New Old Blighty Tours

June marked the first tour of my new duo with Eva Väljaots. A highlight for us was arriving in Staffordshire to find Eva already featured on the front cover of The Leek Post. We had the pleasure of being on BBC Radio Stoke with Lillie-Mae Stubbs and BBC Radio Shropshire with Genevieve Tudor. You can now hear these recordings on our Soundcloud. A grand time was also had at The Great Get Together at the Foxlowe Arts Centre, Leek organised by Peace Through Folk as part of a nation-wide campaign aimed at bringing communities together inspired by the late Jo Cox. The trip was rounded off with a superb evening at Floodgate Ale House, Stafford. Our concert was sold out and the atmosphere was perfect, thanks to all who were there, especially Esther, Andrew for such a wonderful pub.

It went so well we’re now planning two UK tours, one in late December/ early January and another in late May/ early June.


Helsinki Ceilidh Band

I’m proud to announce the creation of Helsinki Ceilidh Band. The line-up is flexible, always performing with two melody players and two backers, though chief members are myself (fiddle), Hugh Sheehan (2-row button accordion), Tommie Bläkroff (piano accordion), Michael Ferrie (guitar), and Oskari Lehtonen (percussion).

Sound recordings will soon follow!

For enquires email Michael Ferrie – or myself through the contact form here.

Photograph taken by Klaus Elfving:

The all new Helsinki Ceilidh Band

Sabatants & the National Collection

I was recently kindly contacted by James Tugwell from British Library Sound Archive enquiring about entering my album ‘Provenance’ into the National Collection. It fills me with pride to send a copy off to what is for me such an important resource.

Thanks also to Wil Walker for the wonderful introduction and playing of track 5 ‘The Staffordshire Hornpipe’ from my album on Exile FM. Click here to go to the podcast.

Currently, I’m working on editing and arranging a selection of folk songs for community choir, mixed voices. They’ll be available for no charge from my website. Included so far are: Bonny at Morn, Young Banker, The Female Highwayman, and Freshwater Bay. So if you’re interested in singing these with your choir, send me a message via the contact form and I’ll email them to you when they’re ready!

I’m also excited to be performing at Sabatants, a folk dance festival in Tallinn, Estonia. It’ll be with fellow masters students at Sibelius Academy: Eva Väljaots, Olli Sippola and our ensemble tutor Jouko Kyhälä. You can read more info about the festival and group by clicking here. You can also watch a video of us playing at Nordic Dance Helsinki below:

Ivor Makes Tea Quartet

Those of you who frequent my website may have noticed a new page – ‘Ivor Makes Tea Quartet’. This project follows on from the work on my album ‘Provenance’, stay tuned for gig announcements and check out our videos on youtube:

Another addition to my youtube are recordings from my concert at the Sage last year kindly filmed and sent to me by Fred Hollingworth. Featuring Niles Krieger & Sam Partridge you can check them out here:

I thought I’d also share with you a clip from the Folklandia Festival Afterparty which I performed with at in SibA Folk Big Band. The gig was superb and great fun – the audiences’ dancing made it for me!

Monster Ceilidh to Sibelius via Breitenbach am Herzberg

The rest of my summer flew by, with a Cuckoo’s Nest house band support slot for Kevin Dempsey in Leek, North Staffordshire; two wedding ceilidhs – one subbing with The Monster Ceilidh Band; a few sessions and pub performances – including subbing with The Boat Band; Berg Herzberg Festival, Germany performing with Mitigation and leading a fiddle workshop at Glebe Farm Bluegrass and Beyond Camp. Then on 19 August, I was off to Helsinki pursuing my dream as a new entrant studying for a folk music masters degree at Sibelius Academy. (I’ve included a video of the Sibelius Academy Folk Big Band below.)

Now settled in and really enjoying the course, I am especially excited about a new band, performing music from my Provenance album. More news to follow shortly…

In the meantime I would like to thank everyone who has purchased a copy of Provenance so far. Your support is greatly appreciated and whilst I’m a long way off covering costs, the income is helping me with everyday outgoings in Helsinki. Thank you and I hope you are enjoying my music! 🙂

Assembly Lane on the Train

Had a great gig supporting the Rheingans Sisters at Floodgate Ale House, in Stafford. Whilst back in Staffordshire I had the unexpected pleasure of a couple of performances with Brennan & Buchanan on double bass and fiddle.

Now back in the North East I played at a wonderful bluegrass gig depping with Assembly Lane, and jamming on the train back from Hexham as well as playing a ceilidh and pop set with Elliot & The Rush Hour for a wedding in Cornhill Castle (pictured below).

All 11 samples of Provenance are now on soundcloud so you can have a sneak peak before the release on Friday 6th July:

To kick off the release I’ll be playing some of the album with Michael Biggins around noon, 6th July!
This will be on my facebook page.

fRoots Album Review!!

The summer edition of fROOTS is out and includes a great review from David Kidman of ‘Provenance’ thoughtfully contrasted with Briony Griffiths’ new album ‘Hover’.

Summing up David says…

“Any listener picking up this album in search of traditional-styled fiddle playing will have their expectations confounded – but in a thoroughly stimulating way.”

Thanks to David and all at fROOTS, it’s really appreciated.

Please read the full review, from the pdf link at the bottom of this post, or better still consider purchasing a copy of the fROOTS magazine.

Worldwide pre-orders of ‘Provenance’ are available online from my shop page, via PayPal or by credit or debit card payment secured by PayPal.

For a larger image; view as pdf by clicking on the link below.

fR421 REVIEWS PAGES 112-113

Return to Helsinki

The latest samples of ‘Provenance’ are up on SoundCloud featuring the mighty Sam Partridge on Bassoon.

More exciting news – I’ve been accepted on the Folk masters programme at Sibelius Academy, Finland, where I can’t wait to continue my studies, after having a wonderful time there on Erasmus 2016-2017!

I’ve been enjoying the last couple of days at Emma Bridgewater Factory for Festival in a Factory playing around the site and welcoming audiences to their seats before the speakers. As I’ve only just got back to North Staffordshire playing in a pottery factory seemed like an apt return gig.

They also generously gave me my own personalised mug!

Pre-orders Available!

My Final Concert on Thursday 31st May concluded my studies at Newcastle University. The performance went swimmingly all thanks to my wonderful friends, Hannah Lord, Niles Krieger, & Sam Partridge for playing so well and my supportive tutor Peter Tickell helping me put together and prepare for a recital I’m really proud of.

To celebrate, I’ve made physical copies of my debut album ‘Provenance’ available for pre-order and have started uploading samples weekly to my SoundCloud in the run up to the 6th July, when the album will be released.

Those who made it along to Hexham Gathering and/or The Sage on Thursday may recognise the first track, Hole in the Ceiling.

The album in CD format is priced at £12 with free UK postage and payment using PayPal, including credit or debit card payment for non-members, via PayPal’s secure payment link below. No purchases will be accepted for delivery outside the UK, without first messaging me and us agreeing an additional cost.