Seminal UK folk-rock band Levellers, Mercury Prize-nominated singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey and Scottish indie-rock pioneers Teenage Fanclub will headline the thirteenth Moseley Folk Festival in Birmingham, running from Friday 31 August to Sunday 2 September 2018.
The popular festival, set in the beautiful and unique setting of Moseley Park, will this year welcome progressive and glam rock legends Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, English roots and folk duo Show of Hands, John Peel folk-rock favourite Bridget St John, Scottish singer-songwriter King Creosote, acclaimed new star This Is The Kit, festival friend and supporter Willy Mason and Algerian Tuareg ensemble Imarhan.
With an international reputation for presenting a healthy mix of traditional, contemporary and downright experimental folk and acoustic music, as well drawing from connecting genres, Moseley Folk Festival offers music fans the perfect end-of-summer experience complete with a great range of food, ales, ciders and traders.
“As music devotees, we're absolutely delighted to unveil this year’s Moseley Folk Festival line-up, complementing the line-ups for Mostly Jazz, Funk & Soul between 6-8 July and Lunar Festival from 27 to 29 July. We're lucky to have such a stunning site in Moseley Park to work with, as well as a wonderful audience each year. From Imarhan to Teenage Fanclub, Katharine Priddy to Martin Carthy and much, much more, the 2018 line-up really does have something for folk fans of all ages and interests" - John Fell, Moseley Folk Festival
FRIDAY AT MOSELEY FOLK FESTIVAL 2018
From their early gigs in Brighton in the spring of 1988, Levellers were a ‘gang band’ that attracted an instant following. Then as now, they represented a potent brew of activism and hedonism with music that appealed to the head, the heart and the feet in equal measure. Often political, occasionally angry but always big-hearted, their songs became instant anthems. 2018 sees Levellers celebrate their 30th Anniversary, bringing that celebration right to the heart of the country with a headline slot.
The Show of Hands success story tells a vivid account of more than two decades of international touring, 25 album releases, two honorary doctorates, three BBC Folk Awards, and four Royal Albert Hall sell-outs. The duo of Steve Knightley and Phil Beer blend captivating songwriting with flawless musicianship and a ceaselessly innovative approach to remain steadfastly at the top of their game.
Folk-punk heroes Skinny Lister regularly hurtle into the night with booze-fuelled camaraderie shared equally between the band and their fans. The six-piece London band have held gigs in Land Rovers, sung while wing-walking and toured in a narrow boat. The Xtra-Mile Recordings-signed act have also stomped and jigged on restaurant tables, in hotel elevators and in record label car parks. Now, they perform at Moseley Folk Festival.
Critically-acclaimed folk musician Richard Dawson - whose album was included in The Guardian’s top 10 albums of 2017 - is an exciting and much anticipated addition to the 2018 festival’s Saturday night offering.
Eldest brother to the Campbell brothers (UB40), David Campbell and master of the unaccompanied singing style in which he was raised, he will be joined at Moseley Folk by the electrifying Birmingham act High Horses, Corn Potato String Band’s driving fiddle tunes and harmonious singing, the hypnotic Keto, and old country, blues and honky tonk music-influenced Hannah Johnson & The Broken Hearts.
SATURDAY AT MOSELEY FOLK FESTIVAL 2018
Nick Mulvey, who broke out from his former band Portico Quartet in 2011, headlines Moseley Folk Festival on Saturday 1 September; many know him for his Mercury Prize-nominated 2014 solo debut, First Mind.
That album was celebrated for the way it combined expressive songwriting with everything from West-African rhythms to electronic dissonance. The musician and singer’s new album Wake Up Now has touches of Paul Simon’s Graceland in the lightness and sophistication of the harmonies, shades of Caribou and Four Tet in the organic approach to electronics, and even Cat Stevens within the quieter moments of acoustic reflection.
This Is The Kit – led by Paris-via-Bristol songwriter Kate Stables – have earned the adoration of peers including Guy Garvey, The National and Sharon van Etten. Their new album, Moonshine Freeze, is a beguiling mixture of great musical sophistication and something more guileless - children’s games, incantations and snatches of nursery rhymes.
Imarhan’s self-titled debut album dismantles the ideas western listeners have about popularised Tuareg music. It provides slow burners and a complexity of composition that hasn’t been demonstrated by previous music exported from the Saharan people’s musical repertoire.
The Algerian five-piece have a direct DNA link to trail blazers and previous Moseley Folk headliners Tinariwen - Eyadou Ag Leche of Tinariwen is a cousin of Imarhan frontman Sadam.
Chris Wood is an uncompromising writer whose music reveals a love for the unofficial history of the English-speaking people. Traversing early influences of folk and blues, Tiny Ruins’ sound draws on ethereal and grungy soundscapes alike. When he’s not working on his own critically acclaimed solo albums, Jim White, produces records for other songwriters. Perceptive and emotive songwriter, MG Boulter, was picked as one of the top 20 folk albums of the year by the Daily Telegraph for his 2016 release With Wolves the Lamb Will Lie.
Ciaran Lavery has an unrivalled knack for poetic heart-stopping lyrics that are set to earn him wider recognition as a treasured singer-songwriter. Joining him on the Saturday line-up is intrinsically honest, pure, universal country band Honey Harper, three-time Scots Singer of The Year Award-winner Siobhan Miller, hypnotic story teller and fragile performer Katherine Priddy and intricate harp-playing, tender vocals and unique takes on classic songwriting from Emma Gatrill.
SUNDAY AT MOSELEY FOLK FESTIVAL 2018
Almost thirty years on from the band’s debut album A Catholic Education, the much loved Teenage Fanclub continue to give their audiences joy with the band’s signature indie rock repertoire. Throughout their illustrious career the band have released a total of ten studio albums, with their latest album Here, making the Scottish Album Of The Year Award longlist in 2017. Many of the band’s offerings have claimed Top 20 status in the UK, no mean feat for an alternative rock band reaching their 30th year anniversary as a band.
Kenny Anderson, best known by his stage name King Creosote, combines equal parts geometry, self-deprecation, cosmic wonder, seafaring poetry and a knack for a killer couplet. To date, he has released over forty albums. His most recent, Astronaut Meets Appleman, gives a renewed sense of space, letting the music breathe and allowing him to showcase a stunning ensemble cast.
Original Cockney Rebel, Steve Harley, will perform earlier in the day in the Sunday afternoon legends slot. A charismatic live performer, Harley has written and recorded twelve albums over four decades. He is perhaps best known for the worldwide hit and UK Number One ‘Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me), which was recognised by the Performing Rights Society as one of the most-played radio singles in British Radio history.
Jolie Holland & Samantha Parton have a strong musical and personal connection. Each has exerted a strong musical influence on the other. Their music wanders from rural blues to folk and ragtime, from smoky jazz to emotive R&B and fearless rock & roll. Another strong female act on the bill is English singer-songwriter and accomplished guitar player, Bridget St John. She’s performed alongside such legends as Nick Drake, Paul Simon and David Bowie, but virtually disappeared from the public eye in 1976 for 20 years, only returning with a handful of rare performances in recent years.
For more than 50 years Martin Carthy has been one of folk music’s greatest innovators. His skill, stage presence and natural charm have won him many admirers, not only from within the folk scene, but also far beyond it. Jim Ghedi will be joining him at Moseley Folk Festival with his subtle combination of finger-picked guitar and classical instrumentation, creating beautiful arrangements.
He joins London-based Irish alt-folk and electronica artist Seamus Fogarty and accomplished and exciting young performer Jack Blackman at Moseley Folk Festival. Also performing on Sunday 2nd September is The Lost Notes with their part folk, soul roots, gospel and downright country music, Cosmotheka/Merrymaker with their absurdly comic masterpieces and Stick In The Wheel providing culturally and politically switched on music with roots firmly embedded in the genre’s traditional, working-class heritage.