- Former Squeeze founder, Chris Difford
- Award-winning folk singer, Rowan Rheingans
- Hugely successful North East accordionist, Amy Thatcher
Sunday 5 May, 8pm, Sage Two
Amy Thatcher is a professional accordionist based in the North East of England. Her reputation as one of the UK’s leading folk accordionists, both as a performer and composer, is garnered from working with luminaries such as Kathryn Tickell, Sting and The Royal Northern Sinfonia, The Shee, and Monster Ceilidh Band.
Her exceptional accordion playing has taken her across the world from The Royal Albert Hall to the Rainforest World Music Festival in Malaysia, performing with small instrumental groups to full orchestras.
She has a diverse range of musical influences and experiences, including contemporary avant-garde composer Terry Riley’s compositions to a hugely successful Leonard Cohen Tribute tour.
In 2009, Amy had the pleasure of collaborating with Sting on his Winter Song book and DVD, and contributed to his musical Broadway show, The Last Ship.
2019 is going to be an exciting year for Amy as it sees the release of her debut album, Solo, featuring her own compositions, played on solo accordion.
Amy will also be appearing on Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening’s first album. This exciting new world music sextet also features Cormac Byrne on percussion and Kate Young on vocals and fiddle.
Cocaine Piss plus Blóm and Mouses
Monday 6 May, 7.45pm, Northern Rock Foundation Hall
Ever since coming into twisted existence in 2014 in the Belgian city of Liège, pretty much as a bad taste joke, Cocaine Piss never really had time to consider such fine details, like having a band name that you can safely say in public, or just having any kind of plan for anything. They just revved the engine of the rocket and watched it launch, and before they knew it, it was flying sky-high.
Cocaine Piss are also a great example of the many things you can accomplish while not being an asshole. Their music might be nasty, provocative, dirty and mean, but their message is always a positive one that should leave a mark as deep as their riffs will cut.
Mouses are guitarist and vocalist Steven Bardgett and drummer Nathan Duff, a lo-fi garage punk duo from the North East of England, renowned for their raw and energetic live performances and willingness to tackle societal orthodoxies and injustices head on.
Formed in early 2014, they have built a growing reputation for their unique sound, combining surrealist lyrics and playful melodies in a whirlpool of fuzzed out frenetic punk rock.
Folkworks: Melrose Quartet
Sunday 12 May, 8pm, Sage Two
Melrose Quartet are truly an all-round folk act, with both tight a cappella harmony and energy-packed instrumentals.
They comprise leading English musicians Nancy Kerr (2015 BBC Folk Singer of the Year), James Fagan, Jess & Richard Arrowsmith with twin fiddles, guitar and bouzouki, melodeon and four strong voices.
From deep roots in their hometown’s vibrant music, song and dance scene, to smashing concert appearances in the UK and abroad, Sheffield-based Melrose Quartet have attracted a reputation for making music that truly connects with people.
All four are internationally renowned singers, instrumentalists, writer/composers and teachers, and in 2017 they were proud to be named the new patrons of Whitby Folk Week.
Chris Difford – Up The Junction Tour 2019 plus Boo Hewerdine
Friday 17 May, 7.30pm, Sage Two
2019 Grammy nominated and double Ivor Novella Award winning lyricist Chris Difford announces his May 2019 “stand-up, sit-down” tour, Up the Junction.
The tour carries on from a successful show at 2018’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and sees Difford discussing extracts from his book, Some Fantastic Place, which takes a look back at his career, whilst performing hits from across his Squeeze back-catalogue, and debuting some new solo material.
With more than 40 years in the business, Difford rose to fame with his first incarnation, co-founding Squeeze with his long-time collaborator Glenn Tilbook. The pair quickly demonstrated an ability to turn characters and sketches from everyday life in to music, going on to write some the nation’s best-loved hits: Up The Junction, Cool For Cats, Labelled with Love, and Tempted to name a few. 2017 saw Squeeze return with new album, The Knowledge, followed by extensive worldwide touring the following year.
Always keen to bridge the gap between artist and audience, for the last 25 years Difford has hosted song writing retreats in prisons, rehabs and predominantly in Somerset on the fringes of the Glastonbury festival site with the Buddy Holly Foundation. What’s more, he is one of the country’s most respected songwriters, having co-written with the likes Wet Wet Wet, Jools Holland and Steve Nieve (Elvis Costello & The Attractions/Madness), Paul Carrack, and Mick Jones of Foreigner.
Folkworks: Rowan Rheingans: Dispatches on the Red Dress
Wednesday 12 June, 8pm, Sage Two
Dispatches on The Red Dress is an intimate and adventurous exploration of memory, identity, joy, sorrow, trauma-recovery, bird-song, war and waltzes.
Unravelling the urgent message hidden in the folds of a story from her own grandmother’s youth, award-winning multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Rowan Rheingans sings to the past, the present and the future in this unique and deeply personal one-woman show.
Rowan weaves storytelling and song with fiddles, banjo and guitar, live looping and subtle use of pre-recorded sounds in a poignant reflection on human empathy, hope and small acts of transformation.
Rowan Rheingans is a fiddle player, banjoist, songwriter, and composer best known for her work with acclaimed folk bands Lady Maisery, The Rheingans Sisters and Songs of Separation. With these projects Rowan has won two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards (‘Best Original Track’ & ‘Best Album’) and is a five-times nominee.
Rowan’s debut solo show, Dispatches on The Red Dress, is supported by PRS Foundation, Arts Council England and English Folk Dance and Song Society.