For WHAT IS ENGLAND? The Nest Collective are curating collaborations between artists working in English folk and other global musical traditions, challenging perceptions of the genre.
Stick In The Wheel
“Britain’s most exciting new folk band.” - UNCUT
East London five-piece folk band Stick In The Wheel are headed by singer Nicola Kearey, and guitarist/producer Ian Carter. Their debut From Here (2015) was fRoots magazine ‘Album of the Year’ and a MOJO‘Folk Album of the Year’, with four BBC Folk Award nominations since their inception in 2013. Known for Kearey’s fierce, authentic delivery, this is culturally and politically switched on music with its roots firmly embedded in the genre’s traditional, working-class heritage. The group have been widely commended for their timely appraisal of English Folk, and their skill in telling stories through song that reconnect modern audiences to the past – drawing unexpected parallels between then and now.
Ansuman Biswas is an interdisciplinary artist and composer who has been commissioned by Tate Modern, National Theatre, English Ballet and has worked with Bjork and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Kolkata-born percussionist in world music hybrid quartet Newanderthal (‘four humans, three continents’), Ansuman says ‘music spreads throughout the environment like a perfume… it soaks into the fabric of other things and people.
Suna Alan is a Kurdish/Alevi singer based in London. Born in the mountainous province of Çewlik (Bingol), an ancient Kurdish and Armenian province in Northern Kurdistan (officially Turkey). Her family moved to Smyrna (Izmir) in her early childhood which meant that much of her formative years were spent surrounded by traditional Kurdish dengbêj (*bard) music and Kurdish-Alevi laments within a rich cosmopolitan cultural environment. Her musical journey led to London where she has been working with musicians from various nationalities. Although her main focus remains Kurdish folk songs from the four regions of Kurdistan namely Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey, her repertoire also includes Armenian, Greek, Sephardic and Turkish songs.
“An uncompromising approach… elegant, rhythmic and virtuoso playing and easygoing folk club banter… a quiet triumph!” - The Guardian
John Spiers, known better in folk circles as Squeezy, has made a name for himself as one of the leading squeezebox players of his generation. First thrust into the spotlight as a member of Eliza Carthy & The Ratcatchers, and in seminal English duo Spiers & Boden, the duo that became the core of Britain's most successful folk act of all time, Bellowhead. Today, John tours solo and in a duo with fiddle player Peter Knight, of Steeleye Span.
Started more than 12 years ago by Mercury Award nominated folksinger and song collector Sam Lee, The Nest Collective is London’s gateway to experiencing worldwide roots music. With projects ranging from intimate campfire side performances to sold out shows by some of the biggest artists in folk and world music, we are creating a community that seeks unique sonorous experiences in unusual spaces.