|Friday 29 September 2017 @ 09:00pm : -
The Drystones started out when Dean Collier, Chairman of the Priddy Folk Festival needed to fill a slot at short notice at one of his venues in July 2011 and asked his son Ford if he could step up to the plate. One quick phone call to fiddler friend Alex Garden and the Drystones were formed.
Alex and Ford were friends from school. They both had a background in playing various instruments and in different styles. But they clearly found their stride in arranging lively jigs played on Guitar, Fiddle and Whistle.
Encouraged by the warm reception at Priddy, and the success of some lucrative busking through the summer the lads decided to enter the Mid Somerset Battle of the Bands. On Sunday 23rd of October they had got themselves into the finals. The odds surely stacked against them, as easily the youngest contestants and the only purely acoustic band they found themselves up against techno, grunge, rap and heavy metal bands. But somehow they seemed to span the wildly different audiences and won over the judges and audience alike to win the contest!
Five years on they have racked up a lot of stage time playing beer festivals, weddings, pubs, and charity events, as well as an impressive list of music festivals including Sidmouth Folk Week, the Bath International Music Festival, Warwick Folk Festival, Sunrise, Halsway Hothouse, Bromyard Folk Festival, The Village Pump Fest, and Purbeck. All whilst still doing their A Levels! Whilst playing on the Avalon Café Stage at Glastonbury Festival 2013 they were spotted by Steve Lamacq and announced as his "recommendation of the day" on Radio 2. In 2015 they released their second album and won a Larmer Tree Breakthrough Music Award, and appeared with Ray Davies and The Shires on Glastonbury Extravaganza.
They can also boast a guest performance on Radio 4's Today programme in the Somerset floods of 2014, and have played on BBC Radio Somerset several times with Emma Britton and Ben Mcgrail. They also have had a television appearance on a National Geographic fishing programme in 2013 "King Fishers" (it's a long story!).
"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