Festival hosts, The Magpies, are quickly becoming one of the most exciting and innovative acts on the contemporary roots scene. Combining sublime harmonies with exquisite musicianship and impressive songwriting, The Magpies traverse Anglo and American roots, drawing inspiration from traditional Celtic folk, bluegrass and Appalachian trails, to create an effortless melting pot of music.
Accomplished musicians in their own right, founding members Bella Gaffney (award winning singer-songwriter, guitarist and banjoist) and Holly Brandon (acclaimed fiddle player and tunesmith) perform alongside gifted singer-songwriter and guitarist Ellie Gowers. These talented young musicians work collaboratively to create their fresh brand of transatlantic folk and champion gender equality in the music industry, with a fervent thread of feminism running through their music.
Following the release of the band’s critically acclaimed debut album in 2020, The Magpies released their second album Undertow in October 2022. A rich and varied showcase of their live sound, flawless instrumentation provides an elegant canvas for intricate harmonies and engaging storytelling. With a sound that pushes boundaries and brings a fresh voice to the current milieu, the album’s success comes as no surprise, with a quarter of a million streams on Spotify, a place in the Official Folk Albums Chart Top 40 and a live session on BBC Radio 2.
In their live performances, The Magpies have been exceptionally well-received, touring extensively throughout the UK, with festival highlights including Glastonbury, Cambridge, Larmer Tree, Shambala, Towersey and Deer Shed and international performances in USA, Canada, Ireland, Portugal and Luxembourg. Their live shows are known for their high energy and wry delivery, transporting audiences to distant lands with ethereal voices and glistening instrumentals.
‘One of those effervescent albums you’d be happy to recommend to people who might not consider themselves folk fans’ - The Sunday Times
Folk with finesse’ - The Daily Mail
‘Check that album out! Really good mix of songs and instrumentals - they’re great players!’ - Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2