'To be without trees would, in the most literal way, to be without our roots.’ - Richard Mabey, Beechcombings
Arboreal is a series of events curated by Fay Stevens that brings together artists inspired by trees for a creatively nourishing artistic event of readings, performance and visual art work.
This Arboreal event takes place at Priston Church with poetic readings and performance by Alyson Hallett, Camilla Nelson and Rhys Trimble, an opening promenade performance by Sarah Sidders and exhibited artwork by Jon England and Fay Stevens.
Sat, doors open 18.30 for 19.00-20.00, Church, Tickets Required
|Barry Lane & The Fridge
Barry Lane and The Fridge Mechanics showcase Barry's lyrical folk rock songs. Barry has been writing songs since he was 14.
The band live in and perform in Bristol and the South West, most recently supporting the late Ian McClaghan from the Small Faces at the Thunderbolt in Bristol. They have been part of the Party in the City for the Bristol International Music Festival for three years running and have also appeared at the Victoria Park Community Festival and the Bedminster Art on the Hill festival of music in the park for two years.
Appearing with Barry will be electric guitarist Mick Owen, from the Vibrators and the Rolling Clones, and the amazing punk-folk energy of James Anderson on acoustic bass.
The band last performed in Priston in 2016.
Sun, 15.00, Chill Stage, FREE
Cool, jazzy, indie skilled artist from Bristol. " I hope I write stuff that Aretha, Etta and Joni would like…"
Sat, 12.30 Village Green Stage, FREE
Cardboard Fox are hard to categorise. All four musicians have roots in bluegrass music but their collective influences reach much further and this shows in their music. Formed in late 2013, the band have known each other for much longer but have been waiting for the right opportunity to make it work.
This is a group of musicians who are very, very excited about what this line up can create and that’s what makes this acoustic quartet so special. With a focus on original writing and re-imagined folk songs taken from a very different perspective, this band is not to be missed.
Cardboard Fox are: John Breese (double bass, Vocals), Charlotte Carrivick (guitar, vocals), Laura Carrivick (fiddle, vocals),
Joe Tozer (mandolin, vocals).
Fri, doors open 20.00 for 20.30 - 22.30, Village Hall, Tickets Required
Judge & Johnny
Cathy is a sculptor from Somerset whose other passion in life is her music.She be performing a mix of her own cleverly crafted songs and favourite covers. Cathy has a rich velvety voice and not only sings sensitive ballads with an emotion seldom experienced but can bellow out the blues with equal expertise. She will be accompanied by long time musical partner Johnny Francis on second guitar.
Sat, 13.30, Chill Stage, FREE
Come and have a go at singing in a choir!
In this Scratch Choir Workshop you will get the chance to learn some uplifting songs and sing them in beautiful harmony. We’ll then do a little sharing performance on the main stage!! If you’re thinking of joining a community choir, this one-off workshop will be a great way to give it a go.
Come along for a relaxed sing-song and get a taste of singing in harmony. No experience necessary, all abilities welcome. All songs will be taught by ear and sung a cappella. Sat, 16.15, Village Green Stage, FREE
Clara Atkins is an experienced community choir leader and professional musician based in Wiltshire. She runs Clarity Community Choir, Bratton Sings, Mill Race Singers and runs workshops in schools and workplaces.
Clara is a brilliant choir leader and manages to get everyone making a great sound (even though few of us condsider ourselves to be good singers!). There is always a lot of fun and laughter. Jane, Bratton Sings participant
Sun, 13.00, Village Hall, FREE
|The Crazy Rhythm Club
A musical time travel from the Hot club of Paris, inspired by the maestros Django and Grapelli.…A rendezvous of crazy nomadic musicians whose paths cross in a vibrant exchange of wild violins, stomping guitars and fiery rhythms. Some call it Gypsy Jazz.
The swing is infectious, the music is both irreverent and virtuosic.
Sat, 16.50, Chill Stage, FREE
|Crossing the Rockies
Crossing The Rockies is a group emerging from the traditional sessions in Frome, Somerset.
We are dynamic instrumentalists playing a mixture of traditional tunes mainly Irish/ Scottish and Old time American with Trevorr leading songs with a foot stomping Old time feel.
We are: Derek O'Rourke (bodhran/whistles/accordion), Keith Harrison-Broninski (English concertina), Natalie Pitman(violin), Steve Gurr (mandolin), Trevorr Mills (vocals/guitar), Zak Krzyzosiak (bass/banjo).
Sat, 16.00, Chill Stage, FREE
De Fuego is a sensational guitar duo, playing energetic instrumental flamenco and rumba-based music. The group has come a long way since coming together in 2010 and their humble beginnings as buskers in London’s markets. They previously performed in Priston in 2016.
"De Fuego are just something else. Totally humble and unassuming as individuals, but don’t let this deceive you! From the second the first pluck hits the airwaves you’re swept away with their passion" efestivals.co.uk
De Fuego is a award-winning Spanish guitar duo playing energetic instrumental flamenco and rumba-based music.
With their fiery upbeat passionate sound and percussive guitar techniques they quickly created a buzz and reputation on the live scene, playing festivals across the UK and establishing themselves as a world class in demand live act.
Major festivals include Glastonbury Festival, Shambala, Secret Garden Party, Sziget Fesztival (HU), Meadows in the Mountains (BU), Rumpus Festival, Vegfest London, Mau Waui, Boxmoor, to name a few, and renowned music venues such as Spice of Life (Soho, London), Green Note (Camden, London), The Ritzy (Brixton, London) as regular guests. De Fuego has also headlined a number of UK festivals and performed across Europe including Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria and Hungary.
Sat, 16.15, Village Green Stage, FREE
Djanan Turan is a singer/songwriter of Turkish origin based in London. Always on the search of new sounds, new expressions, for this occasion she will be presenting some of her old and some new songs with an acoustic trio formed with Alice Mary Williamson on clarinet and Fred de Mercedes on guitar. Her songs are an effortless fusion of various influences of her upbringing, with some Turkish elements, waltz, folk and psychedelia, weaving stories with haunting melodies.
Sat, 15.15, Village Green Stage, FREE
Formed in '82 when Duran Duran hit the scene, Doreen Doreen are everything Duran are not.
Dance away with some of the best (and funniest) cover versions you will hear including Abba, Queen, Ian Dury, Britney Spears and Tom Jones.
Deservedly voted the third best band in Bristol (by the people) after Massive Attack and Portishead.
Doreen Doreen previously visited Priston Festival in 2016.
"The Wall of Sound has been repointed"
Sat, 19.30, Village Green Stage, FREE
This music will change your life. A gig with Dragonsfly is a fully immersive experience harnessing energies of European Celtic acoustic folk-trance and Eastern grooves and moods, brought to life by soaring melodies, lush harmonies and intelligent instrumentals. The infectious, compelling charisma of the band can urge you into wild and vibey and yet nourishing and expansive dimensions, getting right under your skin.
This legacy is brought to you by: Maya Love (vocals, bagpipes, recorders, guitar). Daygan Robinson (mandolin, bouzouki, vocals), Sunny Davidson (bass, drum Kit, guitar, vocals), Kit Morgan (acoustic and electric guitar, oud), Gem Quinn (drum kit, bass, vocals)
Sat, 18.15, Village Green Stage, FREE
Over the past three years Emma has thoroughly enjoyed exploring the diverse and extensive repertoire of the clarinet, and finds immense joy in communicating the stories and emotions which wind their way through the music she performs.
She graduated in 2017 with the Solo Performance Award following her performance of Artie Shaw’s joyful Clarinet Concerto in the Bath Assembly Rooms. Her other recent performance highlights include Krommer’s Concerto for Two Clarinets with the university orchestra and the solo recital she gave as part of her final year at university.
From September 2018 Emma will be studying for her MMus Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where she is looking forward to further developing her own musical voice and continuing to engage and inspire audiences from all backgrounds with her playing.
Sun, doors open 17.30 for 18.00-19.00, Church,
Feral Beryl are variously, occasionally, in part or in whole, more than (but never less than) the beating of the excitingly unique and musically feral hearts of Sue Clare, Gemma White and Lucy May. Privileged to be joined by good friends and great musicians as the songs and times conjure up new and special moments, the Beryls promise to emerge from their individual (and/or collective) musical undergrowths with performances wild with originality, joyfulness, poignancy and energy.
Sun, 14.10, Chill Stage, FREE
|Fly Yeti Fly
Fly Yeti Fly are the acoustic duo Lorna Somerville and Darren Fisher. Blending sensitive vocal harmonies with intricate guitar arrangements, mandolin and harmonica, the duo weave songs and stories from their travels together, with a sound that is reminiscent of the late-’60s folk scene. Their debut album ‘Shine a Light in the Dark’, released March 2017, has since received critical acclaim. Having appeared on BBC Introducing stages across the south west and keen artists on the festival circuit, this pair are often accompanied by the exceptional artists Jo Hooper (Mudskippers) on cello and Alex Pearson (The Model Folk) on double bass.
“Once upon a time, a little piece of acoustic magic formed down in Devon and called itself Fly Yeti Fly” (FolkWords).
“Stylish, quirky, self-penned Indie folk of the charmingly delicate-but-distinctive variety” (fRoots).
“This is a debut album of stunning quality, and I sincerely hope that it is the first of many for this duo” (FATEA).
Sun, 16.40, Chill Stage, FREE
Greatness of The Magnificence Fantasy Orchestra
The Fantasy Orchestra is a 20+ piece Bristol and Paris-based orchestra. It is led by Jesse D Vernon (also of Morning Star) .
Their eclectic repertoire, gleaned from 50s and 60s film soundtracks by Morricone, Rota, Barry, Mancini and Bollywood is bolstered by rock and pop favourites from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Led Zep, The Beatles, Queen and David Bowie. Expect the exotic; psychedelic loveliness; rousing choral noise; some choice costumes – and a musical saw.
The orchestra perform in full regalia!
Sat doors open 16.30 for 17.00-18.00, Church, FREE
Hello Hopeville is a band based in and around Frome, Somerset. It consists of five individuals with a passion for a melodic and mesmerizing sound, with handpicked songs that lend themselves to harmony and instrumentals. Unable to sit within one genre of music as covers range from Fleetwood Mac to Michelle shocked, Alison Krauss and Neil Young. We have also started writing and arranging our own material, all delivered with a sprinkle of magic, which is what gives Hello Hopeville its very unique sound.
Sat, 14.20, Chill Stage, FREE
Homesick Gypsy (Stef Mizrany) has been quietly travelling the highways and byways, performing her own inimitable collection of self-penned songs, wherever the road and the mood takes her; and it’s taken her from England to France and Holland, to India, Taiwan and Cambodia - and back again …...
Difficult to pin down a genre for Stef’s songs, which are an eclectic mix of folk, country, blues-esque and ballads – “however they arrive” it seems. But her lyrics show empathetic insight and are delivered with an unpretentious simplicity that somehow encapsulates your own experiences. And her main instrument is her voice - and it’s her voice, and the lyrics, and the rise and fall of the melody you listen to – and if in the process you feel a connection - an impulsive smile of camaraderie on your lips, or a renegade tear close to escape – don’t be surprised.
Sat, 15.10, Chill Stage, FREE
|Jez Hellard & Original Djukella
Jez Hellard plays a rich mongrel mix of folk music, from jigs, reels and rebel ballads to tango, rhumba and reggae.
Virtuoso musicianship, conscious poetry; from dance tunes to rebel ballads, sweet love songs to powerful politics and passionate improvisation.
With Zoe Moffat on fiddle and Master of Space & Time Nye Parsons on upright bass.
Sat, 21.15, Pub, FREE
Kachina is a composer, singer and multi instrumentalist playing harp, piano, cello, flute and guitar. Inspired by her strong connection to the natural world and other dimensions, Kachina’s voice has been described as “resonant & pure” and her unique sound as ethereal, Celtic and magical.
Fri, doors open 18.30 for 18.50-20.00, Church, Tickets Required
A Richard Harris Folk & Blues Radio Showcase Act
Kitty Macfarlane is a Somerset-based singer and songwriter. Her lyrics combine honest snapshots of everyday humanity with the bigger questions that have connected minds and voices for centuries, driven by her own fingerpicked guitar. As well as the release of her debut EP 'Tide & Time' - featuring Sam Kelly (co-producer), Jamie Francis, Lukas Drinkwater, Maya McCourt and Ciaran Algar, and gaining her first national airplay on the BBC Radio 2 Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe, and Tom Robinson's show on BBC 6Music - 2016 has seen Kitty complete an extensive national support tour with award-winning duo Kathryn Roberts & Sean Lakeman.
This autumn sees the release of Kitty's highly anticipated debut album, produced by Sam Kelly. A collection of original and traditional songs threaded together by the theme of mankind's relationship with the wild, tackling issues of rewilding, climate change, and migration, as well as woman's historical relationship with textiles and the land. As many of the songs have a firm sense of place (mostly in Somerset where she grew up) field recordings taken at locations mentioned in the songs form a soundscape that weaves in and out throughout. Kitty will be touring this album throughout the UK in the autumn of 2018.
"This young Somerset-based singer-songwriter's blessed with a strong identity: a confident singing voice and a compelling writing style deriving inspiration from growing up in the southwest, allied to a talent for finding wider significance in everyday experiences. An outstanding debut" – fRoots Magazine
Sun, 15.00, Village Green Stage, FREE
Kusanganisa is the Shona word for ‘mixture’ that aptly describes this new music project involving four musicians all from different traditions.
Chartwell Dutiro (from Zimbabwe) plays mbira and sings and has been brought up in the Shona tradition; Leandro Maia (from Brazil) is a guitarist, singer and composer; Nick Sorensen (from England) is a saxophonist whose music is located within the traditions of contemporary jazz and folk music and Chris Blanden (from England) is a bass player who has spent years playing rock music and previously worked at Real World Studios.
Kusanganisa previously performed in Priston in 2017.
Sat doors open 14.30 for 15.00-16.00, Church, FREE
|The Model Folk
The Model Folk are a six piece band, hailing from the deepest darkest reaches of North Somerset. Our sound is an eclectic cocktail of influences that could loosely fit in the folk canon. Live shows are full of self-deprecating humour, romance, pathos, audience engagement and interaction; this creates an intimacy which feels more akin to a family get together than a gig; with tunes such as Nipples for Men and Naked in The Kitchen, our aim is to get everyone smiling and tapping their feet.
The music is created with clarinet wizardry, trumpets, trombones & accordion; topped off with epic harmonies; with influences from The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, Curtis Eller, Frank Zappa, Robyn Hitchcock, Ani DiFranco, Cardiacs, Tom Waits, Beirut, Fiona Apple, Bob Marley, Glitzy Bag Hags, John Martyn and many others but sounding like none of them.
As one recent gig attendee said to us “you may go not knowing the songs, but you end up wondering why on earth you hadn’t known them all your life!”
Sun, 12.30, Chill Stage, FREE
Rarely seen during the day, The Moonlit Poachers are a mysterious bunch. When they're not snatching a trout, snaring a hare or netting a rabbit, they're making some of the sweetest, most soulful, folk music this side of the Mendips.
Sat, 13.15, Village Green Stage, FREE
The Morris dancing on Sunday morning will feature the following guest sides:
Instrumental xylo-post-rock from the intersection of Barrow Gurney and Old Market (Bristol).
Sat, 19.20, Chill Stage, FREE
The Portraits are husband and wife alternative folk duo Jeremy & Lorraine Millington who played the last Glastonbury Fest and have been spun on BBC Radio 2.
"Absolutely beautiful!" exclaimed Clare Balding, after The Portraits performed their Jo Cox song 'Nobody Can Ever Murder Love' live on her BBC Radio 2 show in April 2017.
"That is so beautiful. It is so powerful. And sitting here watching you do that together is a real privilege. And it's had a real impact. I just think it's the perfect tribute to Jo Cox and everything that she tried to achieve, and is still achieving because of what people do in her memory." - Clare Balding Radio 2
Sun, 13.20, Chill Stage, FREE
The Quirkish Delights are a Bristol based folk jazz duo with their feet firmly roaming in the gypsy realm. They have previously performed in Priston as members of World Government.
”A small band with big ideas and a world of inspiration, combining the musical talents of Chris Powell (guitar/vocals) and Gina Griffin (violin/vocals) with a heap of stagecraft and unlimited imagination. Their music is a weird (and catchy) global pop music from just about everywhere.”
Sat, 14.15, Village Green Stage, FREE
We look forward to welcoming Reg, our Patron Artist back to the Festival this year.
Somerset-based singer/songwriter, Reg is an exceptional teller of tales set to great melodies and delivered with a spell-binding voice. His songs include "And Jesus Wept" - the story of Private Harry Farr, a WW1 shell-shock victim shot for cowardice. Other songs interweave historical characters with eternal themes. His recent albums England Green & England Gray and December have both been greeted with critical acclaim.
Fri, doors open 18.30 for 18.50-20.00, Church, Tickets Required
Remy has been writing and performing her own songs, and adding her own style to covers of artists who have influenced her, for about two years.
At 14 she shows a maturity of writing and performing beyond her years. Equally at home on guitar, ukulele, and keyboard, she has a range which can rock your socks with a Janis Joplin, or softly sway you with a sweet gentle ballad about lost love.
Sun, 12.00, Chill Stage, FREE
Rivers of England are a Bath-based alt folk-rock band fronted by Rob Spalding. Their new album, Astrophysics Saved My Life, is made up of strong melodies and engaging compositions on themes ranging from the inner self to the outer cosmos - the emotional to the scientific. Though still rooted in folk with beautiful string arrangements, the band has made further forays into jazz, blues and rock.
The band have received critical acclaim for their new album 'Astrophysics saved my life' and achieved national radio play while touring in Germany (Deutschland Radio Kultur) with sell-out gigs including the first of many planned performances in a Planetarium.
Sat, 17.15, Village Green Stage, FREE
|Rock 'n' Roll Angels
Country soulfulness meets beautiful balladry.
RnRA is a group of superbly languid players from Bristol who perform songs with a clever sense of melancholy and wistfulness. They recorded their debut album ‘Peaceful’ live in a church and their catchy rhythmic moods are occasionally reminiscent of John Grant, Nick Drake, Lambchop and Steely Dan.
The band look forward to performing their songs in Priston church
Sun, doors open 12.45 for 13.15-14.00, Church, FREE
|Rosie Eade Band
Inspired by Kate Bush and The Who as much as Steeleye Span, Rosie sings life inspired stories written over many years gigging solo around the country, from a party in a field to Glastonbury’s Avalon Café, arranged around her love of folk, rock and thrashing her old guitar. This dual passion shines through in her new album "Battlestorm", telling of the many battles and conflicts, emotional and physical, faced in our modern and historical lives; heartfelt tales brought to life by Rosie and her band mates.
Sun, 14.00, Village Green Stage, FREE
Since being named Best Newcomer at the 2010 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Sam Carter has been stirring audiences from Camden to Canada, via an attention grabbing appearance on Later… with Jools Holland and a dreams-really-do-come-true performance in a specially assembled band to back Richard Thompson at Shrewsbury Folk Festival.
Described as ‘the finest English-style finger-picking guitarist of his generation’ by Bellowhead’s Jon Boden, Sam has toured the world, equally happy to perform intimate solo shows on acoustic guitar, on electric with a full band, or to collaborate with other artists.
Sun, 16.00, Village Green Stage, FREE
Sharon Lazibyrd (aka Martin) is a talented, original and award winning singer- songwriter who writes striking and melodic songs. “Sharon's voice hits you from the outset, at first slightly fragile but masking latent potential and depth as it delivers… poignant lyrics” Thank Folk for That. Her songs draw on her experiences and a variety of musical influences from Julian Cope to English folk. She is a multi-instrumentalist who has performed across the UK and in Ireland and as half of the duo Lazibyrd winning the South West Music Awards Best Folk Act of 2013. Her songs have been shortlisted in competitions, she has recorded a session for Bob Harris, and she was invited to take part in a BBC Introducing folk residential in 2014. Festival performances during 2016 included the 6 Music festival, Kingsbury May Festival, Home Farm Festival, Keynsham Folk Festival and We Shall Overcome. She also took part in the Live at the Orchard Sessions in 2016 and will be touring her new album in Spring 2017.
Sat, 17.40, Chill Stage, FREE
(Mostly) female acapella choir.
Skylarks are uplifted by bringing you folk and world harmonies, with hearts connected in joy and song.
Sun, 15.50, Chill Stage, FREE
Since their formation in Valencia in 2012, original fusion project Solana have been enchanting listeners with their rhythmically complex and harmonically rich sound inspired by folk traditions from around the world.
“Their music ranges boldly from klezmer melodies, tingling tango, exuberant Irish folk and swinging jazz to pumping reggae and lilting Latin […] thoroughly invigorating” — Songlines
“A fervent and fertile form of world fusion” — Shire Folk
“They make my spice shelf look boring… an accomplished and colourful album” — Folk Radio UK
When not playing music, the members of Solana can be found making chutney, cycling long distances, and correcting people who mispronounce “paella”.
Sun, 17.00, Village Green Stage, FREE
Russets Village Band
String, woodwind and squeezebox players from Somerset and beyond, the band aims to recreate the sound of the eighteenth and nineteenth century village bands who provided music at events as diverse as village dances, parades and church services.
This year’s workshop will explore music from Johnson’s Choice Collection of Favourite Country Dance Tunes, published in 1750. Bring your instrument and play some of the music your ancestors danced to, arranged in parts. Music provided, but bring a music stand if you have one. All welcome, but some experience of sight reading will definitely increase your enjoyment. Guitar chords included. If you want to show off what you’ve learned, there’ll be a short showcase event after the workshop.
Sun, 14.20, Village Hall, FREE
Helen James of Keynsham and Paul Barclay from Priston have expanded their established duo to form The Summerhouse Band. Joined by Alice Barclay on violin, Priston’s cellist, Camilla Litchfield and Bristol-based classical pianist, Ken Dale, the group made their debut performance at Priston Festival in 2016.
Rooted in folk music their repertoire explores the potential of rich arrangements; beautiful vocal and instrumental harmonies with songs ranging from relaxing and gentle through to lively and full of fun.
Sun, 13.00, Village Green Stage, FREE
Born with a love of song, Susie first discovered a passion for performing while studying Musical Theatre at school, and through singing lessons enforced by her parents which, to her surprise, she found she enjoyed.
After being introduced to the ukulele by friends, she soon bought her own… and another one… and another one…! Susie was soon on stage at her local folk club and began to fall in love with traditional song, to complement her existing contemporary musical tastes… and thus, her unique style was born. The folk scene in Bristol began to sit up and take notice, and Susie soon found herself opening for the likes of Gilmore & Roberts, Hattie Briggs, Said The Maiden, Claudia Schwab and Sam Kelly and The Lost Boys, as well as performing at Bristol Folk Festival, Folk On The Water, Keynsham Music Festival, Bristol Fringe and a host of local events.
Sun, 17.30, Chill Stage, FREE
‘Verdisa’ (formerly known as Sam Evans Band who last played Priston in 2015) have been working tirelessly in and around Bristol for over 6 years.
With an eclectic blend of rock, funk, reggae, blues and beyond, you will be taken on a musical journey from the highest mountains, to the deepest oceans, to the core of your inner being and the edge of the universe itself.
Sat, 18.30, Chill Stage, FREE
|Wells Cathedral School
Music has been at the heart of Wells since it started as a choir school in 909. The chorister school for young boys with unbroken voices and the grammar school for ‘teenagers’ were united during the sixteenth century. The school became co-educational in 1969, but it was in 1970 that Wells became one of just three specialist music schools in England.
Wells offers a specialist music scheme for students who wish to pursue a career in music. They receive a first-class, pre-professional training from teachers who are world-class musicians themselves, many of whom are active performers and teach at UK conservatories.
Three Y13 specialist musicians applying to music conservatoires in November/December will be providing accompanied solo performances in a concert in the Church on Sunday afternoon: Eliza on flute, Meggie on trombone and Ethan on tuba. Meggie plays with the National Youth Orchestra and Eliza is a member of the National Youth Wind Orchestra.
Sun, doors open 15.30 for 16.00-17.00, Church, FREE