Described by Mike Harding as “one of the hardest-working acts on the folk scene”, Winter Wilson have certainly lived up to this description over recent years. Now, three years after their last appearance, the duo bring their sublime music and sense of “joyous rebellion” back to Horsham on Sunday 16th February.
Already well known around the UK’s folk clubs and festivals, Kip Winter (vocals, piano accordion, flute, guitar) and Dave Wilson (vocals, guitar, banjo) became full-time musicians in 2012 and haven’t looked back since. In addition to extensive tours of the UK and Western Europe, the pair have toured Australia (twice), New Zealand and Canada. “Nearly eight years on, it still feels like a bit of a dream,” the couple told us. “Mind you, it’s hard work too, and Tallullah (our trusty campervan) has covered an awful lot of miles all over Europe”.
Whilst their nine studio albums have met with critical acclaim, it is in live performance that Winter Wilson really excel, bringing a sense of intimacy to every venue, whether it be a tiny house concert or a festival main stage. Indeed it was their live performances and stage presence that led to the pair being invited to tour with folk-rock legends Fairport Convention in 2018, an opportunity that was just too good to miss.
“We were thrilled,” commented Kip, “and it just got better as the 29 date tour progressed. At the end of the tour we were also invited to appear with Fairport on stage at Cropredy Festival, in front of almost 20,000 people!”
Winter Wilson then released “Live & Unconventional”, a live album, recorded on the tour and featuring members of Fairport on three tracks. “Loads of people had suggested that we release a live album,” said Dave, “and let’s face it, there wasn’t going to be a better chance to record one.” Once again the critics loved it:
“If you need evidence of just how special the duo Winter Wilson is, then Live & Unconventional delivers in abundance. From track one…. they clearly have those attending in the palm of a very capable hand.” Steve Caseman, RnR Magazine
“A glorious parade of 15 songs and just enough of the between-song presence to show how persuasive a live draw the couple are.” David Kidman, Living Tradition Magazine
“From the first notes Kip and Dave exude confidence and I realised how well the songs I’ve only heard as studio recordings have developed in the live set. If Live & Unconventional doesn’t promote Winter Wilson up to the next division there is no justice.” Dai Jeffries, Folking.com
So what’s next for Winter Wilson? “Well, this year we’ll be touring all over the UK, and there’s a couple of trips over to Germany and the Netherlands, plus possibly a return to Canada. It’ll be tiring, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!”
If you’d like to see (and hear!) what all the fuss is about, then Winter Wilson will be playing at Horsham Folk Club from 8pm on Sunday 16th February. The club meets every Sunday evening from 8pm till 10:30 at the Normandy Centre on Denne Road and promises a warm welcome for performers and audience members alike.
Entry costs just £8 on the door (or £5 for members). For further information, please visit www.horshamfolkclub.co.uk