New Mills goes back to school for festival finale

The Old Dance School
The Old Dance School

Seven-piece contemporary folk band The Old Dance School will wrap up this year’s New Mills Festival in style when they return to the town to kick-start their autumn tour.

The band will present music from their brand new album ‘Steer In The Night’ during the performance at New Mills Town Hall on Saturday September 28 at 7.30pm, with all proceeds from the evening going towards next year’s festival.

Such is the wide convergence of influences drawn from The Old Dance School’s individual backgrounds in jazz, classical music, folk, world music and pop that pigeonholes are impossible, but this is a band on a mission.

“I’m not a fan of pigeonholing,” leader and guitarist Robin Beatty said. “When we began writing we weren’t aware of boundaries, we were more informed by stuff around us. When we’re writing, we want to evoke an image and sense of place.”

Originally from the Peak District, Beatty has composed numerous scores for nature films, and cites Bill Frisell and Ian Carr as his primary guitar heroes.

The rest of the band have similarly disparate tastes and backgrounds. Violinist/viola player Helen Lancaster studied with the great Israeli musician Rivka Golani and has a shelf full of awards from her work with the Nero String Quartet. Samantha Norman spends much of her time in the pit at the Royal Shakespeare Company; trumpeter and flugel player Aaron Diaz has played with endless jazz/fusion outfits including the legendary Destroyers; singer/whistle player Laura Carter was tutored by William Lyons, director of the Early Music group, The Dufay Collective; and double bass player Adam Jarvis is also a member of pop trio Buzzard Lope.

Tickets are priced £8 (£6 concessions) and available at www.newmillsfestival.co.uk or from High Street Books.