Behind the scenes, however, SUPERFOLKUS is a training and mentoring scheme for young musicians aged between 15 and 25 years old, founded and led by Kathryn Tickell, who also performs with them.
SUPERFOLKUS are an irrepressible force, they don’t just breathe new life into the traditional and contemporary tunes and songs of Northumberland and beyond…they blast them into new and uncharted territory! These six musicians will blow you away with their fresh new sound. We defy you to keep track of all the various combinations of guitars, mandolins, fiddles, voices, keyboards, percussion, accordion and Northumbrian pipes from this amazing group of multi-instrumentalists. But watch out - after you’ve been invigorated by the drive, swing and sheer technical virtuosity of the music you may find yourself moved to tears by an evocative song or slow air and by the obvious commitment and passion of these young players.
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In addition to Kathryn on Northumbrian pipes and fiddle, we are proud to present the 2015/16 SUPERFOLKUS lineup:
Eve Simpson – voice, guitar, keyboards
Eve is a 16-year-old singer/songwriter from South Shields who has been writing and gigging for 3 years. She has won several competitions including The Best of South Tyneside's Young Performer of the Year award 2015 and the Sunderland Live songwriting competition. Through her songwriting, Eve has supported grammy-nominated Beth Nielsen Chapman at The Sage Gateshead and recently supported Joe McElderry, Collabro and Lola Saunders at The South Tyneside Fest to 20,000 people.
Sophie Lynch – guitar, mandolin, fiddle
At the age of 17 Sophie is already a seasoned performer, having toured New York State with the Northumbrian Ranters and performed at the Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago with Folkestra as well as numerous concerts throughout the North East. She was also a semifinalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk award 2015 with Reely Ceol.
Scott Turnbull – guitar, mandolin, keyboards
From the Scots side of the border, Scott has won several national music competitions. He has been trained by musicians such as Harris Playfair, Ross Milligan and Ian Stephenson, as well as spending a year in Folkestra. Scott is also a member of Reely Ceol.
Michael Biggins – piano, piano accordion
Michael is currently studying piano at Chethams School of Music. He originally picked up the piano accordion as a hobby however since then has gone on to win many awards both local and national. He was a semi-finalist in the 2014 BBC Young Folk Award and has toured as a pianist and accordionist across the UK and abroad to places such as Chicago, USA and Banff, Canada.
Richard Hammond – percussion, mandolin
Richard has been playing percussion (among other things) in several styles and settings for a while now. An occasional member of Guerilla Ceilidh and regular feature in Newcastle band 'Love and Lies', he has recently finished a Masters degree in music, focusing on tuned percussion and improvisation within folk styles.