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Eliza Carthy in Bury

Pioneer of contemporary folk music, Eliza Carthy brings her Wayward Band to Bury St Edmunds.

If there is one musician who embodies the dynamism and vitality of the current English folk revival, it’s Eliza Carthy. Beloved of staunch traditionalists and iconoclasts alike, Eliza’s music effortlessly crosses boundaries of genre and style. Whether performing a centuries-old ballad or a self-written song, her powerful, nuanced voice, fiercely beautiful fiddle playing and mesmerizing live performances have influenced a whole generation of young musicians.

Daughter of Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson, Eliza Carthy grew up immersed in the world of traditional music and is undoubtedly one of the most impressive and engaging performers of her generation. Launching head-on into the scene in the early 1990s, she quickly became one of its great innovators. Championed from an early age by the likes of John Peel, Andy Kershaw, Billy Bragg and Glastonbury founder Michael Eavis, she has spearheaded the re-emergence of English traditional music as a vibrant, exciting genre.

Eliza has rarely stood still artistically: from the purest unaccompanied traditional songs to original music incorporating myriad influences, she has moved through English folk music like a force of nature, stirring it up and putting it back on the map through television, radio and live performance. With a wealth of experience under her belt, Eliza’s talent has matured and is flourishing and she continues to bring new audiences to English folk through well-judged collaborations, recordings and performances.

Her achievements have been acknowledged with eight BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, two Mercury Prize nominations, and an MBE for services to folk music. Eliza has revitalised folk music and captured the most hardened of dissenters with her intelligent, charismatic and boundary-crossing performance.

To celebrate over 20 years in the business, in 2013 Eliza mustered an all-star band, featuring many of the leading figures from her life, to cover traditional songs and favourites from her long career in music. The Wayward Band is bursting with some of the finest players in recent times, and includes members of Bellowhead, Mawkin, Blowzabella, Edward II and Peatbog Fairies: Sam Sweeney, David Delarre, Barn Stradling, Saul Rose, Beth Porter, Lucy Farrell, Willy Molleson, Andrew Waite, Laurence Hunt, Nick Malcolm, Adrien “Yen-Yen” Toulouse.

Their album ‘Big Machine’ is undoubtedly one of Eliza’s most adventurous and accomplished works to date and their live show is equally as impressive, ambitious and exhilarating. Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band can’t contain their infectious joy and irreverence while playing live and the band have soon become festival favourites.

Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band are at The Apex on Thursday 21 December at 8pm. Tickets are £20, ring the box office on 01284 758000 or see the website – www.theapex.co.uk for details.