Category When

Spiers & Boden

Spiers & Boden: The Farewell Tour

Following on from an incredibly successful tenth anniversary tour including a special birthday party bash at Shepherds Bush Empire, the top traditional music duo on the scene continue their journey into the exciting nether-regions of traditional folk music.

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 & 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.

“Technically they stand head to head with the best of their generation… Jon Boden plays fiddle with an earthy vigour that’s utterly compelling and sings in a frantic breathless manner as if the hounds of hell are taking lumps out of his backside, while John Spiers harmonises and plays urgent driving melodeon to a very high standard indeed… halfway to reinventing the style without even realising it…” ~ fROOTS Magazine

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 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 and Jon are also founding members of the wildly ambitious eleven piece big-band folk phenomenon, Bellowhead (BBC Folk Awards – 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.

“Anyone who needs convincing that the current folk revival is becoming as intriguing, varied and experimental as it was back in the 1960s should check out the remarkable career of John Spiers and Jon Boden. In just a few years, they have established themselves as the finest instrumental duo on the traditional scene, and the contemporary equivalent of Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick…”The Guardian

Folk, Music

Thursday 15th May 2014 -

  •   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.

  •   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
  •   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
  •   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
  •   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

  •   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

  •   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

  •   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

  •   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!