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 Artists appearing

The Mighty Doonans

The Mighty Doonans have a deserved reputation for their imaginative and innovative interpretations of traditional and contemporary songs. With brass, drums, keyboards, electric guitars and amazing vocals, they have the ability to blend different genres of music and dance (and the occasional joke) into their act. This leads to thoroughly entertaining performances that delight audiences across the ‘folk world’. 

The original ‘Doonan Family Band’ regulars; Mick & Kevin Doonan, Phil Murray & Stu Luckley, are joined by various family members, Rosie & Frances Doonan (Mick’s daughters), Jamie Luckley (Stu’s son) a great old friend Ian (Walter) Fairbairn and occasionally joined by Ben Murray (Phil’s son) which all constitute ‘The Mighty Doonans’. The original ‘Doonan Family Band ‘ have been part of the British folk scene for over 40 years. John Doonan , father of Mick and Kevin, was the godfather of Irish music, a World Champion Piccolo Player.

The Mighty Doonans continue to deliver their traditions and influences along with powerhouse arrangements and sensitive interpretations of a wide variety of material, while retaining their renowned rapport and relationship with all audiences and headline our Friday evening concert.


Bob Fox

 Bob Fox honed his trade over many years first in the local folk club circuit, then on the national and international scenes. Although Bob is a renowned solo performer he has also collaborated with others on many occasions, notably with Stu Luckley (see The Mighty Doonans) and more recently as one of "The Pitman Poets" who have recently completed their second hugely successful season.

2011 saw Bob clinche the role of "Songman" in the National Theatre production of War Horse in London's West End. After its touring programme was completed, Bob returned to his solo career and The Pitman Poets. He is now ready to reprise his role in the new production of War Horse which will keep him very busy from 2017 to 2019!

Catch Bob on our Saturday evening concert, one of his last commitments before once again becoming "The Songman".

Anthony John Clarke

Anthony John Clarke is a Belfast-born singer-songwriter for some time based in Liverpool but now living in the Scottish borders. Playing solo, duo or with a band, he has played at folk clubs and festivals all over the UK and beyond, and he has a considerable number of albums to his name.

Amongst his best known songs are "The Broken Years" (about "The Troubles"), "The Only Life Gloria Knows" (about homelessness), and "Tuesday Night Is Always Karaoke".

In his own words: "All I ever wanted to be was a writer of songs. From the minute I heard Barry Maguire singing the song “Eve of Destruction” and held the single “Like A Rolling Stone” by Dylan in my hand. From those beautiful Sunday evenings I would sit and watch Al Stewart, John Martyn, Claire Hamill and Christy Moore and a host of other greats grace the University Hall stage in Belfast, and from the time I spent my paper round money on a second hand Eko Ranger 6 at Smithfield Market, I was doomed"

Catch him headlining our Saturday afternoon concert.




Other Roads

Other Roads are one of the finest contemporary folk bands to emerge in recent years. Based in the UK they also tour in Holland, Germany, Denmark, Spain and New Zealand and continue to gain popularity across the globe. Pete Abbott, Gregor Borland and Dave Walmisley draw upon their diverse backgrounds in Scotland, England and Africa to create an exciting and original sound.

These talented multi-instrumentalists incorporate fiddle, bouzouki, guitars, mandolin and harmonica with some fine harmony singing. They perform an eclectic mix of traditional, contemporary and original compositions ranging from soft ballads to foot-stomping Celtic fiddle tunes and choruses.

We are delighted to welcome them to end our Saturday evening 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 13 albums since September 2002, including two with Keith Donnelly as Dark Horses.

See Flossie in our Friday evening concert.


Leonard Brown

 Leonard Brown first became involved in music at the age of four when he started piano lessons and achieved his Grade 8 at the tender age of 15. Moving on to South Tyneside College until the age of 18 when he achieved his A levels, Leonard was then accepted to study the Bachelor of Arts Degree Course in Classical Music at Newcastle University in 2009. He graduated with a 2:1 in July 2012.

Leonard first picked up an accordion at the age of eleven. He was an Irish dancer for four years from the age of seven with the McElvogue school of Irish Dancing and after winning 120 medals and 17 trophies, he decided to retire and take up the accordion. Leonard competed in October 2012 at the Perth Accordion and Fiddle Festival an annual event held since 1950. He won and became only the second Englishman to be the all Scotland Accordion Champion. This is the creme de la creme of accordion competitions in Scotland and is a title that Leonard is very proud of. He was awarded the Jimmy Shand Shield by the adjudicator John Carmichael.

Leonard has consequently played extensively across the United Kingdom as a soloist and with his band. As well as playing with his own band, Leonard is also a member of the Happy Cats band who are also based in the North East of England.

Leonard can be seen in our Saturday afternoon concert and in workshops earlier in the day.




The Goodfellows

 The Goodfellows are a Birmingham based duo and are an upbeat and lively act, delivering pop and rock classics from The Everley Brothers to The Beatles, from Wheatus to Taylor Swift (with a twist). Playing all the favourite songs across the decades from the 50's to modern day they perform superb vocals harmonies and both accompany themselves on electro-acoustic guitars. They are a highly experienced act having performed at countless festivals, weddings, corporate events and international events.

See them on our Saturday evening concert.



Los Capitanes

 Los Capitanes are a Spanish-infused 3-piece acoustic band based in the North of England, covering songs from flarmenco to rock and pop. 

Band Members Michael Bedwell (Guitars/Vocals/Percussion), Richard Marshall (Guitars/Vocals) and David McKeague (Cajon/Percussion/Vocals) are from Barnard Castle but are starting to make themselves known to a wider area thanks to their superb musicianship and infectious material.

See them on our Friday 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 folk professionals such as Vin Garbutt, Other Roads  and Flossie Malavialle.  
 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.



Judith Haswell & Trish McLean   

Two well-respected and loved local musicians and songwriters, Judith and Trish have amassed a wealth of material and an army of followers over the years, Judith has performed both solo and with a variety of backing bands while Trish is frequently to be seen either solo or as a duo with Judith.

We are delighted to have secured them for a festival spot in our Saturday evening concert.



The Brothers Gillespie

The Brothers Gillespie are a traditional folk song duo from Northumberland, whose music combines searing sibling vocal harmony with arrangements of guitar, fiddle, mandolin and shruti box. Their repertoire spans material from Scotland, Northumberland, England, Ireland, the traveller tradition, border ballads and their own compositions. 

 James and Sam Gillespie were born in Newcastle, to parents of Scottish and English descent, and grew up roaming the Northumbrian fells along the line of the old Roman wall. Music was always a part of their shared lives but in 2013 they decided to formally collaborate. In 2015 they recorded and released their first album together 'Songs From The Outlands' and have since been touring extensively through England and Scotland.

Catch them in our Saturday afternoon concert.



Dave Wilson

Dave Wilson is a popular performer known to many around the North East's Country Music clubs. As our usual concert MC Andy McLaughlin is unable to be with us this year Dave is stepping into the breach and will be in charge of our three Parish Hall concerts this weekend. 
Welcome aboard Dave!



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 2017 ?

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!



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 starting our Saturday afternoon Parish Hall concert..


 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!