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Folk on Foot
Matthew Bannister goes walking with a leading folk musician in a landscape that has inspired them. They sing and play exclusive acoustic songs on location.
Jan 4, 2021
Official Folk Albums Chart Show – 4th January 2021
This month’s show has special performances by Kris Drever, Kate Rusby and Sam Lee plus an interview with Fairport Convention’s Simon Nicol and music from Sam Sweeney, Fay Hield, Barbara Dickson, Shirley Collins and Laura Marling. As usual, a great way to keep up to date with all the amazing folk music being made across the UK and Ireland right now. We depend entirely on support from our listeners and viewers to keep going, so please consider becoming a patron of Folk on Foot. For a small monthly contribution, you’ll get great rewards. https://www.patreon.com/folkonfoot. Follow us on social media: @folkonfoot Sign up for our newsletter at https://www.folkonfoot.com
Dec 17, 2020
Richard Thompson in Muswell Hill (and other parts of London)
The legendary guitarist and songwriter Richard Thompson (who celebrated his 70th birthday in 2019) takes Matthew Bannister for a walk around the areas of London where he grew up, began playing the guitar, formed Fairport Convention (inventing English folk rock) and joined the vibrant music scene of the 1960s. On the steps of his old school in Highgate Richard sings “Man With Money” by the Everly Brothers which he used to perform with the band he formed at the school. In Highgate Woods he sings his classic lament for lost love and the travelling life: “Beeswing” as well as a new song written during lockdown: “If I Could Live My Life Again”. Outside the house called “Fairport” that gave the band its name, Richard gives us an emotional version of “Meet On The Ledge”. Then it’s on to Wardour Street in Soho, site of the famous Marquee Club, for “Walking The Long Miles Home” as he recalls walking ten miles back to his parents’ home in the early hours of the morning after gigs. Finally we are in the Lamb and Flag pub in Covent Garden where Richard describes an encounter with a drunken Irish tenor that inspired his song “Josef Locke”. Along the way Richard reflects on song writing technique, remembers playing with Jimi Hendrix, tells how his Mum and Dad never really understood his success as a musician and relates how the seminal album “Liege and Lief” was the band’s way of dealing with “PTSD” after a car crash that killed his girlfriend Jeannie Franklyn and the drummer Martin Lamble. It’s a fascinating insight into the early influences of one of our most creative musical talents. To hear about future episodes of Folk on Foot, sign up for our newsletter at www.folkonfoot.com or follow @folkonfoot on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We rely entirely on listeners’ contributions to keep going, so please consider becoming a patron, making a small monthly contribution in return for great rewards: www.patreon.com/folkonfoot.
1 hr 7 min
Nov 12, 2020
6 Songs from Season 5
A selection of unique performances recorded on location for Folk on Foot by Frank Turner, Kitty Macfarlane, Chris Wood, Johnny Flynn, Ninebarrow and O’Hooley and Tidow. If you’ve already heard all their episodes it’s a great way to re-live the experience and if you haven’t it could tempt you to explore artists whose music is new to you.
Oct 22, 2020
O'Hooley & Tidow in the Colne Valley
Belinda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow created one of the most memorable sets of our summer Festivals, filmed at their home in the village of Golcar in West Yorkshire. They have an uncanny ability to move you to tears one moment then have you roaring with laughter the next. In summer 2020 they were planning to capitalise on the new found fame caused by having their song “Gentleman Jack” as the theme tune of Sally Wainwright’s hit BBC One period drama based on the life of Anne Lister. But the lockdown put paid to all the touring they’d planned. So they stayed at home in the beautiful Colne Valley, taking full advantage of the opportunity to enjoy watching their one year old son Flynn grow and learn. On our walk along the canal (with Flynn in the sling) they share the lullabies they use to soothe him to sleep. They also sing “Colne Valley Hearts” which celebrates the many characters they’ve met in the area and “The Hum” which responds to the noise of a local factory. We end up at the Dark Woods Coffee Roastery where there’s a delicious Americano and a handy piano for Belinda to play. As we walk on they spot a wonderful acoustic under a bridge, so Belinda unpacks her accordion and the duo give a poignant performance of Richard Thompson’s “Down Where The Drunkards Roll”. Along the way we hear the story of their very different musical childhoods, how Heidi overcame her fear of singing in public and how they met. Join us for a warm conversation with two of the UK folk scene’s most original talents.
Oct 8, 2020
Ninebarrow at Nine Barrow Down
The multi award winning Dorset duo Ninebarrow take Matthew Bannister for a walk in the glorious countryside of the Isle of Purbeck. Jon Whitley and Jay LaBouchardiere have known each other since they were twelve years old. They are a musical and personal partnership – a singing duo and a married couple. They love walking and they are not averse to a spot of open air singing too. In fact, they run Ninebarrow walking holidays – inviting fans to join them in tramping the Dorset hills and vales and sharing their music each evening. They’ve even published a book of their favourite Dorset walks. So who better to relate the history of Corfe Castle – ruined since it was blown up by Oliver Cromwell’s men during the English Civil War - or to share some Dorset dialect in the poetry of William Barnes which they’ve set to music? Their exquisite harmonies ring out across the Bronze Age burial mounds at Nine Barrow Down (which gave the band its name) as they savour the spectacular view of Poole Harbour, Swanage and the Isle of Wight. They end up in St James’s Church in the village of Kingston which is known as the “cathedral of Purbeck” for its large size and lavish decoration and Jon and Jay sing “Row On” in the wonderful acoustic of this special building. Another atmospheric walk with two engaging and creative musicians.
Sep 17, 2020
Johnny Flynn on the Hackney Marshes
Johnny Flynn is a talented stage and screen actor who is also a wonderful musician. You may have heard his theme tune for the brilliant TV comedy Detectorists, or seen him on the big screen in the recent adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma, or on stage alongside Sir Mark Rylance in the acclaimed play “Jerusalem”. In our first post lockdown episode, Johnny takes Matthew Bannister for a walk on the Hackney Marshes, a huge expanse of public land which has no fewer than 88 football pitches alongside a nature reserve which has grown up in disused gravel pits. As well as singing his distinctive, haunting songs, Johnny relates his near miss with a bear on the Camino to Santiago and talks about his friendship with the nature writer Robert Macfarlane. He tells Matthew about his father - who was an actor and singer – about his own boyhood experiences of being a choral scholar at Winchester and the revelation of discovering Bob Dylan’s music as a teenager. On song writing, Johnny says “It’s easier to produce complex music, but much harder to make music that sounds just right in its simplicity”. Another fascinating conversation with one of the UK’s most creative performers.
Aug 31, 2020
Bonus Episode: Folk on Foot Festival 3: TOGETHER AGAIN: Highlights
Another extraordinary Bank Holiday Monday virtual Festival from Folk on Foot, this time re-uniting musicians who couldn’t play together during the lockdown. The Breath; Eliza Carthy and David Delarre; Johnny Flynn and his band; Julie Fowlis, Éamon Doorley and Duncan Chisholm; Karine Polwart, Steven Polwart and Inge Thomson; Kris Drever, John McCusker and Phil Cunningham; Lady Nade, Kit Hawes and Aaron Catlow; Nancy Kerr, Martin Simpson and Andy Cutting; Peggy Seeger, Neill and Calum MacColl; Rachel Newton and Lauren MacColl; Sam Lee and his band; Show of Hands and Spiers and Boden. We have hand-picked the glorious highlights from seven hours of beautiful music for you to enjoy.
2 hr 8 min
Aug 6, 2020
Chris Wood in Faversham
The award winning singer, songwriter and guitarist Chris Wood has lived in Kent all his life. “If you keep moving around, how much can you trust your judgement?” he asks. “If you stop where you are, the world does eventually come to you.” Since the Brexit referendum and election of 2019, Chris has been in challenging mood. On this walk with his dog Dancer and Matthew Bannister, Chris performs his song “Take Back Control” and contrasts the commuters on the London-bound platform at 6 every morning with what he calls “the slope-shouldered, whey-faced broken people” in Faversham’s greasy spoons and declining market place. “This is my muse,” he tells me. “This darkness and this hypocrisy and these contradictions – I thrive on it”. Sometimes he feels the only way forward is to follow the simple philosophy: “be kind and grow a garden”. As he takes Matthew out onto the marshes around the Faversham creek, Chris reminisces about sailing the coastal waters with his Dad, then waxes lyrical about lying down for a nap in the reeds and waking to the enormous expanse of sky. He sings his setting of a John Clare poem. There’s also time to visit his allotment – although Chris says his wife Clare is the gardener and he is simply the “old, broken-down tractor”. A fascinating and thought-provoking conversation with one of England’s most acutely observant and poetic songwriters.
Jul 23, 2020
Kitty Macfarlane on the Somerset Levels
Kitty Macfarlane is known for her pure voice, poetic song writing and passion for the natural world. She was nominated for the Horizon award at the 2019 Radio 2 Folk Awards. Kitty was born and brought up in Somerset and is often inspired by the landscape of the county. On this unexpectedly sunny January walk, she and Matthew Bannister climb the historic Burrow Mump hill. Here she sings a song inspired by the view, “Man Friendship”. As they walk along the nearby river, Kitty stops to sing her song about migration: “Glass Eel”. Then it’s off to her favourite bird sanctuary where they observe many different species and she sings her song about witnessing a murmuration of starlings. Finally, they discuss the influence of William Blake and John Taverner, before she sings “Lamb”. It is another thought provoking and uplifting episode.
Jul 9, 2020
Frank Turner on the Holloway Road
On the surface Frank Turner is a man of contrasts: the old Etonian who became a punk; the heavy metal fan who became a folk-influenced singer songwriter. On this walk through his old haunts on the Holloway Road in North London he reveals the inspiration for his change in musical direction, calling in at the venue Nambucca where “the scales fell from my eyes” and he discovered the power of “three chords and the truth”. In the empty venue he plays the songs he wrote about the creative scene there, before heading down the road to The Garage, where his passion for punk was ignited. Along the way he reflects on the history of the area, his own sofa-surfing experiences, his tattoos and his relationship with his mother.
Jun 26, 2020
Season 5 Trailer
A delicious taster of some of the amazing new episodes coming your way in season 5 of Folk on Foot. Recorded before the lockdown, we’ve been walking with Kitty Macfarlane on the Somerset Levels, Chris Wood in Faversham and Frank Turner on the Holloway Road in North London. In this trailer you’ll hear some short extracts and details of three additional episodes we’re planning to record in summer 2020.
Jun 4, 2020
Bonus Episode: Seven Songs from Season 4
Here’s a chance to re-visit some of the musical highlights of season 4 of Folk on Foot – complete and uninterrupted. It features “Queen of Waters” by Nancy Kerr, “Scapa Flow 1919” by Kris Drever, “Sleeping Beauty” by Bella Hardy, “I’m a Woman on Wheels” by Peggy Seeger, “The Token” by Rachel Newton, “Walking Through Ithonside” by John Jones and the Reluctant Ramblers and The Melrose Quartet singing “Bright New Year”. Transport yourself to simpler, happier times as you enjoy these unique on location recordings. Then stand by for season 5 which will launch very soon.
May 25, 2020
Bonus Episode: Front Room Festival 2 Highlights
On Monday 25th May – Spring Bank Holiday in the UK – we staged the Folk on Foot Front Room Festival 2 with an astonishing line up of artists. The show lasted for eight hours – but we have distilled it down to two hours of highlights, featuring: Cara Dillon and Sam Lakeman, Chris Wood, Duncan Chisholm, Eliza Carthy, Frank Turner and Jess Guise, Gwilym Bowen Rhys, John Smith, Johnny Flynn, Kate Rusby and Damien O’Kane, Kathryn Tickell, Kitty Macfarlane, O’Hooley and Tidow, Richard Thompson and Zara Phillips, Rioghnach Connolly and Ellis Davies – all playing from their front rooms (and gardens). Plus the online premiere of a behind the scenes film of the Unthanks on their recent “unaccompanied” tour. It was a remarkable and emotional day which raised loads of money for musicians who can’t work during the lockdown – enjoy!
May 7, 2020
Bonus Episode: Jarlath Henderson at the Isle of Skye Festival of Small Halls
Jarlath Henderson has been described as the “Jimi Hendrix of the uilleann pipes”. He is also a fine singer and accomplished player of the whistle. At the age of 17 he became the youngest ever winner of the Radio 2 Young Folk award. He comes from Northern Ireland but has now made his home in Scotland where he combines his musical career with working as a doctor in emergency medicine. This episode was recorded last November while he was taking part in the Isle of Skye Small Halls Festival and long before he started to play his part in tackling Covid 19.
Apr 30, 2020
Bonus Episode: Su-a Lee at the Isle of Skye Festival of Small Halls
Another episode recorded at the Isle of Skye Festival of Small Halls in November 2019. Su-a Lee is a classically trained cellist and a member of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, but she loves breaking down musical barriers. With the group Mr McFall’s Chamber she’s played contemporary classical music in night clubs and she regularly collaborates with Scotland’s leading folk players, as she did at the Festival. She is also a keen walker and bagger of Munros. Sitting on a rock by the river at Sligachan, she tells Matthew Bannister the poignant story of climbing Ben Nevis with her cello on her back to pay musical tribute to her late husband shortly after he died. Then she unveils her secret weapon...
Apr 23, 2020
Rachel Newton at the Isle of Skye Festival of Small Halls
The Edinburgh-born harpist, fiddle player and singer Rachel Newton was Radio 2’s Musician of the Year in 2017. She sings in both English and Gaelic and is a member of The Shee, The Furrow Collective and the Lost Words Spell Songs. We walked with her on the Isle of Skye in November 2019 where she was taking part in the wonderful Festival of Small Halls, in which top Scottish musicians come together to tour the community halls of the island. So, as well as our walk by the Fairy Pools, where Rachel plays and sings with the water bubbling behind her, you’ll hear extracts from packed gigs in the village hall at Glendale and the Old Inn at Carbost. And there’s even a cameo appearance by our old friend the fiddle player and composer Duncan Chisholm.
Apr 14, 2020
Bonus Episode: Front Room Festival Highlights
On Easter Bank Holiday Monday, April 13th 2020, we organised the Folk on Foot Front Room Festival - seven and a half hours of wonderful folk music from 15 top artists playing in their front rooms, linked by Matthew Bannister from his. Bella Hardy, Beth Porter and the Bookshop Band, Jon Boden, Julie Fowlis and Éamon Doorley, Karine Polwart, Kerry Andrew/You are Wolf, Kris Drever, Lisa Knapp, Martin Simpson, Nancy Kerr and James Fagan, Peggy Seeger, Rachel Newton, Sam Lee, Seth Lakeman and Steve Knightley all played sets of around 30 minutes. The festival raised thousands of pounds for musicians unable to work during the coronavirus lockdown. Here are some of the highlights of an amazing day.
2 hr 13 min
Mar 12, 2020
Bella Hardy in Edale
The singer, songwriter and fiddle player Bella Hardy was Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year in 2014. She takes Matthew for a rain-sodden walk through the majestic countryside of the Edale Valley in the Peak District where she was brought up and has now returned to live. Undaunted by the weather, they go to the Penny Pot café, the 1811 Methodist Chapel where Bella teaches a singing group and on to her mother’s cottage where they stop for very welcome tea, biscuits and songs, including a local Castleton carol and Bella’s own compositions “Sleeping Beauty” and “Tequila Moon”. On their way back up the valley they cross Broadlee Bank, inspiration for Bella’s haunting instrumental tune and are interrupted by a sheepdog rounding up his flock.
Feb 13, 2020
Peggy Seeger in Iffley
After a life on the road, folk legend Peggy Seeger has settled in the village of Iffley on the outskirts of Oxford. In this episode she talks poignantly about her mother, Ruth Crawford, a talented composer who died when she was fifty-three and Peggy was just eighteen. Peggy recites a poem called “My Mother is Younger Than Me”. She sings old union songs, including “The Miner’s Prayer” which she says she doesn’t like because it asks the rich for pity – and “asking the rich to have pity is stupid – they won't”. Peggy recalls her time on the Greenham Common protests, shows us a piece of the wire fence she keeps on her mantelpiece and sings a song called “A Woman on Wheels” which is about a protester in a wheelchair who she saw using bolt cutters to breach that fence. There’s time to reflect on the influence of her older brother Pete and her husband Ewan Macoll and, of course to hear the true story behind the writing of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”. Co…
Jan 16, 2020
Kris Drever on Orkney
The guitarist, singer and songwriter Kris Drever – Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year 2017 - was born and brought up on Orkney, the archipelago of about 70 islands off the Northern coast of Scotland which is steeped in history. Kris takes Matthew Bannister for a walk, starting in the main town of Kirkwall with its huge sandstone cathedral commemorating St Magnus who came to an untimely end. In the graveyard Kris sings “Winter Moon”. Then they head off to the shores of the great natural harbour at Scapa Flow where Kris performs his powerful song about the scuttling of the entire German navy there in 1919. They end up at the chapel created in a nissen hut by Italian prisoners during the Second World War – a poignant setting for Kris’s song “Ghosts”. Along the way, Kris reflects on the influence of his musical parents; on Scotland’s fondness for strong drink and explains why he’s now moved to Shetland. It’s another great episode with a thoughtful and inspiring artist.…
Dec 12, 2019
Bonus Xmas Episode: The Sheffield Carols with Jon Boden, Bella Hardy and The Melrose Quartet
In search of the festive spirit of Christmas – and bearing gifts - we travel to the Peak District and Sheffield to hear the area’s unique local carols. Along the way we collect music from Jon Boden, Bella Hardy, The Melrose Quartet and the singers of the villages of Dungworth and Hathersage. We hear how the traditional carols written and sung by working people were thrown out of the church – and had to find a new home in the village pubs. Put on your Santa hat, reindeer antlers or Christmas jumper, get yourself a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie and join us.
Nov 14, 2019
John Jones and the Reluctant Ramblers walking to the Wickham Festival
This episode has by far the largest cast of walkers we’ve ever assembled – and the most musicians. The lead singer of Oysterband John Jones started walking from gig to gig and singing on the way long before our podcast was invented. He’s done it all over the country and he’s usually accompanied by a bunch of fans who call themselves the Reluctant Ramblers. On a scorching hot summer’s day, we joined them for a walk over Old Winchester Hill, along part of the South Downs Way and the Meon Valley to the Wickham Festival. On top of the hill John and his band perform "Waking Through Ithonside". After lunch at the pub they give us “Ferryman” and on arrival at the festival the very appropriate “I Will Never Stop Moving”. Along the way John reflects on creativity and the effect of a recent brush with cancer on his view of life and making music It is a life-affirming journey through quintessential English countryside with one of folk rock’s leading singers. Become a patron o…
Oct 17, 2019
Nancy Kerr along the Kennet and Avon Canal
For twelve years, the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Nancy Kerr lived on a narrow boat, travelling the length and breadth of England’s inland waterways. “We felt like it was a secret part of England and a part that had a different flavour and a different pace”. As she walks on the towpath with Matthew Bannister, she tells how the experience inspired many of her songs – and performs two of them: “Queen of Waters” and “Tiller Song”. Nancy explains that folk music was part of her upbringing, with her mother Sandra Kerr a well-known performer and her father a Northumbrian pipe player. She talks passionately about her love for nature and how it has infiltrated her music, including the moving “Dark Honey” which she sings with bees buzzing nearby. Did she ever fall in to the canal? “Yes, about once a month!” Become a patron of Folk on Foot at www.patreon.com/folkonfoot. Sign up for our newsletter at www.folkonfoot.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or…
Oct 3, 2019
Season 4 trailer
A tantalising taste of the glorious episodes we have in store for you during season 4. It features Nancy Kerr along the Kennet and Avon Canal, John Jones and the Reluctant Ramblers walking to the Wickham Festival, Kris Drever on Orkney, Peggy Seeger in Iffley and Bella Hardy in Edale. The season starts on Friday October 18th. Why not support us to keep walking by becoming a patron of Folk on Foot – you’ll get great rewards. You can sign up at: patreon.com/folkonfoot. Thank you!
Sep 12, 2019
Bonus episode: Six Songs from Season 3
A chance to re-live some of the musical highlights from season 3 of Folk on Foot with six uninterrupted songs. You’ll hear: Never Any Good—Martin Simpson Charm On, Goldfinch—Beth Porter Union Miner—The Unthanks Salty and Sweet—John Smith Lavender Song—Lisa Knapp A Precious Place—Duncan Chisholm Enjoy!
Aug 29, 2019
Bonus episode: Martin Simpson at BBC Countryfile Live
Martin Simpson performs some of the songs from his new album “Rooted” and talks to Matthew Bannister on the Big Barn stage at the BBC Countryfile Live event in the grounds of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. Martin says he is motivated to write songs by “love and anger” and reveals that recording his episode of Folk on Foot was a “surprisingly emotional experience”. He also tells the story of Ken Small whose determination to uncover a second world war tragedy became an obsession.
Aug 8, 2019
Duncan Chisholm at Sandwood Bay
Sandwood Bay, at the far North Western tip of Scotland near Cape Wrath, is one of the most beautiful beaches in the UK. This wild, isolated place inspired the Scottish fiddle player and composer Duncan Chisholm’s album “Sandwood”. He takes Matthew on the four-mile walk from the nearest road to experience the stark beauty of white sand, ancient rocks and rolling waves, telling stories of storms, hauntings and the remains of a Viking longship and a crashed Spitfire hidden under the beach. Then it’s out with the fiddle to hear some of the music inspired by Sandwood.
Aug 1, 2019
Lisa Knapp in Tooting
The singer and fiddle player Lisa Knapp takes Matthew to the south London borough of Tooting where she was born and brought up. She performs songs with links to the area and tells how she stumbled across the Tooting Tragedy – a story of neglect and ill treatment at a local children’s home in Victorian times that led to hundreds of deaths and caused an outcry led by Charles Dickens. Lisa uncovered a haunting ballad about the story and sings it in the graveyard where many of the children are buried.
Jul 25, 2019
John Smith in Brixham
John Smith is known for his delicate and intricate guitar work, honey-and-gravel voice and songs of lost love. He was born in Essex, but brought up in the seaside town of Brixham in Devon. Struck down by illness as a child, he took up the guitar and practiced obsessively in his attic bedroom overlooking the sea. In this episode, he takes Matthew to the harbour wall to sing “Salty and Sweet” and up onto the cliffs where he found peace and solitude as a teenager to sing his own compositions “Save My Life” and “Hummingbird” and the traditional Somerset song “Hares on the Mountain”.
Jul 18, 2019
The Unthanks on the Northumberland Coast
Every winter, Rachael and Becky Unthank and their extended families invite their fans to join them for singing weekends in their native Northumberland. Some fifty people stay together at a bunkhouse where pianist/producer Adrian McNally does the cooking, and Rachel and Becky lead singing workshops. The weekend includes a session in the atmospheric local pub, where Matthew joins the group for a singalong. Then Rachel takes him for a walk on her favourite beach at Low Newton By The Sea, where she sings “The Flower of Northumberland” and “Here’s The Tender Coming”.
Jul 11, 2019
Martin Simpson in Scunthorpe
Regularly voted one of the world’s greatest guitarists, Martin Simpson has been nominated for an astonishing 23 Radio 2 Folk Awards – and won artist of the year twice. He was brought up in the North Lincolnshire steel town of Scunthorpe and takes Matthew on an emotional journey back to his childhood home, explaining how he hid from his formidable mother in the apple tree in the garden, went on imaginary expeditions through a pile of maps he found under a work bench in the garage and was introduced to the natural world on rambles through the local woods with his father. He sings his heartfelt tribute to his Dad, “Never Any Good” as well as “Toy Soldiers” and “Creeping Jane”.
Jul 4, 2019
The Lost Words Spell Songs – Jackie Morris and Beth Porter in Pembrokeshire
The beautiful Lost Words book by artist Jackie Morris and writer Robert Macfarlane has become a cultural phenomenon, raising awareness of the importance of nature words in our lives. It has also spawned the Spell Songs project featuring some of our top folk artists. In this special edition of Folk on Foot, Matthew walks with Jackie and the singer, cellist and ukulele player Beth Porter (The Bookshop Band) on the hill near Jackie’s cottage in Wales. Beth sings and plays as Jackie creates an otter painting in her studio. We also hear music from Julie Fowlis and Kerry Andrew/You Are Wolf.
Jun 28, 2019
Season 3 Trailer
A tantalising taste of all six beautiful episodes of Season 3, featuring The Lost Words Spell Songs: Jackie Morris and Beth Porter in Pembrokeshire; Martin Simpson in Scunthorpe; The Unthanks on the Northumberland Coast; John Smith in Brixham; Lisa Knapp in Tooting and Duncan Chisholm at Sandwood Bay.
Apr 11, 2019
Bonus Episode: Six Songs from Season 2
Six unique performances of complete songs by all the artists featured in season 2: Seth Lakeman: Kitty Jay Kerry Andrew/You Are Wolf: As Sylvie Was Walking Jon Boden: Dancing In The Factory Stick In The Wheel: All The Things Fisherman’s Friends: First And Last Julie Fowlis: Biodh an Deach Sea’n Laimh Mo Ruin (The Drink Would Be In My Love’s Hand) Enjoy!
Mar 14, 2019
Julie Fowlis on the Shores of Loch Ness
The Gaelic singer Julie Fowlis takes Matthew Bannister for a snowy walk on the dramatic shores of Loch Ness near her home in the Scottish Highlands. Accompanied by her husband Eamon Doorley, we hear Julie’s beautiful clear voice singing a song linked to the area and a love song that brought the couple together for the first time. As they head to the spectacular Foyers Falls, Julie explains that understanding the Gaelic language is the best way to form a true connection with the landscape. A red deer and a group of ducks are charmed by Julie’s singing.
Feb 14, 2019
Stick in the Wheel on the Road to Epping Forest
Stick in the Wheel’s music has been described as “precision folk with anger, lust and blood.” The band’s founders Nicola Kearey and Ian Carter take Matthew Bannister for a walk through their East London stomping grounds, starting in a Victorian weaver’s house in Spitalfields, taking in Walthamstow Market and ending up in Epping Forest where they’re joined by fiddle player Ellie Wilson. Along the way they sing songs that reflect the chequered history of the East End of London and it’s more recent past.
Jan 17, 2019
Fisherman's Friends in Port Isaac
Jon Cleave and Billy Hawkins of Fisherman’s Friends take Matthew Bannister for a walk around their beautiful home village of Port Isaac in Cornwall, telling tales and singing songs inspired by the seafaring history of the area. They invite us to fall in love with “The Maid of Madeira”, marvel at two ‘doubloons’ picked up in the harbour by Jon’s Uncle Andy, pay tribute to the fallen Cornish lads of the First World in “First and Last” and shed a tear with “The Last Widow”, as she bemoans a tragedy that struck the Port Quin herring fleet. They also reflect on their unlikely route into the charts and discuss the feature film telling their story which is about to hit our cinema screens.”
Dec 13, 2018
Kerry Andrew/You Are Wolf at the Brockwell Lido
Kerry Andrew has been described by Robert Macfarlane as “a writer and musician of frankly alarming talent”. She is a composer, novelist and vocalist who performs alt folk under the name You Are Wolf. In this episode she takes Matthew for a walk from her flat in South London, through surprisingly green parkland, to the historic Brockwell Lido where she persuades him to take a dip. Along the way she demonstrates her multi layered vocal technique and sings songs from her albums “Hawk to the Hunting Gone” and “Keld” (fRoots Magazine editor’s choice album of the year 2018).
Nov 15, 2018
Seth Lakeman on Dartmoor
Seth Lakeman is the Mercury Music Prize nominated singer, fiddle player and guitarist who will forever be associated with Dartmoor. He grew up in the village of Buckland Monachorum with his two brothers Sean and Sam who are also key players on the folk scene. In this episode Seth takes Matthew to the village church to re-create his 2004 recording "Cape Clear", to the local school to sing “An Educated Man” and to the hills above the Burrator Reservoir where he performs “Kitty Jay”, “The White Hare” and “The Courier”. Along the way he reflects on sibling rivalry, the myths and legends of Dartmoor and his experiences of touring the world with the former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant.
Oct 18, 2018
Jon Boden in the Loxley Valley
The former Bellowhead lead singer and winner of eleven Radio 2 Folk Awards takes Matthew on a walk near his home in the Loxley Valley on the outskirts of Sheffield. This landscape inspired his 2009 album “Songs from the Floodplain”, which creates a vision of a post apocalyptic future when industrial architecture is decaying and people are returning to a more rural way of life. As they walk down the valley, Jon sings “Going Down to the Wasteland”; by a whirlpool in the River Loxley, he performs "April Queen." Next we visit a disused brick factory - where empty kilns and rusting girders are being overwhelmed by trees and weeds - the perfect setting for “Dancing In The Factory”. Finally Jon and Matthew clamber up onto a disused World War Two anti aircraft gun emplacement and Jon sings “Aubade” from his latest solo album “Afterglow”.
Oct 12, 2018
Season 2 Trailer
A first chance to hear some extracts from Season 2 of Folk on Foot. This time we'll be walking with: Jon Boden in the Loxley Valley Seth Lakeman on Dartmoor Kerry Andrew at the Brockwell Lido Fisherman’s Friends in Port Isaac Stick in the Wheel on the road to Epping Forest Julie Fowlis on the shores of Loch Ness
Sep 19, 2018
Bonus Episode: Six Songs from Season 1
Six complete songs recorded on location for Season 1 of Folk on Foot: Eliza Carthy and Family: “Some Old Salty” Steve Knightley: “The Dive” Cara Dillon and Sam Lakeman: “The Leaving Song” The Young’uns: “The Hartlepool Pedlar” Sam Lee: “The Birds in the Spring” Karine Polwart: “The Lark In The Clear Air”. You’ll also hear Matthew talking about the future of Folk on Foot and appealing for more people to become patrons of the podcast.
Sep 5, 2018
Cara Dillon in Dungiven
The multi award winning singer Cara Dillon comes from the small town of Dungiven in Northern Ireland. It is a place steeped in myth and legend with a powerful musical tradition. As Cara and her husband and musical collaborator Sam Lakeman take Matthew on a walk through the countryside around the town, she tells stories of a lost princess and a powerful chieftain and his tiny but tough Scottish bodyguards. She also introduces Matthew to the local well which is reputed to be able to cure warts. Standing on an iron bridge over the River Roe, Cara sings “The Winding River Roe” with the water rippling by in the background. Then they climb the local mountain known as “The Hill of Thieves” which is also the inspiration for one of Cara’s songs. As the rain begins to fall, they take refuge in a local sibin where Cara and Sam perform “The Leaving Song” about the living wakes held by families before their children emigrated to the United States.
Aug 29, 2018
Steve Knightley on the Exe Trail
Steve Knightley is one half of the acclaimed folk duo Show of Hands. He and his musical partner Phil Beer are proud to come from Devon - once beating Sir Francis Drake in a public vote to name the greatest ever Devonians. Steve has been described as “a gravel voiced spokesman for the rural poor” and many of the songs he writes are inspired by the working people he meets in and around his home town of Topsham. In this episode of Folk on Foot, Steve takes Matthew on a walk from Exmouth - scene of some of his earliest gigs as a teenage musician - along the Exe trail to Topsham. In Exmouth docks Steve performs “The Dive” which tells the true story of a father and son diving drama, as the real life son of the story looks on. On a farm near Topsham Steve sings “Country Life” his angry anthem about the destruction of the countryside by second home owners and agri-barons.
Aug 22, 2018
Eliza Carthy (and Family) in Robin Hood's Bay
Eliza Carthy is one of the most influential figures in the UK folk scene. With her exuberant stage presence, she re-interprets the folk tradition for a new generation. She inherited her love of English music from her famous parents. Her Dad Martin Carthy was a key figure in the first folk revival of the 1960s and 70s. He taught Paul Simon the traditional song “Scarborough Fair” and also influenced Bob Dylan. Eliza’s Mum, Norma Waterson, was part of the pioneering family harmony singing group The Watersons. Norma recently suffered a serious illness and Eliza moved back to the family home in the North Yorkshire fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay to look after her. In this episode of Folk on Foot, Eliza takes Matthew on a walk along the cliffs near her home, reflecting on her family heritage and taking him to the farm where the whole extended family used to live when she was a child. Martin, Norma and Eliza’s aunt Ann and cousin Marry gather at the kitchen table for a rousing a…
Aug 15, 2018
Sam Lee singing with Nightingales in Sussex
Season 1 Episode 3: Mercury music prize nominee Sam Lee is a folk singer, a countryman and an impresario. Through his Nest Collective he promotes scores of different folk gigs and events every year. In this episode of Folk on Foot he invites Matthew to join him in a Sussex wood in the middle of the night as he leads a group of people on a silent walk to hear him sing with a nightingale. The bird appears un-phased by the arrival of the group and seems to respond as Sam starts an improvised duet. The next day Sam and Matthew retrace their steps in daylight, reflecting on the power of this mystical experience.
Aug 8, 2018
Karine Polwart at Fala Moor
Season 1 Episode 2: Karine was named Folk Singer of the Year at the 2018 Radio 2 Folk Awards. Her solo theatre piece “Wind Resistance” and album “A Pocket of Wind Resistance” were inspired by Fala Moor near her home in Midlothian just south of Edinburgh. She takes Matthew for a walk across the Moor which is a haven for wildlife, particularly birds. As she sings you can hear skylarks and curlews flying around her. Karine tells stories of the people who lived near the moor and the monastic hospital which stood nearby where pioneering herbal treatments were invented. And she reflects on n her own life journey from social worker dealing with survivors of domestic violence to award winning folk singer.
Aug 1, 2018
The Young'uns in Hartlepool
Season 1 Episode 1: Winners of the Best Album award at the 2018 Radio 2 Folk Awards, the Young’uns are three troubadours from Teeside. Sean Cooney, David Eagle and Michael Hughes take Matthew Bannister on a walk round the historic headland of Hartlepool where Sean used to live in a shed in his parents’ back garden. Along the way they tell stories and sing songs inspired by the location, visiting the medieval Sandwell Gate, St Hilda’s Church and the Heugh Battery, site of the only First World War battle to take place on British soil. Here they sing the poignant song “Theo Jones” on the spot where this soldier was killed in the battle. On the seafront they sing about an Elizabethan frying pan ban. They end up in the Pot House pub, where the Young’uns used to run a folk club, singing Cooney’s original composition “The Hartlepool Pedlar”. There may also be time for a pint.
Jul 29, 2018
Season 1 Trailer
This is a taster of what is coming up in our first season of Folk on Foot. You'll hear part of our podcasts featuring Karine Polwart on Fala Moor, the Young'uns in Hartlepool and Steve Knightley in the Exe Valley. The full podcasts will be released starting from August 3rd. In the meantime this will give you a good idea what is in store. If you want to know more go to www.folkonfoot.com and subscribe to the newsletter.