Saturday February 9th
St James Church Hall, Mt Pleasant Road Exeter EX4 7AH
“sheer understated brilliance… this is class…” – BBC Introducing
“absolutely beautiful…” John Bramwell (I Am Kloot)
Exeter-based singer/songwriter & guitarist Ben Morgan-Brown writes intimate & reflective songs featuring open-tuned guitar, ethereal vocals & obliquely personal lyrics that tip the hat to Nick Drake, Bert Jansch, Michael Chapman et al whilst still maintaining a unique musical style & identity.
His new E.P. ‘Cold Rooms’ features five songs written in the last 18 months, a time during which Ben has reflected upon the past few years of his life – turbulent years that have seen him lose both his grandparents, get married & divorced within two years, spend a month in hospital after catching salmonella in Morocco & which culminated with the death of his father in November 2016.
Released in December 2017, ‘Cold Rooms’ has received radio play across the UK and 2018 sees Ben promoting the E.P. with live performances across the South West and beyond including performances at Bridport Folk Festival,Cornwall Folk Festival, How The Light Gets In and support slots for John Bramwell (I Am Kloot) & John Smith.
With special guest, Holly Morwenna
Doors 7.30. Performance 8.00
Saturday March 2nd
David 9 Lunas
House concert at Twigg’s Digs, Exeter
Living in the UK from four years old, David a Trinidadian, has been mesmerizing audiences up and down the country for a while now.
Specialising in slide and fingerpicking David’s style is forcefully rhythmical with powerful vocal that ranges from lush to gravelly.
David 9 Lunas has been honing his craft, playing for 6 hours a day, writing and gathering material and performing extensively throughout the UK and Europe.
“Brilliant at audience control a real skill” Bliss Cafe, Worcester
”That was amazing! It was refreshing, made me feel comfortable and then took me to different places—– what a mix of genres, Brilliant ‘ The Fleece, Bristol
Tickets for David’s house concert are voluntary contribution, and can be reserved by contacting Twigg’s Gigs on 07508 169 049.
Places are limited, so don’t delay!
Doors 7.00. Performance 7.30.
Hot drinks at the Twigg’s Gigs cafe.
Saturday March 30th
With special guest, Greg Hancock
St James Church Hall, Mt Pleasant Road Exeter EX4 7AH
Rebecca Loebe is not just another talent. She’s a sophisticated, mature writer with a relevant point of view and an assured, nuanced voice that’s both elegant and earthy, powerful and delicate, with a range and depth she hints at more than flashes. When the moment’s right, however, she’ll glide up a scale like Norah Jones, or drop right into a crag in Fiona Apple’s sidewalk.
But timing and delivery alone don’t make an artist. There’s got to be substance as well, and Loebe fearlessly probes the rawest corners of her psyche to find it. “There’s a lot of me talking to myself,” she says. “I’m writing a lot of empowerment jams these days, and I think it’s because it’s what I need. I’ve written albums full of what I needed to say, but this album is full of songs I need to hear.”
And now she’s on a guerrilla mission to share messages others need to hear as well. “I like to write catchy songs about topics that are meaningful to me, but use fun hooks to put words in people’s mouths,” Loebe admits. “My favorite thing is to get people singing along before they even realize they’re singing about women’s equality or their own self-worth.”
Before signing her first record deal last year, Loebe had made her national television debut on the first season of The Voice (her version of Nirvana’s “Come as You Are” charted worldwide and landed on the show’s first compilation album) and been declared a winner at the Kerrville New Folk songwriting competition.
Catch this award-winning songwriter and internationally recognized singer in concert with her full band this spring, as she celebrates the release of her fifth studio album Give Up Your Ghosts across the US and Europe.
“Your voice should be available free on the national health.”
– David ‘Fitz’ Fitzgerald, BBC Radio Devon
“She wraps her rich, honeyed voice around a mix of nuanced Americana and pop numbers.”
– The Chicago Tribune
Doors 7.30. Performance 8.00
Saturday April 13th
Harbottle & Jonas
St James Church Hall, Mt Pleasant Road, Exeter EX4 7AH
Fast emerging and dynamic Devon duo Harbottle & Jonas bring their fourth album with a strong maritime focus, The Sea Is My Brother, to Twiggs Gigs Exeter. There is a real maritime flavour to this superb album as well as some Devon history in there; every song tells a story and the storytelling continues between songs.
A great live act, their songs cover the political and historical as well as the more personal. Partners in life as well as music, Dave and Freya combine a love of the richness of traditional folk with their own original and powerful songwriting.
Over 6 years of writing and performing together they have evolved a compelling live signature sound, blending their distinctive solo voices with concertina, harmonium, banjo, stomp box, acoustic guitar and dobro with their powerful close vocal harmonies.
They have received plaudits from folk icons including Seth & Geoff Lakeman, Jon Boden, Rod Clements, Lankum, Declan Sinnott, BBC Introducing and have been endorsed by Seasalt Clothing. Their music had been streamed in excess of 1,000,000 times in 25 different countries and they have also played a gig with Martin Carthy.
Well travelled across the UK and playing up to 200 gigs each year, Harbottle & Jonas have managed to establish themselves as one of the most exciting prospects on the folk circuit. Dave & Freya will be leading the folk course at The Internationally renowned Dartington Summer School for the second time this year.
Definitely one of the best folk acts I’ve heard in a long while‘ – Music News
‘I would stake money on a bright future for Harbottle & Jonas’ – Folkwords
‘Stunning songwriting and heart-rending arrangements 9/10’ – Americana UK
LIVE VIDEO The Sea Is My Brother https://youtu.be/Pin5Q2ocemg
LIVE VIDEO Black is the Colour at Sound Mind Exeter https://youtu.be/IXwRiImZ1_k
VIDEO Northumberland https://youtu.be/yKYdg8J_Jfg
Or call Twigg’s Gigs on 07508 169 049
Doors 7.30. Perfomance 8.00.
Hot drinks available at the Twigg’s Gigs café. BYO alcohol.
Saturday May 11th
St James Church Hall, Mt Pleasant Road, Exeter EX4 7AH
“Making some very big waves…I think she has an amazing voice, and writes some truly interesting songs” Mike Harding
Kirsty Merryn is one of the most arresting and unconventional new young singer songwriters on the UK folk roots scene, with a style uniquely her own.
London-based, New Forest-born Kirsty launched her debut album She & I at London’s Union Chapel on November 9 whilst supporting Show of Hands on their extensive UK Cathedrals tour.
Kirsty has been championed by Show of Hands’ frontman Steve Knightley after he met her while teaching at an EFDSS songwriting retreat for upcoming folk singer songwriters and she went on to open for Show of Hands at their headline appearance at Sidmouth Folk Week in 2016, and supported them over the 22 nights of their Cathedral’s tour of the UK, at the end of 2017, performing to around 14,000 people along the way. Beguiling and mercurial, Kirsty’s music is heavily anchored in the folk tradition with jazz and classical backwaters. But it has a much wider reach, with her influences ranging from Cara Dillon to Joni Mitchell and Kate Bush – emphatic piano-based songs with sharply observed lyrics, packaged with panache in elegant, beautifully balanced settings and delivered in crystal clear, assured vocals.
She & I is Kirsty’s highly acclaimed debut album. Skilfully produced by in-demand, award-winning Gerry Diver (who also plays myriad instruments), She & I comprises eight Merryn originals, focusing on the diverse stories of inspirational women in history, from Emma Hamilton to Annie Edson Taylor – the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel and survive! It has received extensive air play including the Mike Harding Folk Show, national airplay on the BBC Radio 2 Folk Show, the BBC 3 World Music show, as well as many regional BBC channels. It reached number 3 in the Amazon Folk charts and continues to receive great reviews from newspapers including The Guardian, The Sunday Express and many more.
“Perfect, poised vocals.”
Tom Robinson, BBC 6 Music
“Folk debuts often arrive gingerly, shyly; Kirsty Merryn’s set of ambitious originals arrives bold and fully-formed.”
Tickets £10 in advance. (£12 on the door)
Doors at 7.30. Performance at 8.00.
Hot drinks available at the café. BYO alcohol.
Friday May 31st
Luke Jackson Trio
Matthews Hall, 90a Fore Street, Topsham, Exeter EX3 0HF
Luke Jackson is an un-pidgeonhole-able (is that a word?) singer songwriter who has travelled a fair few thousand miles around the British Isles, initially with his dad Paul into pubs and bars, well run house concerts and more recently into folk & blues clubs, venues and festivals.
Luke’s songwriting draws on his experiences, family life, poignant stories he’s been told and fortunately, they’re all written in English as in his own words, he’s dreadful at languages!
His performance style and songwriting skills are constantly developing and improving as confirmed by him winning the Male Artist Of The Year from Fatea in 2014 and 2016 and being nominated in 2013 for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards Best Emerging Talent and Young Folk Categories.
An accomplished performer who impresses from the outset and takes his audience on a shared journey with a full bus down the bye-ways of love, hope, sorrow, and melancholy via the service stations of folk, roots, blues, Americana and soul.
Playing solo, as a duo with Andy Sharps or as a trio with Elliott Norris, he regularly tours Belgium, Netherlands, Germany and all points of the UK as well as showcasing at the International Folk Alliance conference in Kansas, a residential songwriting train journey from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Montreal, Ontario in Canada.
Luke can fill rooms, with people leaving after the concert feeling refreshed and impressed by the ‘originality’ of the sound and shocked with how ‘full’ and ‘complete’ the trio sound with three part harmonies and the ability to have the crowd, clapping, stomping and singing along.
Luke also headlines with other artists such as Grammy award winning Amy Wadge, Folk Award winning duo Greg Russel and Ciaran Algar and NBCs The Voice star Rebecca Loebe.
Luke’s journey has been eventful but never to the point of being in danger of not being found! – his travels have seen him open for Fairport Convention, Glen Tillbrook, Show of Hands, Martyn Joseph, Paul Brady, Seth Lakeman, Marillion, Karine Polwart, and The Oysterband among others, with the odd mishap along the way such as when he once fell over very slowly and awkwardly in the middle of an airport. He didn’t find it funny, however his bass player Andy really did.
He implores you to ask him about it without him laughing about it again to the point of crying!
Always wanting to stretch himself and entertain his audience, Luke did once cover a Michael Jackson song and went for the classic MJ kick … but just put his size 91/2 boot through his mic stand and knocked it over! but has since perfected the art of a flawless performance, whether it’s his own original material or a well chosen and executed cover such as Prince’s Purple Rain. A long way from his first cover song in front of an audience which was House Of The Rising Sun at his Primary School leavers assembly!
His debut album ‘More Than Boys’, produced by the acclaimed Welsh Singer-Songwriter Martyn Joseph, was released in 2012 to great reviews, as was the follow up ‘Fumes and Faith’ in early 2014. In 2015 he released a 7 track EP with his trio, ‘This Family Tree’, which was described in a 5 star Maverick review as ”Two words. Bloody brilliant” and it further reflected his development as both a writer and performer
November 2016 saw the release of Luke’s 3rd full studio album, “Tall Tales and Rumours” to universal critical acclaim, which Maverick, in a 5 star review, described as “a brilliant, thoughtful album – Jackson shows talent beyond his years”. Whilst Acoustic Magazine noted “Jackson has been compared to a young Richard Thompson and for once these are not empty words”
In February 2018 Luke put out his first live album ‘Solo:Duo:Trio’ which again has been enthusiastically received, with Mike Harding noting “That’s got to be one of the most faultless live recordings ever in my opinion- he’s a great songwriter with a great voice and boy can he sing the blues”
Luke is an ever present in the live music scene, gigging relentlessly all over, and he remains a prolific songwriter in demand across the United Kingdom and Europe.
What They Say:
“Luke Jackson will win over your audience within minutes. A charming and charismatic performer of the highest quality. A true professional” Charles Devlin, Director, Ireby Festival..
“Jackson is one of the most dynamic and exciting live performers of his generation” Folk Radio
“Reminds me of Jeff Buckley, which can only be a good thing” – Mark Radcliffe BBC Radio 2
Every so often a new voice emerges, one so stunning that it knocks you sideways. Jackson has been compared to a young Richard Thompson and for once these are not empty words – Acoustic Magazine
Two words, bloody brilliant – Maverick 5 star review
Luke has already acquired both an unmistakable voice and a strikingly individual vision – fRoots Magazine
It comes as no surprise that Luke Jackson is continually feted as one of the British folk scene’s bright young things – R2 Magazine
One of the great voices of the new youngsters on the folk scene – and a terrific songwriter too – Mike Harding
“I always think of this song like a coming of age novel.” After the play he says: “That’s got to be one of the most faultless live recordings ever in my opinion – he’s a great songwriter with a great voice and boy can he sing the blues!” Mike Harding
He has a stage presence that many artists would kill for and a voice and guitar style that make you think that he’s a sixty year veteran who happens to have discovered the fountain of eternal youth – Fatea Magazine
If you think previous comparisons to Richard Thompson jump the gun, think again; because there’s something that sets this performance a discreet cut above the rest – Edinburgh Fringe Festival Review
Very powerful-impressive songs, individual playing and the singing-oh man the singing! – Folkcast
A sumptuous voice loaded with maturity and a melodically blessed guitar style – Spiral Earth
Luke Jackson sings with an extraordinarily rich voice and possesses a guitar technique astonishing for one so young. I first heard him sing four years ago and even then his songwriting suggested a performer of rare promise” – Steve Knightley, Show of Hands
Luke Jackson has an incredibly mature and expressive voice that can holler the blues or give sensitive treatment to his own more personal tales – R2 magazine
Hot drinks available at the Twigg’s Gigs café.