Over the Hill Festival, Witney, Oxfordshire, 26th August, 2019

For Over The Hill’s inaugural festival you couldn’t hope for a more bucolic setting than Cogges Manor Farm. Set in the outskirts of Witney in Oxfordshire, its grounds comprise a beautiful manor house made of Cotswold stone, surrounded by common land and with farmyard animals in situ. The festival is simply but elegantly accommodated in two tithe barns, with the musical turns alternating between the two stages. Continue reading “Over the Hill Festival, Witney, Oxfordshire, 26th August, 2019”

Whitney Rose and Ags Connolly, The Lexington, London, 23rd July 2019

Ags Connolly and Whitney Rose may hail from Oxford and Canada, respectively, but they both share a spiritual home in Austin. For Ags it’s the place he relates most to musically, while for Whitney Rose it now represents home following her move from her native Prince Edward Island. While Ags Connolly and Whitney Rose may be at opposite ends of the musical alphabet they are both ruggedly independent acts who demonstrate tonight that they should be filed under the letter ‘C’ for classic country. Continue reading “Whitney Rose and Ags Connolly, The Lexington, London, 23rd July 2019”

Static Roots Festival, Zentrum Altenberg, Oberhausen, Germany, 12-13th July 2019

It’s festival season for sure as hordes of music fans pack both wellies and sun cream as they head off for a weekend of unbridled fun. Be it the massive set up at Glastonbury or the rootsier confines of Maverick there’s plenty to choose from but for sheer unadulterated Americana joy then one need look no further than this unassuming spot in Germany’s Ruhr district, the small, post industrial town of Oberhausen, home to Static Roots. Now in its fourth year, Static Roots has grown from an initial invite only event to being sold out for the first time with several hundred fans gathered together in a converted zinc factory to see and hear 13 acts, most of them surely familiar to readers of AUK. There’s no corporate funding, no kowtowing to fashion, the line up purely a reflection of the festival’s director’s musical tastes  which are somewhat impeccable. Continue reading “Static Roots Festival, Zentrum Altenberg, Oberhausen, Germany, 12-13th July 2019”

Head Over the Hill this August Bank Holiday

One novel way to spend the August Bank Holiday Monday is to head to the inaugural ‘Over the Hill’ festival at Cogges Manor farm. With a very strong focus on UK Americana and roots music, Over the Hill will host two stages in tithe barns on the day. Acts booked to appear at the festival are Danny & The Champions of the World, William the Conqueror, Ags Connolly, Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou, The Niall Kelly Band, Paul McClure and Naomi Bedford & Paul Simmonds (The Men They Couldn’t Hang) with The Ramshackle Band. Continue reading “Head Over the Hill this August Bank Holiday”

Joshua Hedley, The Old Blue Last, London, 3rd September 2018

When Joshua Hedley hits the stage shortly after 9.30 this evening it’s to croon the almost jazzy supper club-sounding ‘Nightlife,’ the loose nature of which has him effortlessly accompanied by his backing band, the Hedliners. A slight surprise perhaps but the song then effortlessly segues into more familiar territory with ‘Weird Thought Thinker’, the latest single from his debut album and a song that surely sums up where he’s at now. Continue reading “Joshua Hedley, The Old Blue Last, London, 3rd September 2018”

Glasgow Americana Festival, 4th – 8th October 2017

Now in its 11th year, Glasgow Americana brightened up the dark nights coming in as we prepare for winter. Over five days the festival provided a strong set of concerts which showcased some of the brightest talents from the Scottish roots scene along with the usual complement of visiting stars. Altogether over 20 acts appeared at several venues across the city with many of the shows selling out, the venues including converted churches, a brewery, tiny pub back rooms and, according to Michael Weston King of My Darling Clementine, a squash court. As often happens when such a lot of music is squeezed into such a tight time line there were clashes meaning your correspondent had to forego some shows however online comments and actual chat with those who had gone to those shows beamed back with positive smiles and thumbs up. There was a fine mix of standard gigs featuring a headliner along with a couple of portmanteau shows offering a range of acts playing shorter sets. Continue reading “Glasgow Americana Festival, 4th – 8th October 2017”

Red Rooster Festival, Euston Hall, Suffolk, 1-3 June 2017

Suffolk is such a green place when you live in treeless Yorkshire, every time I stray there I feel the inner workings of my soul refreshed.  Normally I wander that way once a year for Maverick, but this year it’s two journeys in a month, for the three day Red Rooster Festival is on the cards.  The first thing I notice is the amount of camper vans and caravans vs tents, a 50:50 split suggests this is an older, more affluent crowd. Continue reading “Red Rooster Festival, Euston Hall, Suffolk, 1-3 June 2017”