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“Tremendous, joyous, remarkable… the cream of their genre” ~ Rolling Stone

Hello, we’re Oysterband. We make a kind of modern, folk-based British music, acoustic at heart but not always quiet. We’ve been doing this for a long time, and we’re pretty good at it by now.

At first purely a dance band (The Oyster Ceilidh Band), Oysterband soon started experimenting with radical arrangements of traditional songs and with home recording, determined that traditional music should not be just a branch of the heritage industry.

Musicians came and went, the name shortened, and 1986 they released their first album Step Outside. During the late 80s Oysterband toured across the globe, including Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and North America. They have played alongside the likes of Michelle Shocked and Billy Bragg, toured for the British Council in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Morocco. These travels had a powerful impact on their attitudes to both the world and to song writing.

In 1990 they recorded Freedom And Rain with the great English folk diva June Tabor. Although essentially a trad and covers collection, the songs were shrewdly chosen, and the album was very well received, particularly in the US where Rolling Stone commented “imagine if Aerosmith and Madonna announced they were to tour together…!!

Meanwhile in the UK the ground was shifting. As Oysterband expanded from their folk background, others were expanding from rock into folk, and the convergence became a new scene including The Pogues, The Levellers, The Waterboys, and Celtas Cortos. The high-point from this period was probably Holy Bandits (1993); the first song When I’m Up I Can’t Get Down was later a substantial hit for Great Big Sea in North America.

In the early to mid noughties, Oysterband recorded collaborations with Eliza Carthy, The Handsome Family, and others, as well as establishing the hugely popular festival The Big Session.

More recently the band have found remarkable success from their reunion album with June Tabor, Ragged Kingdom, released in 2011. 21 years after Freedom And Rain may seem perverse, but it was well worth the wait. Ragged Kingdom earned no less than 3 BBC Folk Awards (Best Trad Track, Best Album, and Best Group).

Currently working on songs for a new album, and after such a long a career, Oysterband can’t help feel that the most fruitful time might be right now. Make sure you don’t miss this incredible return to form.

Folk, Music

Thursday 26th March 2015 -

Ropetackle Cafe Suppers Shoreham

We're serving delicious food before this event from 6pm! Mains cost £7, desserts £3, or the two-course meal for £9.50. Advance booking necessary, to do so simply email lesleyskitchenltd@gmail.com. Click on the icon to see what's on the menu.

Main: Moussaka with Greek salad / Spicy leek and white bean casserole with Greek salad (v)

Dessert: Apple crumble and custard

  •   A great local venue, always something on that appeals to all people. Lovely to have a local arts venue and not to have to go to Brighton

    chris b
  •   This venue is great for a night out. They have an assortment of entertainment, we mainly see bands or tribute bands. The one in July was Eagles tribute and the... read more

  •   Have been to several shows at Ropetackle Arts Centre. Plenty of variety for all tastes. It is great that you can sit in the comfort of a table and chair... read more

  •   Attracts great diverse acts from nostalgic 1970s acts to new local talent as well as great comedy. Bar and informal restaurant there as well with good ale and appetising home... read more

  •   Fabulous friendly award winning venue run almost entirely by volunteers. Films.,bands, recitals talks you name it you can experience it here. Lovely cafe and bar and fab staff.

  •   Recently saw the South Coast Soul Review at Ropetackle and enjoyed a really good live band. Always a nice atmosphere and you can enjoy a drink inside the performance... read more

    Josie C
  •   We have been to the panto at the Ropetackle several times and this year it was as good, if not better than ever. It had all the ingredients we... read more

  •   Just returned from our first visit to this place to see a band. The refreshment prices were good for a venue, half the price of places like the o2 or... read more

    Marc H
  •   Lovely little place for a relax and chill in a morning! Coffee cake and a magazine. Meeting friends and family - or just a little working morning on my own!

  •   Recently moved to Shoreham, and it’s lovely to have an arts centre. There are lots of activities and the cafe provides a friendly central hub. We have attended several... read more