Poplar folk Union
Saturday 4th May
Join us for the first Poplar folk Union event for an intimate all day event featuring several of the best local folk acts, singarounds and more
Confirmed artists include: Lisa Knapp, James Findlay, Anna MacDonald, Blanid, Solasta, Allison Sleator, Brazen Thieves
Poplar Union, 2 Cotall St, Poplar, E14 6TL
Directions are at the bottom of this page
Lisa Knapp won ‘Best Original Song at the BBC Radio 2 folk Awards 2016 for ‘Two Ravens’ (featuring Martin Carthy on guitar) taken from her acclaimed second album, Hidden Seam’. ‘Shipping Song’, another self-penned song from the same album garnered positive attention and led to Lisa being invited to present a highly praised documentary inspired by the Shipping forecast for BBC Radio 4.
It’s been 12 years since her remarkable debut album Wild And Undaunted marked Lisa Knapp as one of the brightest and most innovative stars of a newly invigorated British folk movement. A child of the 90s rave scene, Lisa found herself drawn to the honesty of the ballads she heard at South London folk clubs and the dexterous Irish fiddle tunes she began joining in with at pub sessions. From there she immersed herself in library manuscripts, pored over second-hand records from the 70s and sought out the masters of traditional music to learn from. Working with partner and producer Gerry Diver, she forged a new, inventive path through these old songs that is uniquely and spellbindingly hers.
Murderous plays off amusing in James’ new and characteristically ambitious set of tunes. A youthful blend of trad folk, exceptional musicianship and a light comic tone, James and his trio not only entrance with delightful music but entertain with unique parlance.
James comes from a family of folk singers and his enthusiasm lies firmly within the English tradition.
He is particularly passionate about songs from his home counties of Dorset, Somerset and Devon. He couples this with an extensive repertoire and love for song that shows through his knowledge and understanding of the material.
“Anna MacDonald sings Gaelic songs from her new folk album in a voice so lovely it could silence the birds of Barra” – The Glasgow Herald
Anna MacDonald is a multi-instrumentalist singer and songwriter whose celtic roots shine through her songs whether sung in Scots, English or Gaelic. She naturally understands her musical heritage and this is beautifully reflected in her voice and music. Anna plays a set with original music complimented with Gaelic songs, traditional and not so traditional folk songs played on either guitar or Clarsach.
Blánid is a talented folk singer and multi-instrumentalist hailing from Northern Ireland and Devon. With a voice that has been described as “spellbinding”, “haunting” and “beautiful”, Blánid attributes her love for folk music to the stories behind the songs. With her ability to connect emotionally to these stories, she breathes new life into traditional folk and embraces contemporary folk with passion.
Solasta are an outstanding folk ensemble who are fast building a name for themselves on the back of their inventive arrangements, unique sound and exhilarating live performances. Notable performances include Celtic Connections Festival, Sidmouth Folk Week (EFDSS Folk Rising Plus Artists), Cambridge Folk Festival, Cecil Sharp House, The Green Note, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and Henley Festival (as Live Music Now artists). They feature regularly on folk radio shows and podcasts, including BBC Radio Wales (Celtic Heartbeat) and BBC Radio Shropshire (Genevieve Tudor’s Sunday Folk), RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta (ROI), Resonance FM, and The Irish & Celtic Music Podcast (USA).
Brazen Thieves are Laura, Rebecca, Lucy and Mark.
Sisters Laura (vocals/violin) and Rebecca (vocals/guitar/concertina) were raised on folk music. They began their recent foray into folk by adapting songs and arrangements originally selected by their father, Clive Woolf, for his sets when he was playing on the scene in the late 60s/early 70s. This inspired the name Brazen Thieves.
Together as a quartet with Mark (guitar) and Lucy (vocals/cello), Brazen Thieves combine contemporary and classical influences to create new and interesting takes on traditional songs, with a strong emphasis on harmony singing.
Allison Sleator is a contemporary and folk singer. She has performed and collaborated with legendary figures such as Ireland’s well-known producer, composer and renowned bouzouki player, Donal Lunny, founder of historic bands such as Moving Hearts, Planxty and The Bothy Band, singer songwriter Declan O’Rourke and world renowned Irish band The Chieftains, among others. She has spent the last three years exploring South American Folklore and music and currently blends sounds of modern songwriting, traditional folk and Peruvian magic into her set.
Poplar Union is a short walk from Westferry DLR station, itself approx 6 minutes on the DLR from either Bank or Tower Gateway.
Alternatively if the Lewisham – Stratford DLR route is more convenient, Langdon Park DLR would be the nearest station