Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band
Twice-nominated for a prestigious Nationwide Mercury Music Prize with 1998’s ‘Red Rice’ and 2003’s ‘Anglicana’ Eliza is also the winner of more than five BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, and has presented awards for MOJO magazine and been invited to judge at both the Q Awards and the Ivor Novello Awards. In 2003 she became the first English traditional musician to be nominated for a BBC Radio 3 Award for World Music. In 2012 she was awarded the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Composers and this year (2014) she has been awarded an MBE for her services to folk music in the Queens birthday honours list.
In March 2005 Eliza co-presented The BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards with Benjamin Zephaniah and later the highlights of the Cambridge Folk Festival with Mark Radcliffe, events that were broadcast live on BBC Four.
She was a regular co-presenter on the Sony-Award-winning BBC R2 Mark Radcliffe show and has made several appearances on BBC TV’s ‘Later… With Jools Holland’, as well as various TV shows across the World including NBC’s Late Show with Conan O’Brien. In addition, Eliza has presented her own four-part series on the history of English folk music on BBC R2, was the subject of an hour-long documentary (ITV’s ‘Heaven and Earth’). In May 2008 she was the subject of another documentary on Channel 5, ‘My Music’ and also featured prominently in the acclaimed BBC Four ‘Folk Britannia’ season.
Stewart Lee, comedian and writer of ‘Jerry Springer: the Opera’ describes Eliza as “Not the Messiah, but a very naughty girl”. Championed by John Peel, Andy Kershaw and Billy Bragg from an early age, in 2001 when she played the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury the festival’s organiser Michael Eavis claimed to have discovered her.
Not only enthralled by folk music from England, Eliza featured on Billy’s Grammy Award winning albums with Wilco, ‘Mermaid Avenue’ volumes One and Two, which celebrated the work of Woody Guthrie. In 2001 she was a part of Hal Wilner’s concerts in Los Angeles and London celebrating the work of the American archivist Harry Smith, alongside Elvis Costello, Beck and Van Dyke Parks among others. This collaboration has continued with her inclusion in the ongoing Rogue’s Gallery project created by Wilner and actor Johnny Depp, also featuring Bryan Ferry, Sting, the Wainwright/McGarrigle family, Richard and Teddy Thompson and actor Tim Robbins.
Other noted collaborations include a startling array of musical heroes from around the globe, from live work with pianist-songwriter Ed Harcourt, guesting with Patrick Wolf on his most recent album ‘The Bachelor’, the Imagined Village (a World music and English trad adventure with members of The Bays, Transglobal Ungerground and Afro Celt Soundsystem), Tim Eriksen, Paul Weller, Jools Holland, jazz legend Bill Frisell, seminal Scots Latin/trad fusion band Salsa Celtica, Finnish Lord of the Rings composers Vartinna, Joan Baez, Cerys Matthews and 1990’s dance pioneers Red Snapper to many, many more.
Eliza also produces or co-produces all her own records and has co-produced both of her parents’ last solo albums as well as ‘Gift’, the much acclaimed award winning Eliza Carthy/Norma Waterson album, that she also arranged and played most of the instrumentation for, and most recently the highly awaited duo album with her Dad, Martin Carthy – ‘The Moral of the Elephant’ – which received fantastic reviews everywhere.
Touring on and off since the age of fourteen Eliza has appeared at a huge number of live events, multi-artist concerts and benefits from Robin Hood’s Bay Village Hall to the Albert Hall. She has been a part of three Meltdowns at London’s Southbank: those of Nick Cave, Patti Smith and Richard Thompson. This year she has been invited to curate her own three day event at Kings Place in London.
In addition to live work she is becoming sought-after for film and television music: for TV Hullaballoo’s The Squirrel, the Hare and the Little Grey Rabbit, and most recently as historical music advisor and musician on two new films in production, Tulip Fever (opening Winter 2015) starring Judi Dench, and a new adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd (Spring 2015) starring Carey Mulligan.
The patron of two longstanding and well-respected folk festivals – Cheltenham and Whitby – Eliza is an ambassador for Resonance FM radio and the Vagina Monologues. In addition to this, she is on the Folk Advisory Committee at the Sage Gateshead with North-East-based folk/educational organisation Folkworks and involved with the English Folk Dance and Song Society, their youngest ever Gold Badge recipient, and they recently made her Vice-President.
Her most recent appointment is the newly created Associate Artist post for 2014 and 2015 at Sage Gateshead, succeeding Kathryn Tickell, where she will be leading and curating many and varied musical projects and events.
Yorkshire-born and based in Edinburgh since 1997, Eliza Carthy grew up immersed in the world of traditional English music. She has lived a life based on the philosophy that it is a genre worthy of and equal to any other, and that musicians need no boundaries and deserve no restrictions to what they do as artists.
To her, all music is connected and should be taken at all times at face value. This makes for a sometimes bewildering body of work that straddles genres and is always fascinating and adventurous, never static or predictable. She tries never to repeat herself which makes less for comfortable ‘greatest hits’ shows and more for intelligent, questioning, moving and quite often hilarious evenings of mutual, good-natured confusion and dialogue between artist and audience.
And finally she leads, in the 12-piece powerhouse supergroup that is the Wayward Band, one of the best festival acts around, in any genre.
No rest for the wicked. See what happens.
‘You Know Me is my response to what has been happening in this country politically over the last year and longer, specifically in regard to the shameful way we have been treating desperate, uprooted people that need our help. Often those who have been driven from their homes have been put in this position because of our governments’ foreign policy, and yet we have turned our backs on them for the sake of garnering the votes of the uninformed in our general election. I couldn’t let it stand any longer; I had to say how I feel.
I don’t care about immigration or international finance, what I care about is ensuring not another child has to drown in the Mediterranean for the sake of my ‘country’, whatever that is, whatever that means. Not in my name. I care about holding my arms open to those that have nothing; I care about the great tradition of hospitality, freedom of thought and speech. I have never turned anyone from my door and would never turn anyone away from my shore. Not in my name. There is plenty for everyone; the fruit in our garden is good.’ Eliza Carthy
An exclusive limited edition 7” vinyl will be available ONLY from Eliza and the Wayward Band, at gigs in 2015.
***** The Guardian, Live Review
The Wayward Live Band:
Sam Sweeney (Bellowhead)
David Delarre (Mawkin)
Barn Stradling (Soe’za, Blowzabella, Kings of Calicutt)
Saul Rose (Whapweasel,Edward II,Waterson:Carthy,Kings of Callicut)
Beth Porter (Eliza Carthy Band, Reg Meuross),
Lucy Farrell (Emily Portman Trio)
Willy Molleson (Peatbog Fearies, Kith & Kin)
Andrew Waite (Tyde), Laurence Hunt (Dreams of Tall Buildings)
Nick Malcolm (Moonlight Saving Time)
Adrien “Yen-Yen” Toulouse (Fanfare Gonzo)