Allen Valleys

DSCN0770Lowp had a great day in Allendale Town at the Allen Valleys Folk Festival last Saturday. After an early start of breakfast and coffee in the Golden Lion with Chris Meredith & Watchtone and morning soundchecks with The Brothers Gillespie, the afternoon concerts in St Cuthbert’s Church were a musical treat. One of the highlights of the day, however, was the youth stage, with some amazing talent showing that trad music is in good hands in the North Pennines.

The festival is wonderfully organised and one of the friendliest we’ve been to, with a fantastic variety of acoustic and folk music, so make sure you put it in your diaries for next year.

Oh What A Night….

Iain + George - Banner2015

Mr Welch & Mr Gelston relaxing with some strings on the morning after.

The Banners of the North Festival reached it’s climax last night (19th September) with a wonderful concert at Bede’s World. After a long day of workshops, dance displays & a marathon session with banjo maestro Paul Lucas, the packed out concert was a fitting end to the day. Fool’s Gold started the evening early with their fantastic self-penned songs and intricate instrumentation. The amazing talent of Chris Kelly followed them, again self-penned material was the order of the day, with some of the most brilliant songs you will ever hear – moving, emotional and witty, Chris does it all and he had the packed audience in the palm of his hand by the end of his 45 minute set. The inimitable George Welch & Christine Jeans need no introduction in the north-east, and they were on fine form. From the hilarious to the sublime, George’s wonderful voice took the crowd on a rollercoaster ride of beautiful music. Next up were Lowp – well, what can we say? We enjoyed ourselves & will leave it to others to comment, but the 45 minutes flew by as we showcased quite a selection of new and exciting material. Last up was some bloke in a stripey top called Jez Lowe. The packed hall was very much down to Jez’ powers of attraction, and after the blinder he played we can understand why. Consummately professional, with characteristic banter, some of the best songs around, and delivered by a fantastic musician and singer, this was a performance to savour, and the audience certainly did. Stunning does not even begin to describe it. In the words of Frankie Valli: “Oh, what a night”.

Lowp @ Allen Valleys Festival

fulllistLowp will be performing at the excellent Allen Valleys Folk Festival in October. With a fantastic line-up in it’s second year, this festival in the wonderful location of Allendale Town looks to be one of the highlights of the summer festival circuit.

We will be performing in the beautiful St Cuthbert’s Church in the centre of Allendale on Saturday 3rd October at 1.30pm. St Cuthbert’s will also play host to The Brothers GillespieChris Meredith & WatchtoneWebster & Malkin, and the great Tom McConville for the Saturday afternoon.

The festival has concerts and workshops spread over different venues within the village of Allendale, as well as family ceilidhs, fantastic local catering, & a hog roast in the village square.

Set in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Allen Valleys are the hidden part of England’s largest county, Northumberland.

There is a range of visitor accommodation, from basic campsites to five star luxury.



WDFConcertPosterWebBefore then, Saturday 25 April 2015 7:30 pm, our resident piper and bouzoukist

Iain will be playing at a special concert in Stamfordham, Northumberland, organised by The William Dixon Foundation and supported by The Northumbrian Pipers’ Society and Lowland & Border Pipers’ Society. Details can be found on the William Dixon Foundation facebook page.

Admission £10 Tickets / Bookings:
William Dixon Foundation c/o Matt Seattle Tel 01450 374081


Stamfordham Church c/o Peter Lombard Tel 01661 886 331

Muckle Lush…

January 17th 2015 saw Lowp set off for a trip up the A1 to Alnwick – Destination the Muckle Lush Acoustic January Jamboree at the wonderful Tanner’s Arms.

Bill Read and the Lush Acoustic collective have some great music and a very welcoming attitude. The number of musicians/singers made for a long but hugely enjoyable night – everyone got a fair crack at the whip, unlike many an open-mic. Didn’t catch everyone’s name, but thoroughly enjoyed Bill’s set of angst ridden Geordie invective, Clifford Blakey’s flamenco wizardry and the excellent songs of Gary Steward and David Ainsworth, all ably supported by the mandolin of Eric Davison and multi-instrumentalism of Jamie Robb. Lowp took up the baton at just gone 10pm and played an hour or so to a packed (ok, it’s a sma’ pub) and lively audience. Loved it – one of the best nights we’ve played in a good while.

So get yourselves along to the next Lush Acoustic, a geet good night oot.

Winter Gigs

DSC01201Last weekend saw us play the Yule Weekend at Bede’s World for the second year in a row – 2 sets on Sunday afternoon in the wonderful acoustics of the Bede’s Head dome, one of the many beautiful spots in a wonderful museum. The following Sunday saw us playing our annual gig at South Shields Folk Club, at the Customs House, Mill Dam. Despite the broken heating we managed to tame the struggling instruments and fingers and play two great sets with a few new songs and tunes in the mix. The nice thing about playing folk clubs is you never know who else will be on as floor spots, and SSFC threw up some brilliant singers and musicians on Sunday, including the visiting Northumberland fiddlers Rachael Hales & Robin Dunn.

Next up we are off to the Tanner’s Arms in Alnwick on the 17th January to play for Lush Acoustic – can’t wait, as long as it’s not snowing!!!

UPDATE: What a night at The Tanners’. Absolutely fantastic music from Bill Read and friends made for huge fun before we went on at 10.30pm – well past our bedtime but we played for an hour to a packed out pub and enjoyed it immensely. :)

Laidly worms …

IMG_5742The north east weather returned to it’s normal self for our last ‘residency’ appearance at Bede’s World on Saturday 24th May. Gone was the Tuscan sunshine of the previous weekend, but the museum was still choca, with visitors enjoying the many unique craft stalls, storytelling and rune readings galore. We had two 40 minute slots to fill in the wonderful acoustics of ‘Bede’s Heed’, and did our best with our usual mix of Tyneside songs and Northumbrian dancey stuff. Not having anything particularly ‘mythic’ or ‘legendary’ in our repertoire, out came a trusty old copy of Bruce & Stokoe a couple of weeks beforehand and we quickly worked up an epic version of ‘The Laidly Worm of Spindlestone Heugh’. Despite our misgivings after only a couple of hours rehearsing it, the song went down a treat and drew some nice compliments afterwards.

Iain put in a brief appearance at Souter Lighthouse on Bank Holiday Monday for South Shields FCs Cultural Spring event, but next up on the agenda for the band is likely to be an appearance at the Banner of the North Festival, 18th – 20th July.