Acclaimed performers Spiers and Boden play The Brook, Southampton on
Thursday, May 17 (tickets on 023 8055 5366).
Described by The Guardian as “the finest instrumental duo on the traditional scene” and twice winners of the BBC Radio 2 folk award for Best Duo, Spiers and Boden have made the genre of spontaneous, punky English folk very much their own stomping ground. Loud, proud, and with just a few acoustic instruments, they create a multitude of textures upon which they present traditional stories and dance music which have taken them on to the main stages of major festivals.
The irrepressible performances of John Spiers and Jon Boden have ensured they are in high demand with venues and major festivals through out the world and past performances have included, in the UK, Cambridge Folk
Festival, WOMAD and Larmer Tree Festival and abroad have included Roskilde Festival (Denmark), Nordsjofestivalen (Norway) and Namest Nad Oslavou (Czech Republic).
Their fifth album, Vagabond, was released on Navigator May 26th 2008. The eleven tracks on the album focus on the role of the itinerant and outsider, a theme prominent in traditional material, from ‘Robin Hood’ to the ‘Beggar Boy’.
Winners of the Best Duo category at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in both 2004 and 2006, and a Critic’s choice nomination at the BBC World Music Awards, and nominees for the same award in 2009, John & Jon are also founding members of the wildly ambitious eleven piece big-band folk phenomenon, Bellowhead (BBC Folk Awards for Best Live Act in 2005, 2007, 2008, Observer Top 20 albums of 2007).
They are currently Artist in Residence at London’s Southbank as part of Bellowhead, an appointment which has led to a series of performances on The Southbank including a sold out show by Bellowhead to over 1,000 people in the Royal Festival Hall Ballroom in on New Year’s Eve 2009.
They have also enjoyed a long-term collaboration with Eliza Carthy as The Rat Catchers and performed on her Nationwide Mercury Prize nominated album Anglicana.
Jon Boden (singer, fiddle, guitar, stomp-box) follows in the footsteps of many of the great folk-singers with his theatrical style. Born in 1977 in Chicago, he grew up in Winchester and graduated in Medieval Studies from Durham and Composition for Theatre from the London College of Music. As well as forming half of Spiers & Boden and singing lead vocals in Bellowhead, Jon has also found time to release his own, self-penned album of contemporary indie rock songs, ‘Painted Lady’.
John Spiers (melodeon, concertina) was born in Birmingham and grew up in Abingdon (home to one of the few truly traditional morris sides) with a morris dancing father. He has a Masters degree in Natural Sciences from King’s College Cambridge and has carved his own space in the folk scene with his unique blending of traditional squeezebox styles with his knowledge of contemporary dance music to create an infectious acoustic groove which provides the infectious rhythm of Spiers & Boden.