in conversation with Jo Freya
Máire Ní Chathasaigh & Chris Newman
by Fiona Heywood
Brian Peters checks out an exciting new face in English traditional music… Mossy Christian.
If we regard folk music as a spectrum, then Fay Hield leads an extraordinarily busy life at the performing end of that spectrum; another in the middle as an organiser; and at the other end as a well-respected academic in the music department of the University of Sheffield. These roles have never been mutually exclusive for we have performer-academics and organiser-musicians – but rarely have we had someone who fulfils all three roles.
In the years either side of 1975, a revolution took place in English Social Dance. The dominant force throughout the 20th century had been the English Folk Dance and Song Society. There had been a previous major change in the first years after 1945 when the young royal princesses took an interest in square dancing after visiting Canada. The EFDSS heartily endorsed this and the bands that played for their ubiquitous dance clubs adopted many of their reels and played them at speed.
Georgia Lewis is a folk singer, accordionist, whistle player and sean-nós step dancer from Wiltshire. She studied Professional Musicianship at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music and works in various musical collaborations with others such as Rowan Piggott, Evan Carson, Ross Grant and Aidan Bew. She performs traditional material, poems set to music and her own compositions. Georgia worked hard to create her debut CD, The Bird Who Sings Freedom, which received a nomination for a Horizon Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
The Road to Peterloo
August 16, 2019 is the bicentenary of the Peterloo massacre when 60 cavalrymen charged into a peaceful crowd of men, women and children who had assembled to protest against poverty and their deteriorating conditions and to demand improved democratic representation in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars. The event took place in St Peter’s Field Manchester, just four years after the battle of Waterloo - hence the name.
2018 was a remarkable year for Aberdeenshire singer Iona Fyfe. It kicked off in January with a ‘live’ performance of her album, Away From My Window, at Celtic Connections, and ended in December with her walking away with the Scots Singer of the Year prize at the Scots Trad Music Awards. In between, she toured so extensively at home and abroad, including appearances at prestigious events like the Festival Interceltique de Lorient, that one paper said she “made Metallica look like skivers”.