original version of “The Wanderer” was a song of bragging rights, but in Collyer’s hands it’s a story of a desperate man who can’t commit. Along this same theme is a cover of Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again,” apparently sung by the same desperate man meandering through life alone.

There’s also the near unidentifiable cover of Dire Straits’ “Walk of Life” and a take on the ’80s country duet “Islands In The Stream” by Kenny  Rogers and Dolly Parton. Somehow this ultimate kitschy love song becomes the opposite in The Diamond Family Archive’s world: a modern indie ballad worthy of a mix tape to your new girlfriend. Finally, Collyer uncovers the old-timey spiritual buried not too far beneath Norman Greenbaum’s monster hit “Spirit in the Sky.”


19-03-13 The Lightworker 

LIGHTWORKER-BIG-wpThe Lightworker is an acoustic duo from the south east featuring Danny Osborne on vocals and acoustic guitar and Matt Crocker on backing vocals and cajon drum.

The Lightworker originally was a solo act with Danny on his lonesome playing folk inspired tunes which told of true stories from around the south east. After a while with the help of friends and talented musicians from around the area he formed a backing band that played with him on gigs. Having played with the likes of Benji Kirkpatrick (Seth Lakeman, Bellowhead) and headlining Crawley Folk Festival’s busker stage following on from 2 tours in 2012 (catches breath) …. it was a busy year all around the south LIGHTWORKER-LOGO-wpeast building up a cult following along the way. So after taking some time-out to concentrate on himself he met up with his best friend Matt who now completes the current line-up as a duo which was made official at the end of 2012. This March saw the release of their debut EP entitled ‘MUSIC FOR GHOSTS’. As The Lightworker embark out on the road, they’re very excited to be performing live and about the reviews for their new material which in their own words have been ‘nothing short of epic’.

Check out their songs at Soundcloud and their YouTube videos.





02-04-2013 Cole Stacey & Joseph O’Keefe – Tandara Mandara

COLE-JOE-wordpressPhotograph ©Kate Southall

After major UK tours, festivals & shows with the likes of Midge Ure, Cara Dillon & Martin Simpson in 2012,  Cole Stacey & Joseph O’Keefe released their debut album ‘ On Hire’ in November 2012, to much acclaim.

“Quality compositions, musicianship & passion in equal measure…delightfully strong” (Acoustic Magazine) 

‘On Hire’ draws from their Devonshire acoustic routes, blended with Parisian Café violins, which vortexes around a supple joining of voice and instruments. This show forms part of their UK and European Tour 2013.

“An Impassioned & ambitious songwriter” (Steve Knightley – Show of Hands) 

Cole performed at the Marlow FM Riley Park Music Festival 2010 to great acclaim and came into the Marlow FM studio in August 2011 to play songs from his EP ‘A Long Road To Find’. He and Joseph did a live session on The Eclectic Light Show, 12.00-2.00pm on the Tuesday lunchtime ahead of their evening gig in The Chapel.

Watch them in action here. Follow Cole on Twitter.

TandaraMandara-1-wpSupporting were three very accomplished musicians who go by the name of  Tándara Mándara which means ‘…and blah blah blah’.

They are three blokes from Oxfordshire who steal music from all over Eastern Europe and play it on the fiddle (Ben Smith), accordion (Jim Greenan) and double bass (Chris Gardener).

If the soulful sound of the fiddle over a cheeky bouncing rhythm doesn’t get your goat well, er…they also have very nice shoes.






16-04-13 Thomaz Ransmyr, Doris Brendel & Lee Dunham

thomaz-3-wpThomaz Ransmyr, born in Skanör (Sweden) is a Swedish artist and author currently based in The Netherlands. Through the years, he has worked within theatre and music with a wide width (from musical to electro) in collaborations with people such as Marco Manieri (Cardigans, The Ark, Marit Bergman), Kristian Anttila, Robert Engstrand (Liberator, Turisas), Almar David (A D & The Icons) and Scottish musician Simon Bloomfield from The Rezillos.

In November 2006 Thomaz released his first solo album ”If I Ever Die” with songs dealing with the subject of death seen from various angles, spanning between grave seriousness and gallows humor. The song ”I See A Shadow (Not A Fantasy)” was acknowledged by the Nöjesguiden magazine.

A song in his native language Swedish is included on all of his records, and he usually sings a song in Swedish at every concert, no matter which country he sings in, which is always appreciated. As of January 2013, Thomas has performed in Sweden, Poland, The Netherlands, Iceland, United Kingdom and Denmark.

On his recent 2012 album ”Nobody´s Child”, which has loneliness as a central theme, Thomaz sings in English and Dutch, and on the physical release there’s a hidden song in Swedish. The sleeve picture was taken outside his hometown Skanör in Skåne. On the record he is once again collaborating with Scottish musician Simon Bloomfield (ex-Rezillos), Swedish Marco Manieri and performing a duet with Swedish pop star Kristian Anttila. The official release of the album was held at the renowned stage of Royal Vauxhall Tavern in London, UK, in April 2012.

August 17, 2012 Thomaz represented Sweden in the Copenhagen Pride alternative music competition ”Pride Melodi Grand Prix” at Rådhuspladsen, Copenhagen, Denmark with the Östen Warnerbring-song ”Som En Dröm” and ended up sharing 5th place.

Thomaz is also one of the models in photographer Elisabeth Ohlson-Wallins famous exhibition ”Ecce homo” (1998) and has also modelled for a nationwide campaign for rising awareness of hiv in Sweden in 2010 – and has released songs about the subject.

His music is characterized by a strong theatrical feeling. Thomaz will be performing live on The Eclectic Light Show, 12-2pm on Tuesday 16th April.

doris&lee-1-WPAfter the widely acclaimed release of the Last Adventure in 2010, Doris Brendel has completed her 7th album, Not Utopia, recorded in conjunction with producer and guitarist Lee Dunham. Once again Brendel satisfies music connoisseurs and individuals who don’t like being dictated to by the music industry by providing a highly emotive, cross-genre collection of songs loosely described as progressive pop. The album was released on the 1st July 2012 and has to date received glowing reviews.

”Daughter of world acclaimed pianist Alfred Brendel. Her strong vocal performance makes a lasting impact, and is by some compared to Janis Joplin in style.” Olav Martin Bjornsen, ProgArchives.

See their great new video.



14-05-13 Happy Graveyard Orchestra

hgo-wp“They said…”

The band say: ‘We love to collect these gems’:

“I like your 70′s non-sense music!” (the most enthusiastic guy ever, right after our first gig)

“I like your music so much! I’m a visual artist, I think I might do some work on your songs… Take my number now, sorry I’m quite drunk I’m not sure I can remember my number exactly”

“It’s like Brian Wilson asking Alice Cooper to teach him some Beethoven” (bus driver on 176 route)

“I like this song, it’s like elevator music!” (Ross Taylor… the drummer! – on the song “I stop some where”)

“I stop some where… on the second floor. (Rhiannon Mayon-White… the violist! – same as above)

“Musically, they mix conventional instruments (guitar/bass/drums) with the slightly less conventional (violin/viola) and their repertoire includes bass-driven rock numbers (one of which reminded me of Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust for life’) and classical pieces such as Beethoven’s ‘Ode to joy’.” (… Lust for life?!)

“You’re mad, but very good! I’m just mad” (a fan into madness)

“It’s so good to hear true creative, innovative music” (this sounds so good!)

“You were FREAKING out!”… and SURELY, more to come!

Check them out on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

The band are: Ivan Perilli – Bass and Cryptic Lyrics
Kasia Dulińska – 360° Violin!
Rhiannon Mayon-White – Compass, Tales and Magical Mystery Viola
Saif Ur-Rehman – Steampunk Guitar!
Ross Taylor – Neverending drumming


28-05-13 Darling BOY

Darling-BOY-Marshall-WPCounting XTC’s Andy Partridge, Sex Pistol Glen Matlock and legendary rock writer Mark Ellen among his fans, Darling BOY (AKA Alex Gold) is making a splash in London and beyond with two sold-out solo shows, an appearance at Oxford Street’s 100 Club, and two German tours under his belt since debuting a year ago. Newly signed to The Animal Farm record label, four releases are planned for this year with the ‘Air Conditioned Gypsy EP’ being the first, recently released on March 4th.

A High Wycombe resident for several years, he fronted local legends The Wutars with bandmate Matt Taylor – now of Sony-signed band Dry the River.

Alex says: “We’d been looking for a special venue to return to Bucks for a gig and we thought The Chapel fitted the bill perfectly.”

The World’s Greatest Modern Musical Punk Polymath That No-One’s Ever Bloody Heard Of. Yet.
Darling BOY should really need no introduction. But, for the moment, he does. He is the World’s Greatest Modern Musical Polymath That No-One’s Ever Heard Of.

Darling BOY writes great songs. Yep, great ones. He writes from the gut and delivers from the heart. He pens melodies that just plain refuse to leave your head over choppy rhythms that make you clench in all the right places.

Darling BOY is a punk – not in the nihilist or aesthetic sense, but in the perennial-plus-sign-we-absolutely-can-do-that-so-let’s-bloody-get-it-done sense. He is a consummate do-er. He plays guitar, piano, ukelele, drums, bass, mandolin, banjo, pontoon, hopscotch, and Top Trumps. He sings, he roars. He plays for punk legends The Boys, Duncan Reid and Spizz Energi, and chamber pop quintet Left With Pictures. His songwriting prowess has been praised by The Daily Mirror, Steve Lamacq and Gary Crowley. He does all manner of things behind the scenes in the music industry. Darling BOY really does want to be all things to all men, because he believes that these days you can and these days you should.

“Darling BOY powers down the track in a steam-filled blaze of colour and stops at all the best stations between The Small Faces and Oasis. There’ s a mournful echo that strikes a chord with me and he’s been known to wear striped trousers. All good!” – MARK ELLEN

“I don’t quite know the dictionary definition of ‘swashbuckling’,but Darling BOY seems to have made an aural one with ‘Air ConditionedGypsy’. It’s Douglas Fairbanks Jnr swinging down to attack the Smiths with his banjo in hand, {yes, that’s banjo folks}. A rum and cider fuelled charge towards a barrel with a lit fuse sparking down to the word gunpowder written on the side.
Is it possible to ‘rip snort’? This track might just do that.” – ANDY PARTRIDGE, XTC.


11-06-13 David MacGregor

David-McGregor-WP1David MacGregor is a virtuoso solo finger style guitarist and composer from Scotland. For many years he was based in the UK playing in several bands. In 2009 after having a lesson with the award winning guitarist Martin Taylor, he decided to concentrate on an international Solo Jazz Guitar career.

In April 2012, he released his first solo Jazz guitar album “Resonance”. So far, he has performed solo concerts in the UK, the Netherlands, France, Germany and Mexico. In 2013, he will be extending this list by playing in the Czech Republic, Ireland, the US and Canada.

His solo performances have met raving reviews from promoters and gig goers. The mixture of virtuosity, emotion and a relaxed stage presence makes each performance enjoyable for any kind of audience.

Join him on Facebook and check out his album.





01-11-13 Steve Bonham & The Bishop + Helghyer

steve-bonham-and-the-bishopSteve Bonham and Chris ‘the Bishop’ Lydon have been performing music together since the start of this millennium. A fair old time, some might say. The new thing for 2013, they both decided, was acoustic guitar-based folk injected with a little (or a lot of) tuba.  Steve writes the songs, plays guitar and sings. The Bishop plays tuba, cajón, plays piano and sings, although rarely all four at the same time.

Steve is a singer, songwriter, musician, author and psychologist. His life has been planned, as he likes to say, with all the foresight of a pinball in an arcade machine. His good friend Tim Goodwin tells him that he creates stuff that doesn’t properly fit anyone else’s pigeon hole.

He took his music on tour starting back in early May. The concerts, “The Get Your Boots On Tour”, started in Belfast, included Ireby Folk Festival and also a walk playing at pubs along Hadrian’s Wall.

The impulse behind this – and the reason Steve was back on the road after 20 years – was to raise awareness and funds for a charity called Ataxia. This is a horrible condition that has afflicted his long time music buddy Tim who, in his day, was one of the finest fiddle and bass guitarists on the folk scene admired by – amongst others – Dave Pegg of Fairport Convention. Ataxia is a degenerative condition of the brain that affects balance and hand eye co-ordination – the result being that Tim whose whole life has been about playing music can no longer play.

helghyer-panelSupporting Steve and The Bishop was Maidenhead based singer-songwriter Natalie Earl AKA Helghyer. Helghyer (Pronounced Hell-hear) is the solo project of this multi-instrumentalist. The name itself comes from the Cornish word for “Hunter”; being of Cornish decent, Natalie holds the county particularly close to her heart.

Her unique, rich voice, as succulent as T-bone steak or duck egg custard combined with intertwining harmonies and textured instrumentation result in deeply personal, melodic songs which can be dark and haunting at times. Her often ambiguous lyrics, with a strong emphasis on storytelling, provide social commentary on everything from family traditions, falling from grace, witchcraft and Cornish folklore.

helghyer-EPFuelled by hard work and a strong DIY ethic, Helghyer’s self-released debut EP, “The Mage, The Wiseman and The Lioness: Part 1” was released in June 2013.





13-12-13 The Jar Family, Doris Brendel & Lee Dunham

jarmaladeA welcome return for the band and another memorable gig. They performed many of the tracks from their second album Jarmalade. The guys have produced some wonderful videos to go with their equally wonderful music. This was also a return visit to the LORMC for the talented duo Doris Brendel and Lee Dunham.


See this great video.






10-01-14 Hip Hatchet & Richard Lee

Hip Hatchet is the songwriting project of Philippe Bronchtein. Based out of Portland, Oregon, Hip Hatchet presents rustic, carefully orchestrated folk songs. Like the songsmiths before him, Bronchtein places emphasis on the songs’ lyrics that revolve around loneliness, camaraderie, home and love.hip-hatchet-WP3

Zach Hart from ‘We Listen For You’ writes: “The lyrics are honest, sad, funny, introspective, metaphorical, and ultimately poetic. Like Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits, Bronchtein mixes stripped down humor with honest self criticism.”

Hip Hatchet was performing on the coat tails of  “Joy and Betterjoy-&-better-days-WP Days”, his most recent release and second full length album. Released on Gravitation records (Tallest Man on Earth, Bjorn Olsson), The album features Alex Lewis on guitar, Jake Nussbaum on drums, Charlie Freundlich on Bass, and Bronchtein filling in the rest of the orchestration.

The sound is trademarked by open tunings, lush woodwinds, intricate finger picking, and a unique vocal delivery. The songs are most easily categorized as folk, but draw inspiration from elements of country and chamber music as well.

Check out these videos.

Richard-Lee-2Supporting Hip Hatchett was a regular performer at the club; local singer/songwriter Richard Lee from Maidenhead. He’s a stalwart of the LORMC by not only providing support when called upon to do so

22-03-14 Megan Henwood & Maybe Neverland

megan-WP1Megan Henwood grew up in Henley-on-Thames. Her first public performance was at the age of 9 at the Henley Youth Festival. As a teenager Megan performed both as a solo artist and with her band on the local live circuit. At the age of 18, she busked around Venice, Thailand, India and Nepal – returning to the latter twice to record and perform with some of the country’s musicians. She has since supported the London-based Child Action Nepal charity by donating profit from record sales. Megan regularly contributes to music therapy sessions and was awarded a Sue Ryder Care “Woman of Achievement” award as Performer of the Year. Sue Ryder also asked her to be an Ambassador for the charity.

In 2009, Megan – along with her saxophonist brother Joe – won the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award. She’s performed at megan+joe-WP2events such as the Cambridge Folk Festival, and Fairport’s Cropredy Convention, and performed at Glastonbury Festival.

Her first album, Making Waves, was released in July 2011 ahead of various festival appearances including Larmer TreeCambridge Folk Festival and Secret Garden Party. The album features acclaimed musicians Peter KnightAndy CrowdyJoe BrownSam BrownMollie MarriottBarriemore Barlow and Nick Fyffe. It attracted the attention and praise of many; Megan performed live on Radio 2 for Janice LongBob Harris and Terry Wogan as well as for Paul Mansell on Marlow FM 97.5 who made ‘Making Waves’ his album of the week.

Her follow up album ‘Head, Heart, Hand’ is due out soon. Check out these new tracks ‘My Ego, My Shadow and I‘ and ‘Four Words’.

Maybe Neverland is a live touring band consisting of singer-songwriters and musicians from Southampton. nvrland-3Each artist has a unique style and sound, which gives the band the  freedom to expand across several genres, and allows them to create original eclectic music. Maybe Neverland was founded by solo artists Aubin Reid (a.k.a Damien Murdoch) and R.A.N (a.k.a Ransford Laryea), who after meeting at a musical performance last year,  realized that teamwork and collaboration were things they both really valued. It wasn’t long after that, a band of like-minded musicians followed their lead.  On drums for Maybe Neverland, is Brett Streek, while Millie Claxton plays acoustic guitar and accompanies the poetic vocals of Ran, and the  graceful voice of Damien as he plays lead guitar.

As solo artists and as Maybe Neverland, they were part of the D.I.Y Tour this last summer, which did 50 shows in 60 days. Their love for performing opened the door to a variety of gigs ranging from small music venues such as Joiners, to fashion show after parties at venues like The Hoxton Pony, to exclusive parties like House Party X  (London), and a wide-range of festivals such as Hideaway FestivalPepperbox FestivalHappytown FestivalBug Jam VW Festival and more.

D and Ran’s ambition for Maybe Neverland is to create and perform timeless music that stretches to all people and cultures. Their love for music is contagious to all those who stop to listen.


15-03-14 The August List & Sweet Sally in The Alley

augustlist2Originally from Dorset but now residing in a small barn perched on a hill in Oxfordshire, Thame-based couple Kerraleigh and Martin Child comprise The August List; a boy/girl two-piece who play ‘backwards country/porch folk’ with a startling rock ‘n’ roll attitude. Acoustic guitars, kick drums, harmonicas and their voices are deployed with verve and passion on songs that take in life, love, death and making merry.

Their debut EP, ‘Handsome Skin’, was released in November 2012 on Ubiquity Project Records. Words used by people to describe this recording include: ‘haunting’, ‘full of grit and soul, fire and fog’, ‘beautiful’ and ‘creepy’. The August List hope it is all these things. Their second EP ‘High Town Crow’ was released on UPR Records in October 2013. The Willard Grant Conspiracy gave them the nod to name themselves after one of their songs.

The Press says:

“It’s a rare West Country husband-and-wife duo that can pull off the knack of sounding simultaneously like a vintage Louisiana jug band and at the same time very much like themselves.” – Tom Robinson

“Stripped down roots-inspired music that stylistically has its core in folk and country, but it’s sights set a little further afield also“ – Americana UK

“The rawness recalls the work of the White Stripes… If you like your Americana with an edge you are going to love The August List.” – PennyBlackMusic

“Musically they share common ground with other great married couples of country, from Carter-Cash to The Handsome Family… Lovely stuff…” – Nightshift Magazine

“We are absolutely loving their tunes and strongly advise you have a listen!” – Spiral Earth


sweet-sally-1Supporting Martin and Kerraleigh were bluegrass outfit Sweet Sally in The Alley. This four man ‘string driven band’ pictured above featuring (from left to right) Kenny Sherwood (double bass), Finlay Pearston (acoustic guitar), Ned Jackson (mandolin) and Jordan Haynes (violin/harmonica) has graced venues in London and Edinburgh, bringing with them all the necessaries for a serious hoedown. If you’re into Old Crow Medicine Show then you’ve got a real treat in store for you when you see this outfit live.

17-05-14 The New Groove & Freeway Mad

the-new-groove-1They love to play! – from Rodders first count-in, to The French’s last lingering silken guitar chord, you will be hooked! Go get The New Groove gig experience and come along to Christ Church on 17th May– they will blow your socks off!

There’s an intriguing story about this passionate and talented bunch and how they got together – and if you have 2 minutes, I’ll tell you….

The New Groove are rockin’ proof that out of very bad things, good things can come. Three days before Christmas 2011, Ben Curtis (lead vocals and harmonica) was sitting in front of a urologist hearing the words “I’m sorry to tell you Mr Curtis but you have prostate cancer’. It turned out to be advanced, aggressive and inoperable. The chances of a cure were next to nil. After a couple of months Ben hooked up with his old writing and gigging buddy Steve French (lead and rhythm guitars) and the pair began to lay down some guide tracks. All kinds of songs emerged, mostly upbeat and rockin’ – about life and good times. But occasionally soulful and bluesy – about our mortality and loss. Following radiotherapy treatment to slow the progression of his disease, Ben again hooked up with The French and they both decided these powerful tracks needed to touch an audience.

Grammy award-winning sound engineer Steve Orchard got involved to record/produce ten new tracks and introduced the guys to Steve ‘Rodders’ Rodford (drums and percussion), Henrik Irgens (bass) and Carrie Haber (keys and backing vocals). Almost immediately a powerful and unbreakable bond developed between the six people, strengthened by a passion for the music and a mutual respect for each other’s artistry. Most of all they had FUN! The new album – ‘Quit Bitchin’ was tracked at the deservedly famous Rockfield Studios (check out their amazing history) during October and November 2012.

Ben says “if it hadn’t been for the cancer diagnosis, I would never have met my incredible new family”.

So, out of very bad things, very good things can come. Ten original tracks and a new genre of rockin’ good fun music.If you love harmonica driven blues, then you should see  The New Groove when they’re in full flow; they’re very reminiscent of Dr Feelgood. Which is, officially, a good thing. The whole thing sounds great, probably due in no small measure to Steve Orchard and Rockfield Studios, but it would be nothing without the songs and the performances, which are, sparkling. Ben Curtis has a raw and gritty voice which suits the material perfectly, and when all the stars align, as they do on the title track, ‘If I Have To Leave’ and ‘Give It Time’, it’s a righteous noise.If you’re looking for an album of raucous, seventies, harmonica driven British blues, then ‘Quit Bitchin‘ is the one for you. Check it out on Soundcloud.

Rock on and NEVER lose the passion! It’s the most valuable attribute you possess.

freeway-mad-1Freeway Mad came together as they are now in late 2012. All of its members came from previous bands and between them have a wealth of live and studio experience. The band have a mission which is to bring back the lost but not forgotten sound that ruled the late 70′s and early 80′s… ROCK! The love, passion, blood, sweat and tears that goes into Freeway Mad comes through in their music, this band won’t be ignored and refuses to stand in line with the crowd. There’s guitar harmonies, earth shattering riffs, searing vocals and a performance that will blow you away. Check out their EP and the band live.


19-07-14 Juliet Lawson & Kelly Oliver

juliet-lawsonAfter a 10 year hiatus since her last original album, Juliet Lawson came back in 2012 with the beautiful ‘Songs From The Suitcase…’ EPHaving released her first album ‘Boo’ back in 1972, Juliet’s career in the music industry has been eventful to say the least. Seen as a British version of Joni Mitchell in the early days of her career, she promised much and was predicted to be one of the ‘Superstars of 74’’ (Record Mirror), along with Linda Ronstadt and Cockney Rebel. Despite the positive reviews and praise Juliet received for ‘Boo’, this never transmitted into wide-scale success for a variety of outside factors. However, her dedicated cult following has been sustained throughout her career, which has seen her independently release two subsequent LP’s, ‘The One That Got Away’ and ‘Where I’m Coming From’, as well as a ‘best of’ entitled ‘Closer’.

Listening to ‘Songs From The Suitcase…’ it’s apparent that Juliet’s talents are clearer than ever. Wielding the abilities of an experienced and talented songwriter, she moves seamlessly between blues, jazz, folk and soul. Record opener, ‘The Skin You’re In’, begins with deft blues guitar, cool rhythms and an intelligent use of violin. Her delicate and calming voice works perfectly in the piece, whilst simultaneously adding subtle piano chords. ‘Melancholy Blues’ is more of a jazz ballad, utilising soft percussion, piano and melodic clarinet. The musicianship and restraint  is impeccable. Elsewhere, ‘Waste of a Woman’ is a wistful, more upbeat piece with a hint of Eastern Europe, whilst ‘A Woman Passer By On The Street’ is a melodically rich, slow and rather beautiful piece. booWriting some of her strongest material since ‘Boo’, Juliet has proved her capacities at writing timeless classics. Her varied influences and musical career have merely added to her unique, refined sound. Listen to ‘Fallen Angel’.

‘A distinctive and imaginative singer-songwriter’ – Record Collector

Kelly Oliver -WP1Kelly Oliver is fresh onto the folk scene, having only started performing her original material in May 2013. She was encouraged by Keiron and Maureen Jones at Hitchin Folk Club, who after inviting her to support Chris and Kellie While and then Miranda Sykes, gave her the opportunity to open for Luke Jackson at Cambridge Folk Festival last year in the club tent under the auspices of their club. She has since also supported Luke Jackson at Uxbridge Folk Club, The Urban Folk Quartet and Gilmore and Roberts at Hitchin and Musician of the Year nominee Ross Ainslie at the Flag in Watford. She is supporting  The Young ‘Uns at Ely Folk Club in September and Sunjay Brayne at Cambridge Folk Club in October.

From her base in Hertfordshire, Kelly taught herself the Harmonica to add depth to her guitar led songs and has attracted sponsorship from Hohner who will be the sole supplier of her harmonicas.

Kelly’s opportunities to perform took another large step forward when she won a competition to perform at Folkstock, which meant that she opened the Folkstock Presents stage at the festival which was organised by Helen Meissner’s Folkstock Arts Foundation. As a result of that performance, she has now been embraced by Folkstock because she embodies everything the foundation was set out to achieve and is enjoying the varied activities which this presents.

Kelly is now pursuing her musical career full time. Kelly’s first BBC Radio slot was when she was invited to chat and perform live on BBC Three Counties Radio in a lunch time show in December. She was interviewed and performed live on Gaby Roslin’s BBC London Sunday afternoon show in February. Other radio interviews, sessions, blogs, videos and reviews are lining up.

Kelly released her debut EP onto iTunes and the like in February. Far From Home is a five track EP showcasing Kelly’s crystal clear voice and was produced by 18yr old Lauren Deakin Davies for Folkstock Records.

Kelly releasied the fourth track from the EP, He Walked on the Side of the Sea, with Will Pound guesting (nominated in this year’s BBC 2 Folk Awards for Musician of the Year ) in March. Track 1 is the single with Will featuring, tracks 2 – 5 are the original EP tracks from Far From Home. Her track ‘Grandpa was a Stoker’ was selected by Dave Swarbrick to be on the EP released to mark his 73rd  birthday on 5th April.

See her on WhisperingBobTV.

15-08-2014 Caravan of Thieves & Linda Watkins

caravan-of-thieves-4Gypsy Swinging Serenading Firebreathing Circus Freaks!

Driving gypsy jazz rhythms, acoustic guitars, upright bass and violin lay the foundation for mesmerizing vocal harmonies and fantastic stories. It’s theatrical and humorous. It’s musical and intense. It entertains, dazzles and defies classification while welcoming the spectator to join the band throughout the performance in momentary fits of claps, snaps and sing-alongs. If Django Reinhardt, the cast of Stomp and the Beatles all had a party at Tim Burton’s house, Caravan of Thieves would be the band they hired. Check out their YouTube Channel.

In support was Buckingham based singer-songwriter Linda Watkins along with her musical compadres Michael Moyes and Peter Ball.

27-09-14 Lynne Hanson &  The August List

lynne-hanson-wp-22010 Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award
2009 Canadian Folk Music Award Nominee
2009 Kerrville New Folk Finalist
2008 Mountain Stage New Song Regional Finalist
2006 OCFF “Songs from the Heart” Blues Award

Americana, roots music, rough-around-the-edges folk. Canadian singer-songwriter Lynne Hanson prefers “porch music with a little red dirt.” Hanson songs are like a favorite pair of jeans. They’re rough around the edges, faded and worn through in spots, with a bit of honestly-acquired dirt ground into the seams. And they’re expressed in a rich voice coupled with accomplished guitar playing that demands repeated listening.

Hanson grew up in Ottawa Canada, and starting playing guitar when she was 14, learning on a hand-me-down from an older brother. She released her award-winning debut album – Things I Miss – in 2006, and with tales to tell, two more albums quickly followed – Eleven Months (2008) and Once the Sun Goes Down (2010). Each new release garnered critical praise, earning Hanson a Canadian Folk Music Award nomination in 2009, an invitation to the Kerrville Folk Festival as a New Folk Finalist, and a year later the prestigious Colleen Peterson Songwriting Award handed out annually by the Ontario Arts Council.

Then … silence: A four-year hiatus from recording. It was time to kick dirt over the tracks on the trail. Lynne took some time to take control of her personal life and with it, a new approach to song writing. Her fourth studio album was released in the UK and Europe on September 15th. River of Sand – is the creative output of that very personal journey.

On River Of Sand she’s been fortunate to work with Juno-winning songstress Lynn Miles as producer. “The songs on this record are honest and fearless” say Miles, and the search for truth that’s always guided Hanson’s work takes a turn to the raw.lynne-hanson-wp-1

It’s still as Hanson has always described it: “porch music with a little red dirt” – but there’s a little more dirt and the dirt is just a little bit darker. No topic is off limits, and the 11 songs run the gamut, painting a candid canvas of whiskey-soaked heartbreak and personal struggle, all contrasted against hope that better times are coming. And of course the requisite murder ballad that has become a trademark of Hanson’s albums.

Hanson’s songs may be full of grit, but her live performances are polished, whether she’s playing solo or with her band The Good Intentions. And she’s managed to get around having toured Canada, the US, Europe and the UK. She’s played showcase gigs in Austin, Phoenix and Memphis (Folk Alliance), toured in support of Grammy nominated songwriters (Gretchen Peters, Steve Forbert), and performed at several historic music venues, including the legendary 100 Club in London and the Bluebird Cafe in Nashville.

lynne-hanson-bush_hall-wp“Lynne Hanson is a hard-driving performer, who assumes true ownership of her music and she’s gooooood … she had the crowd mesmerized!”Elaina Martin, Founder and Producer, Westfest.

“More in common with the assured touch of Gillian Welch or Lucinda Williams. Riptide could easily be the best song Welch has yet to write” – UNCUT magazine

“Lynne’s songs have such a beautiful, haunting feeling into which you can sink and be enveloped.”Ontario Arts Council

Check out these videos.

Originally from Dorset but now residing in a small barn perched on a hill in Oxfordshire, Thame-based couple Kerraleigh and Martin Childaugust list-new-1 comprise The August List; a boy/girl two-piece who play ‘backwards country/porch folk’ with a startling rock ‘n’ roll attitude. Acoustic guitars, kick drums, harmonicas and their voices are deployed with verve and passion on songs that take in life, love, death and making merry. Their debut EP, augustlist2‘Handsome Skin’, was released in November 2012 on Ubiquity Project Records. Words used by people to describe this recording include: ‘haunting’, ‘full of grit and soul, fire and fog’, ‘beautiful’ and ‘creepy’. The August List hope it is all these things. Their second EP ‘High Town Crow’ was released on UPR Records in October 2013. The Willard Grant Conspiracy gave them the nod to name themselves after one of their songs. They’ll be performing songs from their debut album ‘O Hinterland’ which is released on Monday 29th September. Check out their YouTube Channel.

The Press says: 

“It’s a rare West Country husband-and-wife duo that can pull off the knack of sounding simultaneously like a vintage Louisiana jug band and at the same time very much like themselves.”Tom Robinson

“Stripped down roots-inspired music that stylistically has its core in folk and country, but it’s sights set a little further afield also“ – Americana UK

“The rawness recalls the work of the White Stripes… If you like your Americana with an edge you are going to love The August List.” – PennyBlackMusic

“Musically they share common ground with other great married couples of country,  from Carter-Cash to The Handsome Family… Lovely stuff…” – Nightshift Magazine

“We are absolutely loving their tunes and strongly advise you have a listen!” – Spiral Earth


3 thoughts on “Previous Gigs

  1. Pingback: 16-10-12 Megan Henwood « The Life of Riley Music Club

  2. Pingback: Megan Henwood in Concert: Tue 16th Oct « My Marlow Blog

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