This weekend sees five emerging music acts perform live on the main stage of the Inter-Varsity Folk Dance Festival at Bristol University’s Students Union on Saturday 26th February. The finalists will each perform a 15-minute set before a panel of judges in the final of the Isambard nu-Folk Award – a new nationwide songwriting competition launched by Bristol’s revived Folk Festival. The winner of the five short-listed acts will be awarded the coveted prize of performing at the 2011 Bristol Folk Festival this spring and a session at a professional recording studio in the city, run by bass player Jim Barr, of Portishead and Get The Blessing fame. Click through to read more about the finalists and watch video footage of them performing…
Sumudu is a Barnsley-born, London-based singer-songwriter of Sri Lankan heritage, who accompanies herself on guitar and mandolin. A recent Caffe Nero ‘Artist of the Month’, Sumudu’s style of country-tinged acoustic folk has been compared to that of Eva Cassidy, Karen Carpenter and Alison Krauss. She wrote all the songs and played most of the instruments on her new album Waiting For You, made with Grammy award-winning producer Kipper.
Owl In The Sun are a six-piece band based in Bath with a highly original sound that blends Americana, folk, Gypsy jazz and bluegrass-tinged country. The group, who performed in the Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition last year, comprises Colin Cain (vocals, guitar, banjo), Cathy Crozier-Cole (double bass, vocals, flute), Damon Bridge (accordion, Rhodes piano, vocals), Kate Bridge (fiddle, vocals), Tim Crozier-Cole (guitar, double bass, vocals) and Guy Barrett on drums & percussion.
Ange Hardy is a singer-songwriter based near Yeovil, South Somerset – she grew up near Taunton and is a regular on the Taunton ‘open mic’ scene, having been playing since 2007. Her honest and emotive songs were brought together for an impressive 14-track debut studio album last year, Windmills And Wishes.
No Fixed Abode are a folk duo featuring the beautiful voice of Una Walsh, from southern Ireland and Manchester-born Tony Dean, a talented songwriter and accomplished acoustic guitarist. Now based in Swanwick in Derbyshire’s Peak District, the duo have built up a solid reputation performing at folk clubs and festivals across the UK. Their latest album Clearwater was nominated as Album of the Year by radio show No Celtic Boundaries and their list of influences range from Kate Bush and Joni Mitchell to Fairport Convention and Fleetwood Mac.
The “bohemian” Cardiff-based five-piece Under The Driftwood Tree play a chilled eclectic mix of surf-folk-pop acoustic music with excellent vocal harmonies. Chris Stoodley, Kathryn Shanahan, Robbie Price, Alex Perry and Samuel Griffiths met through their combined interests of music and surfing and were the Welsh winners of the 2009 Surface Unsigned Festival.