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At the Talbot  Theatre,
Whitchurch Leisure Centre


Saturday 22nd April 2023 at 8 pm

Daoiri Farrell

We are delighted to welcome Daoiri back to Whitchurch for his 3rd visit to North Shropshire Folk,

A former electrician, who decided to become a musician after seeing Christy Moore perform on Irish TV, Dublin-born traditional singer and bouzouki player Daoirí (pronounced ‘Derry’) Farrell has been described by some of the biggest names in Irish folk music as one of most important singers to come out of Ireland in recent years.

After a promising debut album, ‘The First Turn’, back in 2009, Daoirí spent several years studyin
g traditional music and performance at respected colleges across Ireland. While at the University of Limerick, Fintan Vallely introduced him to the singing of the late Liam Weldon, an encounter that was to prove formative to his sound and his approach to folk song.

Daoirí had cut his teeth as a singer in Dublin’s famous Góilin Singers Club and at other sessions across the city, many of which he still visits regularly. Following his studies he quickly found work accompanying artists including Christy Moore, as well as a list of names that sounds like a who’s who of folk music: Dónal Lunny, Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Alan Doherty, Danú, Dervish, Julie Fowlis, Arty McGlynn, The John Carty Big Band, Kíla, Sean Keane, Gerry O’Connor (Banjo), Gerry O’Connor (Fiddle), Lankum and more. In 2013 he won the All Ireland Champion Singer award at the Fleadh in Co. Derry, and in 2015 won the
prestigious Danny Kyle Award at Celtic Connections in Glasgow with the line-up FourWinds.

Daoirí finally stepped into the limelight in his own right, launching his own solo live career at Celtic Connections, in January 2016. In May the same year he was invited to fly to Manchester to do a live session on the BBC Radio 2 Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe just a week before his first UK tour. His name was suddenly everywhere and festival and show dates started to stream in from across the world.

His long-awaiting follow-up album to ‘The First Turn’, ‘True Born Irishman’ was released in October 2016. The following spring his won two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards – Best Traditional Track and Best Newcomer – and performed with a six piece line-up at the awards ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

He has since performed in Australia, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, The Czech Republic, USA, Portugal and more and played festivals including Cambridge Folk Festival, Milwaukee Irish Festival, Vancouver Island Folk Festival, the National Folk Festival of Australia and many more. In 2018 he toured the UK with Transatlantic Sessions and recorded his next album with Dónal Lunny in the producer’s chair. His new

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Friday October 13th 2023 at 8 pm.

Hannah Saunders and Ben Savage


Since emerging in 2016, Hannah & Ben have been defying all conventions of style, genre and compartmentalisation. A touch of ‘Americana’, yet quintessentially English. Traditional, yet contemporary, with their individual writing style. Playful and instinctive, they make music with such panache and natural chemistry it makes perfect sense.
Hannah Sanders has an alluring mystique and a voice of disarming purity that massages your senses. Ben Savage is a singular guitarist with a sound as distinctive as it is innovative. Together their harmonies and unique stage presence shimmer with an infectious enthusiasm and joy for the connection music offers.
Hannah & Ben released new album "Ink of the Rosy Morning" on Topic Records in April 2022 to critical acclaim. MOJO declared it "as heartwarming as it is beguiling" and the record peaked at number 3 in the Official UK Folk Album Charts.


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Friday December 8th 2023 at 8 pm.

A Winters Union

They sound like that moment, on Christmas eve, when the kids have gone to bed, the presents are under the tree, the fire’s just dying down, there’s pine, cinnamon and nectarine in the air, there’s excitement, anticipation and giddiness. Everything is just about to burst. Whatever that feeling is, A Winter Union is that!
Hannah Sanders has a voice that is both snowflake perfect and icicle pure. When she starts Ding Dong Merrily on High a visible chill ripples around the room, and then Rhiannon and Gilmore join in the harmonies and that Christmas Eve feeling washes over everyone.

The three voices twist and twirl together again and again – like Holly, Ivy and Mistletoe weaving around an old tree trunk – making Joni Mitchell’s River even more beautiful than ever. Jade Rhiannon, from much missed Americana/folk dynamos The Willows, is like one of those actors that help make everyone else look brilliant and then, when she’s in the spotlight, you wonder why she’s not in every film ever.
Her voice is absolutely glorious, her harmonies are fantastic and when she

sings solo the world simply melts away around her. On both Our Wassail and The Holly and The Ivy she is divine. Whilst Rhiannon and Sanders have these beautiful, crystalline voices, it is violin genius, Katriona Gilmore, that has the voice of a cosy fireside. When she sings her own Every Midnight Mile, every Christmas Eve spent with loved ones is effortlessly conjured. On the reflective Raise a Candle the others hover around her single microphone but it is her voice that reminds us that December can be tough as well as joyous. All of which just leaves Ben Savage and Jamie Roberts. They are the sellotape on the carefully wrapped presents, the extra, crucial roast potato at the feast. They hold everything together, adding acoustic guitars and yet another layer of exquisite harmonies. Roberts has an honest fierceness, bringing to mind harsh, frost hardened ground while Savage gives us a different type of winter. His is sun dappled and Los Angeles bound, with covers of songs by Townes Van Zandt and The Band balancing the chill. In amongst the glittering jewels and celebrations of winter one song stood out however. An incredible Gospel Folk version of the hymn Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow had all five harmonising, the unmistakable power of a simple song sung with joy and passion. It was truly amazing. Seeing A Winter Union in the weeks before Christmas is starting to become a bit of a tradition. It’s one tradition that is well worth upholding. Time to deck those halls.


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