The UK’s biggest folk band, The Conservatoire Folk Ensemble, stage their 25th Anniversary tour in 2022.
“Truly the most joyous noise I have ever heard and re-affirming my faith in the potential of the human race.” Jon Bens
The band’s touring line-up features a stage-challenging 50 members. Among them are 15 horns, four cellos, five percussionists, five electric guitarists, plus fiddles, flutes, clarinets, electric bass, acoustic guitars, and an accordion. They sing too.
Formed in 1997 at Birmingham’s prestigious Conservatoire by fiddle player and arranger Joe Broughton (Urban Folk Quartet, The Albion Band, Joss Stone), the Conservatoire Folk Ensemble have established a reputation for creating energetic and powerful shows. They have played everywhere from the Royal Albert Hall to the EU parliament in Brussels. Their increasingly popular live appearances – especially at such festivals as Cropredy, Green Man, Shambala and Kendal Calling – have left audiences ecstatic and even moved to tears.
Still based at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, the personal influences of each member shapes the set-list, as traditional English and Celtic reels slide into full-on rock grooves, funk, jazz, hip-hop, ska and reggae. Eastern European and Asian flourishes can also be heard, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the group.
This is very much 21st century folk.
This is ‘Power Folk’.