Tams and Coope

Making the short trip from the South Bank’s National Theatre to Twickenham on Sunday September 23rd, multi-award winner John Tams returns to Twickfolk at the Cabbage Patch, alongside Barry Coope.

Following a busy summer of major festivals and concerts, John is currently Songmaker for War Horse, an adaptation of former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo’s epic Great War story, playing in the Oliver Theatre from October to March.

Five times BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner John recently collected a coveted Sony Gold Award for his work as Executive Music Director on ‘Song of Steel’ part of a six-part Radio 2 series entitled the 2006 Radio Ballads. In November he will receive an Honorary Doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University.

Barry, well known as one third of the accapela trio Coope, Boyes and Simpson and Blue Murder is also a masterful keyboard player. His own catalogue, with classic albums from CB&S on No Masters and the trio’s work both here, in Europe and the USA has re-defined unaccompanied harmony singing.

Tams, described by Mojo as ‘one of the ultimate British songwriters’, has had a career spanning four decades in every medium. A member of the Albion Band and Home Service he is perhaps best known for his work at the National Theatre and as Rifleman Daniel Hagman in the Sharpe television series opposite Sean Bean. His first solo album Unity won two BBC Radio Folk Awards in 2001 including Album of the Year. Last year John scooped a hatrick of BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. His third album The Reckoning won Album of the Year and Traditional Track of the Year. Mike Harding on BBC Radio 2 described The Reckoning as ‘absolutely superb’ and ‘one the THE folk-happenings of the year.’ John was also honoured to win the coveted Folk Singer of the Year award.

Despite their long association it was only in 2002 that John and Barry decided to work together as a duo, a decision that has won acclaim from audiences wherever they play. Indeed they were nominated for Duo of the Year in last year’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. John and Barry are both delighted to be asked to play again at Twickfolk. John explained ‘There are some dates that come into the diary that we really look forward to — Twickfolk is high amongst them.’

Colin Hall of Get Rhythm and What’s On in London commented “John Tams and Barry Coope confound expectations: rich, diverse, contemporary and utterly compelling. It simply does not get any better than this.”

Both Derbyshire born, John and Barry live in neighbouring communities, choosing their offers carefully to retain the sense of occasion that attends their performances.

“We’re both as enthusiastic now as ever we’ve been, we’re still pushing the margins, still keen and … still here.” – they said …