LIVE in Barnsley, the town’s first metropolitan free music festival sponsored by Fenton and Fenton Roofing Specialists, is now in to its third year and is set to take place again this summer on Saturday 20th June. This year there are 14 venues and over 120 bands taking part.
Barnsley Folk and Acoustic Night aka Barnsley Folk Club was founded back in 1962 and runs every Monday night at the Trades Club on Racecommon Rd from 8pm. Like an acoustic version of Open Mic, everyone is invited to perform a song or two, whether it’s Traditional, 60’s or Contemporary Folk, Acoustic Music. A Celtic-style traditional musician session also runs at the start of the evening. Every few weeks there is a gig night with a national or international folk act. “We are so excited to be involved with Live in Barnsley this year” said club co-organiser Sarah Greenwood “it’s a great opportunity for us to showcase some local folk acts and to find out what else is going on in town acoustic music-wise.” Sarah, Dave Bottomley and John Platt, are String Theory, the folk club house band, and describe themselves as “British and American Folk served with Yorkshire Relish”. String Theory all hail from Barnsley, three friends who originally met at their local folk club. Their act is the culmination of a series of epic jam sessions held at pubs and folk festivals across Yorkshire over the last few years. They sing old songs – story songs about tragedies, heroes, events or ways of life that are in danger of being forgotten, yet ultimately they consider themselves a good-time band, their enthusiasm for the music coming through in their performances. Richard Kitson, Folk/Blues singer-songwriter and guitarist from Birdwell. From his first eponymous album release in 2003 Richard’s sound has matured and developed along with a career supporting some of the biggest names in folk and blues around the UK. He has regularly supported well-respected artists from across the globe such as Michael Marra, Otis Gibbs, Boo Hewerdine, John Tamms, Wizz Jones and Peggy Seeger. Richard has gigged from London to Edinburgh; famous blues clubs to music cafes and while he’s shared bigger stages at city concert venues he often prefers the intimacy and opportunity to connect with the audience through carefully orchestrated performances at smaller venues. His latest album, ‘Hermit Hill’, is out now and is already lined up to play Otley Folk Festival and Willowman Festival this summer. Kirsty White is an 18 years old singer songwriter from Leeds and plays electric acoustic guitar. Kirsty has made a name for herself since winning the Leeds Breeze Has Talent Competition in 2013 and has since performed at the switching on of the Leeds Christmas lights to a crowd of nearly 30.000 people, Leeds City Varieties, The Grand Départ Spectator Hub in Leeds, Live At Leeds Festival fringe, Long Division Festival, Leeds Child Stars Award and the Breeze Arts Festival 2014. This will be Kirsty’s second appearance at LIVE in Barnsley and told us she is already looking forward to returning after receiving a great reception last year.
Casey Hall is 17 years old and a student at Barnsley College. Casey told us, “On my 13th birthday my Dad bought me a CD. Up to this point I had NEVER been interested in music, unless you call being forced to play the recorder in primary an interest. The CD was ‘Taylor Swift – Fearless’ and from that day in June 2009 the CD was on constant repeat. The first time I ever performed was in a small, closed music room in front of my BTEC music group of around 20 people. It doesn’t seem many, but when you’re on your own at the front with a microphone and an acoustic guitar, it’s scary. I sang Katy Perry – Teenage Dream.”
Paul Pearson and Chris Treebeard, have put together something special just for LIVE in Barnsley and Sarah Greenwood describes them as “Just…..Awesome, from Sheffield”. Chris is known more for being in the folk rock band, Treebeard. He cites his musical influences as The Levellers, Waterboys and Fairport Convention. Paul Pearson is affectionately known as the ‘Steel Town Troubadour’, also from Sheffield, he specializes in taking songs from excellent but obscure songwriters and turning them into PP Originals. If you’ve witnessed Paul’s natural, controlled aggression and sheer passion, you’ll know it’s an explosive combination. Not to be missed. The Rolling Down Hills are alternative/acoustic duo made up of two friends from Barnsley. Singer Lewis Ryan and guitarist Simon Moore starting playing music together in the early 1990’s, with influences of 1990s grunge and rock bands, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Silver Chair, Bush, Alice in Chains, Sound Garden etc. Whilst studying at college Ryan and Simon wrote various songs together as The Sea Monkeys never really performing Live other than a few gigs for charity. In late 2011 Simon called Ryan to ask for help when his singer pulled out of a gig at the last minute. After making an impromptu set of their old songs they played their first gig in over 15 years at the Dove and Rainbow in Sheffield. A few years on and The Rolling Down Hills are gigging regularly across South Yorkshire and an EP of new material is currently being recorded. Zoe Bottomley, well regarded folk singer influenced by Kate Rusby, Kathryn Roberts etc. Zoe is originally from Barnsley, but now runs a folk night in Hull. Avishek Choudhury is a solo performer, originally from Blackpool, but now living in Barnsley. Avishek is also well know on the local music scene as a photographer and videographer, having worked with many local bands. He includes among his influences the likes of James Blunt, Coldplay, The Script and Dido. Toby Burton is a 16 year old singer-songwriter from Sheffield, who spends most of his time working on his music, and is in the production of his debut EP, which he hopes to release in 2015. He started off on Youtube like many other singers and a chain of gigs at places such as The Plug and 02 Academy has kick-started his career in the local area. He performs a wide range of cover songs, but also performs original songs, and hopes to carry on writing in the future.
VIDEO LINKS Me & Thee https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGfyGbHjXrk&feature=youtu.be String Theory https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujvd6vzM4A0 Richard Kitson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PgiUvQ77uc Kirsty White https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUasmbXXazs Casey Hall https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh8hw-4Sbws Avishek Choudhury https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzOlYwU2iqI Toby Burton https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dprQBy_YDNc The Rolling Down Hills https://soundcloud.com/therollingdownhills/take-it-as-it-rolls
LINKS LIVE in Barnsley on Twitter https://twitter.com/LIVEinbarnsley LIVE in Barnsley website http://www.liveinbarnsley.co.uk