small spider artists and bands
Ric Sanders Trio
Ashley Hutchings' Rainbow Chasers
Mo Thomas
The Continentals
Steve Daniels
Martyn Jospeh
Aynsley Lister
Derin Naeudorf
Ben Paley
Back Water Roll
Deb Sandland
State Of Undress
Amy Wadge
Julie Felix
Little Johnny England
The Oyster Band
Pete Quinn
Colvin Quarmby
Carla Hendricks Band
Martin Carthy
Father Jack
Aynsley Lister
Ralph McTell
Norma Waterson
Show Of Hands
Colvin Quarmby
Emily Slade
Bill Thomas



  • Southsea Folk And Roots Festival - Wednesday 28th August - The Gaiety Suite South Parade Pier

Singer and songwriter Ralph McTell is a man who may well be the nearest this country has come to Bob Dylan. He remains best known for a single composition, 'Streets Of London'. Yet McTell has done much more than rely on one song, however renowned, for his 30 years as a recording artist. As well as his ongoing musical career, other roles have included children's TV host of "Alphabet Zoo", Radio 2 presenter, and composer of music for Billy Connolly's TV travelogues.

Ralph May was born in Famborough, Kent, in 1944, and took up the guitar in 1959. In early '60s he took off and he busked all over Europe, and in 1966 changed his name after the legendary blues gutiarist Blind Willie McTell. Ralph has recorded two tribute albums to his early influences and is a renowned finger-style guitarist.

In 1969 his first album, 'Spiral Staircase', included the first version of 'Streets of London', which, when re-recorded in 1974 as a single reached number two in the British charts. A million-seller all over the world, the song soon became a classic and earns for McTell a prestigious Ivor Novello songwriting award. It has gathered many accolades since then, is now the most purchased sheet music title of all time, and has been covered by acts as diverse as calypso king Harry Belafonte, jazz diva Cleo Laine, agit-punks the Anti Nowhere League, and Sinead O'Connor. Needless to say, despite the efforts of The Big Issue and others, the song's message on society's attitude to the homeless is as relevant as ever in the new millenium.

In 1970 Ralph appeared alongside Jimi Hendrix at The Isle Of Wight Festival. Earlier that year he sold out the the Royal Festival Hall for first time, and three years later became the first solo artist to sell-out the Royal Albert Hall for 14 years.

Through his three decades in music, McTell still has forthright views on life, and has survived showbiz with his credibility and compassion intact. Despite the intensity of the 'Troubles', he is the only major British artist to continue to play regularly in Northern Ireland.

Ralph was recently honoured at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Music Awards 2002 with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting.

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