Powerhouse English folkies Faustus, spent much of the past two years researching and writing new material from the poetry of 1860s Lancashire Cotton Famine, resulting in powerful and moving new songs that they will bring to the Auckland Folk Festival 2020. The new material has already lead to acclaimed for the five-track EP, Cotton Lords.
Band members Benji Kirkpatrick (Seth Lakeman Band, Steeleye Span, Bellowhead), Saul Rose (Waterson:Carthy, Eliza Carthy’s Wayward Band, Whapweazel) and Paul Sartin (Bellowhead, Belshazzar’s Feast) are three of the leading lights of their generation and all deeply rooted in the English tradition. ’One of Britain’s outstanding folk bands.’ **** The Guardian
Nominated in the 2009 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Faustus are three of the leading lights of their generation of folk music lovers. They bring together a virtuosic display of musicianship rooted deeply in the English tradition and were recognised in 2007 with a 75th Anniversary Award from the English Folk Dance and Song Society.
Benji Kirkpatrick was a key member of the recently disbanded folk big band and BBC Award winners Bellowhead. He has recently joined folk rock super group Steeleye Span, and spent three years in the Seth Lakeman Band having featured on Seth’s successful releases Kitty Jay and Freedom Fields. He has also released four solo albums; the latest Hendrix Songs, saw him strip back the songs of his hero and set them in a new, acoustic light. In summer 2016, as part of the Shakespeare 400 celebrations, he was involved in The Fairy Portal Camp at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford upon Avon. Musicians, actors and dancers collaborated to produce new works every day for a week, working up to a final performance which opened the fairy portal.
Saul Rose was a long time member of Waterson:Carthy, winning two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards with Broken Ground and forming a duo with Eliza Carthy. The double album Red Rice, of which Rose was an integral part of the ‘Rice’ half, was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 1998. More recently Saul has joined Whapweasel, played in Ruth Notman’s band, and formed a duo with James Delarre (of Mawkin). He is a founder member of new folk big band Eliza Carthy and The Wayward Band. He has played on numerous albums as a guest, including Jackie Oates’ album Hyperboreans, Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy’s album The Gift and the soundtrack for the films Morris- A Life With Bells On and Far From The Madding Crowd. He was nominated for the Musician of The Year award in the 2010 BBC Folk Awards and during 2011 took the part of Songman in the West End play War Horse.
Paul Sartin was a member of the late Bellowhead, as well as BBC Folk Award-nominated duo Belshazzar’s Feast. He is director of the Andover Museum Loft Singers. Following the Bellowhead Songbook, his latest publication is Community Choirs Folk for Faber Music. Recent broadcast appearances include BBC Radio 2’s Clare Balding Show, Chris Evans Show and BBC Radio 3’s In Tune and The Choir. Having received a BASCA nomination for The Hartlepool Monkey with Streetwise Opera, he has been commissioned to write music for Central School of Speech and Drama; Broadstairs Folk Week; Sidmouth Folk Festival and the Southbank; Somerville College, Oxford; and BBC Radio 4’s Playing the Skyline. He arranged and directed the music for the recent revival of The Transports awarded five stars by the Guardian.
During 2016 Faustus were Artists in Residence at Halsway Manor, National Centre for the Folk Arts, in the Quantock Hills of Somerset, where they had unlimited access to the Manor’s extensive library, and where Faustus’s latest album Death and Other Animals was recorded, including four newly-unearthed songs unique to Halsway’s little-known Ruth Tongue archive.
Death and Other Animals received the 2017 German Critics Award (Schallplatenkritik Bestenliste) in the Folk/Singer-Songwriter/World Music category. It received a 2018 nomination for the Maltzhaus Plauen Music Music Prize.
’One of Britain’s outstanding folk bands.’ **** The Guardian
‘The concept? To rescue contemporary folk from the curse of feyness…
Bloke-folk!… Fans of Led Zep III should take a thoughtful interest.’ **** Independent on Sunday
‘Everything that’s best in modern traditional music’ Acoustic Magazine
‘Dynamically fascinating to watch, entertaining and intriguing’ Folk & Roots