Newcastle band The Rambling win 2013 Ely Folk Festival band competition - and top billing

Ely Folk Festival 2013 - band competition winner Rambling.

Ely Folk Festival 2013 - band competition winner Rambling. - Credit: Archant

THIS summer’s Ely Folk Festival will be opened by teenage band the Rambling, who won the top billing after taking the honours in this year’s folk festival band competition.

The 17-year-olds from Newcastle-upon-Tyne were one of 16 bands who entered the competition, which attracted a great range of performers, with a variety of sounds from indie to country to traditional folk.

Judging was undertaken by the festival’s music committee along with Boo Hewerdine, internationally known singer-songwriter and resident of Ely who has become festival patron this year.

Boo said: “There was something about The Rambling that really intrigued us, their sound was really original and lyrically I thought they were very good. It is great to give them a chance to open the festival.”

Festival spokesman Fionnuala Lennon said: “The Rambling is a band of four young musicians, who with traditional instruments and rich vocal harmony, bring a fresh sensibility to eternal folk themes. Their music reflects their ear to contemporary music and beyond.”

Band members are Aidan Finden, Rose Hobkirk, Dom Johnson and Declan Crawford. They formed the band in 2012.

Fionnuala added: “We chose them as winners of the 2013 band competition because of their youthful, fresh and energetic sound combined with their masterful approach to combining instruments and vocals to create a mesmerising sound.

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“We thought they represented the future sound of folk music. They will open the Ely Folk Festival 2013 on Friday 12th July on the main festival stage.”

The runners-up in the band competition were duo Karen Johnson and Tony Clark from Bishops Stortford, who will play in the Friday Night Showcase at the festival.