Arts organisation Metal is planning a large scale, weekend-long Harvest Festival in Peterborough’s historic Cathedral Square. The festival will celebrate the relationship between the city and its rural countryside, connecting people to the land and its associated Harvest rituals, whilst promoting local food and its suppliers. Overall this city wide, family orientated event will focus on ecological and social sustainability including localism, food production, food waste/sustainability, agricultural education and collective responses to the land.
This will be a publicly engaging weekend of art and culture that reinvigorates and transforms the ancestral ritual of Harvest and attracts thousands of people into the city centre; here is a brief outline of the weekend and what it will involve.
Saturday 19th September
Between the hours of 10am and 5pm, a bustling food and craft market, located in St John’s Square, will be recreating the buzzing and vibrant markets that were held in Peterborough city centre for hundreds of years. Throughout the day bread making demonstrations will be taking place in the square, where you will also expect to be entertained and engaged, between 12pm and 5pm, by a selection of musical and dance groups; from Morris, Molly and cultural dancers, to a variety of folk musicians. To kick off the evenings proceedings a folkloric ritual procession, including representative members and groups of the community, will guide audience members into the Cathedral Square. Where come 7pm a mass public ceilidh will begin to take shape followed by some of the finest folk musicians starting with blue grass style and working up to a full-on Gypsy Klezmer Turkish folk frenzy.
Kerry Devine, a local Peterborough singer/songwriter, is a fantastic entertainer with her simple and stripped-back song writing, soulful sounds and guitar work. Delicate with a hint of folk!
Along-side her will be Peterborough’s own singer songwriter Kerry Devine. Kerry is fresh from the recent release of her debut album recorded at Fotheringhay Church. Based on the landscape of the Fens, her album is inspired by a book called ‘The Solitary Landscape’ by Edward Storey. Kerry’s sound has seen comparisons to folk icons like Joni Mitchell and Sandy Denny.
The six-piece band Opaque is an eclectic and genre-defying act that fuses elements of folk, swing and gypsy into their impassioned and engaging performances.
Originally formed in 2000 in Peterborough, UK, their originality and flair has earned them both national and international acclaim. Always a live favourite, the band are also passionate about their local roots, having in addition to their music, set up a community arts and music centre, opened a recording studio and founded a community music social enterprise that works to help people develop skills, interact and express themselves through music.
Oss are a trio of the UK’s finest folk musicians, presenting music and song from various local traditions with refinement and sophistication. With Nick Hart on vocals, John Dipper a Viola d’Amore and Tom Moore on violin.
GARANCE AND FRIENDS
Garance is a composer, singer and accordionist from Perpignan. Within the streets of London she met the members of her current band, the Mitochondries; composed of Leander Lyons (electric guitar), Ewan Bleach (clarinet), Mirabelle Gillis (violin), Adam Beattie/Harry Deacon (against-low) and Barny Rockford (drums). Garance and the Mitochondries unique style as a spell binding dirty-tango band, compares themselves to a mixture between Tom Waits, Edith Piaf and 60s French Pop, with an unexpected electrical shock, soft cinematic music broken by the charming side of burlesque and cabaret.
You can find Garance and the Mitochondires on the English cult scenes of the London underground, where they lead the audiences to dance and express themselves.
ADAM BEATIE AND THE CONSULTANTS
Song writer Adam Beattie’s distinctive voice ties together an eclectic mix of ‘folk stews and dirty blues’, leads his band ‘The Consultants’. They perform varied, emotional shows, focused around Adam’s philosophical musings of the modern life of a Scotsman living in London.
Concrete Mountain are a four-piece hard folk, new urban old time and doom grass act from London; armed with front-man Rob Rider Hill on vocals, with the deepest fiddle tunes and a bag of bluegrass mountain songs, made up from Jerry Bloom-fiddle, Paul Martin-guitar and Dave Tunstall-double bass. Concrete Mountain treat folk music as a living tradition, to be constantly made new in performance, not defined and repeated in tribute.
The Turbans is an international musical collective bringing together exciting traditional near-eastern and eastern-European styles and original compositions, to create a modern and energetic performance with reverence for its ancient roots.
Growing from the intertwining paths of many talented musicians travelling the world, this extraordinary project has grown in a few years from very humble beginnings, into a progressive name on the London music scene. Its members have gathered from countries such as Turkey, Bulgaria, Israel, Iran, Italy, Greece and England to perform in concerts and festivals around Turkey, India Europe and the UK-with it coming to Peterborough’s city centre on Saturday 19th September 2015.
The Turbans is independent and run by the musicians themselves, bringing music to the people, young and old alike, mixing vibrant spontaneity and authenticity with multi-genre instrumental and vocal excellence. They’ve created the Turbans; now all they ask you to do is dance!
Sadancis is a Latvian folk dance group based in Peterborough.
Rockingham Rapper formed in October 2004 taking their name from the Rockingham Forest of Northamptonshire, near to their first practice venue. The team performs Rapper sword dances based on the North East of England traditions and Appalachian step dances.
MABEL GUBBINS RAPPER
Mabel Gubbins Rapper is a women’s dance team, currently based in the village of Brightwell-cum-Sotwell, near Oxford. They perform traditional and evolved rapper sword dances, which originate from the mining regions of Northumberland and Durham.
GAYATRI DANCE GROUP
Gayatri Gadkari is a trained bharatnatyam (Indian classical) dancer who trains children of all ages in classical and bollywood dancing. Gayatri and her team have put together a bollywood and semi classical performance for the weekend.
The Witchmen…..sought after by Festivals up and down the country, for their unique and energetic dancing of the “other” morris. Driving drum led music combines with the pagan colours of black and amber for a primal, rhythmic performance.
They dance morris from the “daakside” where pagan ritual dance combines with street entertainment, whilst still preserving the traditional aspect. They will show you dances, such as the “Wild Hunt” and the “Wickerman” all self-penned for your entertainment. Enjoy!
website is http://witchmen.com/
PIG DYKE MOLLY
Pig Dyke Molly formed from its social roots with dance, its associations with midwinter-a dreary part of the year; when out of the ordinary things happen and costume all being part of its weirdness, with the word itself “Molly” having connections with a man dressed as a woman. Pig Dyke has taken this inspiration to develop its look-black and white and bold, not boring being their aim for costume and face make up.
Pig Dyke Molly believes you cannot dance well unless the music is alive and inspiring and entertaining. So it’s more than just the dances – Pig Dyke is proud to be weird, proud to amuse, proud to confuse, proud to entertain through their performance. They are true to Molly’s anarchic roots and have created something for the audiences of the twenty-first century to enjoy-even or especially the ones who hate folk!
The Leicester Morrismen also dances Border Morris in winter as Red Leicester!
The white summer kit changes to black trousers and a tattered rag coat, the straw hats bedecked with flowers become black top-hats or bowlers with pheasant feathers, the large bell pads become one single string and our usually white faces are painted red. This mysterious ritual happens because in place of the summer Cotswold Morris, we now dance Border Morris. These dances come from the Herefordshire/Wales borders and are somewhat wilder in the execution.
HARVEST COMMISSIONED ARTISTS
1o Selected Harvest Artists – Aisha Zia, Arianne Churchman, Caitlin Heffernan, Charlotte Bosanquet, Eloise Moody, Faye Claridge, Matt Lewis, Redhawk Logistica, Robyn Woolston and Sue Shields. Read more about each of the selected artists here.
HARVEST FOOD AND CRAFT MARKET
The Food and Craft Market showcases the best in local produce from across the region. All sellers take great pride in the quality of their work using sustainable and locally sourced materials and ingredients where possible. We are delighted to say that the following traders will be joining us for our Harvest Festival; Stamford Cheese Cellar, All Natural Soap, Beauty Scents, Deeping Fudge, Compendium 74, The Green Backyard and backyard Food, Sue Kirk Willow Baskets, LapageMade, Handmade in Peterborough, Natty and New, Local roots, Munl’s Mosaics, Ely Gin, Boxworth Botanicals, Jack’s Gelato, Red Brewery, Jeni Cairns, Floppy Chicken, Brown Bread, Bentleys, Tin Shed Brewery, Danute Zamarlene – Beebes, Grasmere Farm, Little Tinkers, Fabritastic, Cadwin Curries, Kimeta Lithuanian Food, Laser. Cut. Make, Jailbirds and Art In The Heart.