Artisan Reunion Tour
Soundfiles: Left Right, Right Left
Christmas Eve 1914 | What Am I Bid?
Is a reunion tour every five years getting to be a habit? When Artisan hung up their tonsils in November 2005 they weren't adamant about saying: Never again, but they knew they were going to wait for the right time to do a reunion tour. They were persuaded out of retirement in July, August and September 2010, and had a fabulous time. What a tour!. A tour-de-force, in fact. They recorded another studio album (Random Play, 2010) which is available from the albums page of the website. And now they're back, ten years on from their 'retirement' in 2005 and better than ever. Good friends with a love of singing and laughter. What's not to like?
"Artisan isn't a hard act to follow.
All I have to do now is get up here on stage and burst into flames." - Valdy, Canada.
"The harmony work is sharp and unfussy, the words are worth listening to, the tunes are good and the group convey a real energy and enthusiasm in their singing." - Nick Beale, fRoots, UK.
The songs are, as much of Artisan's material, humorous but with a deeper meaning lurking below the surface. You'll have your fun but you'll come away with a deeper understanding of the issues being sung about. And, as always, the harmonies of Jacey Bedford, Brian Bedford and Hilary Spencer are as wonderfully tuneful and rhythmic as any to be found on the folk scene today. - Dirty Linen, USA
A Brief History of
Gestated in 1984 and birthed in 1985 as a fun thing to do, Artisan kept getting invited to play more and more gigs until finally they kicked their day jobs into touch and went full time in 1989, playing folk clubs and festivals in the UK with a few side-trips to Belgium and Germany.
In 1994 North America beckoned, first Canada and then the USA. Audiences loved them. In the next eleven years, between touring up and down the UK they did thirty North American tours playing everything from house-concerts to big outdoor festival stages such as Vancouver and Winnipeg Festivals and the Philadelphia Folksong Festival, playing to 10,000, 15,000 and 20,000 people at a time. They even toured to Australia via Hong Kong. Heady stuff.
And it was still fun.
Fourteen albums and a concert DVD later they all had a hankering to cut down on the travelling and do something a bit different: Brian's recording studio, Hilary's solo singing, her duo gigs with Grant Baynham (as Quicksilver) and trio gigs with the Mrs Ackroyd Band, and Jacey's science fiction writing and folk music booking agency. They came to the conclusion that it had been a great twenty great years, but it was time for a change and a rest. That was 2005. They did a farewell tour, a massive closing concert (DVD still available) and retired (dis)-gracefully to work on other things.
Five years later a short tour in July, August and September 2010 to UK and Canadian venues and festivals made longtime fans happy and gathered a whole host of new fans too. What next? A second reunion tour in 2015. Yes! They'll be on the road again in the UK with thirty six appearances spread over a period from April to early October, visiting old friends and new audiences. Singing old favourites and songs from Random Play that haven't seen the light of day before. Still great vocals and that same irreverent sense of humour.
"Our Back Yard is a treasure box of social commentary done a cappella. If you're intrigued with lyrics and the purity of the human voice, it's for you." - Crossroads Magazine, USA
"I would cheerfully sell my soul to the Devil for Hilary Spencer's voice." - Claire Giles, Shirefolk
"Tremendous in their sheer ability to sing and entertain." - Venue Magazine
"A velvety tenderness that no other harmony group comes near." - Taplas Magazine, (Wales)
For more reviews click here
Apologies for cancellation of Artisan's appearances at Music on the Marr and Stainsby Festivals. The show at The Place, Bedford, has been moved to 30th September. Brian is on the mend after scary thwack on the head needing emergency hospital treatment during a DIY project in July. He'll have a spectacular Harry Potter scar, but no permanent damage. Thanks for all your concern and good wishes.
We hope that Artisan will be invited to fulfil their Stainsby and Music on the Marr engagements in 2016. More news on that later.
It's been a fun tour. Lovely seeing you all. Now here are the LAST FEW GIGS
Bury St Edmunds, Cambs
Milkmaid Folk Arts
Square Tower, Old Portsmouth
Tix: 02392 754559
Bedford The Place
Derby Folk Festival (Cathedral concert on Saturday afternoon)