Waking Witches will be put to bed

NOW on the road for the very last time are Waking The Witch.

The all-girl group have finally decided to call it a day after five years on the road.

Their farewell tour started at the beginning of February and runs until the end of April, visiting places as far apart as Oxfordshire, Sussex, Barton upon Humber, Knaresborough, Dundee, Somerset and, of course, South Yorkshire.

They kick started their career in the fertile Leeds music scene and were applauded from the audience by the Kaisers and Embrace when they performed at the Leeds Independent Music Awards two years ago.

The four girls who make up Waking The Witch are Rachel Goodwin, Patsy Matheson, Becky Mills and Jools Parker and their music is heavily rooted in acoustic sounds.

They are considered to be at their best as a live outfit, and their reputation for putting on an outstanding show has ensured house full signs wherever they play.

Appearances have included countless major UK festivals, including Glastonbury, Trowbridge and Cambridge.

Waking the Witch's trademark is based around the four girls' trademark acoustic guitars and lush vocal harmonies.

They exploded on to the UK acoustic music live circuit in 2004. Audiences and reviewers raved about this new all girl rootsy, bluesy, folksy, jazzy, rocky outfit.

But while few were able to put the sound in an exact pigeon hole, everyone agreed that they performed with real commitment.

Patsy Matthews perhaps understated it when she once said: "We're four girls who all write songs, all sing harmonies and all play the acoustic guitar."

But the description allowed the band to widen its musical horizons wherever took their fancy.

The result has been some of the best sounds for some time. They are amazing singers, great guitar players and inventive arrangers.

This Farewell Tour will be the last opportunity to see Waking The Witch play live together. After April the'll all be pursuing their own, individual careers and family lives. They are at the Rock@Maltby, Wesley Centre, Blyth Road, Maltby, next Friday (March 14). Tonight's guests are Last Night's Fun.

n CHUMBAWAMBA are at the Academy Theatre, Birdwell on Sunday (March 9). Just out with their new album The Boy Bands Have Won, this is part of the band's UK tour.

n THE seventh annual Barnsley Roots Festival takes place next weekend, on March 14 and 15, at Shaw Lane Cricket Club. It includes a Ceilidh with Chris McShane as caller on Friday. And there will be workshops from 10am on Saturday. It will be headlined by young local duo Jamie and Katrina. For more information contact Chris McShane on Barnsley 291525.

n WIZZ Jones is at the Regent Hotel, Regent Street, Doncaster, on Monday (Mar 10). A true 'musician's musician', he learned his craft from the likes of Davy Graham and John Baldry, busking though Europe with Rod Stewart. Wizz has been cited by Eric Clapton as an early influence. Support comes from local stars Roy Machin and Mick Miller.

n WORTLEY Folk, at the Black Bull, Ecclesfield has Billy Mitchell on stage next Saturday (March 15).

n SUNDAY'S concert by the Carolina Chocolate Drops, scheduled for the Memorial Hall, has been cancelled.