Chart star Imelda May has been added to the headliners of Towersey Festival – the UK’s longest-running independent festival – which has moved to a new location at Claydon Estate, Buckinghamshire for the 2022 August Bank Holiday weekend.
Appearing on the Friday, Imelda is one of Ireland’s most respected female singer-songwriters, with a love of storytelling, and her last album “11 Past The Hour” (Decca), featured Ronnie Wood, Noel Gallagher, Miles Kane and a cohort of female activists.
Last year’s album release saw Imelda playlisted on Radio 2 and performing live on Graham Norton’s TV show, and widespread praise from the media.
The festival has come a long way since the first event in Grandpa’s back garden in 1965. The now well-established festival, is a firm favourite of the local communities throughout Bucks/Berks and Oxfordshire, and lovers of folk and alternative music from across the UK.
With a mix of contemporary and traditional acts, such as sea shanty band The Longest Johns (who made the news on Tik Tok last year), to Scottish alternative rock band Del Amitri, whose 1990 anthem “Nothing Ever Happens'” is a guaranteed sing-a-long to end the festival on bank holiday Monday.”
The four day event also sees Barnsley folk royalty Kate Rusby, acoustic indie trailblazers Turin Brakes, Grammy and Tony award-winning singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and comedy legend (and Strictly Come Dancing star) Bill Bailey do their thing.
80s pop icon Howard Jones will be performing a fresh take on his best-known hits, as part of the Howard Jones Acoustic Trio. Imelda May replaces previously announced Tom Odell to appear on day one.
Other confirmed additions to the music and comedy line-up include Scottish singer-songwriter Eddi Reader, alt-folk artist This Is The Kit, Scottish rock band Skerryvore, Celtic folk-punk band Ferocious Dog, comedian Rob Deering, folk band Talisk, the Americana-influenced Police Dog Hogan and contemporary Highlands fiddle band Blazin’ Fiddles.
Lots more….folk singer-songwriter Kris Drever, London’s Hackney Colliery Band, Peter Knight’s Gigspanner Big Band, London-based song-writing duo Ferris & Sylvester, comedian Laura Lexx, English roots band Edward II, festival favourites The Langan Band, ‘bloke-folk’ band Faustus and another 50+ music and comedy acts across 10 stages and venues.
Over at the Festival Dance House, there will be swing & jive dancing, along with ballroom, ballet, contra, a silent disco, music from the Yiddish Twist Orchestra, DJs playing Afrobeat, roots reggae and blues and 24+ hours of ceilidh.
Established in 1965 as a one-day event to raise funds for the repair of Towersey Village Hall, the festival has grown to become one of the UK’s major arts and music festivals. Run by three generations of the same family (with a fourth in training).
Festival director, Joe Heap, said: “The sense of community, joy and togetherness that is at the heart of Towersey is something we are all longing for right now. We want nothing more than to be back in a field dancing with you and your loved ones under the sun.
“We’re excited to be in our beautiful new home of Claydon Estate in Buckinghamshire for the most exciting festival yet, a worthy testament to my grandad, it’s founder back in 1965”.
Imelda May says: “I cannot wait to see you, to dance and sing together, to connect and feel the sparkle, where music makes us feel alive and elevated for a while. A magical feeling we can only get from live music. Let’s go!”
Imelda May (live on-stage) photo: Simon Redley