Artists 2018

Wow. What a fantastic day it was. Good weather, amazing music, wonderful buskers, wonderful artists, great stalls, great food and England won. Who could ask for more? 

If you want to find out more about this year's artists - read on. Alternatively flick through a copy of our online Kimpton Folk Festival 2018 programme by clicking here


Since its formation in 2009, this multi-award-winning band has ignited global audiences with its brand of high-energy genre-defying music. Utilizing funk grooves, middle eastern melodies, acrobat, north Indian rhythms and more, their show has blazed a trail across the world at everything from secluded coves to 30,000 capacity festival fields.



This duo creates music that sounds classically timeless yet still feels refreshingly unique. A chance meeting at their local Black Fen Folk Club in Cambridge revealed shared musical interests and sympathies which over time have developed into a unique and intimate blend of American roots and English folk music that is as happy and joyful as it is intense.

Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar

Russell’s powerful vocals and driving guitar style and Algar’s All-Ireland winning fiddle playing have made this duo one of the most sought after acts on the British folk scene. They won the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award in 2013, the Horizon Award for best breakthrough act in 2014, and a nomination for Best Duo in 2015.


while, matthews & While

Comprising mother and daughter Chris & Kellie with long-term singing partner Julie Matthews, this appearance is a rare outing for a folk supergroup and a genuine coup for Kimpton. Julie and Chris have been nominated ten times for BBC Folk Awards ‘Best Live Act’. Kellie is a long-term collaborator with many of the giants of UK folk.

The London KleZmer Quartet

Klezmer at its beguiling and seductive best - the band combines the subtleties of the original tradition with a kick-over-the-chairs party vibe. Performing continuously since 2009, LKQ are popular throughout the UK and have had six sell-out tours to Australia. Known and loved throughout Europe, they have broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and 6.



James Fagan from Australia (bouzouki, guitar) and Jamie McLennan from New Zealand (fiddle, guitar) are musicians at the very top of their tree. Performing traditional and contemporary songs and tunes from their respective homelands, the pair’s blend of quirky humour and high octane musical pyrotechnics always leaves audiences on their feet roaring for more.




Multiple award-winning guitarist Will and    jaw-dropingly dexterous drummer Luke weave their own brand of musical enchantment with a combination of intricate, melodic finger style and explosive yet highly sensitive rhythms.  This is a union of two of the finest musicians in their field. 


With a bold, distinctive voice and a sweet, percussive guitar style, Luke is a captivating live performer. His debut album ‘More Than Boys’ released in 2012 to great reviews, was followed up by ‘Fumes and Faith’ in early 2014. His 2015 release ‘This Family Tree’, was described in a 5 star Maverick review as ‘Two words. Bloody brilliant.’ 

Jackie Oates and Mike CosgrAve

Jackie Oates is a singer and fiddle player with a pure, haunting style. Her distinctive treatment of English ballads and songs and velvety voice have justly gained her a reputation as ‘a celebrity in the new folk scene. Jackie is joined by long-term collaborator and multi-instrumentalist Mike Cosgrave.

Winner of the 2015 Gaelic Voices competition, Blathnaid, who was brought up in Northern Ireland and Devon, has performed with British Folk Punk band The Levellers and has appeared as a singer at clubs and events around the UK. She is known for her unique and individual interpretations of well known traditional material.


2017 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award winners Pablo and Josie are highly accomplished musicians who play an eclectic mix of traditional Scots and English folk. Josie’s crystal clear, pure voice and Pablo’s dynamic and sensitive guitar create a sound that is at once beautiful and haunting.


Since St Albans friends Jess Distill, Hannah Elizabeth and Kathy Pinkinton reunited several years after leaving school, their discovery of a mutual love of folk music led to the formation of ‘The Maiden’. Now gaining increasing momentum on the folk circuit, they are about to release their second album.

Kelly Oliver

Kelly’s 2016 album ‘Bedlam’ was released to rave reviews and was rated among the best albums of the year by Folkwords. Since then her reputation has steadily grown and she was recently described by ‘whispering’ Bob Harris as being a ‘vital voice in the British folk scene’. We are delighted to welcome Kelly back for her second Kimpton appearance.


Taking their influences from folk, bluegrass, country and Western swing music, Mike Giverin, Lucy Williams and Jay Bradberry have created one of the most entertaining and widely regarded young bands on the British folk scene. The Jaywalkers sound is innovative, rooted deeply in tradition, and frankly - exhilarating!