Newark 2019

Celebrating our 3rd festival year on the banks of the River Trent

19th to 21st July 2019


Artists – some of the musicians and singers who supported the 2018 festival

Malt Whiskers

… will be playing for the festival ceilidh and you can expect to see them in their other guise as a three-part folk song group.

John Bowden & Vic Shepherd

John is originally from Liverpool and Vic is from Sheffield, where they met and still live. They have a long connection to the Grenoside Sword Dancers - Vic's Dad danced with the team in the 1950s and 60s, and John is one of the musicians for the side - and are both stalwarts of the Local Carols traditions in Ecclesfield and Grenoside. They sing English songs, including some from the Sheffield area, as well as North American and Canadian variants, either in unaccompanied harmony or with Anglo concertina, melodeon and, unusually, jew's harp! For many years they had a dance band, Nine Daies Wonder, and were members of Sheafknot, Sheffield's one and only shanty and maritime group (it's a long way from the sea in any direction!). Their two CDs, A Motty Down and Still Waters, have been receiving enthusiastic reviews.

They can be contacted on

Both albums are well worth your attention if, like me, you appreciate traditional songs extraordinarily well sung - and often quite rarely-heard ones at that ... Their performances often remind me of the robust delivery and approach of the likes of Pete Coe and Brian Peters in their sheer vitality and stylishness

(David Kidman, FATEA)

The album’s title is from Six Jolly Miners, a joyfully delivered song and tune associated with the Grenoside dancers. It’s an old mining term: if you fill a coal tub but forget to attach a motty, you won’t get paid for it. No mottys down on either album. No wasted effort. Bravo to Vic and John, and to Paul Davenport’s Hallamshire Traditions

(Tony Hendry, Living Tradition)

A Motty Down could be used as a tutorial to all young folk performers; choose some unusual songs, use tasteful accompaniment and above all do not lather the finished product with an omnipresent guitar. I love this CD for these reasons. These two recordings remind us, amidst the current wave of innovation and experimentation-for-its-own-sake, of the worth of simple uncomplicated folk music.

(Val Haines, Mardles Magazine)

A Motty Down is certainly one of the more impressive debut records I've heard

(Tony Rose, English Dance and Song)

Paul & Liz Davenport

…live in  South Yorkshire but were both born in the city of Hull on the banks of the Humber estuary. Their family roots spread along the east of the country from the Tyne to the Broads. Both of their families carry several generations of traditional singing and music making.

For their part, Paul & Liz sing songs which rise, partly from their roots and partly from their personal experiences. Their songs are drawn either from extensive research into the tradition or springing from Paul's ever-fertile pen. These are both accompanied, on duet concertina, or are unaccompanied, a mode of presentation which is underpinned by Paul and Liz's unusual vocal style.

Paul & Liz have recorded five albums which have been critically acclaimed in the folk press. Their fifth offering 'Shadows in the Mist' with be officially launched at this year's Newark Traditions Festival in a concert featuring Paul & Liz together with some special guests.

They have that singers 'magic' to lift the listener into the song.  

– Around Kent Folk

As singers they're blessed with singular, sturdy and confident voices; they also possess a strong awareness of their role as song-carriers, being both steeped in the tradition and well versed in contemporary songwriting within the tradition.

- fRoots

They are steeped in this stuff and helping to keep the tradition fresh through their research, their respectful refashioning and their community-based approach.  

The Living Tradition

also appearing at Newark Traditions 2018 were:-

John Statter - workshops and sessions

Hanging Johnny

"Hanging Johnny sing unaccompanied traditional chorus songs in pubs, concerts, festivals and anywhere people want to enjoy a good old-fashioned sing-song. We encourage people to join in with the chorus even if they don’t have perfect singing voices, only ever sing in the shower or sing like a cat on a night out and we even provide the words! We’ve based in Lincoln and have been going now for about four years and have a regular following with people coming regularly from all over the country to join in for a great night out."

Mi & Bambini – musical delights in the Castle Gardens

Chris Rose – ceilidh caller

Tom Lane – song sessions

Sam Millard - the history of the Rufford Park Poachers