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Crows still roving to Leek for town's arts festival

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: February 01, 2014

By Belinda Hargreaves

The Roving Crows at last year's Leek Arts Festival.

The Roving Crows at last year's Leek Arts Festival.

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A BAND set to appear at this year's Leek Arts Festival has been swamped with demands to play extra gigs after scooping a top music industry award.

The Roving Crows, booked to play as part of the Leek Festival on May 17, have been voted Band of the Year in the 2013 Fatea Magazine Awards – beating top festival band Bellowhead who could only manage the runners-up spot.

Roving Crows lead singer Paul O'Neill said the band members were delighted by the accolade which had led to a significant increase in bookings.

Paul said: "We were already busy but now we are getting requests to play at lots more gigs and festivals – it's great to know that people like our music and want to see us play it live."

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The Roving Crows played at Leek in April last year as part of a series of warm-up gigs for the main Arts Festival programme. And the reception they received convinced Festival organisers to rebook them for 2014 – this time as part of the main programme.

Paul added: "We had a great time at Leek last year and it was clear from the moment we walked on stage that the Leek Arts Festival holds a special place in the hearts of local people.

"We're looking forward to meeting up with old friends and making lots of new ones when we come back in May."

Arts Festival spokesman Phil Edmeades said: "The band created a real buzz when they played last year and we have had many requests to bring them back. Their success in the Fatea Awards – even beating the mighty Bellowhead into second place – is a clear indication that we've made the right decision."

The Roving Crows' line-up boasts fiery fiddle playing, trumpet, guitar, drums and vocals and comprise.

Front-man Paul is a founder member of the band, with a background in theatre and writing he scribes all the original song.

As well as Paul, the band consists of Caitlin Barrett a fiddle player, singer and co founder of The Roving Crows. She is an experienced musician with a vast repertoire, her strident and formidable fiddle style developed over many years of self-study.

Greg Wilson-Copp is the trumpet player and also provides backing vocals. Having recently studied Music Technology at Birmingham UCE he has many years of performance experience with various different groups.

Drummer Tim Tolhurst, who also provides backing vocals, is currently studying popular music at the University of Gloucestershire. His dynamic style has been influenced by the likes of Keith Moon and Joe Morello.

Lawrence Shaw on bass is the newest member of the band hailing from Evesham. He has played in rock bands for the last six years while studying sound engineering at Staffordshire University. Now a full time musician with The Roving Crows.

Tickets for The Roving Crows gig on May 17 will be available shortly on the Festival website at www.leekartsfestival.org as will tickets for other events including Richard Digance and Mark Radcliffe. More information about The Roving Crows can be found at www.rovingcrows.com.

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