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Performer biographies

Visitors to this year's Sweeps Festival can enjoy four days of live music -

To find out where you can go to watch each band, check out our schedules for Friday, 28 April, Saturday 29 April, Sunday 30 April and Monday 1 May.

 

Use our A to Z to find out more about each of the bands performing:

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


A

Alison and Jack

Rollicking English songs, toe tapping tunes and sing along choruses on concertina, whistles, melodeon and Alison's superb voice. They started performing together after the short lived but rather wonderful Bacchus Morris side.

 

The Allen Family

The Allen Family are a bluegrass and old time music playing family, who are the latest of a line of Allen Family bands. Using traditional equipment and techniques (they sing around a single mic for example) this tight group plays and sings their music with an infectious enthusiasm that transports you back in musical time. It will only take a few minutes for you to be hooked by the band's spirit, warmth and happiness.  

 

Ash Mandrake

Ash incorporates music, loop machines, stories and comedy. He designed the double necked guitar and performs folk rock and other styles in a number of hats and costumes. He has been described as imaginative as well as an incredibly skilled musician and songwriter.

 

B

Bob Kenward

A songwriter whose songs have been absorbed into the traditional music of Kent. Bob is well known around the folk clubs of the south east and is hosting the stage at the Old Post Office site this weekend.

 

Border Crossing

An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman – great harmony singing and good instrumentals from this excellent group of folk singers.

 

The Bounty Hounds

They are East Anglia's leading folk/rock band raising the roof with stomping music.

 

Brides of Rain

Brides of Rain consists of a pool of musicians from different musical backgrounds. They breathe new life into familiar genres from around the world, such as folk, blues, and cabaret. One minute you'll be hearing rough, dark and raw blues, and the next you're thrown into the hypnotic trance-like rhythms of pagan songs and Bacchanalian dances.

BRIDES OF RAIN SWEEPS

 

 

Band X

Band X is a new band featuring Nick Sheridan, Jonathan Vincent, Dan Brown and Steve Moreham, [Guitar, Drums, Bass and Violin] They play a selection of up-tempo folky songs from the likes of The Levellers, Seth Lakeman, Caravan, Show of Hands and many others. They are all professional musicians with lots of experience and have formed this band to have fun and enjoy themselves.

 

band X

 

 


Broomdasher

Broomdasher's singers are all current or former members of the Cecil Sharp House Choir, a 70-strong ensemble who have been performing regularly at the House – and at other London venues - since 2008.

Now Broomdasher are spreading the fun and enjoyment they get from singing by sharing it with as many people as possible at festivals, folk clubs and other venues.

All members of Broomdasher have sung at prestigious venues that include London's Southbank Centre; The Roundhouse; Union Chapel; The National Maritime Museum; The British Library; The House of Commons and the Oslo Musikkfest.

 

C

Captain Patch

A group of scurvy sea dogs who bring upbeat, toe tapping, feet stomping music and dance.

 

CJ & Friends

Catherine Jones is not only a drummer, songwriter, singer and organiser of open mics, she's also an England cricketer and part of Gypskazz and Brides of Rain.

 

D

The Dredgermen

Formed in 2014, The Dredgermen are prince, patron, King and Count of the Contemporary Medway folk scene. Their sea shanties and war song hark back to a simpler time but are delivered with a sweet sincerity underlined with a darker edge much akin to an ale soaked Simon and Garfunkel.

Drumskullz

The Drumskullz consist of around 25 members who have come from bonfire societies and drumming groups around East Sussex. They are a not-for-profit group. Their 'uniform' is pirate attire and sugar skull or skeleton face paint.

 

 

E

Esperantza

Violins, banjo, guitar, mandolin, cahon and even a Hardanger fiddle feature in this four piece line up who perform European folk and hardcore Irish.

 

 

F

The Fabulous Fezheads

The Fabulous Fezheads are England’s Premier Sand Dance Illusionists carrying on in the tradition of Old ‘Blind Ned’ Cleggett with his famous stage act of the 1920’s and 30’s. Under the watchful eye of Father Ken, and featuring Keith the Camel, the Fabulous Fezheads blend a mixture of dance, danger and music that will astound, astonish and amuse.

 

Fiddlefit

Judith and Bill combine voices, guitar and fiddle to perform a wide mix of traditional and contemporary songs and tunes. This includes Celtic, Cajun, Bluegrass and Eastern European music as well as other more modern numbers such as Cotton eyed Joe and Devil came down.

 

The Flowing

This folk band from Medway is made up of five members who are gigging in and around the South East and beyond. They use ukulele, guitars, violin, bass, French horn, accordion, oboe and voices in their music alongside honest, frank lyrics. The Flowing have performed at several festivals and have recently released their first studio album, Talk about Wonder.

 

Foot Down

A new young band featuring melodeon and whistles, guitar and vocals. They play in folk clubs and for ceilidhs around Kent.

 

Funke & The Two Tone Baby

Funke and the Two Tone Baby is a one man masterpiece combining guitar and harmonica with beatboxing and effects. Behind the music and his trademark tribly is Dan Turnball, who creates a fresh sound of unstoppable rhythm and melody. Underpinning his performances is 'Balance' released summer 2015 and heralded as "a masterpiece of an album" by Louder Than War. Get ready to move your feet.

 

 

G

Green Diesel

Headline act

This ensemble of passionate musicians from Faversham, Kent, create a thrilling spectacle that injects a shot of adrenaline into the traditional folk sound. Specialising in innovative folk rock, Green Diesel take their inspiration from English folk lore and the classic folk rock sound of the 1970s, with a desire to reinvent it for modern audiences.

 

 

H

The Hartley Singers

The Hartley Morris are the longest dancing Kentish Morris men. After dancing they go to the local hostelry for some lusty chorus songs. They have some fine chorus and lead singers in their ranks.

HARTLEY SINGERS SWEEPS

 

 

Hobo Jones & The Junkyard Dogs

Off the rails skiffle, the worlds oldest and ugliest boy band. Lots of instruments and loony mayhem in a performance related frenzy.

 

Hopping Down in Kent

A creative show exploring the traditions, songs and history of hop pickers who came down from London for the harvest whilst combining work with holidays.

 

Hog Eye Men

The Hog Eye Men sing shanties as they used to be sung: simply, boldly and loudly. They have been singing together for a number of years and have a varied repertoire.

 

Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage

Huddled round a single microphone, singing intimate duets with just mountain dulcimer, dobro and guitar Hannah Sanders & Ben Savage are a folk duo that look & sound classically timeless, yet feel refreshingly unique. Fleetingly, they may evoke a memory of Gram & Emmylou, Shirley & Davey, or Gillian & David but their warm distilling of influences from both sides of the big pond produces a refined sound that is decidedly their own.

 

The Hot Rats

The Hot Rats feature the world class fiddle playing of Ian Cutler (Feast of Fiddles, Bully Wee Band) with singer, guitarist and Gills PA announcer Doug Hudson, plus Scott Kirk on wonder Rickenbacker bass. Celtic, world and original songs and tunes. They have played all over the world.

 

 

I

Ian Boulton

A singer/songwriter from Ramsgate whose songs reflect life in Thanet.

 

Ian Petrie

Ian, Steve Shorey and Ted Handley have been mainstays on the South East Folk club circuit for over 30 years, bringing years of experience in performing for folk clubs, festivals, barn dances, ceilidhs and private functions. In recent years they have specialised in barn dances with a little rock and roll thrown in! Ian will also be singing with Sue Hudson – formerly of Tundra and singer and guitarist with the Country Counts.

 

J

Justin and the Argonauts

Justin and the Argonauts are a four piece violin, accordion, classical guitar and tuba ensemble from Kent. Their music ranges from 15th century Sephardic Jewish folk to modern day pop to provide a superior music experience.

 

Jumbo Gumbo

Cajun music as its best. Led by melodeon maestro Kevin Henty, this is music to dance to.

 

 

K

Kelly Stanley and The Hunters

Kelly Stanley is an accomplished singer and songwriter from Medway. Kelly’s style is a mixture of folk, pop and alternative, characterised by her strong yet chilling vocals and honest lyrics, set against a backbone of acoustic guitar. Now performing as Kelly Stanley and The Hunters with the addition of Craig Elvy on guitar and Scott Woods on drums and percussion, the music has reached a new level of powerful.

 

Kelter

Sur Les Docks fiddle player Graham Knibbs and Davey Slater on guitar and vocals. They play English, Irish and French tunes with emphasis on fun.

 

Kitka

A Bulgarian dance group with international members who have performed at many festivals throughout the UK.

 

 

L

Larkspur

A folk quartet from Kent, with one foot firmly rooted in the old folk tradition and the other foot following a more modern contemporary style. They play a diverse mixture of original material and traditional tunes, jigs and songs, weaving Eastern European, Asian, and African influences into more familiar British music.

 

The London Bulgarian Choir

HEADLINE ACT

Based around the superb vocals of Bulgarian singer Dessislava Stefanova, the choir takes you on a tour of Bulgarian exploring the songs and traditions of the country. The world famous choir have appeared in festival tents, embassies, rock concerts, village squares and in television studios.

 

LONDON BULGARIAN CHOIR SWEEPS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lowly Strung

Members of the excellent Wheeler Street who filled the Sweeps marquee some years ago are at the hub of this excellent musically gifted band. Expect some dynamic bluegrass and fast folk.

 

 

M

McManigan Academy of Irish Dancers

Award winning young and dynamic Irish dancers who have a big following locally. They are colourful and dramatic.

 

Mike Deavin

Mike is a classy singer and songwriter who will host the Crown Freehouse Stage filling in with a few songs where possible.

 

Morrigan

Morrigan are a four piece acapella folk group from South London. Their close harmony singing and instrumental skills create a stunning sound that has won much praise.

 

 

N

Nigel Hobbins and the Dreamlanders

 

They are a band from East Kent. Engaging and unique they play songs written by Nigel which are steeped in local history, its people and landscape – from childhood memories at the seaside and warm sunny days, to witty observations of day-to-day life that champion the common man. A handful of covers they enjoy playing completes their

 

nigel hobbins sweeps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

O

The Oakland Brothers

The Oakland Brothers entertain with their fiddle, guitar and vocals, playing a wide variety of Classic cover songs ranging from soft rock, pop and jazz to a little folk and Irish. Music from the past five decades is represented from The Everly Brothers to Oasis and Pink Floyd. The feeling is upbeat with opportunities for audiences to sing and dance.

 

The Old Country Crows

Inspiration for this band comes from a strutting Elvis of the 1950s, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles of the 1960s and the lively glam rock era. A road trip in the heat of the prairie sun across the USA and Route 66 in 2007 inspired the songs of The Old Country Crows from Out In The Sun to Destination Drive. The band says music provides an escapism for their listeners.

 

 

P

Paul Corcoran (Lo Fi Waves)

Paul is a singer/songwriter from Rochester. Great songs and superb guitar work.

 

Pytchwood

Dave Kenningham and Zahira Al-Zahira are a duo that formed in August 2011. They take inspiration from rhythm, melody, harmony and improvisation. Pytchwood endeavour to bring to their listeners a unique personal experience.

 

 

R

Rastko

Former members of the long lamented Singing Loins come together with their own brand of Medway songwriting. Raw and honest and captivating.

 

RASTKO SWEEPS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rik Van Den Bosch

HEADLINE ACT

Travelling troubadour Rik is from Amsterdam and he truly is a one man band. Gypsy music to folk/rock he has the unique ability to engage any audience with his music and personality.

RIK VAN DEN BOSCH SWEEPS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rosie Eade Band

Rosie and her band have become permanent fixtures at Sweeps. Travelling from the depths of Cornwall where she is known as the folk pixie, they are accomplished and play a lot of Rosie's original songs.

 

 

S

Sally Ironmonger

Teasing, thought-provoking, foot-tapping, belly-laughing, ale swigging, murdering, schizophrenic, tear-inducing wordsmith.

 

Skinners Rats

Barry and Blossom (Fiddle and Accordion) form the core of the current line-up of Skinner’s Rats - joined here by Amazing Harry on guitar. The band celebrated its forty-second birthday in 2012!

 

Son of Kirk

Expect to be taken on multiple rhythmic twists and turns. Son of Kirk mix the purest fiddle folk tunes with intricate drum rhythms and sweeping cello accompaniments wrapped around beautiful guitar based songs.

 

Songwriters' Den on the Road

This team are working hard to bring you four days of live music - kicking off on Friday at the festival marquee behind the Gordon Hotel. Saturday through to Monday, you will find them at The Boley Hill stage with music starting at 11am each day until 5pm. Merchandise to mark the weekend will be available and money raised will go directly to Hospital Radio Medway.

 

Sur Les Docks

HEADLINE ACT

French seven piece folk/rock band from Dunkerque who have delighted Sweeps audiences over the years. Great vitality and musicianship on stage, their infectious enthusiasm sees them with a great following in the south of England.

Sur Les Docks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

T

Tanglefoot Appalachian

Wonderful step dancing from this group of dancers and musicians who celebrate the culture of Appalachian clog dancing.

 

Thee Waltons

"Hide away yer daughters, stow away yer beer
Lock up yer livestock Thee Walton boys are here"
Thee Waltons created havoc from 1986 to 1996 with their unique blend of twisted hillbilly rock 'n' roll. They toured the country and released three albums, a single and two live videos as well as appearing on several compilations under record deals with Raucous Records and Cherry Red Records. They're back and leaving more mayhem in their wake.

 

The Thumping Tommys

Talented musicians who specialise in old-time music. Having played at many great festival stages, bars and cafes, The Thumping Tommys play a heady brew of Irish and American folk music performed with a distinctly English and entertaining style.

 

Tim Edey

HEADLINE ACT

Guitarist and accordion player with the world famous Chieftains, Tim from Kent , has also played with Christy Moore, Mary Black and with Lunasa and the Wolfetones. He's generally recognised as one of the best guitarists and melodeon players in the world today.

 

TIM EDEY SWEEPS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tin Foil Hats

Members of Sweeps Festivals regulars, The Bruncles and reggae outfit, The Objectors bring you their new project, The Tin Foil Hats! Playing classic sing along tunes as well as originals with their own brand of blues/reggae & folk.

 

 

Track Dogs

HEADLINE ACT

Track Dogs are a Madrid-based acoustic four piece made up of two Irishmen, an Englishman and an American. A daring line up - cajón and trumpet replace drums and lead guitar. Their four part harmonies steal the show.

TRACK DOGS SWEEPS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traility

Three brothers who play and perform with an infectious enthusiasm. Great accordion playing supported by trumpet and bass guitar – lots of rollicking chorus songs.

 

Tribal Banshees

A well established tribal bellydance group from Gillingham, with a distinctive dance style, led by The Lady Charlotte. Formed in 2005 they are ever evolving and get excited by many influences. They practice Gypsy Caravan, American Tribal Style (ATS), Gothic, Tribal, Flamenco and even Pirate dance.

 

Two Man Ting

Jon Lewis and Jah-Man Aggrey have performed together since 2004 with their rootsy blend of songwriting that has seen them appear at Womad, the Montreux Jazz Festival and Glastonbury.

 

The Heart Collectors

Australian Folk group ‘The Heart Collectors’, transcend conventionality and genre with their old-school alternative folk sound, bringing back the sentimentality of 70’s inspired harmonies, combined with a progressive lyrical wisdom to invite positive change.

With soaring cello, intricate guitar, sparkling mandolin, banjo, and the occasional passionate strike of the tambourine, these four charismatic performers create synergy with a ‘Fleetwood Mac’ meets ‘Peter Paul and Mary’ inspired marriage of rock sensibilities and clean classical precision.

heart collectors