: the activity of playing music in the street or another public place for voluntary donations.
Busking is a craft older than recorded history. The folk tradition is virtually its conjoined twin; such is the bond between the troubadour and the oral recording of local histories. The grandparents of our current folk music movement all began in one form of busking or another.
Innumerable recent well known musicians started with busking, especially in times pre-Spotify and Youtube; B.B. King, Ed Sheeran, Sheryl Crow and Tracy Chapman, to name but a few.
More recently, busking is threatened by various local council regulations, despite the fact that ‘keeping streets alive’ has very strong public support. To that end, we at Kimpton Folk Festival, wish to offer encouragement to the Ewan MacColls and the Joni Mitchells of tomorrow.
Please visit our busk stops during the festival and show support for our very talented buskers. We are incredibly fortunate to have them.
David Fisher has spent over 3 years busking his way around Europe and beyond, taking in nearly 50 countries including every country in the EU. After returning to the UK, he released a book and album about his travels, both entitled 'Busking Beyond Borders'. Fisher's songs are full of tales from camping and hitchhiking in the Arctic Circle to stories about busking in every corner of the continent. He can now be found on the streets and folk clubs of Britain, touring with his album that 'adroitly captures the beauty, magic and unpredictable thrill of life on the road' (The Fix Magazine) and 'will delight the listener' (Folk Monthly). As well as his own songs, Fisher also plays a range of traditional and contemporary folk songs, from Celtic classics and sea shanties through to Stan Rogers and Richard Thompson.
Her riveting and sometimes shocking lyrics are getting the recognition they deserve
‘Time Out Magazine’
Minnie writes dark, plaintive, beautiful music about life, love, adventures and fairy tales. Following slots supporting Joan Armatrading and a stint at Edinburgh fringe, Minnie has been wooing audiences all over the place with tours in Iceland, America, Europe and all over the U.K under her belt. Her debut album received national airplay on BBC radio 2, BBC 6 and on BBC Radio 1 as Huw Stephen’s Introducing artist of the week. Minnie is quite the wordsmith, knowing not just when to sing, but when to leave phrases hanging to concentrate on the meaning, silence can say so much and Minnie knows how to use it, almost as an instrument to contrast against not only what is being sung, but what is being played ‘Fatea Magazine’
Nick is a Bucks based musician, driven by a desire to create something lasting and beautiful, Nick Byrne showcases honesty, emotion and storytelling as he aims to carve his own place in the songwriter tradition. Delicately fingerpicked guitar and stirring vocals are further lifted by the addition of a backing band for Summer 2019, which serve to add further dynamism to the passionate highs and whispered lows which are which are such a core part of his potent live performance. Single 'Birch Tree' in particular has gathered praise from BBC Introducing, BBC Wales, BBC Oxford and BBC Ulster, and features string arrangement by Richard Melkonian. As seen supporting the likes of Declan McKenna (BBC Introducing artist of the year), Ben McKelvey, and The Lion & The Wolf (Xtra Mile Recordings).
Ellie McCann is a singer/songwriter and multi instrumentalist from Bedfordshire. From an early age finding interest in folk music, she plays a range of original and traditional material with influences including Joni Mitchell, Bruce Molsky and Kate Rusby. Ellie is also a New Roots finalist for 2018 and 2019. She has played in folk clubs such as Loughton Folk Club and Watford Folk Club and has gigs lined up throughout the year.
Deb and Phil have been playing together for three years.
After initially dipping their toes in 'Open Mic water', they gravitated toward the local folk scene in Hertfordshire, joining in with the sessions. Here they met with fiddle player Neil, and the three began their journey when they were asked to play at Redbourn's 'Folk On The Common' in June 2017, thus Flibbertigibbet were born! They continued to play at local festivals and folk clubs over the following two years. In March 2019 due to increasingly busy and conflicting diaries, the three parted ways. Now a duo, Deb and Phil play as 'Wickenwood'. They play an acoustic mix of covers with a leaning toward contemporary folk and roots music, whilst building on their own repertoire of original songs, exploring tales of local legend and folklore.' Among various events, they have enjoyed feature spots at Bottlefolk and Chesham folk club, and Rickmansworth Folk Festival, and are lined up to play at Loughton Folk club in 2020. They are regulars at St Albans Folk Festival, and have enjoyed playing at Herts & Bucks Country Show over the last couple of years. This husband and wife team continue to work towards bringing folklore and legends of local tales with harmony, and passion.
Bernard Hoskin is a songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist from Cambridge whose distinctive and original sound is based upon English songwriting and world music rhythms as well as the more common folk, country and blues styles. An experienced performer, he accompanies himself on 6 and 12 string guitars and mandolin playing a mixture of original and traditional songs and covers. He has opened up for many of the big names of the folk scene and has released 12 albums. "Bernard was terrific! Great voice, great songs, superb guitarist." - Epping Folk Club
KATIE’S JUMPING FLEAS
Primarily, but not exclusively, a ukulele band which aims to entertain a wide range of people to the highest possible standard. Our emphasis is, first and foremost, on having fun and spreading joy; initially amongst ourselves and, therefore, to everyone we entertain. Our main aim is to support various charities and to play for those who cannot easily get out to enjoy music. As a group, we choose to donate the majority of any money earned from private performances to local charities.
Been writing songs a long time. Lost loads over the years. Started out with unaccompanied humorous and gradually got into melodic ditties. I rarely write from experience and never really know what’s going to evolve on the page once I get an initial idea.” Dick is a regular at the Kimpton, The Boot, folk music nights. He’s like the mad offspring of Neil Young and Lionel Bart. Incredibly entertaining. Impossible to ignore. He’s large in person and in character. His songs are epics.