Folk-rock legends Steeleye Span bring their 50th birthday party to Ipswich
- Credit: Archant
Legendary folk-rockers Steeleye Span are bringing a musical birthday party to the Ipswich Regent next month as they celebrate their 50th anniversary together.
Featuring some of the most famous names in folk music from down the years.. (Martin Carthy, Tim Hart, Bob Johnson, John Kirkpatrick, Peter Knight, Ken Nicol, Liam Genockey), the band has perhaps been most identified with Maddy Prior - one of the most distinctive voices in British music. Helping found the band with her musical partner Tim Hart, she has steered Steeleye through their various incarnations, as well as a successful solo career and a number of regular collaborations with the likes of June Tabor and The Carnival Band.
When Steeleye Span were formed in 1969, the charts were filled with a wonderful mix of different sounds. David Bowie rubbed shoulders with Elvis Presley, Led Zeppelin were the new boys on the block performing alongside mega-bands like The Beatles and The Who. Switch on the radio and you would hear hits like ‘Space Oddity’. ‘Suspicious Minds’. ‘Pinball Wizard’. ‘Whole Lotta Love’. ‘Come Together’ and ‘Get Back’.
It’s clear that 1969 was a vintage year for music. It was also the year that gave birth to a band that would start as an idea to electrify traditional music and would go on to become one of the most enduring stories in the folk rock world and beyond. Over the past fifty years, Steeleye Span have come to define the concept of English folk rock - taking it from the world of small clubs into the charts, concert halls and festivals around the globe.
Their career has included incredible moments such as taking Latin carol ‘Gaudete’ onto Top Of The Pops, recording with David Bowie and Peter Sellers, showering their audiences with pound notes, scoring a top five hit with ‘All Around My Hat’, touring UK arenas with Status Quo, reuniting virtually all their members for a famous 25th anniversary show and entering their fifth decade as creatively inspired and active as ever - including the acclaimed Wintersmith album with Sir Terry Pratchett.
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Steeped in the mythology and history of the British Isles - and beyond - her lyrics have retold some of the most notable stories in the tradition. Tales of love, tragedy, injustice, murder, revenge and redemption - all have come to personify the band’s musical sound, a marrying of folk tunes with the finest in rock instrumentation.
As they celebrate their milestone anniversary, Steeleye Span show no signs of slowing down. Releasing seven studio and four live albums since the turn of the century, their current seven piece line-up ranks as one of the strongest of their long history and features John Kirkpatrick’s son Benji from Bellowhead amongst others.
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They will release their 24th studio album Est 1969, later this year which will kickstart another chapter in one of the most famous stories in modern music.
Steeleye Span will be bringing their 50th birthday party to the Ipswich Corn Exchange on Thursday April 11. Tickets can be booked online at apps.ipswich.gov.uk