Horizon Lights are: Ally Craigan (fiddle), Viv Bell (guitar/vocals), Andrew Rothery (accordion) and Graham Foord (mandolin, and other stringed instruments!)
Listen to our podcast first broadcast on Choice Radio on 25 November 2015 where we chat about ourselves and sing/play five great numbers! And read about us below.
Viv organised many folk music clubs in and around Newcastle Upon Tyne in the 1980s with her guitarist partner Maurice Condie. Viv ‘s band “7 to Midnight” were very well known in Newcastle in the 1980s and 1990s, where they played a mixture of melodic rock – both original and covers. Viv won a songwriting competition which had over 3000 entrants!
Inspired by the lively and living folk tradition when she lived in Northumberland, Ally has become omnivorous, dining at the smorgasbord of irish, shetland, klezmer and even american tunes. She has sat adoringly at the feet of Peter Knight, Pete Cooper, Joe Boughton and Matt Crannitch and a little magic has rubbed off. Ally also plays with Compost Ceilidh Band and lurks in the corner of many a local session.
Andrew‘s love of folk music started in 2005 when he took up playing the accordion, having played piano and orchestral percussion previously! Andrew says he likes folk music as it allows the performer to use their own ideas and personality to interpret and arrange the tunes. Andrew also plays from time to time in an accordion group, the ESM Folk Ensemble and a banjo duo.
Graham became interested in folk music at school after listening to what he originally thought was the Steel Ice Band on a crackly John Peel pirate radio show. He discovered that these new found songs and tunes sounded better on mandolin than the electric guitar he was learning to play.Later, while working abroad, he would smuggle the mandolin onto oil rigs and while living in Egypt, played in the Cairo Country Dance Band.
More recently, Graham played with local bands The Road North and C Major 7th before joining Horizon Lights.
He also plays regularly at pub music sessions at The Admiral Rodney and The Talbot.