Winner of the 2019 Shrewsbury Folk Festival Open Mic competition, Al O'Kane is a West Country troubadour who folds Jimi Hendrix into the sound of Celtic resistance rock n' roll. Part Waterboys, part Velvet Underground, Al's music is a cry for action - nestled into a fiery acoustic blend.
"West Country gumbo".
Sat. 12.30pm, Village Green, FREE
Hugely talented young musicians at the start of their professional careers after finishing 3 years at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff.
Sun. 4.15pm, Church, FREE
A Jazz duo from Bristol featuring Simon Greening and John Lambert.
Simon is a familiar figure in the Bristol jazz scene, playing inseveral bands - including founding jazz quartets Green in Blue and Avellana - arranging workshops and running the East Bristol Jazz Clubjam. John has a foot in both classical and jazz camps and is a member of several local bands including Mood Indigo, Avellana andthe Staubin Quartet.
Sat, 1pm, Church, FREE
Lane & The Fridge Mechanics
Great supporters and friends of the Festival. 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 including at the famous Bristol music pub The Thunderbolt. They have been part of the Party in the City for the Bristol International Music Festival and appeared at the Victoria Park Community Festival and the Bedminster Art on the Hill festival of music in the park in recent years.
Sun. 2.30pm, Chill Stage, FREE
The Bayou Tapestry are arguably the finest Cajun band in the whole of Bishopston (a small neighbourhood in north Bristol). Playing local street parties, a couple of Cajun festivals, touring South Wales (well, Newport), we’ve somehow built up a loyal-ish fanbase, largely through bringing the Cajun gospel to the uninitiated (who don’t know any better). The nearest we’ve been to Louisiana, however, is Pembrokeshire.
We’re a 6/7 piece that’ve been playing together for a couple of years. You may find this hard to believe when you hear us. Having seen other people play Cajun , we thought “how hard can it be?” We’re still formulating an answer to that question.
We’re not polished, not normal and not that bothered ‘cause what we play seems to go down well with our audiences (some of whom are not even related to us).
It’s possible to sit and listen to us – but it’s much more fun if you grab hold of someone and dance.
Sat, 6.15pm, Chill Stage, FREE
We play an eclectic mix - some jazz classics you’ll know, and some classics you didn’t know were jazz including songs from the "Great American Songbook" as well as contemporary artists, with numbers from Cole Porter, Fats Waller, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, Billy Joel, Antonio-Carlos Jobim, Leon Russell, Elton John.
Sun 1.30pm, Chill Stage, FREE
One thing that is always evident at a Carrivick Sisters performance is their joy in playing together, in singing in close harmony and in delighting an audience.
Twin sisters Charlotte and Laura Carrivick have grown up playing music together, and at a live show the stage becomes an extension of their kitchen; welcoming you into a warm, musical embrace while cooking up delicious melodies and tasty instrumentals. The sisters draw inspiration from their passion for traditional American old time and bluegrass music, English folklore and the wide variety of instruments they play: guitars, mandolin, fiddle, banjo and dobro.
One of the British folk scene's best loved duos with a passion for old stories, American folk music and a good cup of tea.
Fri 7.30 for 8pm, Village Hall, Ticketed (£12.50)
& Johnny Francis
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.
Johnny will also be running the sound on the Chill Stage.
Sat. 5pm, Chill Stage, FREE
The latest project of Taz Mains, a multi instrumentalist who features in many bands including The Fantasy Orchestra and The June Apples.
Sat. 3pm, Chill Stage, FREE
Formed in '82 when Duran Duran hit the scene, Doreen Doreen are everything Duran are not.
Danceaway 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) afterMassive Attack and Portishead.
Doreen Doreen previously visited Priston Festival in 2016 and 2019.
"The Wall of Sound has been repointed"
"Seeing is believing!"
Sat. 7.30pm, Village Green, FREE
Ellie Gowers has been making an impression wherever she lands. Her music embeds a fierce energy that echoes the 60’s folk revival scene and she is known to hold pride of place on stage with her strong and lucent vocals. Her songs are built from a childhood love of literature and traditional folk song, but also discuss the more modern narratives of the present day. These influences fuse together to create a sound that has been deemed unique and incomparable.
Sun. 2.00pm, Village Green, Free
The Fantasy Orchestra is a community project led by Jesse D Vernon, based in Paris and also in Bristol. The Orchestra (motto: ‘World Peace One Note At A Time’) brings together 50+ musicians, professional and amateur, to create a kaleidoscopic symphonic brigade.
Their eclectic repertoire covers film soundtracks (Morricone, Barry, RD Burman), rock and pop favourites (Hendrix, Beatles, Bowie, Radiohead), and some more obscure treasures. Think psychedelic loveliness, rousing choral noise, and some choice costumes.
"World peace, one note at a time"
Sat. 4.45pm, Village Green, FREE
We welcome back Alphonse and his friends, who last played Priston way back in 2010!
Inspired by the rhythms of the Bantu Forest of West Africa, Alphonse Daudet Touna from Cameroon formed the band to ‘enrich and share his music with the world.’ The haunting vocals, sung in his own tribal language ‘Bassa’, send messages of peace and hope. Alphonse plays the Balafon (African Marimba) he made himself – adding an exotic and original sound to the music. The band – composed of some of Bristol’s finest session musicians – has headlined at festivals and major venues across the UK and supported well known artists such as Eliades Ochoa of the Buena Vista Social Club.
Infectious West African dance music.
Sat. 3.30pm, Village Green, 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.
Hello Hopeville last played Priston Music Festival in 2019.
American with a twist!
Sat. 8.30pm, Pub, FREE
In August 1905, two brothers from Somerset set out on the first of a series of marathon cycle trips across Dorset in pursuit of English folk songs. One of the brothers, Henry, was a semi-invalid, although he had represented England at football earlier in his life. The brothers, born in the pretty village of Priston, four miles south-west of Bath, had already collected more than one hundred songs in Bath and West Somerset and, by the time ill-health prevented further journeys, they had added a further 800 to their collection. Many of these songs, which would otherwise have been lost forever, are now commonly sung by professional and amateur folk singers in Britain and across the world.
Using song, words and images, the Hotwells Howlers tell the brothers’ story and the stories of the singers they collected from.
Sat, 5.00pm, Church, FREE
The new project led by the virtuoso guitar and banjo player Joff Lowson who has appeared in Priston many times, in various projects, as well as playing with a series of famous bands such as The Blue Aeroplanes Joff is also a frequent player at the Bell in Bath where this recent video was filmed by Priston Festival scouts.
Sun, 12.30pm, Chill Stage, FREE
Jo Sercombe runs The Big Sing workshop which is open to all, regardless of age, skill or experience. Jo brings an informal, passionate style to her teaching. Reaching out to participants, she not only gets them to connect with her, but also with each other in a quite unique way. Have no doubt that you will feel genuinely inspired, uplifted and buzzing after the session with Jo!
Sun. 1.45pm, Village Hall, FREE
We are the singing blokes of Ashton Keynes who perform at concerts, clubs, pubs and festivals. Inspired by Georgian harmonies and attracted to the musically irreverent and absurd, we offer serious singing combined with profound insights into modern male angst. Paying audiences have acclaimed us as hilarious entertainment suitable for the whole family. We're also able to sing whilst wearing a variety of hats and accessories.
Sat, 3pm, Church, FREE
Confirmed Morris sides so far:
Sun, 10am, Village Green, FREE
Original Barn Finds
A great local band based in Somerset, UK, playing all sorts of covers with a bluegrass twist, who like to have a good time and not take ourselves too seriously! They guarantee foot-stomping tunes with a mix of banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar and bass, all topped off with some powerhouse vocals. Thir music is an eclectic mix of old standards, classic rock covers and newer material.
“Banjo, fiddle, mandolin, guitar and bass combine with powerhousevocals to produce a sound that can only be described as enthusiastic noise”.
Sun. 5.15pm, Village Green, FREE
We look forward to welcoming Reg, our PatronArtist back to the Festival thisyear.
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" - thestory of Private Harry Farr, a WW1 shell-shock victim shot for cowardice. Other songs interweave historical characters witheternal themes. His recent albums England Green& England Gray and December have both been greeted with critical acclaim.
Sun. 3.20pm, Village Green, FREE
This accordionist from Somerset has played accordion for many years, enjoying a wide range of music that he can tailor for your special event. He has a wealth of beautiful melodies including waltzes, tangos, klezmer, music from France, Eastern Europe, traditional tunes as well as much-loved pieces like Under Paris Skies and the theme from Amelie.
Sat. 2pm, Chill Stage, FREE
Rivers of England are a Bath-based alt folk-rock band fronted by Rob Spalding. They previously played Priston in 2017 and 2018.
"This masterpiece 'Time Rolls On'is one of the best songs we've ever heard. The atmosphere is unique and the production is creative, smart and brought this track to a whole new level. The singing voice is a piece of art and the melodies are incredibly catchy. This band is professional and there is an amazing level of songwriting that shines up through their music."
- Cheers to the Vikings
"Wholesome and finely crafted loveliness"
- BBC Introducing
Sat. 1.30pm, Village Green, FREE
Road Not Taken are a five-piece folk band made up of Anita Dobson (lead vocals, kalimba, bohdran), Ant Miles (guitar, backing vocals,harmonium, ukulele, mountain dulcimer, piano), Joe Brydon (slide guitar, bouzouki, harmonica), Joe Hamlen (bass, harmonium, mountain dulcimer) and Claire Hamlen (fiddle, backing vocals, harmonium, piano).
Road Not Taken play a mixture of traditional and contemporary songs, in their unique, melancholic style.
Having honed their craft over a number of years of performing live, their debut album Fragment brings together eight songs, inspired by the tradition and which best represent their sound.
Sun. 4.15pm, Village Green, FREE
Enjoy the rich blend of voices from Rolling Harmony, a vocal group of choir leaders and singers from the South West. Songs with vibrant rhythms, compelling lyrics and interweaving vocal lines, rooted in English and American harmony singing traditions. Great range of songs and gorgeous vocal harmonies… something for everyone.
Sun. 2pm, Church, FREE
The new sounds of Severn Delta Surf!
"Taking their cues from Tarantino’s surf selections, Joe Meek’s New World, Budd and Bizet, The Rumble-O’s project their intergalactic instro’s into the heart of ‘62 and return aboard Dick Dale’s reverb tank. A blend high energy, authentic sixties sounds with a contemporary edge."
- Green Man Festival
Sat. 6.15pm, Village Green, FREE
Senna is a guitarist & singer from Weston-Super-Mare. He enjoys playing both with his band Better Than Expected & as a solo artist. He plays mainly Blues, Rock & Pop.
He is a Bare Knuckle Pickups Artist, endorsed by Blackstar Amplification amps, currently an Artist 15 & Artist 30, Fender, Gibson & Ernie Ball Guitars, Wampler effects & D'Addario strings.
As some of you already know Senna is a Type 1 Diabetic who runs on Insulin!, his motto has always been "don't let type 1 stop you"
Back for a second time, with a two year gap, brilliant bluesy poppy guitar.
Sat. 9.30pm, Pub, FREE
The Shambletones are Don Alexander and Stuart Shaw, long time players in the Bath music scene, mostly with covers bands. It’s quite easy to tell them apart.
As we all emerged from the recent lockdowns and restrictions, Don and Stuart took every opportunity to play together in their houses and work-spaces and to be a little more creative. Finger picking guitar and bass. Stealing happily from jazz, folk, rock and pop; mixing covers with new songs born from the sheer joy of playing music with other people again. Expect guest appearances from other local musicians during their set at Priston.
Sat. 4pm, 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 3.30pm, Chill Stage, FREE
Solana are a five-piece band performing original compositions encompassing folk idioms, modal jazz and experimental grooves. Their rich and inventive sonic tapestry is anchored by a deep respect for traditions rooted in all corners of Europe and beyond.
"multi-textured cornucopia of sound . . . an intoxicating cocktail of rythmn, an infusion of dance and melody that is impossible to resist"
- Outline Magazine
Sat. 2.30pm, Village Green, FREE
The Irish tradition isn’t all about jigs and reels played at breakneck speed. This year, festival regulars The Somerset Russets will be taking you through some accessible Irish tunes in a variety of rhythms, all arranged in parts for village band. Bring an instrument and join us to play some great music in glorious harmony. The ability to sight-read is an advantage. (Music-stand helpful but not essential.) Ear players welcome to pick up the tunes “on the fly”).
The workshop leaders will be Jo Cook and Katharine Tylco.
Workshop: Sun. 3.15pm, Village Hall, FREE
Showcase: Sun. 4.10pm, Village Hall, FREE
Led by Helen James, The Summerhouse Band is formed of Priston residents and other very close village friends, whose folk music repertoire explores the potential of rich arrangements of folk songs with violin, cello, guitar and keyboard.
Sun. 3pm, Church (outside), FREE
Suthering, meaning "the sound of the wind through the trees or wind under a birds wing", combines the musical talents of Julu Irvine and Heg Brignall. A couple in life and in music, the duo have taken the folk scene by storm with their unusual and fresh approach to folk. Julu and Heg are true story-tellers who champion female characters, creating new narratives for women and unearthing the female heroines of folk.
Sun. 1pm, Village Green, FREE
Swithin is a fabulous, fulsome mix of acoustic fun, five-part harmonies, guitar, fiddle and double bass... fresh takes on old favourites, known and unknown
Sat. 2pm, Church FREE