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Merry Hell and Lady Nade to join the FolkEast Party!

Aug 12, 2021


-Free admission for children aged 11 and under-

Hugely popular North-West folk rockers Merry Hell have been announced as Sunday headliners at England’s most easterly folk festival, FOLKEAST (August 20-22).

The 8-piece Lancashire line-up are guaranteed to  ensure FolkEast 2021 ends on a high note with their infectious, rousing and anthemic songs – sometimes political, sometimes poignant, sometimes just pure good singalong fun.

Guitarist and songwriter John Kettle and his brothers, mandolin player Bob and vocalist Andrew, former members of the 1990s folk rock band The Tansads, formed Merry Hell in 2010 and the band now has six albums and a big following to their name. The line-up also includes John’s wife Virginia on vocals, Lee Goulding (keyboards), Andy Jones (drums) and Neil McCartney on fiddle.

At the start of the year the festival favourites released the timely single When We Meet Again – an uplifting riposte to lockdown, which they described as ‘looking forward to the pleasures of being with the people whose company we enjoy, whether it be spending time with friends and family, or simply getting back to gigs and festivals and sharing our music and joy with audiences.”

For their latest album Emergency Lullabies, not only did they overcome the challenges of completing it during lockdown but the extraordinary events of 2020 provided much inspiration, resulting in a raft of anthemic sing-alongs built on the theme of solidarity and community, including the track Beyond The Call in celebration of the NHS and written the night the UK went into lockdown.

FolkEast organisers John and Becky Marshall-Potter are also delighted to announce that captivating rising star Lady Nade will be joining the line-up.

Fusing Americana, folk and soul, she is a wholly distinctive performer – her third album Willing championing the positive connection between music and well-being and the importance of equality and diversity within the arts.  Based in Bristol her tender voice is like balm and her music has healing qualities as she touches on topics from anti-bullying to positive body image.  As well as performing, Lady Nade will be chatting to Amy Wragg (curator of FolkEast’s Soapbox Stage) about inspirational women in music.

The ninth FolkEast will return to the glorious Constable-esque grounds of Elizabethan Glemham Hall in a streamlined, slimmer, spacious and COVID –secure way – with most of the original 2020 line-up preserved.  Sadly the acclaimed Anglo-French acoustic dance band Topette!! – whose number includes top melodeon player Andy Cutting – are now unable to appear.

But the excellent line-up will see the awesome, Grammy award-nominated supergroup Afro Celt Sound System headlining Saturday night while topping the bill on opening night will be Elephant Sessions .Named the Best Live Act at the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2018, the quintet will head to Suffolk from the Scottish Highlands with their unique brand of indie folk.

Advance weekend and day tickets will be on sale until Wednesday, August 18 – no tickets will be available on the gate. Ticket costs have been frozen at last year’s prices – a competitive £120 for a weekend adult ticket (£110 for students and over 65s) and £80 for 12-17 year olds while a great offer sees free admission for children aged 11 and under.

Says Becky: “We have had to make some difficult decisions in order to go ahead this year. The most important thing is for everyone who is coming to FolkEast 2021 to feel safe and comfortable being back together again – to enjoy great music in good company.”

Festival regulars will see a change of site layout to allow for a one-way system if required and just two open-air stages – the main Sunset stage and Moot Hall– plus a large, airy workshop space.

Alongside the event’s hugely popular, multi award-winning patrons, The Young’uns (Sean Cooney, Michael Hughes and David Eagle), the line-up will include the sublime, seamless partnership of Welsh harpist Catrin Finch with Senegalese kora maestro Seckou Keita. The exquisite pair clinched the Best Duo/Group award at the last BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, with Keita also winning the coveted Musician of the Year title.

FolkEast loves its Celtic connections and this year will be no exception with Ireland represented by the excellent, Dublin-born traditional singer and bouzouki player Daoiri Farrell and Scotland by pedigree triumvirate Drever, McCusker, Woomble which sees master fiddler John McCusker joining forces with Orkney-born singer songwriter Kris Drever and Idlewild’s lead singer Roddy Woomble.

The powerhouse sextet of female instrumentalists that is The Shee (including BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Musician of the Year 2017, harpist Rachel Newton) are also sure to have the wow factor with their adventurous blend of Scottish folk, Gaelic song and bluegrass.

Folk legend Peter Knight will bring his six-strong Gigspanner Big Band to the party. The Big Band takes his original Gigspanner trio (himself, Roger Flack and Sacha Trochet) and fuses them with the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards ‘Best Duo’ winners Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin (Edgelarks) and erstwhile Bellowhead star John Spiers to make something truly special, bursting with invention, enigma and grace.

Adding to the rich mix will be ‘eclectic art rock band’ Hannah Moule and the Moulettes, instrumental trio Three Cane Whale, Elbow Jane, The Hut People, Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith, MG Boulter, Suffolk’s own Christina Alden and Alex Patterson and the new-look Trials of Cato (original members Tomos Williams and Robin Jones now joined by Polly Bolton.)

Says Becky: “We can’t wait to reunite the FolkEast community– we know how much everyone has struggled over the last 18 months and it will be a momentous occasion when we open the FolkEast gates once more. We are going all out to celebrate as we move towards our 10th anniversary next year.”

Located close to the A12, the festival will be running its usual shuttle buses to the site from Wickham Market station.

For the full FolkEast 2021 plan see 

Ticket Link here:

“FolkEast feels more like a very English village fete than a festival, with the good humour and unpretentiousness of its patrons The Young’uns, the guiding vibe”  ****The Guardian






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