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Sweeps Festival Band Biographies

Find out more about the bands performing at the Rochester Sweeps Festival 2022

Check out our Festival Headliners

Find out more about all of the bands performing at the Rochester Sweeps Festival 2022. Follow the genre-by-genre links below to find out more about the other bands performing this year. 

  • CEILIDH BANDS (C)

    Swing The Bridge - Energetic and professional five-piece folk/rock Ceilidh band.

     

    Foot Down - Great young band producing superb music from West Kent. Whistles, guitars, melodeons and percussion.

  • CELTIC BANDS (CB)

    Bellibone Rig - A new group featuring Sur Les Docks fiddle player, Graham Knibbs. Guitar, vocals and percussion with some great foot tapping tunes.

  • ORIGINAL FOLK (OF)

    Track Dogs - The Madrid based quartet arrived at Sweeps just a few years ago and started a journey that has seen them star at Cropredy Festival and many others. They fly in from Spain to begin a tour with Show of Hands and insisted on coming straight to Rochester for their first UK performance on this trip.

    The Old Country Crows – Another favourite of Sweeps, their countrified folk sound has always gone down well with audiences in Kent. Plenty of original songs too.

    Davey Malone & The Longtails - Davey’s song writing abilities come to the fore with classy backing instrumental.

    Henry Sparks - Singer/songwriter from the Canterbury scene, continuing to perform his own songs.

    Jonica Love - Up-and-coming female singer/songwriter.

    And One Red Mitten – Vicky also fronts this song cycle written by the late lamented Chris Broderick of the Singing Loins. This is the premier of the work about the personal effects of Catherine Eddowes, one of the victims of the Whitechapel murders.

    Medway Folk - Formerly known as Esperantza, this fiddle-based group explore many different genres of international folk music.

    Helen North – One of the county’s finest female performers, Helen has a terrific voice and accompanies herself on guitar.

    Open Water – This classy trio features the songwriting and singing skills of Richard Rozze with the clear vocals of singer Joanne Doolan, matched with some intricate instrumental backing. Their new album will also be available to buy.

    Luke Daniels - Luke will be running the new Penny Whistle sessions. He is a virtuoso musician and singer who performs his own versions of classic folk songs alongside traditional tunes on the melodeon. Luke has been touring since the mid 1990s as a session musician with Riverdance, De Danaan and Cara Dillon.

    Capella - Capella have been enchanting audiences with their unique two-part harmonies at clubs and festivals around the country since 1996.
    Their songs are drawn from the British, Irish and American folk traditions and tell stories of love, war, murder, heroism and all the best and worst of humanity down through the centuries.”

     

  • TRADITIONAL & HARMONY GROUPS (TG)

    Hog Eye Men - The Hog Eye Men sing shanties as they used to be sung: simply, boldly and loudly.

    Morrigan - A four piece acapella folk group.

    Milton Hide - A husband and wife team who perform English traditional folk music.

    Skinners Rats - Barry and Blossom (Fiddle and Accordion) form the core of the current line-up of Skinner’s Rats - joined here by Richard West on bass.

    Ian Petrie and Sue Hudson - Ian will be at the festival in a number of guises with his own band and in this duo with Sue where they will perform a range of Americana numbers and other songs in harmony.

    Pytchwood - A duo that take inspiration from rhythm, melody, harmony and improvisation.

    The Silver Darlings – All female shanty group from Southend who sing with gusto, expression and great harmonies.

    The Hartley Morris Singers - Dancers who sing. After many a Morris stand, Hartley have always retired to the pub for a good old fashioned sing song of the best in traditional chorus songs.

    Triality – Three brothers who have been around the folk scene for many years delighting audiences with their high volume traditional folk songs on trumpet, accordion and bass guitar. Definite crowd pleasers and the festival is glad to see them back in action.

  • WORLD ROOTS (WR)

    The Hot Rats - Featuring ‘Wicker Man’ fiddler Ian Cutler, the band play a mixture of world rooted music and original compositions on violin, guitar, bass and vocals.

    The Caramellos - Just about the best ukulele band around. Favourites of the Sweeps and guaranteed to uplift any audience.

    Gypskazz - Uplifting music on a variety of instruments including saxophone, Gypskazz are a feel-good outfit who dominate the stage. Prepare to dance to their rhythms anchored on drums by the talented CJ.

    Jumbo Gumbo - Cajun music with accordion, French vocals and a very danceable beat.

    Thomas Abrahams - Supreme guitarist and entertainer who captivated the Castle Gardens crowd with his solo performance at the last Sweeps Festival in 2019. He can play all styles but is particularly adept at Gypsy jazz in the style of Django Reinhardt.

    Tangled Elbow – The band has sprung from the group that used to play for the Tanglefoot Appalachian dance group. Viv Bonney is a vastly experienced accordion player who has been around the Kentish folk scene for many years.

    The Beard Conspiracy – Everything from Shostakovich to Britney Spears via Klezmer tango, classical and Eastern European themes on accordion, tuba, guitar and vocals.

  • FOLK ROCK (FR)

    Sur Les Docks: A return for the French favourites of Sweeps who have taken the Castle Gardens by storm on their last appearances. They play original songs and tunes in the style of a ‘Gallic’ Pogues and their performances are full of vigour, excitement and musical talent.

    Bounty Hounds - The Suffolk based folk/rock band have been regular guests and supporters of the Sweeps Festival.

    The Dredgermen – Play a mixture of traditional folk, sea shanties and music hall rhythms in that Medway sound that recalls Singing Loins, Billy Bragg and the Pogues influences.

  • FOLK COMEDY (FC)

    Fabulous Fezheads - In demand in the Middle East and other hot spots, you can’t really describe the Fezheads. Be prepared for magical trickery, sand dances and audience participation, willing and unwilling.

    Thee Scarecrows - Unique blend of twisted hillbilly rock ‘n’ roll.

    Pretending People - Local group of talented musicians and audience-grabbing personalities. In addition to their street entertainment act, they play a variety of instruments on stage.

    The Washed Up Jug Band  - The Washe Up Jug Band recreate the music of Tennessee and Kentucky which was played by buskers in the bars and on the Mississippi steamers. With banjo, washboard, jugs, harmonica and guitar they guarantee of fun night of music.

  • SINGER/SONGWRITERS (S)

    Gabriel Moreno & The Quivering Poets (S) feature the poetic work of Gibraltarian songster Gabriel. His superb backing musicians are mainly London based and include Adam Beattie and Fiona Bevan who have appeared at Sweeps in their own right.

    Rachel Lowrie - Her songs are sketches of her local community, past and present. But more than that, as a singer, she’s the local scene’s world class voice.

    Bob Kenward - A songwriter whose songs have been absorbed into the traditional music of Kent.

    Paul Corcoran (Lo Fi Waves) - Highly respected Medway singer and songwriter. Great songs and superb guitar work.

    Tree Huggers - A Medway-based group who perform in folk clubs and include much local material in their repertoire.

    Ruby & Ríos – Talented singer/songwriter Ruby is joined by virtuoso guitarist Ríos for a couple of original sets on the stages. Her last appearance at Sweeps was support to Wings/Moody Blues star Denny Laine in the Castle Gardens concert marquee.

    Bruise - This unique duo brings an authentic and original take on progressive folk music with stunning voices, well-crafted songs and exceptional arrangements.

    Lemon & Paice -Skilled songsmiths who can tell a tale with conviction with lyrics that can inspire the imagination.

  • INDIE FOLK (IF)

    Hobo and the Hippies - Five piece alt-folk, country band hailing from the west of Kent.

    The Flowing - Original material and well-crafted songs from this trio who include vocals and French horn playing Vicky Price, also our MC for the Castle Gardens stage.

  • BLUEGRASS (B)

    The Lowly Strung - Great bluegrass music from the Maidstone-based band who sprung from Wheeler Street some years ago.

  • CONTEMPORARY FOLK (CF)

    Songwriters’ Den on the Road - Kent’s finest singer/songwriters as solos, duo and bands come together to celebrate their music.

    CJ – Also will be hosting the City Wall Wine Bar Stage and performing in any gaps solo and with guitarist Dave Reay and with Jumbo Gumbo. CJ is also a capped England Women’s cricketer and no mean goalkeeper and runs highly-successful sing-arounds around the Canterbury area.

    It’s Complicated - Ukulele trio who have performed at Sweeps and at the Margate Ukulele festival.

    DFL (Deavin, Feist and Langsdale) - Talented trio with folk standards on guitar, harmonica and double bass.

  • TRADITIONAL DANCE (TD)

    Kimber’s Men - The best sea shanty group in the UK. They have appeared at many international festivals of the sea and maritime events around the world.

    Tribal Banshees - A well-established tribal bellydance group from Gillingham, with a distinctive dance style, led by The Lady Charlotte.

    Kitka - A Bulgarian dance group with international members who have performed at many festivals.

  • PERCUSSION (P)

    Ryebellion Drummers – They are the drumming group of the Rye and District Bonfire Society who perform each year for that event and also at others around the southeast. This is their first visit to Rochester.

Rochester High Street is categorised as an Alcohol Control Zone.

However, close working partnership between Medway Council, Kent Police and Pub Landlords has allowed drinking in outdoor areas within the festival area between the hours of 10am and 6pm only.

Drinking restrictions will revert back to normal regulations from 6pm onwards each day of the festival.

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