The Artists - Ange Hardy & Lukas Drinkwater

Ange Hardy at Coleridge's writing desk

Ange Hardy is a folk singer, songwriter and recording artist who lives along the route of The Coleridge Way. Ange performs original contemporary songs written in a traditional style with an emphasis on vocal harmony. She uses a live looping pedal to recreate layers of vocal harmony live on stage.

Shortly after winning FATEA Female Vocalist of the Year award in January 2014 she was referred to by veteran folk broadcaster Mike Harding as “one of the bright stars of the new wave of folk singers” and since then Ange Hardy has established an enviable reputation as one of the fastest emerging folk acts in the UK.

Her last album went on to receive international acclaim and was one of only three folk albums in 2014 to be awarded 5-stars by The Telegraph. Bringing the story full circle it was in January 2015 awarded FATEA’s most prestigious award of all, Album of the Year, in the same week that Mike Harding referred to Ange Hardy as “one of the most interesting, powerful and talented singers and songwriters to come out of the last couple of years”.

Ange went on to be nominated at the 2015 Radio 2 Folk Awards for the Horizon award.

Ange has always thrived on intimate venues, with candle light and an enraptured crowd. She brings a level of honesty and openness to the stage that is a refreshing as it is disarming. Her focus on vocal harmony and her pitch-perfect vocal talent has led her toward adopting a live-looping pedal; a digital tape-recorder at her feet that allows her to record and play back layers of vocal harmony live from the stage. In doing so she brings her talent as a recording artist to a live performance, adding an extra dimension to an already captivating stage presence.

During the tour Ange Hardy played three guitars, two traditional low whistles, a 27-string Salvi harp, a tambourine, a bodhran drum and a hammered dulicmer. Lukas Drinkwater played double bass, guitar, backing vocals. Steve Pledger (backing vocals) and David Milton (poetry reading) also accompanied Ange on various dates throughout the tour. The launch concert at Halsway manor featured an 8 piece band - adding Archie Churchill-Moss, Patsy Reid, Kate Rouse, Ant Miles, Jo May to thhe cast.

The 14 songs for this project were all written in the month of January 2015. They include songs inspired by Coleridge’s relationships with friends, family and acquaintances, verses of his poetry set to music, new songs inspired by his characters and stories, and even tales based on fragments of his dinner table conversations.

These songs were also independently recorded and released on a studio album entitled ‘Esteesee’, pronounced ‘S-T-C’ (forming the initials of the poet).

As well as featuring the talents of Ange Hardy on guitar, traditional whistle, harp, and vocals the album is complemented by a roster of world class folk musicians including Steve Knightley (‘Show of Hands’) providing guest vocals, the spectacular Patsy Reid (founding member of ‘Breabach’) on fiddle, viola and cello, Lukas Drinkwater on double bass, Archie Churchill-Moss on diatonic accordion, Jonny Dyer on the piano, Jo May providing percussion, Andrew Pearce on the drums, Kate Rouse as the damsel with the hammered dulcimer, record label comrade and rising star Steve Pledger on backing vocals, and poetry readings from David Milton (the Watchet town crier) and the wonderful Tamsin Rosewell (broadcaster and artist).

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