Folk tour with two legs

John Jones
John Jones

A FOLK music tour will visit Sheffield and the Peak District next week – on foot.

Led by John Jones, of folk rock legends Oysterband, The Reluctant Ramblers are walking to all their gigs on the ‘Spine of England’.

Encompassing parts of the Pennines and Peak District, the group will appear in the village hall at Low Bradfield on Monday, the Millstone Inn in Hathersage on Tuesday and the Rutland Arms Hotel in Bakewell on Wednesday.

The focal point is John Jones, singer with the award-winning Oysterband, which has played the Leadmill and other venues in Sheffield on numerous occasions.

On this tour, his band, The Reluctant Ramblers, comprise a changing company of folk musicians and friends who accompany him on each leg of the tour, playing with him on that night’s gig.

Walking tours unite John’s greatest passions: the English countryside, music and rambling.

It’s an idea he dreamed up two years ago and previous tours have seen him walk from the Welsh Borders to Leicester, and through the Dorset countryside.

The latest route for the Yorkshire-born singer takes in iconic walking destinations such as Kinder Scout, the Hope Valley and Saddleworth Moor.

Anybody inspired by it can join in for all or part of the 127-mile, ten-day walk. Previous walking tours have seen fans travelling from as far as Germany to take part.

“The idea is to get people out there walking with us, even if it’s just for a few miles,” said John. “The beauty of these tours for me is that the music and the walking go hand in hand.

“My music is totally inspired by the landscape and I want as many people as possible to share in the whole experience of a good day’s walking, followed by music in beautiful surroundings with great company.”

Ordnance Survey has created a bespoke page on its maps portal, which allows anyone who wants to walk with John to access all or part of the route.

John is keen to use the walk to highlight the talents of local young folk and acoustic musicians. “The folk world is very lucky at the moment to have so many great young talents about and the area around South Yorkshire and Derbyshire is particularly thriving,” he said.

“This tour will give me the chance to play and walk alongside some of them and to bring their music to new audiences.”

John will be singing songs from his recent solo album, Rising Road, plus some newer songs. “The previous two walks were very inspiring. I got ideas for songs which I’ll be singing live for the first time on this tour.”

At Lower Bradfield, the walkers will be the support act to multi-instrumentalist Phil Beer, who is in the duo Show of Hands. Tickets cost £12. Admission to the Hathersage performance is free, Bakewell costs £8. Doors open 7.30pm.

lA group of folk singers and musicians walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats was hosted earlier this month by the Rivelin Folk Club at the Rambler Inn, Edale.