Julie July – Singer & Songwriter
“The Lady she had, a silver tongue, for to sing she said, and maybe that’s all”
In 1996 I went to my first ever folk festival – ‘Fairport’s Cropredy Convention’ in a small village in Oxfordshire – where I camped and was captivated by an amazing collection of musicians & songs. On the Saturday night I won the top prize in the raffle – a guitar signed by every performer at the festival. I took it home and started playing “Who knows where the time goes?” (very badly…) It took some time but eventually I worked out the chord sequence and cracked it. Then I tried other songs like “The Sea”, “Farewell, Farewell”, “Crazy Man Michael” and “One More Chance”. I was hooked, I fell in love with the romantic and haunting songs of Sandy Denny. They catch and hold on to you: the loneliness, the storytelling, the emotions, taking root in your soul. Little did I know then that, 23years later I would be performing her songs at festivals and theatres around the country. Her songs aren’t for everyone, they don’t have ‘mass appeal’ – they touch just a few…..but I feel so humbled and privileged to be one of them and singing evokes real feelings in me and I am moved and the audience that come to listen feel it too and they thank me for keeping her memories and stories alive.
But that’s not all: concert audiences and fellow performers have often asked whether we perform material of our own work. The answer is Yes! – I’m honoured and delighted to be working with such amazing musicians and songwriters. Inspired by Sandy’s work and the wider folk, rock and blues movements of the Sixties and Seventies, together we have written ‘Lady of the First Light’ – the band’s new album of self-penned originals. From dreamy acoustic folk songs to driving progressive folk-rock with passing references to psychedelia and country. We’re very proud and excited about the Album, and about the songs….. and hope you will be too!
John Brunsdon Lead Guitarist
For the last ten years he has fronted top Dire Straits tribute band, Dire Streets, playing theatres across the UK and Europe. He is also lead guitarist with John Lennon UK, as well as working as a freelance musician and writer.
John says: “I’ve always admired guitarists who understand the unique vocal quality of the guitar and its power to tell a story in music. Folk music, in all its forms, is about the story – both musically and lyrically – and its a real pleasure to explore the music of one of my biggest influences, Jerry Donahue, and to help this great band tell some musical stories of their own.”
Barry William – Acoustic Guitarist
Singer-songwriter Bas is returning to the band he co-founded with Julie to provide acoustic/rhythm guitar along with additional vocals and harmonies. Bas brings his own individual style of songwriting and playing combining a dynamic rhythmic feel and a subtle picking technique. “I believe that the most important aspect of playing in a band is that each member is able to express their personality and creativity but at the same time everyone works together for a good musical structure and balance…what I enjoy most is to combine with the drive of the rhythm section but also interact with the lead guitar to help creative affecting melodic moments within a song. It’s really about listening to each other and the overall sound and responding to what you hear…I’m excited to be back”.
Mick Candler – Drums
“Ever since I first heard Sandy Denny with Fairport Convention on the John Peel Show, in 1969 I have loved her songs and Folk Rock as a genre, so I am honoured and excited to be performing with Julie July and her wonderful band. Dik Cadbury and I are old friends and, having worked together on numerous projects, I am really pleased we are reunited once again. With musicians of this calibre there is no room for showboating, so hopefully my minimalist style of pocket playing will be discrete, providing a solid foundation to serve the songs in support of Julie’s incredible voice.”
Mick Candler began playing drums in the local beat groups of his home city of York in the early 1960’s, supporting leading music luminaries Pink Floyd, Soft Machine, Jimmy Cliff and Procol Harum before giving up the day job to join Roll Movement, a four piece group led by Cliff Wade who later became a composer of hit songs for Tina Turner and Pat Benatar.
Mick has an extensive list of album and TV credits for drums and percussion performing in bands including;- Decameron, Phil Beer, Johnny Coppin, Steve Knightly, and Magna Carta. In recent years he has recorded two critically acclaimed albums with slide guitarist Kevin Brown and is a current member of his band “The Shackdusters”