Back when Downend Folk Club launched in the Spring of 2014, Chairman Ant Miles was interviewed about the club on BBC Radio Bristol. Amongst the questions that day was, “Who is that one act that you really want to get to perform at the club?”. Ant answered empahtically and without hesitation: “LADY MAISERY”.

And the long-awaited day is finally here. The multi-award winning trio will grace the stage at CHRIST CHURCH DOWNEND for our November event as they tour their brand-new album, 'Cycle'.

In an English folk scene currently bursting with bold and innovative folk music, this vocal trio shine brightly. With their unique approach to harmony singing and thoughtful and striking arrangements of both traditional repertoire and original compositions, Hazel AskewHannah James and Rowan Rheingans harness and celebrate their united voice. Whether unearthing a feminist twist hidden in a traditional tale, delivering a poignant anti-war ballad, or showcasing their immense multi-instrumental talents in original compositions that draw on a myriad of musical influences, Lady Maisery are skilful explorers of the power, beauty and vitality of song. Over the last five years, the trio have toured widely, performing sell-out shows across the UK and Europe.

Photo: James Fagan

Underpinning every performance are Lady Maisery's distinctive harmonies: sometimes lush and rich, sometimes dark and invigorating, they intertwine with assured precision. The trio are also one of the foremost English proponents of mouth music, or "diddling” – once common in England, and still found across parts of southern and northern Europe, this form of singing without words is a perfect showcase for their sheer musicality. Each also an accomplished instrumentalist, many songs are expertly accompanied by a rich tapestry of Rowan’s fiddle, banjo and bansitar, Hazel’s harp and concertina and Hannah’s accordion and foot percussion.

Since the release of their debut album in 2011, 'Weave and Spin' (named Album of the Week by The Independent), Lady Maisery have attracted substantial attention, including being nominated for the Horizon Award at the 2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and regularly appearing live on national radio. Their second album 'Mayday' (2013), a darker and more politically coloured record, cemented their growing reputation as a truly unique band on the English folk scene, with five star reviews from the likes of The Financial Times newspaper, music critics called it an album full of “ideas, purpose and urgency…powerful, enthralling work” (Songlines). Their third album 'Cycle' was released at the end of October and is already attracting excellent reviews, including four-stars from the The Guardian... you can read that review HERE.

Lady Maisery’s members are all highly respected performers in their own right: Hannah James is currently touring her first solo show ‘JigDoll’ and also plays in folk legend Maddy Prior’s trio 3 for Joy; Rowan Rheingans is half of the critically acclaimed duo The Rheingans Sisters and also plays with BBC Folk Singer of the Year Nancy Kerr’s Sweet Visitor Band; and Hazel Askew is well known as a musician and singer in award winning duo The Askew Sisters and the early music group The Artisans. All three are also key members of the English/Scottish supergroup Songs of Separation whose debut album and stunning premiere at Celtic Connections festival pushed them straight into the indie album charts top 20 in January 2016 - a very rare accolade British folk!

Opening the evening’s entertainment will be Midlands-based duo ASHLAND, a Midlands based acoustic, folk and roots duo with Kathryn Marsh on vocals and David Sutherland on guitar/vocals.

The idea for the duo came from Kathryn’s search for a musician willing to learn songs penned by her father; songs which helped form many of the musical memories of her childhood. David, a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter with an impressive history of collaborating with others, (Kim Lowings and Chris Cleverley) offered to help. Both musicians soon realised that Kathryn’s pure, yet powerful vocals worked well with David’s own material and so in October 2015, Ashland was formed.

The concert will be held on Friday 18th November at our second home of Christ Church Downend. Doors open at 7.30pm, with the music starting around 8.00pm. There will be a full bar, serving locally-brewed GREAT WESTERN BREWING CO. real ale as well as wine, cider, soft drinks and tea and coffee. Tickets are priced at £14 each, but you can get them for £12 each up until a week before the event as part of the club’s ‘Early Bird’ ticket scheme. Tickets are available from MELANIE'S KITCHEN in Downend, BRISTOL TICKET SHOP and online HERE. Members tickets are £10 each from the Members Only area of this website. Just login using the details that were emailed to you when you joined. The 'Early Bird' and Members ticket offers end at midnight on Friday 11th November.


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