Steeleye Span to turn fifty at Birmingham Town Hall

Legendary folk rock band play Birmingham at Christmas to celebrate milestone birthday.

Space Oddity, Suspicious Minds, Pinball Wizard, Whole Lotta Love, Come Together – 1969 could easily be said to be a vintage year for music, the end of a decade that changed the world and the introduction to one that would prove equally

inspirational. It would also see the birth of 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 world and beyond. Fifty years on and Steeleye Span are set to mark this incredible milestone with new album EST’D 1969 and a tour that will celebrate a band that are as creative and vital now as ever. Led by the iconic Maddy Prior, the seven-piece line-up will draw on the group’s incredible history to provide a night of favourites and surprises from down the decades.

Steeleye Span along with Fairport Convention are amongst the best known acts of the British Folk Revival and were among the most commercially successful, thanks to their hit singles Gaudette and All Around My Hat. They had four Top 40 albums and achieved a certified gold record with sales of All Around My Hat.

The present Steeleye line-up is: The legendary Maddy Prior (vocals), with long term member Liam Genockey (drums), Julian Littman,(guitar/keyboards and vocals) Andrew Sinclair (guitar), Jesse Mae Smart (violin and backing vocals), Benji Kirkpatrick (guitar and backing vocals) and Roger Carey (bass)

Maddy Prior is a true legend of folk and popular music. Her voice swooping and soaring in harmony and melody. Her voice is still remarkable. It is also is hard to think how Steeleye will survive without her at the helm when she eventually does decide to hang up her hat (the one with the green willow around it). But she still dances infectiously to the jigs, as happy in the moment as she has ever been.

Sitting at the back with his long beard looking every inch the hippy figure is Liam Genockey on drums. Liam uses his kit to create sounds and atmospheres which are far more than hitting a stick against a skin. He utilises the metallic edges, the case – any part of the drum kit he thinks can add a particular moment to a song. His playing is very subtle and always beautiful

Julian Littman has been a part of the band since 2011, and has a huge pedigree of playing with some top rated artists including David Bowie. He is a bit of a jack of all trades being an actor, singer, musician, song writer – you name it he does it. Julian plays guitars, keyboards and vocals.

Fiendishly adapt with the fiddle and backing vocals is the young and beautiful Jessie May Smart, who will be returning from maternity leave to play this 50th Anniversary Tour.

Another relative newcomer to the bus is Andrew ‘Spud’ Sinclair. laying superb guitar and impressive on vocals too, he clearly is an excellent fit.

The newest members bassist Roger Carey and multi instrumentalist Benji Kirkpatrick (son of former member John Kirkpatrick who played with the band in 1977-1978 – the group are now a dynasty) playing and singing as if they had forever been a part of the line up.

Steeleye Span play Birmingham Town Hall on 16th December. Tickets