This years line up is simply unmissable - welcoming a stunningly curated billing to North Wales for another wonderful festival of the finest singer-songwriting showcase... come on in and take a look around
Lewis Watson is an English singer-songwriter. Watson was raised in Bicester, Oxfordshire, and currently has a YouTube channel labeled HolyLoowis. 2012 saw the release of his first EPs (It's Got Four Sad Songs on It BTW and Another Four Sad Songs), which ultimately led to a record deal with Warner Bros. Records. The Wild was his third EP and was released in March 2013. In July 2013, he released his fourth EP Four More Songs, including a cover of "Made up lovesong No. 43", originally performed by Guillemots. Lewis stepped away from the limelight to refocus and work on new material. Regaining full control, he was able to take his time writing songs that fully explored his experience and talent and, with a wealth of new material to choose from, he entered the studio and recorded his entire second album in just two weeks with a live band. With a choice of labels keen for his signature after two years away, Lewis decided to find a new approach to releasing his music, partnering with the leading independent label Cooking Vinyl, and heading out on tour to showcase many of the new songs direct to his fans. His new album Midnight was released on 24 March 2017.
“One of the world's most successful, gifted and inspirational guitar players” Acoustic Magazine “Sheer bloody genius… sublime, impassioned songwriting” Sandman Magazine “We have seen the future of acoustic guitar playing, and it is called Jon Gomm” Blues Matters
‘Another great Amsterdam record’ Elvis Costello 'Big hearted pop from Liverpool next big thing' Mojo 'Scouse heartache at it's very best' Word Magazine 'Soaring melodic music' Q Magazine 'A reminder of how good this band really is' Liverpool Echo
2012 British Blues Award for Best Songwriter and the 2013 & 2014 Award for Best Acoustic performer as well as nominations in Guitarist, Vocalist & Album categories for the last four years.
Bonfanti is known for his high-energy live shows with his 3-piece band that have been receiving rave reviews over the last 2 years and solidified his reputation as one of the most exciting live performers on the UK scene.
Karima has toured the UK and Europe extensively with her captivating performances – She has graced the major stages supporting such artists as Paul Simon/ The Stereophonics / Jack Savoretti / Patti Smith and Amy Winehouse Having begun playing drums at 13, Karima Francis self-taught guitar and songwriting at the age of 18. Not long after, her legendary debut The Author was released on independent record label Kitchenware Records, produced by the gifted Ken Nelson (Coldplay, Paulo Nutini). She was named as a number one act to watch in 2009 by the Observer. The Author effortlessly found common ground with Francis’s audiences. It’s a song-driven album, entwined with melodic textures and innovative musical progressions. This emotionally rich album was met with critical acclaim for both her vocals and songwriting. Francis’s performance on BBC’s iconic music show ‘Later with Jools Holland’ in 2010, was the icing on the cake for the Author’s success.
Blair Dunlop, the award-winning British singer, songwriter and guitarist, has now released 3 albums 2 ep’s and toured widely around the globe. All of this in a short 4-year career is astounding alone but what sets Blair apart from his peers is the lyrical and musical maturity with which he writes. His third album ‘Gilded’ was released in May 2016 on his own label – Gilded Wings – and was widely acclaimed gaining BBC Radio 2 Playlist status for the two single releases (‘The Egoist’ and ‘356’) both of which were remixed by Ed Harcourt. Prior to this Blair released his acclaimed album ‘House Of Jacks’ in mid 2014 which lived up to the promise of his 2012 debut ‘Blight and Blossom’ (the quality of which contributed to his winning the BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award). Blair has now cemented his place as one of Britain’s most exciting talents to come from the folk scene. The Guardian stated that the ‘House Of Jacks’ proves Blair is ‘an increasingly adventurous songwriter’, Uncut reviewed it as ‘thoughtful and exploratory’, The Independent on Sunday described it as ‘fluent, lamentory and accomplished’ while Q Magazine wrote that House of Jacks is ‘an exciting glimpse of where traditional folk might go’. “The busy crowd…is testament to Dunlop’s talents. Dunlop brings an air of tenacity while displaying a fine repertoire of well-crafted songs spanning traditional and contemporary. He’s determinedly taking the traditions of folk in his own direction” THE INDEPENDENT – LIVE REVIEW
MERRY HELL is a band founded on the ever evolving Folk tradition – music made by the people and shared by the people. Though our hearts and souls are tuned to the songs which came before us, we bring you new words and music forged from our own experiences, from the lows and the loves of our lives. Our art is energy and our hope is unity. Our pleasure is to please: let the audience be the acid test and let the music speak for itself...
Singer Songwriter, Nick Harper is the son of the legendary UK singer-songwriter Roy Harper, Nick was born in London and raised in Wiltshire.
Having played the guitar from the age of 10 and surrounded by the likes of Keith Moon, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and Dave Gilmour as he grew up, it was no surprise when Nick made his recording debut on his father's Whatever Happened to Jugula? in 1985.
With a “voice to melt glaciers” (Venue Magazine) Brooks is at home anywhere she can take her guitar. From the London 2012 Olympics to Glastonbury Festival, from WOMAD to Abbey Road, Brooks’ “devastating vocal talent” (Just Music That I Like) has garnered her admirers from across the spectrum of the industry.
Katey features on tracks with Paloma Faith, Imelda May, The Rolling Stones’ Bill Wyman, Nick Mason of Pink Floyd and Brian May – not to mention sharing the bill with acts like Newton Faulkner, Ghostpoet, Deaf Havana and Mystery Jets.
Following the success of latest single Tracks, which gained airplay from the likes of Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music's Tom Robinson, the band are gathering momentum ahead of the release of new album Borders through Staylittle Music later this summer, with 2016 set to be another big year for Climbing Trees.
2017 sees the hugely talented British singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Emma Stevens release and tour her third album To My Roots. Life has been something of a whirlwind for the down to earth surfer chick from Guildford, since embarking on a solo career in 2012 and bursting onto the scene with her distinctively catchy pop melodies, fused with folk instrumentation and a touch of country. The increasing popularity of this uniquely versatile “what you see is what you get” artist is now undeniable, thanks to almost three million Spotify plays, and over a million video views on the back of four EP and two album releases, with four consecutive singles playlisted by Radio 2.
“Wonderful music…his songs are deep and beautiful and sound effortless” - Huw Stephens, BBC Radio One Sam Airey originates from the Isle of Anglesey, but now resides in the city of Leeds, West Yorkshire. Raised in rural North Wales on various types of folk and country music, Sam blends these influences with the sounds and experiences he has encountered along the way. He plays a variety of instruments, but is sometimes joined by friends, both in studios and on stages. “A voice that brings the world to a standstill…Bon Iver more when Justin was making music in a shack or Ryan Adams before he got sober and happy” - Sean Adams, Drowned In Sound
Based in Wrexham, UK, since 2007, HEAL (The Last Stand) have been aiming to create music that makes people feel better. Armed with Acoustic Guitars and a Piano, Heal found themselves in the fortuitous position of having four willing singers in the band, this led to the harmony element of their sound quite by accident. Add to that lyrics with an Earthly sentimentality that speak to the heart and you have a band who project their obvious love of life through music, with great ease.
I have played guitar, bass and drums and performed in bands since I was a teenager but only discovered the ukulele in 2011. I found that the instrument inspired me to write songs in a way I have never felt inspired before. I love that the ukulele can be so versatile both in the studio and in a live environment: it can be vulnerable, heavy, beautiful and powerful. My songs are inspired by the spaces we find ourselves in both physically and emotionally. I love experimenting with effects such as delay and reverb and adding layers of vocal harmonies and textures from the ukulele to create songs. My debut album of original songs is called THE PASS OF STORMS and features 4 and 8-string ukulele, vocals, bass and percussion. It was recorded at The Woolpack Studios, Otley.