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Music Editorial

allenvalleys18.jpg All (folky) roads lead to Allen Valleys

Ah! The Allen Valleys Folk Festival! How do I love thee, let me count the ways. One of the real highlights of the regional calendar it’s back from 28-30 September with a truly stunning line-up.

From folk to world music, workshops to a full dance programme, the Allen Valleys Folk Festival has got it covered and, if you love live music, then the three-day event should be near the top of your “Must Go” list.

Things kick-off in fine style with The Brothers Gillespie on Friday who will be followed by the energetic bluegrass of Hot Rock Pilgrims. Saturdays headliners include the award-winning trio Faustus (pictured - lauded for the sheer amount of oomph they inject into folk music) and Bristol twelve-piece Matuki who play a highly danceable blend of West African music fused with urban funk. This year’s strong female showing including the She Shanties, Durham-based singer-songwriter, and big Crack fave, Harri Endersby, and award-winning multi-instrumentalist Rachel Newton.

Also performing at the year’s festival are The McGoldrick Sisters – winners of last year’s Youth Folk Awards. The festival closes on Sunday with Tales and Tunes – an afternoon of stories, songs and music performed by maestro Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell, award-winning author David Almond and Amy Thatcher, the highly talented accordionist and clog dancer.

Check out their website for more on all of the above, as well as info on impromptu fringe events, workshops, the dance programme and more.

Allen Valleys Folk Festival, Friday 28-Sunday 30 September. The main music events will be staged at indoor venues in Allendale, Northumberland. £65 for weekend pass (£22 for afternoon or evening sessions). Box office 01434 652477; avff.co.uk