Wath clocks up 40 musical years

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WATH Folk Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

It takes place over the May Bank Holiday weekend, from next Friday through to Sunday, May 4-6.

As well as a strong music line up, the festival also has a reputation for activities which will engage the whole community. Founded by Wath Morris team and the local music community, the festival gets under way on Friday with a concert in Montgomery Hall, featuring Fairport Convention, Chris and Kellie While and Ray Hearne and Ciaran Boyle.

Saturday sees the festival procession led by Wath Morris and Barnsley Samba Band, from the Montgomery Hall to Montgomery Square for free entertainment and stalls. Taking part will be Angel Gardens, Orlyk Ukrainian Dancers, Maynard Flipflap, Sheffield Folk Chorale, Maltby Phoenix Sword Dancers, Flag Crackers, Mike the Minstrel, Frances Cassidy Irish Dancers and children’s dance, music and drama performances.

At noon, there will be the annual bun-throwing fun event from the tower of All Saints Parish Church.

An afternoon concert in Montgomery Hall has Dick Gaughan, Tom Mitchell, Brooks Williams and the Wath Festival Young Performers Award 2011 winners, Luke Hirst and Sarah Smout.

In the Red Lion pub there will be the Silver Roots Competition, which provides more mature performer with the chance to compete. Also at the pub, a show gets underway at 4.30pm, with Flaxenby, Holly Taymar with Chris Bilton, Jenna and Catherine Bindon.

Sheffield Folk Chorale perform in All Saints Church from 6.15pm and the evening concert at Montgomery Hall has the Billy Mitchell Band, Boo Hewerdine and Jennifer Crook.

On Sunday, there will be a South Yorkshire Showcase at Montgomery Hall, from noon, with Johnny and The Prison Didn’t Help Boys, Skyhook, Monkey’s Fist and Charlie Barker with Harriet Bartlett.

In the evening, there will be final concert with John Tams, Reg Meuross and Bethany Porter, Lucy Ward and the winner of the Wath Festival Young Performers Award 2012.

HARRY Bird and the Rubber Wellies play a free show at Crookes Folk Club tonight. Tomorrow they are at The Rude Shipyard, in Abbeydale Road, Sheffield. The band is composed of two well-travelled British boys and an Irish girl, who have been building a following in the UK, Europe and Ireland.

TOMORROW’S guest at the Rock@Matlby will be Harvey Andrews, one of Britain’s most important and long-standing singer-songwriters. He is a consummate performer and has written some of the most pertinent, meaningful and soulful songs of any British writer. The club meets at the Wesley Centre, in Blyth Road, Maltby. Next Friday organisers will be staging a singers’ and musicians’ night.

STEVE Knightly, from Show of Hands, is at Bradfield Village Hall, tomorrow .

ACOUSTIC duo The Hut People are at the Greystones, on Saturday.

ANDY Irvine is at the Greystones on Sunday.