At the Ropetackle Arts Centre Shoreham-by-Sea
Laura Ward & the Risen Road with Special Guest Stuart Reed
A gloriously eclectic mix of nu-folk, Irish and bluegrass sounds (along with other contemporary sources) Laura Ward and the Risen Road are not your average folk band. A home-grown talent, and a talent in the very essence of the word, they are regulars on the Sussex music circuit. Returning in December to wow their home town of Shoreham, singer songwriter Laura Ward enchanted with her powerfully haunting vocal stylings.
Putting their popularity within Shoreham aside, they have been ranked #51 on the Brighton UK charts under folk and continue to gain support through their unusual approach to the genre. Their individuality shines not only through songs written by Matt Szul but also in songs within the more traditional reference of the canon. The ability, using their vivid interpretations, to transform conventional songs and convert them into something new and alternative is something many artists aspire to. They celebrate this talent with stunning violin courtesy of Mervyn Wallis while Scott Smith evokes with lap steel guitar and banjo. All this is then based generously on Olly Clarke and Adam Ronchetti’s mix of bass and percussion which creates a cataclysm of collaborative force within a genius mix of genres. They were joined on this occasion by Stuart Reed, a veteran of the folk scene in Britain and abroad, who brings a range of influences with him.
– Briallen Williams
Three Bonzos & A Piano
This eccentric, lighthearted group aim purely to provide their audience with something other than the usual performance. Their diverse, almost miscellaneous, mix of comedy rock, psychedelic pop and trad jazz aims to please and satisfy an audience in for the performance of a lifetime.
The band started originally as The Bonzo Dog Do Dah Band and is comprised of many of the same members: Roger Ruskin-Spear, Rodney Slater, Sam Spoon and also David Glasson as the Piano. Roger is in control of the saxophone, clarinet and various assortments of weird and wonderful objects (trouser press being a perfect example), Rodney accompanies with saxophone and washboard and Sam the drums. Dave, as the Piano is, surprisingly, in charge of the piano but includes aspects of bass as well. It is rare to experience both humour and good music but the Three Bonzos and A Piano manage to do just that and do it with a flare that ignites the room, helped only by their jokey, makeshift props and quirky charm. It may be 40 years on but they still personify an innovative and youthful approach that is not just novel but exciting and fresh. To accompany their fascinating history they also have a captivating sound; comprised of laughter and vocals, piano and gimmicks; the epitome of entertainment. It may not be the 60’s anymore but the enjoyment factor is timeless and their ability to have fun and not take themselves too seriously is what has prolonged their popularity.
– Briallen Williams