Reunited Boden & Spiers to showcase new material at Pocklington Arts Centre concert

AFTER years of speculation, much-loved English folk duo Spiers & Boden are back together, working on new material and bringing a live show to Pocklington Arts Centre (PAC) this autumn. 

John Spiers, 46, and Jon Boden, 44, former leading lights of big folk band Bellowhead, will perform in Pock on Wednesday, October 20.

PAC director Janet Farmer says: “Spiers & Boden are a fantastic addition to our live events programme, and the fact that Pocklington Arts Centre will be one of their first live dates after they re-formed as a duo, following a hiatus of several years, is just incredible. Tickets have only just gone on sale and are already selling fast. 

“We cannot wait to welcome this talented duo, and of course our wonderful audience, through our doors for what will be an utterly brilliant night of world–class live music.”

Forming a folk duo in 2001, Spiers & Boden won a clutch of BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards: the Horizon Award for Best Newcomerin 2003 and the Best Duo Award in 2004 and 2006.  

A sojourn in Eliza Carthy & The Ratcatchers included a performance at the Mercury Music Prize Awards. After years of touring, in 2011 they headlined their own star-studded show at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire to celebrate their tenth anniversary.

Bellowhead: Boden and Spiers’ 11-piece folk big band

Meanwhile, they had built on their early success as a duo to found the ground-breaking folk big band Bellowhead, going on to achieve Royal Albert Hall sell-outs, Proms In The Park successes, multiple awards, signing to Universal Records en route to 250,000 album sales, and headlining PAC’s Platform Festival at The Old Station, Pocklington, in July 2015.

Inevitably, Bellowhead increasingly dominated their time and in 2014 Spiers & Boden made the tough decision to rest the duo, with Bellowhead bowing out two years later. 

Since then, Boden has carved out a career as both a solo performer and with his own band, Jon Boden & The Remnant Kings, while continuing to work on his creative trilogy of albums exploring a post-apocalyptic world and his work writing music for theatre. On November 6 2017, he launched his album Afterglow with a solo gig at Pocklington Arts Centre.

Melodeon player Spiers formed performance collaborations with fiddler Peter Knight, of Steeleye Span and Feast Of Fiddles, and separately folk singer and fiddler Jackie Oates.

He is a member too of the Gigspanner Big Band, with Knight, percussionist Sacha Trochet, guitarist Roger Flack and the multi-instrumental Edgelarks duo of Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin.  

What an autumn week this is shaping up to be at PAC: Irish chanteuse Mary Coughlan on October 19, Spiers & Boden, October 20, and Texas-born singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman on October 23. Tickets for Spiers & Boden’s 8pm Pocklington concert cost £20 at pocklingtonartscentre.co.uk.

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