Wessex Folk Festival

Weymouth Harbour  2nd & 3rd June 2018

On the Stages 2018

Keep checking here for this year's exciting line-up.............

Alden Patterson & Dashwood

A Norwich based folk / Americana trio Alden Patterson and Dashwood weave

rich vocal harmonies, fiddle, dobro, guitar and mandolin around beautifully written original songs and melodies. Their music takes influence from folk traditions from both sides of the Atlantic with uplifting instrumentals and self-penned songs depicting tales of young travellers, sleepy seas and their affection for home.

‘It’s lovely stuff’ – Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2 Folk Show 2016

★★★★★ fRoots – Editors Choice Album Of The Year 2016

★★★★ Songlines – ‘Something of enormous promise’

★★★★ R2 – ‘Talented and poetic triumvirate’


Amy and The Raven
A duo made up of Amy Hopwood (vocals and baritone ukulele) and Tobias Raven (bass ukulele and guitar), Amy and The Raven play a mix of traditional and original folk. Expect plenty of songs about the sea, feisty women and dastardly murders, with some politics and humour thrown in! http://www.amyhopwood.co.uk/

The Dorset Wrecks

Formed over four years ago, Dorset Wrecks sea shanty group are becoming the area's preeminent singers of sea shanties and songs of the sea. Regular performers at all the Festivals throughout Dorset, as well as at weddings, birthday parties, store openings, gigs and charitable events; last year's season culminated with them being asked to perform on the Big Top Stage at Camp Bestival. At the same time they produced their first CD of 12 sea shanties entitled "Bright Eyed & Stiff". Apparently this is how you should buy your fish to ensure top quality and freshness and Dorset Wrecks and their CD certainly have those self same attributes.


Hailing from Liphook, Hampshire, EMMAY are a sibling trio consisting of Aimée Mackenzie on electro-acoustic guitars, keyboards and lead vocals, Freya Mackenzie on acoustic violin, electro-acoustic ukulele and backing vocals and Ross Mackenzie on Cajon.

Who have EMMAY supported?

The trio have supported Nizlopi, Show of Hands, Sean Lakeman/Kathryn Roberts, Blair Dunlop, Luke Jackson, Miranda Sykes/Rex Preston, Sheelanagig, Phillip Henry/Hannah Martin and Josienne Clarke/Ben Walker.

Where have EMMAY performed?

Notable venues that EMMAY have performed at include Isle Of Wight Festival, Show of Hands Summer Festival (Abbotsbury), Cornbury Festival, Victorious Festival, Purbeck Valley Folk Festival, Wychwood Festival, Weyfest, The Bedford (Balham), The Troubadour (Earls Court), Water Rats (Camden), Wedgewood Rooms (Portsmouth)

What do the media have to say about EMMAY?

An outstanding BBC Introducing panel review of “Lesson Learned”, one of EMMAY’s self-penned songs, resulted in an invitation to record a session for the BBC which was broadcast live right across the South of England.


Launching their new album, “Volume Two: Live in 2016”, Gadarene play a unique brand of ‘ultra modern ancient tunes’, which has been aired on Radio 2, 6 Music, and local stations in the lead up to the album release.

Gadarene blend obscure traditional English tunes, virtuoso acoustic musicians, funky beats and loads of energy. The five-piece play drums, mandolin, double bass, fiddle and flute, their musicianship and effects units transforming obscure English 18th and 19th-century tunes into numbers from intricate acoustic trance to alternative modern dance hits. Drawing on styles from pop and rock to electronic and dub, the band's pioneering attitude to folk brings glorious old tunes to life. The set features Lancashire clog and Dartmoor step dance, and gets audiences up dancing too!  

Delivered with great rhythm, innovative instrumentation and good humour, Gadarene’s infectious sound is sophisticated enough for seated audiences and wild enough to get everyone dancing.

a splendidly vibrant unit who take chances and pull more than rabbits out of the hat.(fRoots magazine)

Clever and intricate arrangements(Acoustic Magazine)

the tightness and skill of this quintet gives a sound that carries across the varying styles, setting them apart as a unique unit who are definitely worth discovering.” (Fatea)

musicians sparking off each other in no small order.” (fRoots magazine)

a hugely bold sound… It’s a sound that refocuses the genre, a new relevance that’s beyond tradition. (Dave Henderson, MOJO)

These amazing old tunes are all miniature masterpieces and deserve the exposure. Some of the tunes have not been played for 300 years and it’s brilliant to see audiences enjoying them so much.


Glymjack is an English folk act led by acclaimed singer-songwriter Greg McDonald.

Phil Beer-produced debut album Light the Evening Fire features Phil’s Show of Hands band-mates Steve Knightley and Miranda Sykes, Sam Kelly percussionist Evan Carson, and Luke Tuscherer drummer Tom Peters.

In spring 2018, Glymjack tour as an acoustic trio with Greg joined by fiddle virtuoso Gemma Gayner and bassist Dickon Collinson, delivering a high energy, harmony-rich set of hard-hitting originals, English folk songs and fiddle tunes.

Greg’s award-winning songs have previously been called “genius” (Rolling Stone), “captivating” (Q magazine), and “enough to remind you why you got into music in the first place” (Tom Robinson, BBC 6music), while Gemma’s virtuosic skill has seen her celebrated as a “powerhouse instrumentalist” (fRoots) and “a force to be reckoned with” (Maverick) and Dickon’s “soaring” (Fresh on the Net) counter-tenor has winged his indie rock band Careless Sons all the way to Wembley Arena.

Jo Carley and The Old Dry Skulls

Throwing Old Time, Ska, Alt Country and Punk into a backwoods still to make musical moonshine!!!

JCODS are a lively band and have taken this musical combination in surprising new directions by mixing up; Old Time, Alt Country, Bluegrass, Gypsy, Ska, Reggae and Blues – both traditional and modern.  They play as a duo or a three piece band but  make the noise of a  stompin’ five piece band with Fiddle, Mandolin, Washboard, Guitar, Kick-drum and Foot Percussion. 

In only a year and a half they have toured extensively up and down the country sharing their foot-stompin', raucous and infectious sound at some of UK’s most prestigious joints. These include: Fire in The Mountain Festival, Folk East Festival, Harlequin Fayre, Sandwich Folk & Ale, Stoneydown Folk,  Outcider Festival, Alchemy Festival, Wonky Donk, Rickmansworth Canal Festival, Dark Holler Festival,  Camden Underworld, What’s cookin’?, Spiritual Bar, The Monarch, Before The Gold Rush and many more.      A new Album 'Them Old Bones' is due to be released in May 2017


John Meriton

John is a singer/ songwriter from Hampshire: His songs are about life as he sees it; real people, places, emotions and experiences. With a powerful, warm and witty delivery, John plays solo, as well as with an acoustic band of great musicians, in folk and acoustic clubs and festivals across the south of England. His first CD The Line in 2010 brought together his old and new songs to celebrate his passion for songwriting and acoustic music.
A 2012 CD The Ballad of Colin Loader featured songs about his home town Emsworth. The Wind Up Heart Chronicles was released in 2016. The John Meriton Band features Jon Hardcastle on guitar and vocals, Ian Maclaughlin on bass, Sophie Butler on vocals and flute and Alan Blackmore on percussion. 
Find out more about John’s music at www.johnmeriton.co.uk

Lewis Clark & The Essentials became a fully-fledged band in September 2015. Based around the core trio of Lewis Clark (guitar & vocals), Rob Grist (drums & piano) and Max Mees (double/electric bass), the group combines their diverse and shared interests in blues, folk and soul to create a dynamic and distinctive live sound. Their musical style draws on their love of rhythm and blues and explores an eclectic range of influences including traditional British folk, American roots music and wider European traditions.

The Lonesome Stampede is an original upbeat folk-funk band based in Hay-on-Wye and Builth. They are about to (March 2017) release their first album recorded and produced at KJM Studios in Hereford. They have toured already this year, playing John Sebastian Bristol, Three Horseshoes in Bradford-on-Avon, London's famous Hope&Anchor and The King Arthur in Glastonbury. They are busy adding to their 2017 summer festivals which include appearances at Lymm Festival, Wessex Folk Festival, Outcider and Deer Stock. They have been played numerous times on BBC radio and appeared on a BBC Introducing session, they are signed to Jelli Records. 

Mark Harrison

Mark Harrison has established a reputation for making a unique kind of original music, based on the style of the early folk/blues artists but with a modern twist and wide appeal to audiences of all kinds. He has been attracting considerable attention recently, with extensive gigging, a lot of airplay, and great reviews. The general view is that he has something genuinely new and different to offer. Mark's songs are highly individual, with memorable tunes, striking lyrics and strong rhythms, and they are about a wide range of unusual topics. Many of them have a story behind them and audiences often remark on how much they enjoy the introductions explaining what the songs are about and on how interesting the lyrics are.                     

  • Mark is regarded as having a highly distinctive finger-picking and slide guitar style and plays National guitars and a 12-string as well as singing. 
  • Mark has a top-class band of brilliant musicians, often featuring double bass and drums. Audiences regularly comment on the unique and exciting nature of the sound they make together and the high quality of the musicianship. He performs in all line-ups from solo to full band.                                                                                               
  • Mark's latest album, Turpentine, has received fantastic reviews in well-regarded print and online media in the UK, the US and Europe, and airplay on a very large number of radio shows in the UK (including BBC) and around the world, as was the case with his previous albums. 
  • Mark has headlined at very good venues all around the UK. Festival appearances include good slots at prestigious events such as Celtic Connections, Bluesfest@O2, Jazz FM Love Supreme Festival, Bearded Theory, Lakefest, BAAfest, Bournemouth Jazz By The Sea Festival, Maryport Blues Festival, Ealing Blues Festival, the Acoustic Festival of Britain, Purbeck Folk Festival, Leigh Folk Festival, Gloucester Blues Festival, and Rye International Jazz & Blues Festival. 
  • A film of one of Mark's songs was recently made by a director who works for Ridley Scott's organisation - this film was showcased at the Cannes Film Festival, where it got a great reception. 
  • Mark has been featured with interviews and articles in a number of influential magazines, including R2 magazine, Blues in BritainSpiral Earth, Calibre and Blues Matters
  • Mark has been nominated in several categories in the British Blues Awards.  
  • Mark has done a number of live radio sessions for highly-regarded shows, including BBC Radio and Jazz FM.

All information, including music, videos and reviews, is on Mark's website:


Nina Garcia with The Tree Fellahs

The Tree Fellahs can perhaps best be described as a “loose arrangement” of traditional style musicians, with Mike McDaid (piano accordian) and Paul Openshaw (guitar) at the core. They combine their talents to play at ceilidhs, festivals, pubs and parties. 

They have been described as "something more than just a ceilidh band" and their music is "guaranteed to give your spirits a lift, and to set your feet tapping". 

Reg Meuross

Somerset singer-songwriter Reg Meuross returns to Wessex Folk Festival. Reg represents contemporary folk writing at its best, with that rare gift of being able to touch people through his songs and performance, on a really human level. His words and music paint pictures that remain with the listener long after the song has been sung. 

This gig is part of the Reg Meuross Two Albums Tour, encompassing two album releases: Faraway People and Songs About A Train, and of course he will be singing his old favourites too. Reg is a true modern troubadour, as comfortable gigging in village halls and folk clubs as he is playing the Royal Albert Hall and huge festival stages. He consistently entrances his audiences with songs of life, love and injustice, soulfully delivered with melodic tenor vocals and exemplary guitar playing. 

“Time and again, Reg proves himself one of the key songwriters of our age” David Kidman

Mick Tems Folk Wales ”...every song from the gentle, enchanting genius is worth its weight in gold.”

“There’s something special about the way he writes and delivers a song” Townes Van Zandt.

The Shackleton Trio

Press and reviews for "The Dog Who Would Not Be Washed"

“Sparky, charismatic and intensely assured. An exciting and innovative young trio. A hefty thumbs up”

– fRoots

"An excellent debut album"  ★★★★
– R2 Magazine

“A hugely talented lass”
– Mike Harding

“The combined forces of the trio deliver a stylish mix of material and influences with a direct and equal-handed commitment and tremendous panache”


State of Undress

From Cornwall to Scotland, State of Undress have been taking stages by storm for the past 12 years with their exuberant and infectious fiddle-fuelled music. Performances include Glastonbury, Sidmouth FolkWeek, Looe Music Festival, Swanage Folk Festival, Saltburn Folk Festival and The Tall Ships Festival in Waterford, Ireland.  With original songs that embrace the thought-provoking, joyous and shamelessly foot-tapping, plus traditional songs played in their own idiosyncratic style, State of Undress promise you a rollercoaster of a gig!

State of Undress are:

Charlie Rose (lead vocals); Alan Rose (guitars, mandolin and vocals); Jerry Bird (fiddle, mandolin and guitar); Rob Boivin (bass); Rick Hambleton (drums)

Here’s what they’ve been saying about State of Undress:

‘State of Undress provide feisty, fun, dynamic and passionate music…a show you don’t want to miss’ Maverick Magazine

‘When I saw State of Undress play, it reminded me of why I fell in love with folk rock as a young man.’  Ken Hall, Compere, The Late Session, Saltburn Folk Festival, Summer 2015

‘State of Undress are an irrepressible super high octane band in the best tradition of bands like Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and Jethro Tull but for, and of, the 21st Century.’        

Rainlore’s World of Music


‘A blend of roots-rock, country, Celtic flavourings and a full-bodied melodic musical assault’

R2 (Rock n Reel)

For further information please contact;

Alan Rose 07988 622398 Charlie Rose 07971 472768

E-Mail: contact@stateofundress.com Website: www.stateofundress.com

www.facebook.com/State-of-Undress-99627945661/ www.twitter.com/stateofundress

Wild Willie Barrett & the French Connection

You won’t find another band like this! From a Parisian café via a Dublin hooley to a New Orleans party with rip-roaring fiddle and banjo. Multi-instrumentalist and erstwhile godfather of grunge folk, Wild Willie Barrett is the driver, as the versatile and heartrending vocals of French singer Aurora Colson take centre stage. Numbers include original compositions and arrangement on guitar, cello, harmonium, whistle, fiddle, banjo and Irish pipes.