Manchester Folk Festival 2021/ Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening plus support from Pengetős Trio and The Last Inklings

Kathryn Tickell – Northumbrian smallpipes, fiddle, voice
Amy Thatcher – accordion, voice, clog dancing
Stef Connor – voice, lyres
Kieran Szifris – octave mandolin
Joe Truswell – drums, percussion

Musicians from Northumberland, Scotland and England invoke the dark, powerful, shamanic sounds of Ancient Northumbria and broadcast them to the modern world.

Their inspiration comes from the wild, dramatic, weather-bitten countryside along Hadrian’s Wall, which seems so quintessentially Northumbrian…and yet, almost 2000 years ago that same landscape was inhabited by people from around the world, worshipping different gods and following different customs.

Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening embrace that global perspective, bringing some of the oldest Northumbrian tunes and songs throbbing to life, intermingling them with new material and binding it all together with contemporary resonance and attitude.
Fresh sounds merge with ancient influences. Expansive sonic textures are created. Dazzling duets from Kathryn’s pipes and Amy’s accordion contrast with the dark and dirty riffs and rhythms of Kieran’s octave mandolin. Intrepid world-traveller Kate adds her fearless explorations and the inventive use of drums and percussion unites the ensemble.

Band members are also known for their work with: Sting, Soumik Datta, The Shee, Monster Ceilidh Band, Songs of Separation, Carthy, Oates, Farrell & Young, Tarras, the Kathryn Tickell Band and many more.

Pengetős Trio

Each year in partnership with English Folk Expo we work with an international territory to highlight new talent and ensure Manchester Folk Festival continues to celebrate a global talent. This year we welcome artists from Hungary.

Three long-lost cousins – the zither, the tambura and the cobza – meet in the music of the Pengetős (Plunking) Trio.

Their musical creativity is rooted in their respect for traditions and allows for the creation of mature, unique sounds. Poetry, virtuosity, innovation and tradition are all characteristics of Pengetős Trio’s music.

The members of the band are all committed to authentic Hungarian folk music. They regularly perform on stage in Hungary and abroad and they also teach music. Alexandra Berta is a Junior Prima Award holding artist, folkmusic education professional at the Hungarian Heritage House; Zalán Csenki is a teacher at Béla Bartók Conservatoire as well as at Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest; Bálint Horváth is a student of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest.

The Last Inklings

The Last Inklings are Leonardo MacKenzie and David Hoyland, formerly of Kadia; both are accomplished multi-instrumentalists with a solid folk background. The band’s innovative sound crosses genres, centred around cello, mandolin and vocal harmony, layered with guitar, piano, strings, synths and percussion. With vibrant backstories and creative musicianship, their songs have a modern flavour that is rich with imagery and narrative, exploring at their core what it is to be human.

Their name is a nod to the mid 20th century literary group which included Tolkein and CS Lewis, although their inspiration is drawn from wider sources than just these authors, ranging from Carl Jung to Terry Pratchett. Thoughtful depth is handled with a light touch, balanced with playfulness, metaphor and humour. Musically their influences are equally diverse, including artists such as Moulettes, Punch Brothers, and the cinematic soundscapes of composers like Max Richter to the traditional songs and tunes of the British Isles.
The Last Inklings release their debut album in Autumn 2021, following the release of their EP Alchemy in Spring 2020

“Exceptional vocal harmonies” – Folk Radio UK
“Very nice indeed” – BBC Radio Scotland
“Captivating” – Fatea Magazine

Watch Online

This performance is also being livestreamed. Find out more and book tickets to the livestream here.

This event is part of Manchester Folk Festival – an urban folk festival. It takes place from 21-23 October 2021, in and around HOME and the city centre. Over the autumn weekend, they present an exhilarating range of events, with the spotlight on contemporary and traditional English folk music.


2 hours and 30 minutes

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