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Four Men and a Dog barking back to Orkney!

Celebrating their 30th year on the road in 2019, Four Men and a Dogare making a very welcome return to the Orkney Folk Festival in 2019!

Now safely in the rank of legendary, the band formed in 1990 to play at Murphy’s Bar in Dungiven, County Derry, before stealing the show at the Belfast Folk Festival later that year, with a high octane approach that combines energetic traditional dance tunes cross-fertilised with influences from rock, jazz, blues, swing, salsa, polka and even rap.

Founding members Donal Murphy (accordion), Gerry O’Connor (banjo, fiddle) and Gino Lupari (bodhran, bones, vocals) are joined by long-term collaborators Kevin Doherty (guitar, vocals) and Stephen Hayden (fiddle) in a fiery union, certain to ignite the senses.

The ‘Dogs made their debut – and to date only – Orkney appearances at the 2011 festival, and such was their reception that audiences have been requesting a return every year since! Theirs is truly joyous music;  enlivening, enthralling and wholly infectious.

Next into the festival punch… The Poozies!

Pioneers and trail-blazers, The Poozies have been pushing boundaries and exploring the musical landscape for over 25 years – and are making a welcome return to the Orkney Folk Festival in 2019.

Founding member, Mary Macmaster (electro-harp, vocals) and long-term cohort Eilidh Shaw (fiddle, vocals) are joined by Hoy’s Sarah McFadyen (fiddle, banjo, guitar, vocals), and Tia Files (guitar, percussion, fiddle, vocals) from Oban, in a line-up widely hailed as the group’s most exciting yet

Since the release of their 2018 album, Punch – shortlisted for Album of the Year at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards – the quartet have been enjoying a whirlwind year of festivals, touring and celebrity occasions. Their exhilarating sets of original tunes and eclectic mix of songs burst with energy and invention, peppered with the group’s signature rascality, seduction and joie de vivre.

A long time coming… Lau returning in 2019

Already nine years since they last appeared in Orkney, Lau are set to make a triumphant return to the folk festival in 2019.

Whilst rooted in tradition, it’s safe to say that Lau have pushed the boundaries of modern folk music like few others; theirs has a bold, free-thinking, visionary sense of creativity and adventure that reshapes and thrillingly reimagines the conventional parameters of a trio.

Kris Drever (vocals, guitar), Martin Green (accordion, wurlitzer, keys, electronics) and Aidan O’Rourke (fiddle) effortlessly bridge the seemingly diametrically opposed worlds of acoustic folk and post-rock electronics in an enthralling live show that has earned them the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards’ Best Band title no less than four times, alongside a forest’s worth of ecstatic, five-star reviews.

Cara Dillon returning in 2019

Our first artist announced for the 2019 festival, is the utterly sublime Cara Dillon.

Boasting “quite possibly the world’s most beautiful female voice” (MOJO magazine), Cara Dillon occupies an enviable position at the very top of her genre. This extraordinary Irish singer has been achieving exceptional acclaim and captivating audiences for over 20 years – including a great many on her maiden voyage to Orkney in 2010.

Cara’s legions of fans will attest to impassioned performances, where every note and word is sung with a passion and confidence earned through life of experience singing traditional songs, whilst her warm and natural stage presence is something to savour. Cara and her trio – including husband and musical partner Sam Lakeman – will be performing a selection of favourites from across her career, as well as material from her heralded 2017 album, Wanderer (“gorgeous stuff”, The Guardian).