Steeleye Span - one of the most influential names in British roots music - returns to Eastbourne for a live performance at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre on Saturday October 6 at 7.30pm.
Pioneers of folk-rock, the band changed the face of folk music forever, taking it out of small clubs and into the world of gold discs and international tours. Members have come and gone over the years, but Steeleye has always remained at the forefront of the genre they helped to define, and, 38 years later the band has become an institution.
Steeleye Span formed in 1969, with the vision of playing folk music in a contemporary, electric band format. Taking their name from the song Horkstow Grange, their debut album Hark! The Village Wait set out the blueprint for folk-rock.
1995 was a major landmark when the 25th anniversary was celebrated with a one-off reunion of all members past and present for a charity gig in London. The live album The Journey, released in 1999, serves as a reminder of Steeleye’s importance in the development of British roots music, with a personnel list reading like who’s who of folk.
With their 50th anniversary approaching, the band’s eighth album in 12 years – 2016’s Dodgy Bastards – saw them return to the folk tales and characters always at the heart of the Steeleye sound with a record that saw them drawing on stories of murder, religion, incest, skulls, honour killings and tormented spirits to once more create an inspired and dark take on the music of the British Isles. They follow it with a UK tour that sees them introduce a new seven piece line up, with Roger Carey joining on bass, and former Bellowhead frontman Benji Kirkpatrick, whose father John enjoyed two successful stints in the band. Tickets £23-£25 from 01323 802020 or www.royalhippodrome.com.