|Sunday 13 October 2019 @ 02:00pm : -
The Drystones are a duo whose arrival on the UK folk scene is making waves. Combining traditional music’s timeless instrumental union of fiddle and guitar with technical mastery, a ‘brave experimental bent’ (David Kidman – FATEA), and an unexpectedly large sound when playing live, it’s no wonder they’ve been described as ‘indecently talented’ (Mike Harding) and earned themselves a nomination for the 2018 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award. Having formed in 2011 to play at their local folk festival in Priddy, Somerset, the last eight years have seen them play prestigious festivals including Glastonbury and Sidmouth Folk Week, produce three albums, and somewhere along the line complete their music degrees…
In 2019 after 18 months as full time professional musicians, and having toured from Scotland to the south coast they have nothing to hold back their finely honed blend of the most thrilling aspects of the UK’s traditions. Their 2017 album 'We Happy Few' was widely acclaimed and their 2019 album 'Apparitions' has had equal success. The live performances of their 2019 album deliver breath-taking performances backed by technical genius at venues across the UK. They are determined to leave smiles on faces as they go.
Alex Garden is a fiddle player with a unique sound born out of traditional Scottish and English styles. Growing up in Somerset, he was classically trained from childhood, providing the technical scope to explore other genres. His family roots lie in Scotland and he visits the North West Highlands every year, immersing himself in the landscape and traditional music of the area. Back home playing with Ford, his love for folk music has blossomed. A music degree at the University of Southampton provided the opportunity to be taught by internationally renowned fiddle player John Dipper and to hone skills in composition, production and live sound. Alex also teaches fiddle, takes part in collaboration projects such as ambient/electronic producer Barnaby Carter’s LP ‘While It Still Blooms’ and works as a ceilidh musician.
Ford Collier finds it easiest to describe himself as a multi-instrumentalist, although it would be tempting to just say he is indecisive. Playing with Alex got him hooked on guitar and low whistle, and since their first gig together he has developed as both a subtle accompanist and an accomplished tune player. While studying music at the University of Sheffield, an interest in Indian music turned into an obsession and culminated in a final year recital on tabla, the north Indian drums. Recently, he has given up on deciding which instrument he should practise the most. Ford also plays with innovative singer and banjo player Kate Griffin and Sheffield indie-funk group the Life Aquatic Band.
"The Drystones technical prowess and stylistic awareness speak for themselves" ~ Tom Newell – Songlines Magazine
"Indecently talented" ~ Mike Harding, Mike Harding Folk Show
"With energy pouring out of those instruments.." ~ Mike Norris EFDSS Classic Folk
"To describe their instrumental style as spirited and animated would be akin to asserting that Bellowhead can be quite an energetic band" ~ Clive Pownceby, Living Tradition
"my recommendation of the day" ~ Steve Lamacq BBC Radio 2 live from Glastonbury 2013
"absolutely blown away by their energy" ~ Will Lang, Halsway Manor Centre for Folk Arts
"The Drystones demonstrate a sophisticated musical maturity that is far beyond their ages" ~ Roy Spencer, Folk Radio UK
"Do keep your eyes and ears open for these rising stars as they prepare to take the festivals by storm this summer" ~ Rebekah Foard, Bright Young Folk
"their arrangements are at times bordering on breathtaking and are delivered with the enthusiasm, energy and undying self belief that belies their youth" ~ Jon Earl, Songs From The Shed
"Fabulous, I haven't seen anything like it in 45 years of folk!" ~ Dave James, Bromyard Folk Festival
"the Heston Blumenthals of folk" ~ Emma Britton, Presenter BBC Somerset
"a great duo to watch out for" ~ Johnny Coppin, Folk Showcase Presenter BBC Bristol
"... obviously having such fun" ~ Genevieve Tudor, Sunday Folk BBC Shropshire
"surely the hottest act in the South West today" ~ Martine Hardy, Camelot Music Night
"awesome band, right proper lush" ~ Stoney, Somerset window cleaner of some discernment