Pair nominated for top music award

February 28 2018
Thumbnail Image

TWO former Wells Blue School students have been nominated for a top national music award and are heading for a glittering ceremony in Belfast.

Ford Collier and Alex Garden, both 21, perform together as The Drystones and have been chosen as nominees for BBC Radio 2’s Young Folk Award 2018.

The Drystones were selected from hundreds of entries to attend a weekend of workshops and performances in Kendal. A panel of judges then chose just four to go on the folk awards in April.

Alex said: “We had such an inspiring time in Kendal. We worked with other top-class young trad musicians from all over the UK and had guidance from folk music legends Eliza Carthy and Tim van Eyken. We didn’t just make music, we made friends for life too.”

The duo met at the Blue School and have been performing together since they were 15. They started out at Priddy Folk Festival and have gone on to play at festivals around the country, including the Glastonbury Festival. In 2015 they supported Ray Davies and The Shires at the Glastonbury Extravaganza and in the same year won the Larmer Tree Festival Breakthrough Music Award. Last year they released their third album, We Happy Few, which received first-rate reviews and was featured as one of Songlines Magazine’s Top of the World albums.

Ford and Alex graduated with first-class honours degrees last summer and are now launching their careers as professional musicians but they haven’t forgotten their roots. Both are closely involved with the Priddy Rising project run by the Blue School and Priddy Folk Festival, and in the coming months will be passing on their experience to the next generation of young folk musicians in Wells.

April will be an exciting and busy month for the duo. Ford said: “We’re really looking forward to the tour we’ve been putting together for April, travelling all over England and Scotland, and what better way to kick it off than a trip to Belfast for the Radio 2 Folk Awards ceremony.”