Oysterband

Meeting in Canterbury, Kent in the late 70s when pubs were alive with folk clubs and music sessions, they became The Oyster Ceilidh Band, a band on a mission to get everyone dancing.

Emerging in the early 80s from their ceilidh band days they infused both the tradition and their own songs with a passion and energy that was electrifying for the time. Polkas, politics and a heaving dance floor somehow seemed perfectly right for Thatcher’s Britain. Signing to new roots label Cooking Vinyl, headlining English Roots Against Apartheid and Heineken festivals, becoming WOMAD’s ‘English’ band, and touring with The Pogues in Europe and Billy Bragg in North America gave them a huge and loyal following.

Their collaboration with June Tabor in 1990 produced the cult-classic album Freedom & Rain, and it was renewed 21 years later for Ragged Kingdom, one of the best-selling folk-rock albums of the new millennium.

Winners of several BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, including Best Band twice, Oysterband’s song-writing has never stood still, and classics such as The Oxford Girl, When I’m Up I Can’t Get Down (Best Song at the Canadian East Coast Music Awards, performed by Great Big Sea), Everywhere I Go and Put Out The Lights have entered the folk canon.

The creative heart of Oysterband is still here after 45 years: John Jones (vocals, melodeon), Alan Prosser (guitars) and Ian Telfer (violin), with Al Scott, their longtime producer, on bass, Adrian Oxaal (cello and guitar) and newest member Sean Randle on drums.

They’ve travelled the world but they still play with the fire of that dance band back in Kent!

 

Dates Appearing