Ange Hardy & Lukas Drinkwater
Ange Hardy & Lukas Drinkwater
16th April 2016
It’s been less than 2 months since the official release of Ange Hardy’s latest album ‘Esteesee’ but folk audiences and reviewers have already been asking the difficult question: where does Ange Hardy go from here?
Since she burst onto the folk scene in 2013 with her stripped back album ‘Bare Foot Folk’ Ange Hardy has continued to release a 14-track album every year. The 2014 release of ‘The Lament of The Black Sheep’ led to Ange being nominated at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards which provided the platform for writing and releasing‘Esteesee‘ in 2014.
The ‘Along the Coleridge Way’ tour which accompanied the release of Esteesee saw Ange Hardy and Lukas Drinkwater performing live as duo for the first time - and the unanimous feedback night after night, was that the two are exceptional musicians - but that together, they form a jaw dropping duo greater than the sum of its parts: with Ange Hardy on vocals, harp, guitar, low whistle, shruti, drum and also continuing to use her loop pedals, together with Lukas on double bass, guitar and vocals.
For those unfamiliar with the musical genius of Lukas, he has been labelled as one of the hardest working session musicians on the folk circuit. The last few years have seen him performing in a duo with regular BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominated Jim Causley, as one half of a duo with Tobias ben Jacob, with European festival favourites Tankus the Henge and 3 Daft Monkeys, playing Jazz percussion for Lisa Marini, performing with The Little Unsaid and recording countless sessions with esteemed funk & soul producer Lack of Afro.
Twice last year he performed live on the BBC Radio 2 Folk Show and on top of that he’s found time to play as a session musician for Lucy Ward, Sam Kelly, Hollie Rogers and many more - not to mention performing on Ange Hardy’s last two albums and at their respective album launches.
More about Ange...
"She performs with a warmth that is both
disarming and inspirational. Her songs of life
and the countryside feel traditional, and she
augments voice and guitar with very effective
use of a loop pedal to add harmonies or extra
instruments. It is a great feat of perfect timing.”
R2 Magazine, January 2015.
Nominated for the Horizon Award for best emerging
talent at the 2015 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards,
Ange Hardy is a folk singer, songwriter and recording
artist from West Somerset, England.
Ange performs original contemporary songs written in a traditional style with an emphasis on vocal harmony. Ange has previously toured with three different guitars, a bag of low whistles, a bodhrán drum, a tambourine, a 27-string Salvi Harp and a shruti box. Combined with her innovative use of live looping for vocal harmonies she’s one of the most diverse solo-artists you're likely to encounter. Shortly after winning FATEA Female Vocalist of the Year award in January 2014 she was referred to by veteran folk broadcaster Mike Harding as “one of the bright stars of the new wave of folk singers” and since then Ange Hardy has established an enviable reputation as one of the fastest emerging folk acts in the UK.
She released her third studio album ‘The Lament of The Black Sheep’ to a packed theatre audience in September 2014. The album went on to receive international acclaim and was one of only three folk albums last year to be awarded 5-stars by The Telegraph. Bringing the story full circle it was in January 2015 awarded FATEA’s most prestigious award of all, Album of the Year, in the same week that Mike Harding referred to Ange Hardy as “one of the most interesting, powerful and talented singers and songwriters to come out of the last couple of years”.
The BBC Radio 2 Folk Show played tracks from all three of Ange’s latest CD’s in 2014, and the list of accolades and awards listed on her website from the past year is truly staggering. Ange has received widespread global radio coverage, with particular focus on stations in the UK, USA, The Netherlands, Australia and Canada. Whether she’s performing in a sold out theatre or an intimate village hall Ange brings a level of honesty and openness to the stage that is a refreshing as it is disarming. Her focus on vocal harmony and her pitch-perfect vocal talent has led her toward adopting a live-looping pedal; a digital tape-recorder at her feet that allows her to record and play back layers of vocal harmony live from the stage. In doing so she brings her talent as a recording artist to a live performance, adding an extra dimension to an already captivating stage presence.
Ange has been joined by folk legends that span the generations of the folk revival, with artists including Nic Jones (Penguin Eggs) and Luke Jackson (Fumes & Faith) joining her to sing her songs on stage, and Steve Knightley (Show of Hands), Patsy Reid (founding member of Braebach) and James Findlay (Radio 2 Young Folk Award Winner) joining Ange on her albums. Where ‘Bare Foot Folk’ was about stripping everything back to it’s roots ‘The Lament of The Black Sheep’ was about exploring the surrounding soil.
Her 2014 Christmas single, ‘The Little Holly Tree’, built on the unrivalled reputation she rapidly built for writing contemporary songs that sound as though they are in fact deeply traditional. In 2015 supported by public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England Ange is researching, writing and performing a new body of folk music based on the life and work of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The album is due for release in October to coincide with a 14-night rural tour along the route of The Coleridge Way. Amongst other engagements during the past year, she has live performances booked for Cambridge Folk Festival, Sark Folk Festival, Sidmouth Folk Week and The Festival at the Edge.