Monday, 10 June 2019 00:00

Lisa Redford- Festivals

Written by  Lisa Redford
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image courtesy of Robert Walkley image courtesy of Robert Walkley

It has been a very busy and exciting time as my new EP Edge of Love - recorded and mastered in Norwich and featuring a whole host of local talent - is now released worldwide!

I have been blown away by the wonderful airplay and reviews I have received including 4 stars in national music magazines Maverick and RnR. The title track also features on the excellent Un-Herd cover mount CD which comes with the May/June issue of RnR, in shops now.

I have been interviewed for a few local glossy publications - including Norwich Resident Magazine, KL Magazine and Norfolk Magazine - as well as had airplay on BBC Radio Norfolk and Suffolk, most recently a live acoustic session for Drive Time on BBC Radio Suffolk with Stephen Foster. 

Edge of Love is available on all digital platforms including iTunes, Amazon and Spotify - you can also get a download or limited edition signed CD at my Bandcamp store: 

https://lisaredford.bandcamp.com

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Huge thanks to everyone who came along to the EP launch show at the Louis Marchesi in Norwich and for making it such a special evening. It was also lovely to be joined by fantastic local based US musician Ted Briggs-Comstock on dobro and banjo. Thanks to Richard Dales Coupland, who hosts music show Zetland FM Country, for filming I Just Can’t Forget, a heartfelt ballad that features on Edge of Love.

https://youtu.be/VQGXL0tA2X0

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                                     Image courtesy of Rodney Kidd

Upcoming Norfolk Gigs

June has only just arrived and already it has been a busy festival season. Last week I performed at the brilliant Red Rooster Festival near Thetford, privileged to be selected for a special Americana Music Association UK (AMA-UK) stage featuring amazing female artists - part of a pioneering EU Keychange PRS Foundation pledge to ensure a 50-50 gender balance on festival lineups by 2020. Before that I was part of a lovely predominately local lineup at the beautiful surroundings of Clippesby Hall Music Festival near Acle. As well as more upcoming summer festivals and events in Suffolk I am also performing at some exciting live events in Norfolk.

Feltwell Music Festival 27 - 28th July 

On Saturday 27 July I will be performing at F-19, a major new music festival in Feltwell.

The two day festival will feature some of the best up and coming singers and musicians in the country with music ranging from soulful folk and driving pop to explosive rock and addictive blues. 

The venue for F-19 is St Mary's Church in Feltwell Norfolk and this impressive medieval church will provide an evocative environment for the festival performances as the huge timber roof arches over the stage. John Stickley, F-19 organiser says: "All profits from the festival will go toward St Mary's Church, Feltwell. This huge medieval building needs money spending on it all the time just to keep it standing...The church is in the heart of the village and so it is natural that it should be able to provide a place where many different activities can take place for everyone to share."

To find out more about F-19 and to see the full line up visit http://www.f-19.uk

The Waterfront Sessions - Sunday 4 August

I am thrilled to be part of an excellent lineup for The Waterfront Sessions, an exciting day from The Tilting Sky celebrating some of the regions finest country and Americana artists by the riverside at Norwich Waterfront.

Doors will open at 2pm for an afternoon session in the garden featuring live acoustic music complimented by a specially curated playlist courtesy of Grapevine For Music. In addition, there will be hot food available and a mini ‘pop up’ beer festival. During the evening, the live music will move indoors to the main room of the venue for an evening session featuring full band sets including from Morganway and The Vagaband. It promises to be a really special day. Tickets are £10 and available here:

https://www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk/ents/event/7494/?fbclid=IwAR2y19T5Ow2YtQUJwuiHkza6Zn9c5c7zwYIogvQe24OuFVNZEw_oLfND0Zg

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Norfolk & Norwich Festival

Eliza & Martin Carthy - Celebration 

As expected, the Norfolk and Norwich Festival provided a stellar array of world class performances. I caught some wonderful shows during the festival period; a special highlight was on the very first evening. Twice-Mercury-nominated and multiple-award winner at the BBC Radio Two Folk awards, Eliza Carthy was joined by her father Martin - one of the most influential figures in traditional music - for Celebration, an ambitious new project, specially commissioned by the festival celebrating music from the East of England.

Martin and Eliza, who have also previously joined forces for their first duo album The Moral of the Elephant, have spent the last few months compiling and curating a collection of musical and poetical works from the East of England. Myths, legends, poems and ballads from the furthest North of Northumberland, through Hull right down to Suffolk. 

The spectacular Norwich Cathedral was the perfect setting to hear Eliza - one of the most impressive and engaging artists of her generation - and Martin - one of English folk music’s greatest innovators - with long-time collaborators Duotone and Sheema Mukherjee (Imagined Village, Transglobal Underground), plus dancer and choreographer Ewan Wardop (Matthew Bourne, Formby, Shakespeare’s Globe, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, The Bo Diddlers). It was a truly enchanting evening as Eliza told the stories behind the songs and their origins, often accompanied by spoken word and joyful traditional dancing from Ewan, giving us a real sense of the traditions and history of the east. I have been lucky enough to support Eliza at a previous concert in Norwich and she is truly inspiring musician with a warm, infectious energy and passion for her craft and to witness such a special concert at the Cathedral gave the evening a real atmosphere and  sense of occasion. 

This short video captures a snapshot of this very special evening; the audio is Martin Carthy performing Scarborough Fair:

https://youtu.be/4JLrf6eO5zE

Sarah Jane Morris sings John Martyn - Sweet Little Mystery

Another festival highlight was at Norwich Playhouse a few nights later. Soul, jazz and R&B vocalist Sarah Jane Morris - who topped the charts in the 80‘s with The Communards - celebrated the music and career of acclaimed singer songwriter John Martyn, who was part of a folk scene that spawned the likes of Bert Jansch, Ralph McTell and Al Stewart. Martyn, with his distinctive smoky voice, rhythmic guitar playing and blend of folk which drew on blues, rock and jazz - later becoming more experimental - produced a bold, tender and innovative catalogue of material that continues to move and inspire.   

Accompanied by a highly accomplished band led by guitarist and arranger Tony Remy, Sarah’s passion for Martyn’s artistry clearly shone through as she told us how his music was the soundtrack to her teenage years. Through her unique interpretation of the material and rich, powerful vocal delivery, the songs were treated with real compassion. From the delicate acoustic opener Fairytale Lullaby through to the romantic warmth of Couldn't Love You More and Sweet Little Mystery the songs all possessed a great feel and groove while retaining the emotion and sentiments of Martyn’s originals. Other highlights included the soulful May You Never - which has been covered by many artists - most famously Eric Clapton, and Sarah had us all singing along and become part of her choir with Don’t Wanna Know About Evil a song by Martyn’s wife and musical partner Beverley Kutner. 

I particularly enjoyed how the show included contributions from family and close friends including artists Eddi Reader and Linda Thompson. John’s friendship with many musicians, especially Nick Drake, was talked about affectionately; Linda Thompson revealing how John “loved him” and famously wrote Solid Air for Nick, two years before his tragic death. Eddie Reader spoke of John’s unwavering creativity and how he was “immersed in music.” 

A video about the Sweet Little Mystery project: https://youtu.be/IHI7qzZhMS0

Sewell Barn Theatre - Yerma 

6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14 & 15 June 2019 at 7.30pm Matinée 15 June at 2.30pm. 

The latest production at the Sewell Barn theatre is Yerma which tells the story of five years in the life of a Spanish woman in the early 20th Century. In the harsh landscape of Granada, dominated by honour, tradition and Catholicism, Yerma (whose name means barren) is the young wife of Juan, an ambitious local farmer. She dreams of having a son; however, her husband is only interested in what he can make money from. As the chance of motherhood slips through her fingers the dream becomes a need, then a dangerous obsession that drives her in the end to commit a terrible crime, killing her dream forever. 

Written at a time of huge unrest and change in Spain (a few years before the civil war), Lorca's play paints a devastating picture of the conflicts between female sexuality and toxic masculinity, tradition and change, Catholicism and Paganism but does so with beautiful poetry and moving imagery, memorable characters and the passion and soul that the Spanish are famous for. On its premier in 1934, Yerma scandalised traditional right-wing and Catholic opinion. This play and its critique of religion and Spanish traditions (particularly its treatment of women) has been directly linked to Lorca's assassination two years later. 

Phillip Rowe, director of this production at the Sewell Barn theatre, commented: Yerma is a feast for the senses, and the result of a genuinely collaborative environment ‒ encouraging play, creativity and a real spirit of ‘what if?’. Spanish art was a huge influence on the design of our set and the costumes for the actors, with cubist shapes and weird perspectives, Picasso's blues and greys, and Dali's fiery reds, creating a surrealist backdrop on which our characters draw the interweaving lines of their lives.” 

The sounds of a rural community, Spanish-inspired music (specially composed for this production by the director) and projections complete the experience in which the entire Sewell Barn space is used to immerse the audience in Yerma's world. But all of this is only a backdrop. The real power of this play comes from the story and the characters within it, and the monumental struggle of the eponymous character to reconcile the world around her and the inner drive that defines her. 

Tickets are available online via www.sewellbarn.org, or from St George’s Music Shop, 17-19 St Georges Street, Norwich or by phoning 01603 626414. 

Wild Paths Festival - October 17-20

‘Norwich is an enchanting place... music emanates from little hubs of creativity scattered across the city and down every winding path there’s something wild to discover.’

As a big lover of festivals I am very excited about Wild Paths - a new multi-venue, city-wide music festival coming to the heart of Norwich in October; a weekend of events taking over all of the city’s best-loved music venues and showcasing an eclectic mix of emergent and established artists.

The programme for the event period 17th - 20th October will be spread across a number of main festival venues, VIP party and bar areas, conferencing centres and affiliated ‘satellite venues’.  

It was nice to sit down and have a chat with organiser Ben Street who told me that alongside the eclectic music line up - like a “Spotify playlist” - there will also be Wild Paths themed after-parties, drinks and networking events, live art installations and discussion panels featuring artists and key figures from the music industry. Ben also revealed that the brilliant José González will be performing on Sunday 20th October at OPEN Norwich.

As well as the hugely impressive music lineup festival goers will also be able to treat their tastebuds at local food pop-ups scattered across the festival site and an exclusive Wild Paths beer, a Wild Paths cocktail or even a signature festival roast (coffee). All of this brought to you by the best local independent retailers.

The mission of Wild Paths is to bring artists of national and international notoriety to Norwich, and to shine a spotlight over the city and all the talent that resides here. Wild Paths Festival venues will include Open (Banking Hall & Club Room), The Waterfront (Main & Studio), Epic Studios, Norwich Arts Centre, The Shoe Factory Social Club, Bermuda Bob’s Rum Shack & Hi-Fi, The Birdcage, The Gin Palace, Bowling House, Anteros Rooms, Gonzo’s Tea Room, The Rumsey Wells and Franks Bar.

Wild Paths will begin with a pre-festival warm up party at Norwich Arts Centre on the evening of Thursday 17th October. To find out more take a look at the festival’s social media:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/wildpathsfestival

Insta: @wildpathsfestival

Twitter: @wildpathsfest

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For news of my EP “Edge of Love”, upcoming gigs and teaching information, take a look at www.lisaredford.com

I also current host an Afternoon Session show on Future Radio Wednesdays 2-3pm www.futureradio.co.uk

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Last modified on Monday, 10 June 2019 21:47

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