Oka Vanga 2016
Saturday 15th October 2016
As a multi-talented duo, William Cox and Angela Meyer move effortlessly from playing well known traditional songs and instrumentals to their own songs. Seamless guitar playing is combined with contributions from them on ukulele and mandolin to create a music set of variety and interest. Recently described as having both “great musicianship and really fine songs” by Mike Harding, fans of both Folk and Roots music are sure to find something they will enjoy in their music.
Hailing from London, Will sites a chance encounter with John Renbourn as the catalyst for him to take his guitar playing more seriously when he was a teenager. Will, a multi-instrumentalist (Lowden Steel string guitar, Gretsch ukulele, Epiphone electro-coustic mandolin) is also an established music teacher in Hertfordshire.
Originally from South Africa, Angie (Lead vocals, Burguet Nylon string guitar, Taylor Steel string guitar) picked up the guitar at the age of 6. She immersed herself in an eclectic world of music, studying classical guitar greats alongside song writing masters, World music alongside Film music, before finally re-locating to the UK in 1999. She and Will formed Oka Vanga in 2008, naming their duo after a unique river delta in Africa recognised for it’s natural beauty.
Their talent for writing original music, initially working within a range of styles, has been critically acclaimed, with their album “Pilgrim” awarded 'Instrumental Album of the Year' by FATEA Magazine, in 2015. They continue to receive positive reviews for their rich repertoire of songs and dynamic live performances...
“exceptionally brilliant…they are so in tune with each other that the rhythm and lead swap back and forth between them like a thread being woven into a complex tapestry.” Pete Bradley, FATEA
“Wholly engrossing – spellbinding technique, delightful expression, scintillating synergy and a world-spanning, hypnotic folk and roots vibe.” - Charlie Elland, FolkWords
“A virtuoso performance without any of the pretence, there are fantastic techniques, lush sounds, evocative chords and really gorgeous sounding guitar playing.” Danny Farragher, FolkAll
Their most recent EP is entitled “Tales Of Eyam’ and was released in October 2015. It is principally a human story – about love and loss, resolution and self-sacrifice – each part of the human condition. It is a concept EP of 5 tracks linked by the folklore, history and tales of the village of Eyam in Derbyshire.
Oka Vanga have recreated those qualities through sensitive music and song, and they’ve done it incredibly well - with the addition of Angela's beautiful and haunting lead vocals - they are also accompanied on the album by Isobel Smith on cello.
"The bleak sadness and longing of ‘Til the End (Emmott’s Song)’ reflects through the exquisite composition of music and lyric.”
- Tim Carroll, Folkwords.
“The guitars and vocals are incredible, right across the EP. Essentially Oka Vanga are still the same guitar duo that delivered “Pilgrim” and the rich interactions between their two instruments still make lush music together, the real difference is that in the interim Angela has found the confidence to reveal her voice to the world and a damned fine voice it is too - whether it’s carrying the song, 'Song Of The Dell' or driving the song forward, 'Witching Hour'.” Neil King, FATEA
They explain the inspiration to this EP, in their own words...
"In the Summer of 2011 we were on a road trip, driving our way through Derbyshire when we happened to stop in for a unscheduled tea break in the little village of Eyam. Secluded amongst the Pennines, we were immediately struck by the beauty of this tiny hamlet and the tragic story of love and loss that it had to tell.
We heard, for the first time, of Emmott Sydell and Rowland Torre - filled with all the hopes and dreams of a young betrothed couple in 1665 and caught up in the village’s unfolding disaster. Such were the compelling details of this true love story, tinged with folk lore and the superstitions of the 17th century that we were moved and inspired to write an EP of songs dedicated to their memory.”
“Tales of Eyam is a beautiful E.P – great musicianship and really fine songs.” - Mike Harding
"Great vocals and instrumentation, really enjoyed!” - Blues and Roots Radio
“Perfect Folk Fayre – as someone (nearly) once said, one small step for man, a giant leap for Oka Vanga.” - Mike Ainscoe, Bright Young Folk
“It is a gorgeous album, in fact it’s more of a musical story book. Meyer has a lovely, gentle voice, soft as a windborne feather and as emotionally loaded as two new lovers. Add to this their incredible gift on the guitars and you have something special.”
- Danny Farragher, Folkall
“Great vocals and instrumentation, really enjoyed!” Blues and Roots Radio
“Will and Angie…pat yourselves on the back- it’s a wonderful EP!” - Brian Player, Acoustic Cafe
“To hear that voice…what a well kept secret! Well done guys!”
- Rick Stuart, Roots and Fusion Radio