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A spectacular two-part show, featuring the already classic seven-piece line-up the band debuted in 2018, who will play a long and generous set in two halves. Centred as always around the guitar and vocals of Mike Scott, The Waterboys feature electric fiddle maestro Steve Wickham of whom DJ Chris Evans says: "I've had Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page on my show but the best guitar solo we've ever had was played on this man's fiddle"; Memphis soul man Brother Paul on keyboards; Aongus "funkiest man in Ireland" Ralston on bass; Jess Kav & Zeenie Summers on backing vocals; and top British drummer Ralph Salmins.
They promise an incendiary set comprising brilliant new material and the best of their recent and vintage work. The band's last three albums Out Of All This Blue (2017), Modern Blues (2015) and An Appointment With Mr Yeats (2011) re-established them as one of the crucial bands currently working out of these islands. Many of their songs including Fisherman's Blues, The Whole Of The Moon and How Long Will I Love You have become modern classics and they remain one of the most unmissable live acts in the world.
With a look that falls somewhere between Adam Ant and Prince and a sound that blends glam rock, psychedelic folk and indie pop, Charles Costa is one of the most compelling and exhilarating live performers in Britain. His 2012 album Loveblood launched the exuberant hit singles 'Mississippi Isabel', 'Bam Bam' and 'Lady Percy'. His Gamble for a Rose album appeared in 2016, and his new single Freak has just been released. Come. He’s fabulous.
Party night, fronted by Nigerian singer Eno Williams. Ibibio Sound Machine is a clash of African and electronic elements inspired in equal measure by the golden era of West African funk and disco and modern post-punk and electro. Long lauded for their jubilant, explosive live shows, the band capture spectacular energy in their new album Doko Mien. Ibibio Sound Machine is Eno Williams (vocals), Alfred Kari Bannerman (guitar), Anselmo Netto (percussion), Jose Joyette (drums), Derrick McIntyre (bass), Tony Hayden (trombone, synth), Scott Baylis (trumpet, synth), and Max Grunhard (saxophone, synth).
In the depths of winter in 1705 the young Johann Sebastian Bach, then unknown as a composer and earning a modest living as a teacher and organist, set off on a long journey by foot to Lübeck to visit the composer Dieterich Buxterhude, a distance of more than 250 miles. This journey and its destination were a pivotal point in the life of arguably the greatest composer the world has yet seen. Lübeck was Bach’s moment, when a young teacher with a reputation for intolerance of his pupils’ failings began his journey to become the master of the Baroque. Chaired by Kirsty Lang.
A compendium of travellers’ tales and the general shenanigans of twenty years as a travelling comedian. With musical virtuosity, surreal tangents and trademark intelligence, Bill Bailey tackles politics, philosophy and the pursuit of happiness. Plus, he fashions a symphony from a ringtone, tells the real story of Old McDonald and reimagines the Stars and Stripes. Two decades of touring larks from a comic described by the Daily Telegraph as “the brainiest comic of his generation”. “Joyous, playful, effortlessly funny” – Time Out.
The guitarist plays a meditative late-night concert featuring music by Robert Schumann, Agustin Barrios, Graeme Koenhe, John Dowland and Roland Dyens.
Handel was only twenty-seven and largely self-taught when he followed his princely master to England, where the Hanoverian prince became King George II. Handel would be at the heart of musical activity in London for the next four decades, composing masterpiece after masterpiece from the glorious coronation anthem, Zadok the Priest and operas such as Giulio Cesare, Rinaldo and Alcina to the great oratorios, culminating in Messiah. Glover, who has conducted Handel’s work in opera houses and concert halls throughout the world, draws on her profound understanding of music and musicians to tell Handel’s story. Chaired by Clemency Burton-Hill.
The first of four recitals broadcast from Hay this week. Maurice Ravel Sonata for violin and piano, No.2; Cecile Chaminade Romanza Appasionata, Op.31; Cecile Chaminade Serenade Espagnole (arr. Kreisler); Karol Szymanowski Myths: La Fontaine d’Arethuse, Op.30, No.1; Camille Saint-Saens Havanaise in E Major, Op.83; Maurice Ravel Tzigane.
It’s twenty years since the Welsh Assembly opened its doors for the first time, instituted in a referendum with a marginal majority on a low turnout, but backed with a formidable soundtrack of contemporary rock music. The Institute of Welsh Affairs brings together politicians and cultural figures to reflect on how ‘Cool Cymru’ helped create an atmosphere for a ‘Yes’ vote, and on what has and hasn’t been achieved in the two decades since 1999. David Melding has been a Conservative Assembly Member since 1999. Bethan Elfyn joined BBC Radio 1 and has now been a champion of new Welsh music for over two decades. Rachel Trezise won the first Dylan Thomas Prize and has become one of the leading writers of prose and plays in post-devolution Wales. Writer Rhian E Jones’s article on the relationship between politics and culture at the time of Cool Cymru appears in the latest issue of the welsh agenda. Dylan Moore is the editor of the welsh agenda and the current Cymrawd Rhyngwladol Cymru Greadigol Hay Festival / Hay Festival Creative Wales International Fellow.
One of Britain’s most experienced and versatile pianists appears at Hay Festival for the first time with the world première of a cycle of Preludes and Fugues by Howard Skempton, a composer loved for his accessible but highly individual and beautifully crafted miniatures. Alongside some iconic romantic repertoire from Liszt, Mendelssohn and Chopin, Howard also plays a selection of piano love songs that he commissioned for his hugely successful album Sixteen Contemporary Love Songs. William Howard and Howard Skempton will introduce the repertoire in conversation with Clemency Burton-Hill, commencing the concert at 7.30pm.
Baloji is an artist in motion, a musician, poet, film director, a man of images and ideas. He’s in motion like the inhabitants of Avenue Kaniama in Lubumbashi. In motion like the synthetic Afrobeats he produces, the fruit of an unlikely alliance between rockrumba and futurist funk. In perpetual motion, like his limbs on stage as he fronts the Kaniama Show band, leading them in a sensual voodoo trance. 137 Avenue Kaniama is Baloji’s third album. Baloji means ‘man of science’ in Swahili, but during the colonial period that meaning shifted as a result of Christian evangelisation, to signify ‘man of the occult sciences’ and then ‘sorcerer’. He is full of wonders. His live shows are spectacular, joyful celebrations.
The second of four recitals broadcast from Hay this week. Maurice Ravel’s Gaspard de la Nuit (Ondine); Claude Debussy Preludes Book 1 (L’isle Joyeuse); Modest Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition.
Crossing between love, gender, sexuality and religion, and singing in solidarity with the innocent, persecuted, oppressed and threatened, Ezra Furman provides a soundtrack like no other for the current fear and loathing in America. A wildly intelligent, phenomenal live performer and deft lyricist, Ezra made three albums with his band The Harpoons, then a crowd-funded solo record before he released Day of the Dog in late 2013 and followed it up with critically acclaimed record Perpetual Motion People in 2015 – both made with his band The Boyfriends. Selling out London’s Roundhouse in 2016, performing on Jools Holland and playing Coachella in 2017 has established him as a popular, exciting and energetic live act, while his audience has grown globally through exposure to his music on the Netflix series Sex Education. He plays Hay (which is just upstream from Symonds Yat, you Sex Education fans!) with his album Transangelic Exodus and a ‘new’ band, The Visions.
The third of four recitals broadcast from Hay this week. Claude Debussy’s Trois Melodies; Maurice Ravel’s Cinq Melodies Populaires Grecques; Maurice Ravel’s Histoires Naturelles; Henri Duparc’s Extase, La Vague et la Cloche, Phidyle.
The last of our four recitals broadcast from Hay this week. Maurice Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major; Karol Szymanowski’s String Quartet No.1 in C Major, Op.37.
The legendary salsa, pop and flamenco outfit hail from the south of France. They first captured the world’s imagination in 1987 with the release of their self-titled album ‘Gipsy Kings’. Though it was their third release, it was the first to reach an international audience - certified gold and platinum in countries around the world and selling millions of copies, the record sparked a fire and built a fanbase that has remained loyal for decades. Since this introduction to the world stage, the Gipsy Kings have continued their momentum, selling close to twenty million albums and touring the world. Playing at festivals, events and venues in all corners of the globe, the band have become a live phenomenon, known for their energetic sets that feature infectious Latin rhythms and virtuoso guitar playing.
Despite being born and raised in France, the group’s lineage can be traced back to gitanos, Spanish Romani people who fled the Catalonia region during the Spanish Civil War. This depth of heritage can be heard in the band’s eclectic sound, which draws from a variety of sounds and traditions and reflects their ancestry. Their music is a heady concoction of rumba, flamenco and salsa, described as “a crossroads where gypsy rhapsody and flamenco meets salsa funk”. As a result, their live shows are perfect for fans of Latin, world and contemporary pop music – and just about anybody who loves to dance.
At a time when opinion trumps fact and truth is treated as nothing more than another perspective, free speech has become a battleground. While authoritarians and algorithms threaten democracy, we argue over who has the right to speak. The singer-songwriter and activist argues that, to protect ourselves from encroaching tyranny, we must look beyond this one-dimensional notion of what it means to be free and, by reconnecting liberty to equality and accountability, restore the individual agency engendered by the three dimensions of freedom.
Widely celebrated as one of the greatest poets of his generation, Zephaniah is strongly influenced by the music and poetry of Jamaica and what he calls ‘street politics’. His poetry, books and plays have captivated hearts and minds, fuelling imaginations and winning him a legion of fans all over the world. Though his music is lesser known, it is no less fervent. Created alongside his accomplished producer and collaborator The Sea, his Revolutionary Minds album is a deep selection of dub-reggae juggernauts, the essence and style of which fully reinforce the messages projected through Zephaniah’s powerful lyrics. He is one of the great performers of our age. He plays Hay with his band.
Lanny is an extraordinary novel. A devastating story told with the anarchy, humour and enchantment Max Porter’s readers will recognise from his Dylan Thomas Prize-winning Grief is the Thing with Feathers. Porter introduces the story and reads, accompanied by a specially commissioned score from the Herefordshire folk duo Alula Down.
“This village belongs to the people who live in it and to those who lived in it hundreds of years ago. It belongs to England’s mysterious past and its confounding present. It belongs to Mad Pete, the grizzled artist. To ancient Peggy, gossiping at her gate. To families dead for generations, and to those who have only recently moved here. But it also belongs to Dead Papa Toothwort who has woken from his slumber in the woods. Dead Papa Toothwort, who is listening to them all.”
The second volume of Moby’s extraordinary life story is a journey into the dark heart of fame and the demons that lurk just beneath the bling and bluster of the celebrity lifestyle. In summer 1999 Moby released the album that defined the millennium, PLAY. Like generation-defining albums before it, PLAY was ubiquitous, and catapulted Moby to superstardom. Suddenly he was hanging out with David Bowie and Lou Reed, Christina Ricci and Madonna, taking ecstasy for breakfast (most days), drinking litres of vodka (every day), and sleeping with supermodels (infrequently). It was a diet that couldn’t last. And then it fell apart.