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Performer biographies

Visitors to this year's Sweeps Festival can enjoy four days of live music -

To find out where you can go to watch each band, check out our schedules for Friday, 4 May , Saturday 5 May, Sunday 6 May and Monday 7 May.


Use our A to Z to find out more about each of the bands performing:

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Alison and Jack

Rollicking English songs, toe tapping tunes and sing along choruses on concertina, whistles, melodeon and Alison's superb voice. They started performing together after the short lived but rather wonderful Bacchus morris side.


The Allen Family

The Allen Family are a bluegrass and old time music playing family, who are the latest of a line of Allen Family bands. Using traditional equipment and techniques (they sing around a single mic for example) this tight group plays and sings their music with an infectious enthusiasm that transports you back in musical time. It will only take a few minutes for you to be hooked by the band's spirit, warmth and happiness.  







A splendid disregard for musical boundaries, but with a respect for English traditional music. Catch them in a pub, on the main stage and at the morris man's ceilidh.





One of the finest touring Klezmer bands in the world. Formed in the old Soviet republic of Moldova back in the 80s they visit Rochester for the first time.


Bob Kenward

A songwriter whose songs have been absorbed into the traditional music of Kent. Bob is well known around the folk clubs of the south east and is hosting the stage at the Old Post Office site this weekend.


Border Crossing

An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman – great harmony singing and good instrumentals from this excellent group of folk singers.


The Bounty Hounds

They are East Anglia's leading folk/rock band raising the roof with stomping music.


Brides of Rain

Brides of Rain consists of a pool of musicians from different musical backgrounds. They breathe new life into familiar genres from around the world, such as folk, blues, and cabaret. One minute you'll be hearing rough, dark and raw blues, and the next you're thrown into the hypnotic trance-like rhythms of pagan songs and Bacchanalian dances.


brides of rain



CJ & Friends

Catherine Jones is not only a drummer, songwriter, singer and organiser of open mics, she's also aN England cricketer and part of Gypskazz and Brides of Rain.



Irish music meets Americana with some superb musicianship.





Ed Hopwood

London based Multi-Instrumentalist and Solo Artist. Ed plays Harmonica, guitar, percussion and sings. Ed's just finished recording his debut EP which will be released very soon.

 In recent years, Ed's performance schedule has taken him on tours of Sweden, Switzerland and Ireland. In 2015 Ed played a sell out headline show at Celtic Connections.




Edward II

Edward II, are an English roots band that uniquely blend the rhythms of the Caribbean with traditional songs from the British Isles.
Temporarily turning away from the rural songs of the middle England Morris teams, the band has been delving deep into a repertoire of songs born of the industrial revolution, specifically of their home town, Manchester. Still upbeat, and with rock-steady rhythms, blazing horns, fabulous harmonies and fiery melodeon melodies, the kings of the intercontinental roots reggae sound-clash return to delve into Manchester's musical history.
The songs have been completely reworked into modern roots reggae classics, featuring Glen Latouche’s seductively honeyed lead vocals at the fore and a rock solid rhythm section led by T Carthy providing the irresistible force at the rear. Of course, the band still roam free across the musical spectrum, bringing in dashes of jazz and soul alongside the reggae and folk, but always with an air of good humor and, more than anything, a desire to make you dance.


edward II






Judith and Bill combine voices, guitar and fiddle to perform a wide mix of traditional and contemporary songs and tunes. This includes Celtic, Cajun, Bluegrass and Eastern European music as well as other more modern numbers such as Cotton eyed Joe and Devil came down.


Foot Down

A new young band featuring melodeon and whistles, guitar and vocals making big waves. They play in folk clubs and for ceilidhs around Kent.


foot down


Funke & The Two Tone Baby

Funke & The Two Tone Baby

Funke and the Two Tone Baby is a one man masterpiece combining guitar and harmonica with beatboxing and effects. Behind the music and his trademark tribly is Dan Turnball, who creates a fresh sound of unstoppable rhythm and melody. Underpinning his performances is 'Balance' released summer 2015 and heralded as "a masterpiece of an album" by Louder Than War. Get ready to move your feet.






The Hartley Singers

The Hartley Morris are the longest dancing Kentish Morris men. After dancing they go to the local hostelry for some lusty chorus songs. They have some fine chorus and lead singers in their ranks.


The Heart Collectors

Australian Folk group ‘The Heart Collectors’, transcend conventionality and genre with their old-school alternative folk sound, bringing back the sentimentality of 70’s inspired harmonies, combined with a progressive lyrical wisdom to invite positive change.

With soaring cello, intricate guitar, sparkling mandolin, banjo, and the occasional passionate strike of the tambourine, these four charismatic performers create synergy with a ‘Fleetwood Mac’ meets ‘Peter Paul and Mary’ inspired marriage of rock sensibilities and clean classical precision.


Hobo & The Hippies 

Five piece alt-folk, country band hailing from the west of Kent. Performing their own material with songs inspired by their experiences, local characters and places. Often with a comical and care free attitude to their live shows, you can be damn sure the hobos are not one to forget.


hobo and the hippies


Hobo Jones & The Junkyard Dogs - HEADLINE ACT

Off the rails skiffle, the worlds oldest and ugliest boy band. Lots of instruments and loony mayhem in a performance related frenzy.

hobo jones and junnkyard



Hog Eye Men

The Hog Eye Men sing shanties as they used to be sung: simply, boldly and loudly. They have been singing together for a number of years and have a varied repertoire.


The Hot Rats

The Hot Rats feature the world class fiddle playing of Ian Cutler (Feast of Fiddles, Bully Wee Band) with singer, guitarist and Gills PA announcer Doug Hudson, plus Scott Kirk on wonder Rickenbacker bass. Celtic, world and original songs and tunes. They have played all over the world.




Ian Boulton

A singer/songwriter from Ramsgate whose songs reflect life in Thanet.


Ian Petrie

Ian, Steve Shorey and Ted Handley have been mainstays on the South East Folk club circuit for over 30 years, bringing years of experience in performing for folk clubs, festivals, barn dances, ceilidhs and private functions. In recent years they have specialised in barn dances with a little rock and roll thrown in! Ian will also be singing with Sue Hudson – formerly of Tundra and singer and guitarist with the Country Counts.



Justin and the Argonauts

Justin and the Argonauts are a four piece violin, accordion, classical guitar and tuba ensemble from Kent. Their music ranges from 15th century Sephardic Jewish folk to modern day pop to provide a superior music experience.


John Forrester - HEADLINE ACT

John Forrester sings songs of travel, adventure, lust, discovery, friendship, love & weather. A fine performer with an easy relaxed delivery, a warm openhearted voice, an unshowy guitar style and an infectious personality. Having toured Europe extensively his songs have a strong sense of location & motion.

john forrester






Kelly Stanley 

Kelly Stanley is an accomplished singer and songwriter from Medway. Kelly’s style is a mixture of folk, pop and alternative, characterised by her strong yet chilling vocals and honest lyrics, set against a backbone of acoustic guitar. Now performing as Kelly Stanley and The Hunters with the addition of Craig Elvy on guitar and Scott Woods on drums and percussion, the music has reached a new level of powerful.



Sur Les Docks fiddle player Graham Knibbs and Davey Slater on guitar and vocals. They play English, Irish and French tunes with emphasis on fun.



A Bulgarian dance group with international members who have performed at many festivals throughout the UK.





A folk quartet from Kent, with one foot firmly rooted in the old folk tradition and the other foot following a more modern contemporary style. They play a diverse mixture of original material and traditional tunes, jigs and songs, weaving Eastern European, Asian, and African influences into more familiar British music.


Little Fishes

Little Fishes is an Americana strings band that blends Bluegrass with Contemporary Folk.

little fishes




McManigan Academy of Irish Dancers

Award winning young and dynamic Irish dancers who have a big following locally. They are colourful and dramatic.


More Than Echoes

More Than Echoes are an acoustic duo from Medway playing exciting, original music with a Pop/Rock vibe.



more than echoes


Morrigan are a four piece acapella folk group from South London. Their close harmony singing and instrumental skills create a stunning sound that has won much praise.





Rosie Eade Band

Rosie and her band have become permanent fixtures at Sweeps. Travelling from the depths of Cornwall where she is known as the folk pixie, they are accomplished and play a lot of Rosie's original songs.


Rachel Lowrie

Some people you hear about before you hear them. They have something about them that lodges in the heart, compelling people to counsel others that they must hear them. Rachel is one of those people. A Medway lass through and through, her songs are sketches of her local community, past and present. But more than that, as a singer, she’s the local scene’s world class voice. Be bewitched.


rachel lowrie


Sally Ironmonger

Teasing, thought-provoking, foot-tapping, belly-laughing, ale swigging, murdering, schizophrenic, tear-inducing wordsmith.


Skinners Rats

Barry and Blossom (Fiddle and Accordion) form the core of the current line-up of Skinner’s Rats - joined here by Amazing Harry on guitar. The band celebrated its forty-second birthday in 2012!


Some Kinda Cultcha

A late night chance to dance to World rhythms and music from around the globe with DJ Lee.


Songwriters' Den on the Road

This team are working hard to bring you four days of live music - kicking off on Friday at the festival marquee behind the Gordon Hotel. Saturday through to Monday, you will find them at The Boley Hill stage with music starting at 11am each day until 5pm. Merchandise to mark the weekend will be available and money raised will go directly to Hospital Radio Medway.


Sur Les Docks - HEADLINE ACT

French seven piece folk/rock band from Dunkerque who have delighted Sweeps audiences over the years. Great vitality and musicianship on stage, their infectious enthusiasm sees them with a great following in the south of England.


sur les docs



Tanglefoot Appalachian

Wonderful step dancing from this group of dancers and musicians who celebrate the culture of Appalachian clog dancing.


The Flowing

This folk band from Medway is made up of five members who are gigging in and around the South East and beyond. They use ukulele, guitars, violin, bass, French horn, accordion, oboe and voices in their music alongside honest, frank lyrics. The Flowing have performed at several festivals and have recently released their first studio album, Talk about Wonder.


the flowing

The Lost Revellers

Play swinging Gypsy jazz, smouldering tangos, wild dance beats and stomping folk… but not as you know it


the lost revellers

The Lowly Strung

Members of the excellent Wheeler Street who filled the Sweeps marquee some years ago are at the hub of this excellent musically gifted band. Expect some dynamic bluegrass and fast folk.


the lowly strung


Thee Waltons

"Hide away yer daughters, stow away yer beer
Lock up yer livestock Thee Walton boys are here"
Thee Waltons created havoc from 1986 to 1996 with their unique blend of twisted hillbilly rock 'n' roll. They toured the country and released three albums, a single and two live videos as well as appearing on several compilations under record deals with Raucous Records and Cherry Red Records. They're back and leaving more mayhem in their wake.



Tin Foil Hats

Members of Sweeps Festivals regulars, The Bruncles and reggae outfit, The Objectors bring you their new project, The Tin Foil Hats! Playing classic sing along tunes as well as originals with their own brand of blues/reggae & folk.




Track Dogs are a Madrid-based acoustic four piece made up of two Irishmen, an Englishman and an American. A daring line up - cajón and trumpet replace drums and lead guitar. Their four part harmonies steal the show.

track dogs



Tree Huggers

A Medway based group who perform in folk clubs and include much local material in their repertoire.


Tribal Banshees

A well established tribal bellydance group from Gillingham, with a distinctive dance style, led by The Lady Charlotte. Formed in 2005 they are ever evolving and get excited by many influences. They practice Gypsy Caravan, American Tribal Style (ATS), Gothic, Tribal, Flamenco and even Pirate dance.


Trio Manor Manouche

Trio Manor Manouche reawaken the infectious gypsy jazz pompe rhythm of the swinging 40s and 50s with their unique repertoire of tunes and captivating performances. Guitarists Nev Willis and Thomas Abrahams demonstrate the technical wizardry of Django Reinhardt's guitar style across an array of gypsy swing, bossa's, waltzes and original music alongside Jarrod Coombes' hands sliding up and down the Double Bass.




Two Man Ting

Jon Lewis and Jah-Man Aggrey have performed together since 2004 with their rootsy blend of songwriting that has seen them appear at Womad, the Montreux Jazz Festival and Glastonbury.


The Heart Collectors

Australian Folk group ‘The Heart Collectors’, transcend conventionality and genre with their old-school alternative folk sound, bringing back the sentimentality of 70’s inspired harmonies, combined with a progressive lyrical wisdom to invite positive change.

With soaring cello, intricate guitar, sparkling mandolin, banjo, and the occasional passionate strike of the tambourine, these four charismatic performers create synergy with a ‘Fleetwood Mac’ meets ‘Peter Paul and Mary’ inspired marriage of rock sensibilities and clean classical precision.

heart collectors















We Ghosts

Comprising of English singer, songwriter and guitarist John Christopher and Swedish singer Jenny Jonasson (aka J.J.Woodall) We Ghosts have enchanted audiences in both of their home countries. Their fine blend of vocal harmony plus punchy acoustic guitar rhythms make for a splendid live show.