'Down and Left' (we're home!)

The ‘Up and Right’ mini tour was a huge success, Rob and I took our little VW Golf, laden with a full PA kit, 3 guitars, a bodhran, Shruti box, set of whistles, several bags of clothes and a cuddly fox named Alan that we collected on our travels from the rolling hills of Somerset to the beautiful shores of Tynemouth.

We started out in Stafford on the Folk Show with Gary Hazlehurst: https://www.mixcloud.com/garyhazlehurst9/stafford-fm-folk-show-ange-hardy-in-session/

Stafford FM with Gary Hazlehurst
Stafford FM with Gary Hazlehurst
Roots & Fusion 'Playing Out' - Stockport
Roots & Fusion 'Playing Out' - Stockport
Meeting Mr Mike Harding!
Meeting Mr Mike Harding!

Then found our way to Stockport where I did a ‘Roots and Fusion Playing Out’ concert at Blackshaw's Café to a sold out crowd. Many of them presenters and writers I’d been hoping to meet for some time, it was a very special and memorable gig and so good to put so many real faces to so many profile pictures!

Live Review: http://www.sonicbandwagon.com/live-reviews/ange-hardy-live-at-blackshaws-cafe-bar-stockport-27215/ - Mike Ainscoe (Sonic Bandwagon) 

 "This morning I awoke with music in my head and a quote upon my lips. The music was remembered from the wonderful Ange Hardy concert I went to last night and the quote "Her symphony and song,To such a deep delight ’twould win me," 
is from 'Kubla khan' a poem by a poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge that the lady likes quite a lot.....To paraphrase the quote, Last night I sat and had my head turned in the most beautiful way...Yes Me, Bill Mitton a "Folk Puritan" of over half a century, suddenly realised that that my view of the music we love, had been far too narrow for far too long... That this extremely talented lady with her voice, instruments..yes and a loop machine...was producing the most beautiful and complex music..Folk Music. OK yes the songs were about her own journey and her observations along that journey but that only qualified them more as folk tales in song...From her beautiful opening version of the traditional "She Walks Through The Fair" to tales of the perils of Facebook, "Father John" through to the 'toe curlingly' Beautiful and Poignant "The Raising And The Letting Go" it was a performance from a lady with the talent to change the views of a stubborn old man and the honesty to open her palms, show the workings of her heart and say, with a smile,.."This is me"... Thank you for that Ange..If there is any justice this lady will win the Horizon Award!" – Bill Mitton (audience member and radio presenter) 

...and then a live radio session with the wonderful Richard Bolland of Roots and Fusion Fame himself: https://www.mixcloud.com/RootsAndFusion/roots-fusion-no315-4315-with-the-incredible-ange-hardy-in-session/

A 'Roots & Fusion' sold out crowd at Blackshaw's!
A 'Roots & Fusion' sold out crowd at Blackshaw's!
Sound check at Settle Victoria Hall 'O Hooley & Tidow' Gig
Sound check at Settle Victoria Hall 'O Hooley & Tidow' Gig

We went on to meet the fabulous Mr Mike Harding at the Settle Victoria Hall, a day I will never forget. I opened for O’Hooley and Tidow before getting the opportunity to sit back and be entertained by the lovely ladies themselves and afterwards we had a live session at Rhe Lion with Mike.

Live Review: http://www.fatea-records.co.uk/magazine/2015/BelHidAng.html - Mike Ainscoe (Fatea Magazine) 

Ahhhhh, Good ol' Costa Office, working on 'esteesee'
Ahhhhh, Good ol' Costa Office, working on 'esteesee'
The Lovely Liz Franklin of Folkal Point, Radio Teesdale
The Lovely Liz Franklin of Folkal Point, Radio Teesdale
'Alan' the Fox as named by Sean Lakeman!
'Alan' the Fox as named by Sean Lakeman!

We found our way to Bishop Aukland where we did a live session with Rebekah Findlay and Lee Huck of the Bishop FM Folk show which was an emotional show as we remembered dear Terry Ferdinand who was sadly lost almost exactly a year ago and was a great supporter of mine. (Warning: tissues may be required for this one!) 

Listen to the show here: https://www.mixcloud.com/bishopfmfolkshow/bishop-fm-folk-show-031-with-ange-hardy-02032015/

We had far too many Latte’s and spent every spare moment in our new Costa office in Barnard Castle before meeting the lovely Liz Franklin who introduced us to her adorable granddaughter, treated us like royalty and after our fabulous radio session (and much to my relief) gave us a guided tour of the area. 

We went off to meet Bob Fischer of BBC Tees for a session before heading to Gateshead where we had a guided tour of the sage and then headed off to Amazing Radio. It felt a little like I was ticking off my bucket list ‘must meets’ as we were crossing paths with so many people I’d always wanted to meet! Mike Harding, Kathryn Tickell and no exception to this rule, the lovely Mike Orchard of Folk music NE and Andy, a very special ‘fan’ of mine who has offered much support and encouragement over this past year, they were the ones who got me started on the ‘Up and Right’ journey in the first place and I really can’t thank them enough!

Kathryn Tickell interview on Amazing Radio
Kathryn Tickell interview on Amazing Radio
Meet the inspiration behind the tour! 'Folk Music NE'
Meet the inspiration behind the tour! 'Folk Music NE'
A sold out 'Old Cinema Launderette' session
A sold out 'Old Cinema Launderette' session

Then the final three gigs of the tour, The Old Cinema Launderette, a quirky and sold out evening playing in a working launderette in Durham where I can honestly say I played one of my best ever sets...

...then Mister Woods Cafe in Tynemouth and finally 'Songs from the Yurt' in Leicester on the way home which was a private and very intimate gig in a yurt where I played an acoustic set which we followed with a good ol' campfire style sing around, a fabulous way to end a tour! 

The rare chance to stop and take a selfie
The rare chance to stop and take a selfie
Mister Woods Cafe
Mister Woods Cafe
'Songs from the Yurt'
'Songs from the Yurt'
Tamsin Rosewell 'Mother Willow Tree'
Tamsin Rosewell 'Mother Willow Tree'

On route home there was just enough time to drop in on my good friend Tamsin Rosewell of 'My Folk and their Friends' who not only had a stunning dress waiting for me (which I will be wearing to the BBC Radio2 Folk Awards!) but also this stunning ink painting she has created with inspiration from my song 'Mother Willow Tree' from 'Bare Foot Folk' 

It tells the tale of the two hunters and the hare, included and hidden in the picture are: two hunters 4 hares, a worm, a chicken and two chicks, a mouse, a wren, two guns an owl a dragonfly, a hedgehog, a snail, a rook and some mushrooms! (click to enlarge picture) 

It is now sitting very proudly on the wall in my front room. Thank you Tamsin. xx

I have had the most amazing journey and felt like we managed to squeeze a years worth of experiences into 10 days! There are lots of thank you's to be said, for welcoming, looking after, interviewing, hosting and supporting us and I do hope I remember them all in the list at the bottom of the page... 

... but the biggest thanks has to go to our parents and our children. To smallest and smallish human for understanding that mum and dad have to go on tour and for being so good whilst we were away and to our parents, (the babysitters!).

Liz & Andy, Jan & Phil without whom none of this would be possible. Thank you xxx

Smallish Human
Smallish Human
Smallest Human
Smallest Human
  • A HUGE thank you to the following people who we met on the journey:
  • Gary Hazlehurst
  • Richard Bolland, Penny and family
  • Aaron Hixon
  • Blackshaw's Cafe and staff
  • Mike and Amy Ainscoe
  • Jane (Settle Hall) 
  • Anne (Settle Hall) 
  • Settle Victoria Hall staff & Volunteers
  • Settle Victoria Hall Lighting (Martin) and sound engineer (Ian)...awesome job chaps
  • Mike Harding
  • O'Hooley and Tidow
  • Rebekah Findlay and Lee Huck
  • Liz & Micheal Franklin
  • Kathryn Tickell & producer Mark Ryan
  • Bob Fischer
  • John Proudlet
  • Mike & Anne Orchard
  • Folk Music NE
  • Andy & Jo... with special thanks for my "down and left" survival bag!
  • The Old Cinema Launderette 
  • Mr Wishy Washy (Richard) 
  • Lesley Roley
  • Mister Woods Cafe and staff (particularly to the owner Stephen and the manager Michael!)
  • Zarla & Mick Harriman
  • Tamsin Rosewell
  • Costa Coffee - who I should probably consider approaching for sponsorship ;)
  • Oh, and Rob... for driving and doing sound and stuff!

Posted by Ange Hardy on March 10th 2015

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