Update 21 May: Benji Kirkpatrick played support at Minack Theatre on Tue 20 May, but for the rest of the tour will be playing as part of the main band and not as a support act. There will, apparently, be no support act for most of the dates except Bath and possibly Barnstaple.

Sorry for the confusion. I still thoroughly recommend Benji’s solo album though ;-)

Benji Kirkpatrick will play support for all bar two dates on Seth’s forthcoming UK tour, which kicks off in Birmingham this Sunday, 17 May at the Minack Theatre on Tue 19 May. Support for Birmingham on 17 May will be from Megson and Nancy Elizabeth, with local band Inu appearing at Bath on 3 June.

Benji Kirkpatrick:
Support at Minack Theatre, Tue 19 May
Band member all other tour dates

Photo © Hugo Morris

Perhaps best known as founder member of Bellowhead and Faustus, committments to which have left little time for his own solo career, Benji is a gifted player of guitar, bouzouki and banjo as well as a singer/songwriter. A long-time collaborator with Seth Lakeman, they toured as a duo and as a trio with Oysterband’s Jon Jones in Seth’s pre-Mercury Music Prize days, and Benji has guested on most of Lakeman’s albums, with Seth returning the favour on Benji’s 2008 solo album, Boomerang.

Where Bellowhead and Faustus deliver new takes on traditional material, Benji’s solo work sees him follow in the footsteps of Nick Drake and Richard Thompson with original, self-penned contemporary songs which reflect his traditional roots but are never purely "folk". Boomerang struggled to achieve the exposure it deserved after Benji’s committments to Bellowhead and Faustus left little time to tour with it. Still, he’s recently managed to pack in a few solo dates with fellow former Seth Lakeman band member Cormac Byrne (bodhran) and Sam Norman (double bass).

After playing support at Minack Theatre on 19 May as a solo artist, Benji will be joining Seth’s regular band of Sean Lakeman (guitar), Ben Nicholls (double bass) and Simon Lea (percussion) for the rest of the tour.

Benji Kirkpatrick Links
Website | MySpace
Boomerang: Amazon | iTunes | Spotify

Here’s Benji – joined by Seth Lakeman on fiddle, and Megson’s Su Hanna – at one of his few solo dates of 2008:

Megson & Nancy Elizabeth:
Birmingham Symphony Hall, Sun 17 May

Support at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall will be provided by folk duo Megson, and singer Nancy Elizabeth.

Megson are highly rated folk duo Stu Hanna and Debbie Hanna-Palmer. They have released three albums since coming together in 2004, including 2008’s critically acclaimed Take Yourself a Wife, which earned 4-star reviews from The Guardian and Songlines magazine.

In the incestuous world that is folk music, Stu Hanna of was producer on Benji Kirkpatrick’s album, Boomerang.

Megson Links
Website | MySpace | Last.fm
Take Yourself a Wife: Amazon | iTunes


Nancy Elizabeth is a contemporary singer/songwriter from Manchester, with a vaguely Dido-esque vocal style that contrasts to the strong folk vein of the other support acts for the tour. Her most recent solo album is 2007’s Battle and Victory, but she also appears in more recent collaborations on James Yorkston’s When the Haar Rolls In and with Susumu Yokota on mother.

Nancy Elizabeth Links
Website | MySpace

Komedia Bath, Wed 3 June

Members of local Bath folk act, Inu, will be support at Komedia on 3 June. Marick Baxter (Flutes and Whistles)
Louise Baxter (Guitar and Vocals) and Beth Porter (Cello) play strong, fairly straight renditions of Irish traditional music (and none the worse for it). They have a new album out, The Thousand Mile Journey, which you can buy from their website.

Inu Links
Website | MySpace