Top duo delighted to be returning to the Peak District

Top-flight Scots-English folk duo Winter Wilson are delighted to be back on the road after almost two years at home due to the CoronaVirus pandemic, and looking forward to returning to the Peaks on 4th November, fresh from a triumphant tour of Canada.
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Top-flight Scots-English folk duo Winter Wilson are delighted to be back on the road after almost two years at home due to the CoronaVirus pandemic, and looking forward to returning to the Peaks on 4th November, fresh from a triumphant tour of Canada.

It has been a difficult couple of years for many industries, but few have been hit harder than the arts and entertainment. With venues closed and concerts banned, artistes and support crews alike were stuck at home with no jobs and often no income. And the same goes for many local and community venues, which lost their prime source of income.

Lincolnshire-based married couple Dave Wilson and Kip Winter consider themselves luckier than most. Kip told us "We have a small income from other sources, so we knew we wouldn't starve, and we're used to spending long periods of time with just each other for company. The weird bit was staying in one place for so long - we've never done that before!"

Winter Wilson - sublime harmonies and great entertainmentWinter Wilson - sublime harmonies and great entertainment
Winter Wilson - sublime harmonies and great entertainment

Indeed, when the pandemic first struck, the pair were on tour in Germany. With ten days left to complete the trip, it became clear that their plans would have to be abandoned. “We agreed to cancel all the remaining gigs, rebooked the ferry and set off driving back up from the south of Germany towards Calais,” said Kip. "It felt really strange, with borders literally closing behind us, and messages coming in from friends in similar situations who were having problems getting back into the UK.”

In actual fact, the journey was pretty uneventful, and the couple settled back into their Lincolnshire home for what they felt would be “a few weeks’ rest”. "When you're used to being on tour most of the time, the prospect of a wee break can be quite appealing."

Dave continued, “How wrong can you be? After a couple of weeks, we decided to do a bit of a live stream on Facebook, as much as anything to give ourselves a focus, but also to keep in some kind of contact with the outside world.” That “bit of a live stream” was destined to become a sixty-week odyssey, renamed "Live from the Lounge", bringing fun, music and friendship to regular viewers from across the world, and raising over £5,500 in charitable donations. In fact Live from the Lounge became an on-line community all of its own, and continues monthly to this day.

“We really had no idea what we’d started,” explains Kip. “We genuinely thought we’d stream live for a few weeks, and then life would get back to normal. After a couple of weeks people started asking how they could make donations, so we set up a button on our website. The donations were divided equally between the MU’s Musicians’ Hardship Fund and our local food bank.”

The latest album from Winter WilsonThe latest album from Winter Wilson
The latest album from Winter Wilson

So how did the couple fill over 60 hours of music? “We alternated,” said Dave. “One week it was all original songs, then the next all covers. And the regulars would send us in requests – at least they said they were requests; some felt more like challenges! We genuinely did everything from Dylan, Tom Waits and Randy Newman to Crosby, Stills & Nash and Lady Gaga!” But even learning over 500 songs couldn’t completely fill the void for a couple who have lived their life (and made their living) on the road for over ten years. So during the Summer of 2021, alongside performing at those festivals which did go ahead, Kip and Dave wrote and recorded their ninth studio album, The Passing of the Storm, which was released in September 2021.

With a musical style ranging from traditional (ish!) folk to blues and up-tempo Americana, and subject matter from the intensely personal to hard-hitting social comment, this is an album very much for our times, and it appears the critics agree. Kip told us "The reviews have been brilliant, and audiences seem to really like the new songs too, which is always a relief."

And how does it feel to be back out there? Kip tells us "It was really strange at first. Even after all the hours of live streaming, there's this little nagging fear that you might not be able to do it live after such a long break. I think we were both pretty nervous the first few gigs, but it soon settled down."

Dave adds, "We were actually really busy in 2022, which is great, although many venues across Europe were still struggling to attract audiences back until the last few months of the year. 2023 has been much more encouraging though, with a couple of trips into Europe and a return tour of Canada through September. We're also trying to open up new venues to music, as so many of the old ones have gone. So in addition to festivals and arts centres we're working really hard to promote live music in village halls and community centres who may not have had it before.

If you'd like to see (and hear!!) for yourself just how entertaining Winter Wilson are, they will be appearing at Flash Village Hall near Buxton from 7:30pm on Saturday 4th November. Tickets cost £12 in advance and are available to buy from Flash Bar Stores, A53, Quarnford, (tel 01298 27804) or by email: [email protected] or from [email protected].

Entry on the door will cost £14.