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Gigspanner Big Band & Raynor Winn Present Saltlines in association with FolkEast

Sep 5, 2022


Following a hugely successful July debut tour one of folk music‘s most inventive and exciting line-ups is reuniting with best-selling author Raynor Winn in October for an 11-date tour which mines traditional songs and tunes from the West Country and unveils new words inspired by the region.

Gigspanner Big Band for those unfortunate enough NOT to be aware) is a sensational sextet led by Peter Knight whose singular and emotive fiddle playing has enriched the British music scene for more than four decades, for many years with Steeleye Span and now with his own duo, trio and big band.  In the Big Band he is joined by stand-out acoustic and electric guitarist Roger Flack, effervescent percussionist Sacha Trochet, award-winning duo Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin (Edgelarks) and John Spiers, founder member of Bellowhead, described as “one of the best melodeon players of his generation”.

“How could I turn down the chance to work with names that light up the folk music world?”  Raynor Winn

Between October 19-31 the band will take to the road with ‘Saltlines’, the enthralling new show described as ‘a portrait of the South West Coast Path in old songs and new words’.

Winn, an Ambassador for the Path, has penned vibrant and emotive words bursting with visual imagery to stir into the hypnotic, haunting and wholly immersive experience. It’s a flowing, spellbinding performance that conjures up a coastal reverie – a dreamscape where you can almost smell the salt air and hear the call of the oystercatchers.

The July tour saw standing ovations for every show – all eight of which were in the South West. Now the ‘high spec troupe’ return to the west country to launch this second tour – but this time they will be travelling to inland venues as well as coastal locations. Says Raynor: “If you can’t come to the sea we will bring it to you!”

This summer Saltlines was performed at just one festival – FolkEast in Suffolk – again prompting a standing ovation with one audience member taking to social media to say:

“SALTLINES picked up the South West, every last cove and headland, folded it into a van and drove it across the land, where they unfurled it, note by note, song by song,  and I swear I saw gulls fly”

Says Knight: “The audience reaction has been more than we could ever have hoped for. It is really striking a chord; talking to people afterwards they are finding it both moving and life-affirming – 90 minutes when they can switch off from everything going on in the world.”

The opening gig will see them at Truro’s Hall for Cornwall on October 19 and the tour ends at Milton Keynes’ The Stables on October 31.

Winn, now based in Cornwall, became a celebrated first-time author with The Salt Path – her emotive account of how she and husband Moth, homeless and bankrupt and with Moth recently diagnosed with an incurable illness, set off to walk the 630 mile South West Coast Path – an unlikely decision that, against all the odds,  led them back to happiness. Read by more than half a million people, the book became a Sunday Times best-seller in 2018, won the Royal Society of Literature’s inaugural Christopher Bland Prize and was shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize, Costa Book Awards and Stanford’s Travel Writing Awards.

This autumn sees the arrival of her new book Landlines, charting Raynor and Moth’s latest ambitious trek, from Cape Wrath to Cornwall.

was the brainchild of Peter Knight’s wife Deborah Knight, who is also agent and manager of the Gigspanner Big Band. Having read The Salt Path she was walking a stretch of the South West Coast Path and thought such a well-trodden trail must hold many more stories of love, loss and the natural world – as well as traditional music collected down the years by people such as Cecil Sharp (1859-1924), co-founder of the English Folk Dance and Song Society.

Her hunch was correct and subsequent research threw up a multitude of songs and tunes, some of which now meld with Raynor’s hot-off-the press words, in a unique celebration of the South West Coast Path – the UK’s longest national trail.

One of the songs in the show is the band’s take of Ten Thousand Miles, collected by Cecil Sharp in 1904 from Mrs. Emma Glover of Huish Episcopi, near Bridgwater in Somerset.



Weds 19 TRURO Hall for Cornwall, 7.30pm

Thurs 20 PLYMOUTH The Quad Theatre, Marjon University Arts Centre 7.30pm https://www.-events/gigspanner-big-band–raynor-winn—saltlines.php

Fri 21 WINCHESTER Theatre Royal. 7.30pm

Sun 23 TUNBRIDGE WELLS Trinity Theatre 7.30pm

Tues 25 HASTINGS St Mary in the Castle, 7.30pm

Weds 26 MAIDENHEAD Norden Farm Centre for the Arts 8pm

Thurs 27 YEOVIL The Octagon Theatre 7.30pm

Fri 28 FARNHAM Maltings 8pm

Saty 29 TEDDINGTON The Landmark Theatre, 8pm

Sun 30 ALDEBURGH Jubilee Hall (A FolkEast Promotion) 7.30pm

Mon 31 MILTON KEYNES The Stables Theatre, 8pm

For further information please visit;

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