5 Folk Bands That Are Definitely Worth a Listen

From the 8th to the 15th of August, the seaside town of Broadstairs in Kent is overrun with the sound of banjos, harmonicas and foot stomping. The Broadstairs Folk Festival showcases some of the best in folk music that the UK has to offer and here are 5 of the best bands that performed on the final day.

Cocos Lovers


Cocos Lovers have been a personal favourite of mine for some time now, and with an ever changing instrumental line up including the banjo, mandolin, the saw, harmonica, violin and flute they always bring something new to their performance. They fuse traditional Kentish folk with African and South American influences and so you are basically guaranteed to dance around and have an amazing time wherever they are playing.


Jamie Smith’s Mabon


A 5 piece band consisting of accordion, fiddle, bouzouki, bass and drums alongside vocals, Jamie Smith’s Mabon are one of the UK’s best in Celtic music. Like Cocos Lovers their performances guarantee dancing but they also have a more intimate and musically explorative side, fusing the contemporary with the traditional and making for a truly unique show.


Toothless Mary


With some of their influences being The Prodigy and Jamiroquai, Toothless Mary are pushing the boundaries of contemporary folk music. Their music has been described as a blend of funk, 80’s disco and folk and they definitely don’t disappoint!


Ian Bruce and Ian Walker


Ian Bruce is very well known around the folk scene for his own work and also for his contribution to the Robert Burns Series. His music is often fused with the poetry of Robert Burns and with a lyrical focus on social history, his music is thought provoking. Joined by singer/songwriter Ian Walker, this is a pairing that is definitely worth a listen.


Pete Morton


Often armed only with an acoustic guitar, Pete Morton offers a more intimate performance, yet one that is completely original. He is a connoisseur of the ‘Frapping’ technique which combines traditional folk music with rap, two genres that he somehow manages to marry together beautifully. Morton offers a traditional, sit by the fire side and sing about life folk experience that is an integral part of the folk scene.

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