Filed under: Discussion
On Monday night Un-convention will see showcase performances from bands curated by Howard Monk.
“The debut album from Manchester’s Denis Jones arrives after the man’s grafted and pulled himself all over the place perfecting his working man blues. Comparisons with John Martyn, (arguably) the pioneer of the British blues-folk-rock tradition are not without warrant, while the no fear attitude of Tunng or Psapp in the use of electronics and sequencers makes for a surprising dovetail. Comes in some of the most unique packaging we’ve ever seen. Fold-out plastic case with fabric inner and individually etched number of only 500. This week’s thoughts…Hi,Your attention is needed for a new folk hero in the form of Manchester’s Denis Jones. Drawing comparisons with the likes of John Martyn and Tunng this is set to have A&R hounds frothing at the mouth, so get on this early. Oh and the packaging is just wonderful too!!” Darryl, Piccadilly Records
Sophie’s Pigeons have been performing around the UK for just over a year after forming in the late summer of 2006. The Manchester based band have stirred up a commotion of excitement within the North West Folk scene, breaking conventions and bringing a pop vibe to an ever popular scene. The ‘almost’ all girl band have quickly launched onto the global arts festival, that is Ladyfest and have performed at a number of the female ran Ladyfests around the country in the past 12 months.
Most hip-folkies tread the well worn path of revivalism, forgetting to forge a new path all of their own. One man foraging a lonesome trail is John Stammers, who not only creates beautiful and beguiling tales of love ‘n’ loss, but also manages to create folk-tales of a very modern place. A place that knows no boundaries. A place that we’ve all been to… but will never see on a map. In amongst the Celtic drones, the ghosts of traditional ballads, lies something of the Appalachian mountains and songs of the creeks and peaks. Moreso, John Stammers makes soul music for the reflective and the dreamy. A new LP recorded, channeling the spirit of acid-folk players since lost to the ether, melding the fire and ice of country heart-ache and bringing the loose jazz of late night bebop, with a stage presence that’s both welcoming and intense, John Stammers is a man to get lost in, a real life troubadour to follow into the shadows of the forest.
In the past year 18 year old Newcastle based singer/songwriter Beth Jeans Houghton has garnered a reputation as an antidote to the current crop of acoustic songstresses. With her alternative blend of experimental folk, Beth has been hailed by the NME as “a Joni Mitchell for the anti-folk generation”. With influences ranging from Frank Zappa, Vashti Bunyan, Fourtet and Love, Beth has cultivated a sound that is truly her own. Since her first performance in August 06 Beth has played alongside a diverse collection of artists such as Bon Iver, Imogen Heap, The Wombats, Fionn Regan, Jeffrey Lewis, The Mystery Jets, Scott Matthews, Josephine Foster, White Magic, Bowerbirds, King Creosote, Jana Hunter, Alasdair Roberts, PG Six, Dead Meadow, Phosphorescent, Voice of the Seven Woods, Tom Brosseau, St Vincent, Euros Childs, Diane Cluck, Jack Savoretti and Stephen Fretwell amongst others. At last years Greenman Festival Devendra Banhart invited Beth to play one of her songs during his set on the main stage to an 8000 strong crowd describing her as, ‘very lovely, a musical magician’. Beth has a track on ‘We Are All Circling The Stars’ (compilation – Cosmos Recordings) and another on ‘Bearded Ladies Vol II’ (compilation -Bird/Finders Keepers) both out spring 08. Beth is currently writing/recording, and is gigging regularly throughout the UK.
Tickets are available for Monday nights Showcases priced at £7
Alternatively, Full Event Tickets which allow entry for all panel, networking, acoustic, and evening showcases from Sunday through to Tuesday are available for the advance price of £25.