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Paul James and the Drowned Lovers

Paul James is best known as a member of the legendary folk band Blowzabella. His solo album The Drowned Lover and Other Dark Tales draws on traditional folk songs with strong stories and his ability to bring all kinds of musicians and influences together in striking ways. The band build on that, drawing on folklore, world music, indie rock, funk and jazz influences, to make a glorious sound that veers from quiet acoustic textures to full-blooded rock and electronica. Live they play everything on the album and a few surprising cover versions about life, death, joy and disappointment.

Paul James - vocals, saxophones. Fiona Barrow - violin. Emma Holbrook - drums. Chris Moore - keyboards. Victor Nicholls - electric guitar, loops, f/x. Jo Wadeson - bass.  

Paul James is a singer and musician from Newbury. He plays with folk legends Blowzabella, the European band Evening Star and the folk-dance band The Playford Liberation Front. He composed the music for the critically acclaimed "Comus" at Shakespeare’s Globe in 2016 and you occasionally hear his music as part of the scores for TV programmes and documentaries. 

Fiona Barrow is a Bristol based violinist who trained classically until she defected to follow her love of traditional and world music and theatre.  She has worked as street performer across Europe with Tragic Roundabout, Fiasco di Casino and Swervy World and toured with the Doppelgänger Gypsy Orchestra. Her theatre work includes stints with Kneehigh Theatre, Travelling Lights award- winning show ʻInto The Westʼ on Broadway and the critically acclaimed 'Comus' at Shakespeare’s Globe with Paul James. 

Emma Holbrook is a drummer, percussionist and film maker based in Bristol. Being passionate about all kinds of music, she plays everything from swing to funk, soul, blues, folk and flamenco. She also plays percussion and composes music for contemporary dance classes and performance.

Chris Moore started his music career in 1965 working in theatre and bands (Bruce Ruffin, A-Level). He has composed and accompanied for the London Contemporary Dance Theatre and Ballet Rambert and run his own recording studio in his home town of Brighton. Most recently he's been playing with The Informers and Lost Wages.

Victor Nicholls plays jazz, rock, funk, improvised and experimental music on electric guitar and bass with loops and fx. He's played with theatre orchestras, brass bands, and post-punk groups and is a member of Evening Star.

Jo Wadeson began playing bass at the age of 14 in the pubs of Derbyshire. Since then she has gone on to perform and record with many well-known artists including The Waterboys, Grace Jones, Thea Gilmore and Beth Orton.


Support Act: Chris Hopgood

  • Paul James and the Drowned Lovers

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