Fay Hield at the Tree House Bookshop

Thursday 4th April 2024 from 19:30

Fay Hield is embarking on her first ever solo tour. Following a stellar career performing with many of the folk scene’s most eminent musicians, Fay is taking the leap to put her voice and the songs front and centre. She is touring an intimate series of venues so audiences can get up and close to the music. Expect engaging stories about the songs and why she sings them, including big ballads, silly songs and nursery rhymes and of course many chances to sing along in true folk club style.

Born and raised in Yorkshire, musician and academic Fay Hield seemed destined to carve a career in folk music. Growing up in the famous Bacca Pipes Folk Club in Keighley, Fay formed a bond of community and tradition that would go on to inspire. Whilst at university in Newcastle studying for a Bachelor of Music in folk and traditional music, she formed the acappella folk quartet the Witches of Elswick in 2001 with fellow house mates. The quartet disbanded after six years together, and Fay took time out of performing for a few years which she studied for a PhD. In 2009, after a move to the fringes of Sheffield Fay returned leading a trio with Leveret’s Rob Harbron and Sam Sweeney, playing obscure and rarely performed traditional folk songs. Released on Topic Records in 2010, her debut album, Looking Glass, featured a mix of traditional songs and ballads. 

In 2010 she also completed her PhD in English folk singing and the construction of community. Fay’s second album, Orfeo, came two years later in 2012, and saw her backed by the Hurricane Party, consisting of Jon Boden, Rob Harbron, Sam Sweeney, Andy Cutting and Martin Simpson. The following year Fay put together the folk supergroup the Full English, conceived to celebrate the bringing together of folk song collections by the English Folk Song and Dance Society through creation of the most comprehensive and searchable database of British folk songs, tunes, dances, and customs.

After two years of touring with The Full English, and having received two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Fay returned to focus on her third solo album. Utilizing the skills of the Hurricane Party as her backing, she was also joined by Ben Nicholls from the Full English to record
2016’s album ‘Old Adam’. 

Following the 2018-19 Modern Fairies research project, which sought to draw supernatural archival sources to contemporary audiences, Fay released her latest album Wrackline. Exploring ideas of the space between, Wrackline looks to ghosts, fairies, spirits and talking animals to understand what it is about the unknown that entrances us. Working with traditional materials, and developing them with new compositions, Fay explores the feelings they evoke and how they relate to her experience in the contemporary world. Universal ideas of death, love, motherhood echo through time and space. The songs on Wrackline play with these difficult ideas through the eyes of an unobtainable other, whether that be the dearly departed, a fairy from another realm, or the thoughts of animals, gives us space to work through very real social problems. Shifting between lighthearted stories about drunks sitting with pigs, to darker questions about infanticide, Fay breathes life and meaning into old stories presenting them with a fresh twist.

In her solo performances you can expect to be enveloped in music, woven through magical stories and teased into thinking about your relationship with the world around you. A singer who seems to have been born knowing how to carry a tune, but with the rarer gift of knowing how to go straight to the heart of a song. Fay combines vision, inspiration and outstanding musicianship into a fresh and original exploration of how we use songs, stories and music to understand what it means to be human. Fay breathes new life into timeless stories.

7.30pm start, 7pm doors.

The Tree House Bookshop in collaboration with Kenilworth Arts Festival.

Refund policy: we will only give refunds if a gig is sold out, and more than a week before the event. If you request a refund in the 7 days prior to the event, we will try to resell your tickets and refund your purchase if we are successful.

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