12:30 Bordewey, Young and Gittens
13:40 Ben Robertson
14:45 Owen Spafford & Louis Campbell
15:50 The McGoldrick Sisters & Jimmy Patrick
7th-10th September 2023
Owen Spafford (Don’t Feed the Peacocks) and Louis Campbell (Sam Sweeney) met as teenagers, as part of the first cohort of the National Youth Folk Ensemble. Since forming their duo in 2018, they have been nominated for the BBC Young Folk Award and performed across England and received national airplay on BBC Radio 2 and 3 alongside RTE1 in Ireland and BBC Scotland. A shared musical ‘true north’ and lasting friendship enable the duo to make two instruments seemingly sound as one; creating subtle and emotive textures that redefine the trad. fiddle and guitar duo idiom.
Owen has performed for the leaders of the commonwealth states, toured with Giffords Circus and has received a scholarship to study composition at the Royal Academy of Music. He is currently working on new music with James Kay (Sam Lee) and Cosmo Sheldrake. Owen is also an All-Britain Fiddle Champion in the Fleadh Cheoil na Breataine, BBC Young Composer Competition nominee and has studied with Sam Amidon and John Dipper. Equally at home in a traditional session as he is in a free improvisation workshop, Spafford’s understanding of the oral tradition and love for vernacular music from around the world enables an inventive and thoughtful fiddle style.
Louis has performed at venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall and Bridgewater Hall, having joined Sam Sweeney’s band at 19. At the Royal Northern College of Music, he studied under Martin Simpson, Stuart McCallum, Craig Ogden and Kris Drever. He has been cited as ‘a talent to watch’ by the Sunday Times. Most commonly seen behind a large effects pedalboard, the duo provides space for Campbell to connect with his first love, the acoustic guitar. He has also released three solo EPs of alternative music.
The duo allows Owen and Louis to distill their love of traditional and experimental music into powerful, intricate and intimate music. Their debut album ‘You, Golden’ manages to orbit many different sound-worlds while staying comfortably within the acoustic context of English folk music; seamlessly blending traditional tunes with their own material.
Improvisation, humour and musicality make each live performance unique, breaking forward into a new direction for English folk music.
Brave, brilliant, deeply musical and creative. Listen to this…
Virtuosic, vibrant and very, very progressive. A magnificent take on the trad. tune idiom. Don’t let their youth suggest these aren’t two very wise old hearted musicians at the start of a very long and glorious career