Love Folk at The Atkinson This Valentines Weekend

Love Folk at The Atkinson This Valentines Weekend

The Atkinson invites you to spend the most romantic weekend of the year singing, dancing drinking, eating and generally loving folk at its first folk festival.

The Love Folk Festival, as its name suggests, takes place across the Valentines weekend Friday 13 – Saturday 14 February and has a line-up of new, upcoming, traditional and contemporary folk music to start, what is hoped, will be an annual event.

The line-up includes; Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson, John Smith, 3 Daft Monkeys, Luke Daniels (Duo), Jackie Oates Trio and Oysterband. Festival tickets are £36.

Beginning on Friday 13 February with Ross Ainslie and Jarlath Henderson who are individually two of the best players around but collectively they create a chemistry which is almost magic.

This duo has fast become one of the most talked about combinations on the circuit. They are not only vastly talented but have created a sound that is bursting with emotion and energy – a fusion of pipes and flutes which pushes the boundaries of what the instruments can achieve in a performance which is a vibrant mix of new and original compositions along with traditional tunes.

With last year’s album Air-Fix a critical success they are back on the road doing what they do best. Ross and Jarlath will be backed by the wonderfully talented Ali Hutton on guitar.

On Saturday 14 February we open the bars at 12pm in preparation for John Smith at 1pm.

John Smith is the guitar man from Devon who has quietly become one of the most exciting voices on the new British folk scene. Touring relentlessly as headliner and support act, he has opened shows for John Martyn, Iron and Wine, Seth Lakeman, Davy Graham, John Renbourn, David Gray, Cara Dillon, James Yorkston, Martin Carthy, Jools Holland, Tinariwen, Martin Simpson, Gil Scott-Heron and Chris Thile.

John is a regular on the UK festival circuit, having played shows at Glastonbury, Green Man, Cambridge and many others. In this way, he has found a loyal following in the UK and Ireland, Europe, Japan, Mexico, the USA and Canada. Slow but sure.

He plays the steel-string acoustic guitar, sometimes with a slide, sometimes on his lap, sometimes de-tuning the thing mid-song. He was named Young Acoustic Guitarist Of The Year in 2003 and hasn’t stopped to look back, unless it’s to pick up a banjo. His playing combined with his honey-on-gravel vocals have brought crowds to pin-drop silence and rapturous applause.

We up the tempo at 2.30pm with the Cornish gypsy-folk band 3 Daft Monkeys a 4-piece line-up featuring Athene on fiddle, Tim on 12-string guitar & vocals, Lukas on bass guitar and Richie on percussion, adding a fuller and richer sound.

The band weave world music influences around classic folk melodies and their passion, intensity and sheer joy of life mixed with their infectious dancing rhythms will leave you breathless, enthralled and exhilarated. The desire to dance at one of their live shows is irresistible!

3 Daft Monkeys release their sixth studio album ‘Of Stones and Bones’ on 21 October 2013 – their most story-led and theatrical album to date; a compelling collection of songs that draws the listener into the bizarre and mysterious world of Cornish tales and superstitions, both ancient and modern.

At 4.30pm Luke Daniels joins the party. Luke wants society to be re-organised. His songs support the alternatives advocated by modern day progressives and the chance to innovate within our own lives and within society.

Recording live broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 this summer from London Southbank Centre and Glasgow Royal Concert Hall he also performed at Hebcelt in Stornaway and English Folk Expo’s Homegrown Festival.

He is a current member of The Cara Dillon Band and former with Riverdance, a master musician and singer-songwriter whose work does not shy away from the big questions; exploring life, love, doubt and faith through the lens of our shared human nature. Luke is joined on stage by Ian Stephenson on guitar.

The Jackie Oates Trio takes us into the evening on Saturday from 6pm. Her mellifluous voice and imaginatively plaintive fiddle style has won her several BBC Folk Awards during a 10-year recording career that began as a member of the nascent Unthanks and has continued with five acclaimed solo albums. Collaborations with Alasdair Roberts, Belinda O’Hooley and her brother Jim Moray on material that’s ranged from traditional ballads to eerie lullabies and rich contemporary songs, Jackie has earned fans beyond the folk scene she grew up in.

Her music has featured on Lauren Laverne’s 6 Music show, alternative station XFM and even an upcoming episode of Midsomer Murders. And she was granted a rare honour by having a makeup product named after her by Lush cosmetics. To quote the illustrious Mojo magazine, “Jackie Oates enthrals.”

Love Folk comes to an end with Oysterband at 8pm, who emerge from their hugely successful collaboration with June Tabor, the multi-award winning Ragged Kingdom, with a brand new album “Diamonds on the Water” of original songs full of big, open melodies and uplifting, insightful lyrics.

Making modern, folk-based British music, acoustic at heart – but they’re not always quiet. Oysterband have been in the industry for a long time, and they’re pretty good at it too! Performing at festivals, to jails, to political rallies they really have a rich diversity of tradition.. Contradictory? You bet!

The band consists of John Jones (voice, melodeon), Alan Prosser (guitars, voice), Dill Davies (drums), Ian Telfer (violin, concentra, voice etc) and Al Scott (bass). Since the beginning they have been determined to represent that traditional music should not just be a branch of the heritage industry and still continue this today.

Emma Lloyd The Atkinson’s Marketing & Programme Manager said:

“Our Love Folk Festival is really exciting for The Atkinson, especially as folk and roots music has such a history with the building.

It is important for us to continue to develop the programme and our audience’s experience so they really feel as if The Atkinson is their venue and one to be proud off. I hope this festival will be well supported so we can make it an annual event.

I am delighted with the line-up for our first year – a nice mixture that I hope will bring people together and new and regular visitors into the venue.”

The festival, alongside its headlining acts, celebrates the talent within Southport’s Bothy Folk Club, now in its 50th year! Members of the Club will be entertaining audiences in the bar at different opportunities throughout the weekend.

Love Folk Festival tickets are £36 and individual gig tickets available from £10. They can be booked online at or by calling Box Office on 01704 533333. They can also be purchased over the counter during The Atkinson opening hours.

Listing Information

The Love Folk Line-up:

Friday 13 February
6.30pm – Bothy Folk Club in the bar / FREE
7.30pm – Ross Ainslie & Jarlath Henderson / £10 (£12 doors)

Saturday 14 February
12pm – Bothy Folk Club in the bar / FREE
1pm – John Smith / £10 (£12 doors)
2.30pm – 3 Daft Monkeys / £10 ( £12 doors)
3.30pm-4.15pm – Bothy Folk Club in the bar / FREE
4.30pm – Luke Daniels Duo / £10 ( £12 doors)
6pm – Jackie Oates Trio / £12 ( £14 doors)
7pm – Bothy Folk Club in the bar / FREE
8pm – Oysterband / £16 (£18 doors)
*Please be advised that there is a £2 booking fee for telephone and online sales.

The Atkinson
Lord Street

In person: Visit The Atkinson box office on Lord Street
For tickets: visit the website or call box office on 01704 533333
Notes to Editors
For more information, interviews, images or review tickets, please contact Emma Lloyd at The Atkinson on 0151 934 2129 |
About The Atkinson
The Atkinson is Southport’s beautiful new home for music, theatre, art, poetry, literature and history, right in the middle of Lord Street in Southport. Significant investment has been made in refurbishing the stunning 19th century buildings, to create a really welcoming multi art-form venue with a strong contemporary feel.
The Atkinson offers an exciting and varied destination for families, cultural tourists and arts enthusiasts alike, with a full day and night time offer. Wile the day away visiting the new shop, that sells gifts and contemporary crafts from regional makers and then relax in the Bakery, choosing from a selection of artisan bread sandwiches, cakes and sharing platters. You can even take little bit of The Atkinson home with you from the delicatessen. Wonder through the major exhibitions and see performances from some of the UK’s foremost musicians, actors, performers and companies, films, family activities and much more.

Emma Lloyd

Marketing & Programme Manager

Posted on 8 January 2015 under General news

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