Esslemont (fiddle and vocals) met Cormac Byrne (bodhran and
percussion) whilst they were studying at the Royal Northern
College of Music, Manchester, in 2001. They soon discovered
their similar appetite for traditional music of not only the
British Isles but of more diverse countries and cultures.
Anna and Cormac spent
many nights working tirelessly at their new found ideas and
played their first gig together as Uiscedwr in the summer of
2002. Shortly after, they added guitar to the line up, mainly
as a harmonic extra to allow them to explore larger musical
timbres. The trio then won the coveted BBC Radio 2 Young Folk
Award in December 2002 after beating off stiff competition from
the UK’s most promising new folk acts.
An unforeseeable occurrence
led to the departure of the band’s guitarist in February
this year, to be replaced by Ben Hellings whose debut gig (St.
Patrick’s Day celebrations on the South Bank, London)
went down a storm. Since the award, Uiscedwr have been delighting
audiences, playing at some of the leading folk festivals in
Britain, such as The Hexham Gathering, Cambridge Folk Festival,
Sidmouth International Festival and Towersey Festival. The trio
also found time to fit in a trip Sweden, to perform at the Falun
Festival, where they were warmly welcomed by the public, and
received great reviews.
rhythm catches me, it is lively, playful and romantic, it feels
like Uiscedwr can show their tradition…… Unfortunately
the concert ends too soon….. I would have liked them to
continue for much much longer.” – from Falu Kuriren
Now a member of the discerning
Moneypenny agency, expect to see a lot more of Uiscedwr in 2004.
Demand has been high for their debut album, recorded at Kate
Rusby’s studio in Barnsley and to be released in spring
2004. The band aim to continue making a bold impression on the
folk scene, and they will carry on working and playing late
into the night (every night!) in their small house in Manchester.
Anna Esslemont: Fiddle & Vocals
Cormac Byrne: Bodhran & Percussion
Ben Hellings: Guitar