Death at the Leek Show
Death at the Leek Show 2006, with Kelly Beard

Lowp formed in late 2009 from the ashes of Northumbrian folk-rock band Death at the Leek Show, when drummer Jimmy Bullock and bassist Phil Docherty fled the nest for pastures new. With the addition of Iain on bouzouki and mandolin the band transformed into a wholly acoustic outfit with a gentler sound. Unfortunately, Iain then went and bought a set of Border Pipes, thereby ruining the effect completely. Consequently, the raucous sound of Lowp (v. to jump or leap) was born, with an eclectic mix of dance tunes and rousing songs from across the North East.

Original Lowp member Sheena McCafferty

After a year of sporadic rehearsals in Jarrow and the occasional charity ceilidh, Lowp committed themselves to their debut gig at South Shields Folk Club in December of 2010. The large crowd and their response to the gig was terrific, and the band have subsequently returned for an annual show at the club every year since. Performances at numerous venues and clubs/sessions throughout Tyneside have followed, as well as a trip down south to play a gig and run sessions at Whitby Spring Sessions.

The beginning of 2013 saw our version of Ed Pickford’s ‘Farewell Johnny Miner’ aired on Mike Harding’s new radio show. A performance at The Sage Gateshead’s afternoon open-stage went down a storm in 2013, and led to a booking at The Great North Folk Festival. The band became heavily involved in various events at Bede’s World in Jarrow, in particular providing the music for the arrival of the Codex Amiatinus.

Further Folk Club and one-off gigs have followed over the last few years, alongside appearances at Allen Valleys Folk Festival and the Northumbrian Pipers’ Week concerts. In 2017 the band recorded their debut album, ‘Drive Away Dull Care’ (the name taken from a Ned Corvan song) with Ron Angus at Studio One.

The band’s material is a mix of native and imported tradition, so alongside the sounds of 18thC border and smallpipe tunes you might hear the whistle and flute of the Tyneside Irish tradition, or the Scottish songs that have become firmly established on the banks of the river, or the songs of the 19thC Music Hall tradition.

Pete’s fiddle adds more of the Border/Northumbrian sound. In addition, the band write their own tunes and songs, and also present their take on more contemporary, tradition-based material by the likes of local songsmith Ed Pickford and Sunderland based luthier Tony Black.

Add to this the occasional foray over the water to Brittany and France to raid the odd tune set, resulting in a wide and varied sound pallette, but with all given the distinctive Tyneside/Lowp stamp.

Ben Hudson
Stephen Pratt
David Harrison
Mandolin, Mandola
Peter Brown
Iain Gelston
Half-Long pipes / Bouzouki / Mandolin

2 thoughts on “BIO

  1. Back home after a great night at South Shields Folk Club, at the Customs House. The folk band Lowp played tonight, great singers and musicians.

  2. Cheers Stewart, glad you enjoyed the show. We love playing SSFC, and it was a quality night all round, with great floor spots and a good crowd.

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