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 Artists appearing

The Haley Sisters

Firm favourites at Sedgefield, sisters Becky and Jo-Ann support their award-winning vocals with powerful rhythm and fingerstyle guitar and rock- solid bass. Brian adds his dazzling flat picking and slide guitar to the mix to give performances that have audiences coming back for more time and time again. They play a range of music, including Americana, Country, Folk, Blues and good old Rock & Roll .... if it's a good solid song that can do justice to their magical harmonies and top-notch musicianship it's in their repertoire! 

The Haley Sisters have performed at many theatres, events and festivals across the UK and abroad and have appeared alongside artistes such as Freddy Fender, George Hamilton IV, Daniel O'Donnell and Nathan Carter. They headline our Saturday evening concert.




The Coal Porters

 THE COAL PORTERS were formed in the 1990s by ex-Long Ryder Sid Griffin. Relocating from Los Angeles to London the band left its electric instrumentation behind and slowly mutated into the acoustic act they are today. In fact, the Coal Porters claim to be the world’s first “alt-bluegrass” act, given as they take old themes and melodies and soup them up for the 21st century and their expanded listening audience.

The band has demonstrated the power of fiddle, mandolin, banjo, acoustic guitar and doghouse bass when matched with three and four-part harmonies and memorable melodies – and taken this sound around the world. They have wowed audiences at numerous UK and European arts centres, done no less than four North American tours and performed to tens of thousands at festivals such as Glastonbury, HebCelt, Stagecoach (USA), Larmer Tree, Didmarton, LaRoche (France), Cork Midsummer Fest (Eire), Wombwell and Hultsfredsfestivalen (Sweden).

 The current line-up is Griffin (a native of Kentucky), long-term sidekick Neil Robert Herd from Scotland, fiddle virtuoso Kerenza Peacock, bassist Tali “Dr. Funk” Trow and ace banjo guru Paul Fitzgerald. Griffin sums it up by saying ‘The Coal Porters are five musicians who play four chord songs from three countries for two good reasons; for health and for happiness’.

They headline our Friday evening concert.



Nancy Kerr & James Fagan

Nancy and James are a long standing, well loved Anglo-Australian duo. They are multi BBC Folk award winners including the inaugural Horizon award and Best Duo 2003 and 2011, and this year Nancy carried off the award for Best Folk Singer.

"The sheer abundance of distilled poetry on display is inspiring. And when it unravels in such a moving lyrical way, such as this, it will remain in the audience's minds for a long time. James Fagan is more than happy to regale his audience with stories of his homeland, and he's quite capable to place us straight at the heart of a drove across Queensland ('Red Gum') or amongst the drama of Ned Kelly's final days (Jerilderie'). It takes a special passion and skill to achieve this. Nancy's new original material is sprinkled throughout the set and she brings us back to this country with 'Queen Of Waters' Then there's a new seafaring singalong, 'Keep Hauling On'. With melting vocal harmonies it reverberates around this beautiful hall as if it has always been here." 

They headline our Saturday afternoon concert.



Flossie Malavialle

Flossie Malavialle is a French singer who started getting involved in the British folk scene in 2000-2001 while she was on a teacher exchange in the North East of England.

After 12 years of teaching English full time in secondary schools in the South of France, she decided to apply for a job as a French teacher in England, as she felt it would boost her English to live abroad for a year.
She got one in Stockton-on-Tees and was living in Darlington at the time (great part of the world to improve your English, like!)

She had also been singing for years in France before that and that’s why she found it quite natural to turn up at the Darlington folk club one night to meet the locals and sing a song... She didn’t realise then that this was going to be the beginning of a new life in England for her.

She has released 11 albums since September 2002, while  2015 will see another 2 albums added to her discography, one with Keith Donnelly as their second Dark Horses album called "Under the Rainbow", and a solo album entitled "If I Have to Go".

See Flossie in our Friday evening concert.





Pete Abbott

Born in Manchester, England in 1961, Pete picked up a guitar for the first time at the age of 10. It belonged to his older brother Terry, but as soon as Terry was out of the door Pete would grab the guitar and disappear for hours. The songwriting began almost immediately, it seemed the natural thing to do, and the very first song was a tear-jerker about the tragedy that struck his favourite football team, Manchester United, in Munich 1958... at 11 years old he wrote a lyric that made his big sister cry... typical!

When Pete was gaining recognition on the folk scene his name became known to John Wright, a legendary singer who sold out concerts wherever he played. After attending one of Pete’s solo concerts,  John soon invited him to join The John Wright Band, touring in the UK and several European countries... he didn’t need to ask twice! This was the big break for which Pete will be eternally grateful. When John died suddenly and prematurely in February 2008 it seemed that the dream was to be short-lived, but John had a lot of concerts booked for that year, so after much consideration Pete and Gregor Borland,  John’s other band member, decided to honour those commitments by performing tribute concerts to their lost friend. Joined by Dave Walmisley they embarked on a year of concerts under the name of John Wright’s Band with Pete leading the band. The astounding success of these concerts and the requests for return appearances meant continuing to tour was assured, and ‘Other Roads’ was born.

Pete’s own reputation as a singer, songwriter and performer has grown with the band, and several of his songs are now covered by other well-known artistes including Anthony-John Clarke, Flossie Malavialle and Bram Taylor.

 Pete features in our Saturday afternoon concert.




The Young'uns

 With bags of charm, talent, and an abiding enthusiasm for traditional song, The Young’uns are making a big impact on the UK folk scene. Sean Cooney, David Eagle and Michael Hughes bring freshness and dynamism to their arrangements of close harmony songs, both with and without accompaniment. Everything from traditional sea and working songs to more recent compositions is present in their repertoire, and is delivered with originality and flair.

The Young 'uns have been Sedgefield regulars for some years now, and we consider ourselves lucky to have secured them yet again despite the ever increasing demands on their time. This year we congratulate them on winning their Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Group.
Join them on our Saturday evening concert.



John Wrightson Band

John Wrightson has spent many years involved in music in his native North East. Initially working with bands on the club circuit he became interested in acoustic/folk music and since 1988 has been a prolific writer of excellent songs, dealing with thought provoking, contentious issues, ever since. Several CD’s of original songs, all recorded in his own studio, are available at gigs, with many now being sung by legends of the folk world - Vin Garbutt to name but one.  
 Joan Edmundson's keyboards and vocals along with Kenny Jobson's guitar and vocals, and Frankie Porter on bass and vocals join John in the band. The John Wrightson Band, quite rightly, has a strong local following and are residents at the monthly Live Music Club held at Sedgefield Cricket Club. John, Joan and Bob Edmundson organise this popular local event where many of the Festival artists have recently appeared.

The band will be first on the Parish Hall stage on Friday evening to start the festival.



John Weighell

A few years ago John popped into one of the Club nights at Sedgefield, liked what he saw and kept coming back. When he performed a floor spot the regulars liked what they saw and kept asking him back! Since then John has become a familiar sight at several local venues, has put his own stamp on an extensive repertoire of songs and developed the audience rapport that only comes with experience.

We are delighted to have John on main stage in our Friday evening concert.



Whiskey Dogs

The Whiskey Dogs play authentic, good time Americana. Old time mountain music, hillbilly blues, dust-bowl ballads and jug band hokum are all played in the crazy exhilarating spirit of the 1920s and 30s.

Fronting the trio with his powerful, soulful vocals is Pete Bolton. Pete’s rhythmic and expressively intricate guitar style, along with his driving banjo playing, create a charismatic and compelling musical presence that gives the band its distinctive and authentic sound. Janey Bolton joins Pete on double bass and harmony vocals, and playing a weird and wonderful array of instruments including banjolin, fiddle, mandolin and phono-fiddle is the talented multi-instrumentalist Brian Swinton.

In true string band style, kazoos, whistles and horns add a zany twist to their up-beat performances, lending a driving energy to the music of the period. The Whiskey Dogs promise you real, sparkling and vivacious Americana in our Saturday evening Parish Hall concert.



Babs Thow & Bobby Surgeoner

Babs has a well-earned a reputation as a fine singer, at one time honing her skills professionally on the northern club circuit. Nowadays she is to be found in the local folk clubs equally at home singing the old standards, pop classics or traditional folk songs, especially from her native Scotland.
Bobby is an extremely talented multi-instrumentalist equally at home performing solo or as part of a duo or bigger band. Indeed many of you will remember him as one of Jez Lowe's "Bad Pennies" some years ago. A chance pairing at a Newton Aycliffe open mike night was so successful that they have since performed together regularly, always to a rapturous reception.

We are delighted to have them start our Saturday evening concert.




BROADBAND are Angie Archer, Martin Bradburn & Phil Summers. The band's name reflects the range of the music they play, from folk ballads to more modern contemporary songs. The band has an innate sense of fun which they try to inject into the music they play, along with huge repertoire to delight any audience. After a bout of serious illness, the band “regrets” to announce Phil has returned to the band & is back to “Normal” (Oh No!!!)  In Oct 2010 the band took over running of the Pot & Glass Folk & Acoustic Club, Egglescliffe Village near Yarm-on-Tees.

They will be hosting the Friday night singaround in The Social Club, Kirkgarth and appearing on the Festival stage in the Saturday afternoon concert.



Marske Fishermen's Choir

The Marske Fishermen's Choir are a group of people (currently all male although there has been a female member in the past) who enjoy singing and are willing to give their time freely to practise weekly and give concerts during the spring and autumn seasons.  They raise funds principally for the RNLI  and other worthwhile causes, and entertain at care homes, village halls, churches and chapels, pubs & clubs or even out in the open.

They will start our Saturday afternoon concert in the Parish Hall.


Andy McLaughlin

Andy is a well-known in the North-East as a renowned musician and songwriter. 
In 2009 he stepped into the Sedgefield limelight as MC for the Parish Hall concerts. Having seen him make such a good job of it once we had no intention of losing him, so Andy has continued to be in charge for the three main concerts each year.



Bert Draycott

Bert came to Sedgefield last year and walked away with the World Spoons Championship (for the umpteenth time!). Can he hold onto it in 2015 ?

He will be found in Ceddesfeld Hall for much of the weekend and will be running a spoons workshop on Saturday morning. Almost music hall in style, songs and stories rooted in the culture of the North-East are interspersed with unashamed nostalgia. If this is your first encounter with Bert you are in for a big surprise - and you won't forget it in a hurry!



Ernie Gilchrist & Peter Brookes  

 Ernie Gilchrist on guitar/vocals/percussion and Peter Brookes on guitar/vocals will play for the competitors in the world spoons championship on Saturday afternoon.

Ernie will also be on hand on Sunday to host the final singaround in Ceddesfeld Hall.



The Old Age Travellers

 The Old Age Travellers are a 3-piece band with  a wide repertoire of songs that are well loved in the folk world with  a soft spot for the music of Ireland and Scotland in particular. Their appearances are all about audience participation and "having a good time". They will be leading the Saturday evening get together in Ceddesfeld Hall from 7:30pm until the care home drags them out!



Stockton to Darlington Ukelele Express a fun Ukulele club in the Stockton to Darlington area, almost at bursting point at the moment! They meet at the Foresters Arms, Darlington. They are also  available to hire for events and try to do a few charity performances throughout the year.

S2D Ukelele Express will be performing on Friday evening in Ceddesfeld Hall.

Lol and Maxine Allan

 Lol and Maxine have been playing music together for 30 years.  Lol plays the guitar and ukulele. Maxine plays clarinet, flute and recorder. The mixture of instruments gives them a wide range of sounds and they play many styles of music from folk, standards, rock and pop with a few surprises and twists.  

Lol has recently turned his hand to teaching and runs a ukulele workshop in Ceddesfeld Hall. Maxine is an experienced teacher of piano and woodwind and runs Beat Buddies a class for young children also in Ceddesfeld Hall.  

They will be in Ceddesfeld Hall on Friday evening. Enjoy the music and don’t be afraid to sing and dance along.


Step This Way

 Step This Way are an Appalachian clog dance team based in Durham. Their lively performances are accompanied by the Bones Creek Band. They will be performing around Sedgefield at various times throughout Saturday. Try to catch at least one of their performances!