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February 24, 2011 by  

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~Jamie Smith’s Mabon join more than 40 diverse acts on knock-out festival roster~
Bristol Folk Festival has announced that hot property InterCeltic band Jamie Smith’s Mabon (JSM) are to join their already stand-out roster for the April 29-May 1 holiday weekend music extravaganza.

This week the vibrant, fast-rising all-male sextet scooped the Best Instrumental Album of 2010 title in the 2011 Spiral Awards for their critically acclaimed debut live album, Live at the Grand Pavilion. The Welsh band polled an impressive 43% of the vote in the awards run by the popular music web site, Spiral Earth, giving them a resounding win in the category also contested by top performers Andy Cutting, Dave Swarbrick, Catriona McKay & Chris Stout and Matheu Watson.

Now the band – led by 27 year-old tunesmeister and accordionist extraordinaire Jamie Smith – will appear among the Saturday line-up for the festival which is returning to Bristol after an incredible 32 years – joining headliners Show of Hands, Fisherman’s Friends and Dervish.

Smith said they were delighted to be appearing at the resurrected festival and thrilled with their Spiral Awards win. “Mabon has always been shy of awards, or more accurately perhaps, awards have been shy of Mabon, so the nomination for the Spirals came as quite a surprise. I’d like to thank Spiral Earth for the nomination that pitted us against several fantastic albums of instrumental music, but it is to everyone who voted for ‘Live…’ that we owe the biggest thanks.”

Live at the Grand Pavilion was recorded in Wales on the final atmospheric “homecoming” night of their buoyant OK UK tour, in Porthcawl in autumn 2009 and released in 2010. Jamie Smith led a line-up comprising Ruth Angell on fiddle (depping for Oli Wilson-Dickson), Calum Stewart on flute/pipes, Derek Smith on guitar, Matt Downer on bass and Iolo Whelan on drums and percussion.

The dynamic album captures all the energy and pizzazz of their acclaimed live show and is accompanied by a free bonus DVD filmed on the same tour at the Quay Arts Centre on the Isle of Wight.

Jamie Smith’s Mabon (Mabon means autumn equinox) recently went down a storm at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections Festival where they were joined by new band member Adam Rhodes. Edinburgh-based Rhodes (29), raised on the Isle of Man, brings a bouzouki to the band’s soundscape for the first time.

Another Spiral Awards winner this week – also appearing at Bristol Folk Festival – was Show of Hands’ dazzling multi-instrumentalist Phil Beer, (right) who convincingly won the coveted Musician of the Year title.
More than 40 diverse acts will make up the effervescent programme of the three-day festival and festival goers can be guaranteed no wet weather problems as the whole event will take place on two stages in the city’s revamped Colston Hall.
Three of the finest female acts on the current roots scene – Rachel McShane, Bella Hardy and Fay Hield-will be flouting some girl power alongside the festival’s male-dominated headline acts of Show of Hands, Seth Lakeman and Bellowhead – arguably the current “Big Three” of folk, but rarely all seen at one event.

Port Isaac’s Fisherman’s Friends (one of the biggest music stories of 2010 when they netted a £1million recording deal) will appear as special guests of Show of Hands on the middle day, along with exuberant Irish band Dervish whilst two of the finest exponents of British traditional folk music – John Spiers and Jon Boden – are to stage a rare May Day Ceilidh ensuring a non-stop party atmosphere on the final day of the much anticipated event.
Tickets for the festival are available from Colston Hall box office on 0117 922 3686 or online at Weekend tickets are £75 (adults), £60 for over 65s and children 6-16 and £230 for a family ticket. Under 5’s go free.



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