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….

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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”.