The Acoustic Festival of Britain 2011

2011 Poster

Thanks to everyone who attended the 2011 Acoustic Festival of Britain.

Thanks to all the artists and especially to all our staff and stewards who try to make everyone happy, and looking at all the photos coming in, there was a lot of smiling faces.
Also a special BIG Thankyou to Uttoxter Racecourse and its' staff, especially Andy and his team, who, along with YOUR help kept the racecourse site exceptionally clean.
Join our Facebook group to see loads of pictures and to share your views about the Acoustic Festival of Britain

The Main Stage

FishWhat the public said

Had a great day at the Acoustic Festival on Sunday thanks! 10 hours of fantastic entertainment for ?30. The highlight was the Spinners reunion (the reason I went) but thoroughly enjoyed all the other acts, both old and new.? Helen Waner

Great day on Saturday. Fish,Hazel O'Connor superb. Hope you return to Uttoxeter Racecourse next year. Robert Ritchie Elliott

Uttoxeter Racecourse is the perfect site for The Acoustic Festival of Britain

Floating LotusCerys MatthewsThe Quireboys


Unplugged & Acoustic music at its very best.

The Beer TentTook my 7 year old son to his 1st festival this weekend - The Acoustic Festival of Britain in Uttoxeter. We were camping from Friday to Sunday pm and had a fantastic time. Very impressed that you could park your car right next to your tent, in a quiet field too, and also impressed with regular rubbish collections from outside your tent- very good. Many congratulations to everyone involved on the organisation of such a great event. As advertised. flushing toilets, showers, kids activities, and family friendly. My son had his face painted, a balloon festival hat made from Grommett the wizard, played instruments, painted pottery, watched bands, saw morris dancing, and more- and had a fantastic time. Band highlights were The Quireboys ( the whole set ), Steve Harley, and pleasant surprises in bands we saw that we had never of such as Rusty Shackle ( excellent ) and Jupiter Rising ( one to look for in future ) People were so relaxed and friendly, it was a good atmosphere, and we certainly hope to be at Uttoxter again next year if there is an Acoustic Festival in 2012. Well done to everyone, a really enjoyable weekend. Dale Cunliffe


A Familly Friendly Festival with great camping facillities

The Main StageThe main dragBody Painted LadyRainbow over the Festival


What some of the Artists said

Tony DavisThanks a million for inviting us, Michael, and for the lovely Acoustic Festival awards! We all enjoyed ourselves immensely and will treasure the "thingies" for ever!
Dorothy tells me she will proudly show Cliff's at the Adelaide Folk Club, and she plans to leave it in her will to "young" Cliff! Didn't he do well? Considering he plays in a "Soul" band I thought he was a knock out and I shan't let him get away!
Just many, many thanks for making it so easy and enjoyable for me in particular.
Your staff could not have been more helpful
It was great too, to meet so many old friends from the other bands who made it a point to come over and greet me - or was it their fathers?!!! We are all "maturing" I think....

Tony Davis & The Spinners

The Spinners

Oh my word...what can I say about our appearance at the Acoustic Festival of Britain? It was the most amazing evenings we had ever played as 'T.Rextasy Unplugged'.
We hit the stage at 9pm and played for 1 hour. Literally, every single song was sung along by the whole audience, sometimes practically drowing out the PA!
As an acoustic duo, John and I was taken-aback by the whole gig. We have never experienced a crowd like it before for one of our acoustic sets. So thank you all if you were one of thousands that attended, and thanks so much for making us so very welcome at a festival that was really made for original artists!
The day was different for us as well as we are used to a 'rock'n'roll' type event. This being an acoustic event was much mellower including the organisation too. It was really nice to be able to chat to an alternative bunch of musicians such as the likes of Fairport Convention and the Midland based band Quill (who are a great group of people!) chilling out drinking tea, coffee, wine and eating sandwiches, cake, biscuits & cheese on white clothed covered tables - it did make a lovely change from the usual rock'n'roll beer and lager type festivals. Danielz - T.Rextasy

What the Press says

Well, another Acoustic Festival of Britain under the collective Festivals For All belts.?  We do like this festival; small and friendly but with a quality of facilities, plus scope and depth of artists, that put many larger events to shame.?  Remember that apart from quality, the common thread is the acoustic element. The thrill of watching some of the most respected artists around performing their material in an acoustic format can be truly awe-inspiring. Once again Acoustic Fest provided a superb event. Read More at

The second year of a major music festival at its new Uttoxeter Racecourse home has been declared a huge success.
Acoustic Festival of Britain Organiser Mike Stephens told The Uttoxter Advertiser ?I was very pleased. We had a nice crowd and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. The music was superb and I think everyone was bowled over.
There were a lot more local people who came this year and we were really appreciative of that. We were chuffed to bits really and we had a lot of nice comments from people on the gates when they left.? Read More at

The Spinners The Spinners
On Sunday, surviving members of The Spinners Hughie Jones, Mick Groves & Tony Davis will be joined by Cliff Halls son, Clifford Hall to recieve a lifetimes achievemnet award from The Acoustic Festival, as well as singing songs from their 50 year career including Dirty Old Town, Black and White, Family of Man, Maggie May, Leaving of Liverpool, In my Liverpool Home etc.
They became popular by reviving some of the greatest folk music and singing new songs in the same vein. Although sounding like traditional English folk songs, some of their material was in fact composed by Hughie Jones. Cliff Hall also introduced traditional Jamaican songs to their repertoire. One of their albums was called Not Quite Folk.
They produced over forty albums, and made numerous concerts and TV appearances. In 1970, they were given their own television show on BBC One that ran for seven years. They also had their own show on BBC Radio 2. They retired in 1988, after thirty years together, although they led the community singing at the 1989 FA Cup Final and played some Christmas shows in the early 1990s. Cliff Hall retired to Australia, where he died in 2008

Steve Harley Steve Harley
Classic rock icon and 'Cockney Rebel', Steve Harley has written and recorded eleven albums in a prolific career covering four decades. Back at The Acoustic Festival after 6 years for an acoustic session! Steve will be Headlining the Saturday Line up and playing his hits including Come Up and See me (Make me Smiiiiile), Mr Soft & Here Comes the Sun. His live gigs are a joyous mix of the old and the new, always with musicians who are as accomplished as he.


Hayseed Dixie Hayseed Dixie
Formed in 2001 with the release of their first album, titled "A Hillbilly Tribute To AC/DC," Hayseed Dixie are acknowledged as the creators of the musical genre "Rockgrass." An American group who started out as an Appalachian style tribute to AC/DC, playing traditional instruments such as fiddle, mandolin and banjo. Following the release of 'A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC' they have branched out, playing songs by other rock luminaries, as well as a few original compositions.

Fairport Convention Fairport Convention
Fairport Convention are often credited with being the first English electric folk band. Formed in April 1967, Fairport rapidly developed from playing cover versions of American 'west coast' style music to an individual style which melded rock music with traditional English tunes and songs. Fairport Convention is still one of the busiest bands around. The current line-up of Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg, Ric Sanders, Chris Leslie and Gerry Conway still packs venues on its frequent tours.

Fish Fish Ex Marillion
Former Marillion frontman whose solo material has built on his already solid reputation as singer and songwriter. Fish's music defies trends and fashion and it's a brave statement in these days of banal musical small talk. His career, spanning almost 20 years of the entertainment industry, is notable for his charismatic stage performances and uncompromising lyrics.

Chris Helme John Parr (St. Elmo's Fire)
St Elmo's Fire' became a huge Number One hit for John Parr around the World, and garnered many awards, including a Grammy Award nomination. Parr also wrote and sang the title song from Three Men and a Baby soundtrack 'The Minute I Saw You', and also the power ballad 'Restless Heart', from The Running Man soundtrack. John went on to have a smash duet hit with Meatloaf 'Rock & Roll Mercenaries'. After Ten years out of the music business John Parr returned in 2007 and joined Canadian pop-rock artist Bryan Adams on his tour.

Chris Helme Chris Helme Ex The Seahorses & The Yard
Formerly with The Seahorses and The Yards now with a chilled-out acoustic show drawing on Dylan, Van Morrison and Tim Buckley. The Seahorses only album went straight into the charts at number 2 spawning 4 top ten hits. They played the famous Knebworth concerts with Oasis, toured with The Rolling Stones and U2 during their short illustrious career together before splitting in 99

Hazel O'Connor Hazel O'Connor & The Bluja Project
Award winning singer-songwriter HAZEL O'CONNOR strode into into the spotlight with cult movie Breaking Glass and immediately became an iconic figure. Here live and onstage, her ageless songs from the soundtrack ? Eighth Day, Will You and Big Brother - seem even more relevant in our present times. Accompanied by her brilliant sisters-in-arms and fellow performers virtuoso saxophonist CLARE HIRST (Bellestars, Communards, David Bowie) and pianist and vocalist SARAH FISHER (Eurythmics, Sax in the City) perform an eclectic mix of O?Connor originals and timeless classics.

The Quireboys The Quireboys
One of the UK's finest Rock'n'Roll Bands. Every time vocalist Spike self-confidently informs his audience 'We're the Quireboys ... and this is Rock 'n' Roll' everyone present has a pretty clear idea where this musical journey is about to lead. For fifteen years, the Quireboys have been synonymous with hand-made rock music, spiced with edgy riffs, driving rhythms and their frontman's unique voice.

The Strawbs The Strawbs
The Strawbs have enjoyed major success on both sides of the Atlantic. In the early 1970s, as well as the hit albums, their hit singles "Part of the Union" & "Lay Down" topped the charts. From the mid-70s they spent more time in the States and Canada where their albums charted for five years as they toured with Santana, The Eagles, Peter Frampton, Blue Oyster Cult, King Crimson, and Frank Zappa.

Rory Mcleod Clive Carroll
When the music press describes someone as an ?Incredible acoustic talent? and ?Peerless ? no other word for it...? and when people like Jean-Christophe Novelli and Madonna are booking that same someone for their private parties then you know that something pretty special is going on. Welcome to the world of UK acoustic guitar phenomenon Clive Carroll. 'Probably the best and most original young guitar player in Britain' (Acoustic Guitar)

Rory Mcleod Rory Mcleod
A one man soulband, poet and storyteller, singing his own unique upbeat dance stories. A modern travelling troubadour using tap shoes, acappella, harmonica, guitar, trombone, spoons, finger cymbals, bandorea, djembe and various percussion instruments! Headliner of many folk festivals.

Eric Faulkner Eric Faulkner
Although perhaps best known as lead guitarist and songwriter with seventies supergroup The Bay City Rollers, Eric?s talents really come to the fore in his solo acoustic shows.? He connects with his audience and takes them with him on his journey through traditional material, some Celtic fiddle music, self-penned songs with tales that weave a magic of their own, virtuoso guitar playing, funny stories and a self deprecating take on the old Rollers material.

Sheelanagig Sheelanagig
Sheelanagig have been honing their eclectic blend of folk, jazz and world music since early 2005. Blistering live performances have made Sheelanagig festival favourites across the UK and into Europe, and caused dancefloor mayhem from the Scottish Islands to the South of Italy. The five members of Sheelanagig bring a wide range of musical backgrounds to the band?s unique sound, and are united by their commitment to energetic performance with the highest quality instrumental music.

Quill Quill
Anyone seeing and hearing Quill in concert will wonder at the magic of the performance! Quill has developed a unique musical style that has captured many varied influences, plying Celtic folk hued Fleetwood Mac-ish rock before the Corrs were invented. The artistry of guitar and violin harmonies is complimented by five vocal harmonies producing an exciting dynamic sound.

Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash
With millions of album sales and concert attendances worldwide, Wishbone Ash?s heritage as one of the most enduring and best loved British rock acts is assured. Forty years on, the enduring music of the classic marks of Wishbone Ash continues to delight audiences worldwide through both live performances and a rich legacy of recorded work that continues to be enjoyed by fans old and new.

The Outcast Band The Outcast Band
The Outcast Band first got together in 1991. High energy roots-rock 5-piece from Stroud, blending rock with folk and punk influences. Rock guitars collide with mandolins, violins and accordians to produce a sound coming from the same ball park as The Levellers, The Waterboys and The Saw Doctors.

T-Rextasy T.Rextasy
T.Rextasy are the only band to have been authorised and endorsed by Marc Bolan's Catalogue Management, are now officially recognised as the world's No.1 group dedicated to the greatest glam rocker of them all, Marc Bolan of T.Rex. With their uncanny doppelganger lead singer and lead guitarist, Danielz. T.Rextasy perform a powerful and mesmerising presentation of Marc Bolan's rock and pop anthems. Now in it's 17th year of touring, this show will take you on a journey through all those hits.

Sicknote Steve Sicknote Steve
Sicknote Steve recreates the authentic sound of the original hobo bluesman. No technical trickery here -the authentic guitar paying skills and vocals of Sicknote Steve invoke the atmosphere of the Mississippi Delta as he slides and stomps his way through the Seasick songbook.

Radio Mary
Radio Mary are based in the music centre of the UK - Uttoxeter, Staffordshire! The band has a kind of folk-blues-edged, foot-tapping, stomping sound, (we've tried to put it into a particular genre but with our many musical influences it's impossible so take your pick.

Steve Picken
Picking up the guitar first at the age of 12, Steve was initially influenced by the guitar sound and technique of great blues/rock guitarists like Gary Moore, Jimi Hendrix and Joe Satriani. These styles were indulged in bands from an early age, performing at schools, colleges and charity events. As his attitude and style progressed Steve embraced a more acoustic approach to playing and so set about applying techniques taken from the electric guitar to a wholly acoustic sound.

Dog Days of Summer
Their music is all acoustic with a metal and punk feel. The songs comprise of Rock, punk and Heavy Metal covers in a Bluegrass style, some traditional Bluegrass songs plus a few Folk songs added in for good measure.

Rick Payne
Rick Payne is an established acoustic blues guitarist with many national and international tours to his credit. He has become especially well known for his authentic acoustic blues finger picking, in the many traditional styles of the blues including delta blues, piedmont, ragtime and slide and has recorded several albums of this kind.
Often compared with Ry Cooder, slide guitar maestro Rick Payne?s performances have taken him to prime time TV, to festivals and theatres throughout the UK. He has also featured on The Paul Jones blues show on BBC Radio 2.

Returning to the Acoustic Festival were last years most talked about bands, Ghost Trains and The Re-entrants and after last years walkabout sessions The Peace Artistes were all back by public demand.

The Peace Artistes The Peace Artistes
The Peace Artistes are a stunning street band from West Yorkshire, UK made up of approximately 15 musicians: percussion, saxes and brass, all rocking with rhythm and pulsating with passion. They have built a reputation all over Europe for vital, energetic performance at festivals, carnivals and indoor events. Their irresistible blend of African, Salsa, Folk and Funk will always get the party partying.

Ghost Trains
Ghost Trains are UK acoustic three-piece Tim Ellis (Vocals & Guitar), Elijah Wolfenheart (Lead Guitar & Harmonies), & Greg Wood (Percussion). Their sound has been described as somewhere between a macabre version of Crowded House and a more rootsy version of The Eagles, all rolled together with a distinctive English twist.
Having formed in the late summer of 2009, the guys set about recording at their studio in Staffordshire, and by just their fourth ever gig, heads were turning fast. That show was The Acoustic Festival Of Britain in May 2010. In a review of the festival, Acoustic Magazine declared Ghost Trains "The highlight of the whole event."

The Re-entrants
Nothing is out of bounds for the Re-entrants, whether it be classic Bowie or Britney Spears, Motorhead or Madonna. They somehow manage to get in all the hooks, riffs, solos and vocal harmonies without any backing tracks or fancy tricks - nothing but two voices and two ukuleles. "Their act is so very strong: they transcend the limitations of the ukulele."

Celtic rockers 7 Little Sisters from Nottingham and Shamus O'Blivion were the first midlands acts secured.

Severn Little Sisters
Seven Little Sisters are a band based in Nottingham, UK who have returned after a while in hibernation. The loss of all their equipment at the turn of the millennium brought an untimely end to a band who were destined for big things. Having toured all around Europe for a number of years and with the US beckoning they were forced to call it a day. 2010 has broght them all back together with a new album in the making and tours already coming in for the end of the year. They are set to play their own blend of Bluegrass, Cajun, Irish and in-yer-face Punk to whoever will listen (and to those who are forced to!)

Shamus O'Blivion
This Exciting Band have been playing together for over ten years, and if you are yet to encounter them, then they are probably the best band you have never heard of! All of them are highly accomplished musicians and as a band have been steadily earning a reputation across the country for playing Rock influenced Celtic Music (traditional Irish & Scottish) in a hard edged, fast and cheeky style. With an outlandish stage show which is both extremely visual and very amusing they deliver a high energy set encompassing super fast jigs and reels, enigmatic Celtic melodies, powerful folk rooted songs and a whole heap of rock attitude.

The?Acoustic Guitar Festival?ran through the festival and included such craftsmen as?
Clive Carroll, The Ian Parker Trio, Johnny Dickinson, AZIZ, Kent Duchaine,?
Rodney Branigan,?Rick Payne, Guy Mail, Roz Bruce,?
Steve Picken,?Jack Blackman,?Nigel Beck,?
Sion Russel Jones & Sicknote Steve.

Other artists who appeared included Swans in Flight, The Troubadors, Elbow Jane,
Roosevelt Bandwagon, Dog Days of Summer, Chris Ricketts & Mark Willshire, 3 Pairs of Shoes,
Rusty Shackle, Ragin Jupiter, Zydeco Hot Rods, Steve Turner, Gemma Johnson,
David Warren, Joel Owen and The Antoine Band, Ferral Mouth

Three Pairs of Shoes
The Cardiff based folk trio, Three Pairs of Shoes were formed in late 2009 after having met during their first year of studies at Cardiff University. Through a shared passion of a variety of different music, particularly the current wave of British folk acts, the band are keen to explore the traditional story telling aspect found in traditional folk music, whilst drawing upon a plethora of musical influences and their surroundings. It?s an exciting time for Three Pairs of Shoes, with plenty of plans afoot for the rest of the year and onwards.

Travis & Julie
Nashville duo Travis + Julie are by no means your ordinary songsters picking away quietly on an acoustic guitar and singing through their dual megaphones. Blending elements of alternative rock, pop music and contemporary country, this US band has seamlessly created a hip, commercial style that is truly their own. Add this to their flawless and unique live performance, and it lands far away from what most people think of as "singer/songwriter" and into the territory of music with roots.

Official Videos from the 2011 Acoustic Festival from New Harbour Films

Friday Part 1
Adrian Nation - Kristi Michelle - Travis + Julie - Steve Picken - Zydeco Hotrods

Friday Part 2

Friday Part 2
Sicknote Steve - Radio Mary - Hayseed Dixie - The Troubadors

Hayseed Dixie

Hayseed Dixie Uncut

The Quireboys
The Quireboys
Nik Kershaw
Nik Kershaw
The Re-entrants
The Re-entrants

Other Videos available

Steve Harley
Steve Harley
Judy Teen
The Spinners
The Spinners
Black & White
The Company
John Parr
John Parr
St Elmo's Fire
The Quireboys
The Quireboys
Mona Lisa Smiled
Hazel O'Connor
Hazel O'Connor
Will You
Metal Guru
The Re-entrants
The Re-entrants
(Final Encore)