WORDS & MUSIC FESTIVAL
Welcome to the Words And Music site!
It was 2008 when the idea was mooted that maybe Nantwich would come out for a weekend of gigs, readings and workshops featuring famous names mixed in with newcomers.
Well Nantwich did indeed come out, and in the ensuing years audience members have travelled from Japan, Iceland, Germany, France, Belgium and all over the UK – to enjoy our always eclectic mix of music and spoken word in our beautiful town.
The weekend quickly turned into a week, the list of headliners continued to diversify – and now here we are launching our 15th festival.
We continue to celebrate, and stand for, all the things we did from the start – originality, diversity, community – and the thrill of enticing chart topping international names to our town and presenting them alongside new, emerging acts. And we feel this years bill is shaping up to be our best yet.
We present words and music that we’re passionate about and we hope that passion keeps spreading to you, our audiences.
If, as someone once said “Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes” we are delighted to celebrate being “famous for 15 years”.
And we feel like we’re just getting going, so check us out and join us for the ride?
The legendary Echo & The Bunnymen singer and frontman rarely plays solo shows but, after an unforgettable set at the festival in 2015, we’ve enticed him back to Nantwich. Did you really think you’d ever hear anthems such as “Killing Moon” and “The Cutter” delivered up close in your local Civic Hall by that iconic voice? Well now you can, don’t miss out. A rare, spine tingling show in store, and a truly special occasion.
Liverpool born Space lodged themselves in the national consciousness in the 90s with an unforgettable stream of singles – including “Female of the Species” and “Neighbourhood”. Too witty for indie, too unpredictable for Britpop, Space have always held a special place in the UK’s heart. They still rock as hard as ever and we’re thrilled to welcome them to Nantwich as they balance familiar hits with materiel from their new album “Music For Pleasure, Music For Pain”.
SHOW OF HANDS
Formed late 80s by Steve Knightley and Phil Beer – both already celebrated folk stars by this point – Show Of Hands have become a national treasure, their roots based songwriting and stunning musicianship shot through with diverse influences including Latin rhythms, blues and Americana.
A genre-busting cottage industry well before the internet arrived to make such a thing commonplace, Show Of Hands have remained at the top of their game for nearly 3 decades, and now re-unite with bassist:singer Miranda Sykes for an evening of new material laced liberally with old classics.
Since her breakthrough album “Little Black Numbers” was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize back in 2000, Kathryn Williams has held a special place in the hearts of a passionate UK fan base. Her exquisite alto voice and understated delivery has drawn boundless plaudits and many comparisons, but Williams has trod a path all her own, her musical palette ranging between leftfield contemporary pop and soft acoustics.
Alongside acclaimed singles such as “Jasmin Hoop” and “Heart Shaped Stone” she has diversified with projects such as her specially commissioned tribute album to Sylvia Plath “Hypoxia” and a recent collaboration album with poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy “Midnight Chorus”.
A Kathryn Williams live performance is a thing of beauty and not to be missed.
Stand-up poet, comedian and broadcaster, armchair revolutionary and walking shortbread tin, Elvis McGonagall resides at The Graceland Caravan Park somewhere in the back of beyond where he scribbles satirical verse whilst drinking malt whisky and listening to Johnny Cash. A deftly witty wordsmith, sharp and subversive but not afraid to be plain daft, Elvis has been spitting his scurrilous diatribes against the powers that be since 2003. And look at the state of the world now. So that’s 19 years of futile ranting. Elvis McGonagall is huge in North Korea. He has suffered for his poetry. Now it’s your turn.