Steeleye Span take Wintersmith Tour to Harlow Playhouse

Lifestyle / Wed 11th Feb 2015 at 04:41pm

FOLK LEGENDS, Steeleye Span will be appearing at the Harlow Playhouse next month (March 11th)

For any artist to discover new inspiration after many years is a huge challenge yet this is just what Steeleye Span achieved with Wintersmith, the 22nd studio album in a remarkable career. Born from their friendship with author Terry Pratchett: their musical interpretation of his novel provided them with a gateway to a magical world, allowing the band to explore familiar themes in the company of a new set of characters – all of whom allow Steeleye to delve into the darker side of their music.

Received warmly by both critics and audience – Wintersmith saw Steeleye return to the UK album charts – the resulting concert tour was a celebration of both the past and the present. With violinist Peter Knight making his farewell, these live shows marked a major chapter in the band’s history. The reception offered to Wintersmith on its release reflected its very special nature. The album received a string of enthusiastic reviews – described as “a marriage between the written word and music that is devastatingly superb” – and garnered much media interest, seeing Maddy Prior and Terry appear on the likes of Later with Jools Holland and the BBC Radio 2 Arts Show and Simon Mayo.

2014 would see Steeleye Span release a Deluxe Edition of Wintersmith that featured a second CD containing four new tracks, two demos that featured former guitarist Bob Johnson and eight live tracks.

November 2014 and the The Wintersmith DVD was released, filmed in Salisbury, the Wintersmith DVD captured all the magic and is especially fitting as Terry Pratchett himself was in the audience and joined them on stage making it the perfect recording of a special meeting of minds.

On the 2015 UK tour, many fans old and new will get to see new violinist Jessie May Smart. Jessie is a young, vibrant talent who trained with Richard Ireland at Trinity College of Music before going onto The University of Nottingham and who’s CV includes working on The X Factor and with Katie Melua.

Another relatively new Steeleye Span member is composer, singer-songwriter and Steeleye lead guitarist Julian Littman. Julian has played and performed with artists from Gerry Rafferty, Charlie Dore and Dexy’s Midnight Runners to Sister Sledge and Phillip Bailey. He has also appeared in an abundance of TV & Film roles (“London Boulevard”, “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers”, “Evita” & many more), to West End musicals such as Queen’s “We Will Rock You.” and “125th Street” and others too numerous to list.

Julian was in Gerry Rafferty’s band for some time and did some co writing with Gerry and was a good friend in his later years. Julian has also been musical director of many musicals including Godspell and Return to the forbidden planet.

For full details go to www.playhouseharlow.org

Steeleye Span

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