Sheelanagig have become something of a West Country institution for the past decade. A quintet with a well-stocked armoury of stringed instruments – guitar, fiddle, double bass – and a bagful of joint-jumping tunes, these boys sure know how to get a party started.
Putting both groove and stomp into a selection of traditional and original European folk music dating from the medieval times to present day, it’s difficult – nay, impossible – for your limbs to remain stationary when you’re within earshot of them in full flight. The fact that they’ve often played with a knowing wink shouldn’t obscure their impeccable technique, virtuoso-standard ability that raises the roof in every place they play. Expect fun, a lot of laughs and some great music
Formed 12 years ago at Dartington College of Arts in Devon, since they have performed extensively across the UK and Europe playing all sorts of venues from music clubs to theatres and from free street carnivals to major festivals like Beautiful Days, Glastonbury and Womad to name a few.
The five members bring a variety of musical backgrounds to the band which adds to the unique flavor of the sound. Violinist Aaron Catlow has been touring most of his life with various acts including medieval troubadours Peascod and Irish revelers Mad Dog Mcrea. Flautist, Luke Phillips-Griffiths graduated from the respected folk degree course at the sage in Newcastle. Drummer, John Blakeley’s passion lies in Afro beat and Latin and plays with Bristol super group No Go Stop. Guitarist Kit Hawes performed in Bristol’s invisible circus house band and is an outstanding solo folk performer. Bassist John Short has a background of rock and jazz and tours the world with Fado performer Claudia Aurora.
There are many influences within the band but that unites everybody, but passion for creating fantastic music that is not only great to listen to, but is also an energetic and entertaining experience when seen live is of the utmost.
‘A completely top night out.’ – Mike Harding, BBC Radio 2 ‘The musicianship is tight and intense’ – Songlines ‘High octane stuff…Would liven any party and keep the floor full’ – fRoots www.sheelanagig.co.uk