Chris Wood started out as a choirboy and much of his music bears the influence of those years spent with the likes of Bach, Handel, Gibbons and Boyce: he describes the album Handmade Life as "church music with drums.”
Self-taught on guitar and violin, he is a lifelong autodidact — and his independent streak shines through in his composition and studio work. Always direct and unafraid to speak his mind, his song writing has been praised for its surgical clarity. His work is typified by his trust in the space music can create and a gift for lyrical understatement. He cites his major influence as "Anon”.
Throughout his career independence has been balanced by collaboration. The artists he has worked with include Billy Bragg, Andy Gangadeen, Andy Cutting, Jean François Vrod and Hugh Lupton (Wood and Lupton’s "One in a Million” won Best Original Song at the BBC 2 Folk Awards in 2006). Recently he has worked alongside Martin and Eliza Carthy and others in The Imagined Village: "Cold Haily Rainy Night”, performed by Wood and Eliza Carthy, took the award for Best Traditional Song at the Folk Awards in 2008.
2013 saw the release of None The Wiser. Bass and Hammond organ are called in to drive a bunch of much shorter songs off the page and into the world. Again, fiscal and political meltdown feature but in a more robust way. This is almost like a pub band singing hymns and anthems. His 50 date tour with Joan Armatrading at the end of 2012 allowed Chris to evesdrop and observe Britain from coast to coast and many of the songs give testiment to what he encountered.
Kate Howden and Paul Jones are singer-songwriters, based in The North West of England, who have that special magic that captivates the audience in a unique, intimate atmosphere. Their show is a family friendly mixture of songs, tunes and stories, that has the audience joining in, singing along, and laughing as they share their travelling experiences through their music and northern-tinged banter.
With powerful harmony, skilled musicianship and beautiful arrangements, they write all their own material and between them play, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo and bodhran.
Kate and Paul have been playing together since 1999 and ‘cut their teeth’ as performers on the folk circuit at folk clubs and festivals all over the country. As contemporary musicians they enjoy travelling and sharing their experiences, creating new music inspired by the places they visit and the people they meet. From their experience of working on the National Rural Touring circuit, which promotes music and performing arts in rural areas, they have been discovering new audiences, booking Village Halls, Small Theatres and Art Centres since 2007. With seven albums of work in their catalogue and a sheer delight in live performance that shows, they continue to bring their ‘beautiful music to beautiful places.’