‘We couldn’t say no,’ explain Bellowhead as folk big band say yes to tenth anniversary Broadside reunion tour next November

Bellowhead: Reunion tour in 2022

FOLK big band Bellowhead are to reunite next year for a tenth anniversary tour of their Broadside album.

Among the 18 dates will be Yorkshire concerts at Harrogate Convention Centre on November 25 2022 and Sheffield City Hall two nights later.

During lockdown in 2020, the 11 members first re-connected online to record New York Girls – At Home remotely, prompting Bellowhead to reconvene in person for a one-off performance, streamed to mark the tenth anniversary of 2010’s Hedonism.

Thousands of fans watched one of the biggest online streams of 2020, confirming contemporary prog-folk act Bellowhead still to be in big demand despite not performing their traditional dance tunes, folk songs and shanties live since 2016.

The stream led to pleas for more and now the stars have aligned for Jon Biden, John Spiers, Sam Sweeney and co to assemble once more next autumn to toast fourth album Broadside’s tenth birthday.

Sam Sweeney: Playing with Bellowhead and providing the tour support with his own band. Picture: Elly Lucas

Produced by John Leckie for release on October 15 2012, Broadside gave Bellowhead their first Top 20 entry in the UK Official Album Charts and features the BBC Radio 2-playlisted singles Roll The Woodpile Down and 10,000 Miles Away.

Bellowhead say: “The reaction to the online concert was overwhelming and we really did enjoy playing together again. The tenth anniversary of Broadside presented an opportunity for us to take things one step further and get back out on the road. We couldn’t say no! It’s going to be lots of fun. Hope you’ll join us for the party.”

Support on all dates will come from Sam Sweeney and his band. Stroud fiddler Sweeney is not only a Bellowhead “veteran” (serving from 2008 to 2016 and now back on the front line) but also former artistic director of the National Folk Youth Ensemble.

Last year, Sweeney released his second solo album, Unearth Repeat; last Friday, he played a sold-out gig at the National Centre for Early Music, York, with Jack Rutter, acoustic guitar, Louis Campbell, electric guitar, and Ben Nicholls, double bass.

Bellowhead formed in 2004; played to thousands of people at festivals and on tour; recorded five studio albums, selling more than 250,000 copies; received two silver discs and won eight BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards before parting ways in 2016. Next autumn’s reunion itinerary is being billed as a “special one-off tour”.

Tickets go on general sale on Friday (26/22/2021) at 10am at gigst.rs/bellowhead.

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