«Bellowhead» - biografía, álbumes, canciones, videoclips

Bellowhead are an English contemporary folk band. The eleven-piece band plays traditional dance tunes, folk songs and shanties, with arrangements drawing inspiration from a wide diversity of musical styles and influences. The band includes percussion and a four-piece brass section, and is particularly renowned for its energetic live performances. Bellowhead's musicians play more than 20 instruments between them; with six members providing vocals.

Their third album, Hedonism, went silver (selling over 60,000 copies) and is the highest selling independently released folk album of all time.


Early years and Burlesque: 2004-2007

The idea for the band came to Spiers and Boden while the duo were in a traffic jam on tour. The longer they sat in traffic, the more friends they thought to invite to join. This led to the formation of a ten-piece band, with Benji Kirkpatrick, Rachael McShane, Paul Sartin, Pete Flood, Brendan Kelly, Justin Thurgur, Andy Mellon and Giles Lewin completing the initial line-up.

Before they had time to rehearse, the band were invited to play the first Oxford Folk Festival in April 2004, which went successfully.

In 2004, the band independently released a five-track EP, publicised as "English World Music", called E.P.Onymous, which generated positive reviews.

In 2006 Gideon Juckes joined the band, primarily playing the tuba, and they released their first full-length album, Burlesque, featuring material from the Napoleonic Wars, the American minstrel movement and sea-shanties from Brazil .

Towards the end of 2007 they became Artists in Residence at the Southbank Centre, making their inaugural appearance with a Christmas Revels event.

Matachin: 2008-2009

In 2008 Bellowhead released their second album Matachin and performed at the Proms which was broadcast live on BBC Four and BBC Radio 3.Sam Sweeney joined the band on fiddles and bagpipes following the departure of Giles Lewin. The following year in August the band were approached about recording music for a 20th anniversary episode of The Simpsons.

Hedonism: 2010-11

In 2010, Ed Neuhauser replaced Gideon Juckes on helicon and sousaphone.

In October 2010, Bellowhead released their third studio album, Hedonism, which had been recorded in Abbey Road Studios. The album was produced by John Leckie. In honour of the new album, the band developed a new ale named after the album. Several band members were involved with brewing process.

Bellowhead also recorded the theme tune on the new The Archers spin-off, Ambridge Extra.

In May 2011, at the 02 Academy in Bournemouth, the band recorded a live DVD, Hedonism Live, which was released in late November.

Broadside: 2012-13

The band recorded a new album, Broadside, in March 2012 at Rockfield Studios with John Leckie which was released mid-October 2012. The album generated generally positive reviews and went straight to number 16 in the UK official album charts and number 1 in the UK independent album charts.

In early 2012 the band undertook a European tour and in November 2012 toured the UK. In early 2013 the band will tour the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium.

In October 2013 they recorded a jingle for the flagship BBC Radio 2 folk music show The Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe.

During 2013 they recorded a double A-sided single, Christmas Bells / Jingle Bells to be released on 1 December in digital-only format.

Tenth anniversary and Revival: 2014-present

In 2014 the band celebrated ten years performing together with two 'Bel10whead' performances in April: Bridgewater Hall and the Royal Albert Hall.

In early 2014 the band recorded a new studio album, Revival, to be released 23 June 2014. The album is to be released on Island Records.

Band members

Current members

  • Jon Boden - lead vocals, fiddle, tambourine, shaky egg, thunder tube, kazoo, whistle
  • John Spiers - melodeons, Anglo concertina, Claviola, kazoo, vocals, tambourine
  • Benji Kirkpatrick - guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, tenor banjo, vocals, kazoo
  • Rachael McShane - cello, fiddle, kazoo, vocals
  • Paul Sartin - fiddle, oboe, slide whistle, kazoo, vocals
  • Sam Sweeney (2008–present) - fiddle, English bagpipes, kazoo, vocals, whistle
  • Pete Flood - percussion (including frying pan, glockenspiel, knives and forks, clockwork toys, megaphone scratching, stomp box, coal scuttle, party blowers, broomsticks, ratchet, Casio VL-tone, shakers and tambourine), vocals
  • Ed Neuhauser (2010–present) - sousaphone, helicon, tuba, vocals
  • Brendan Kelly - saxophone, bass clarinet, vocals
  • Justin Thurgur - trombone, vocals
  • Andy Mellon - trumpet, vocals

Former members

  • Giles Lewin (2004–2008) - fiddle, bagpipes
  • Gideon Juckes (2006–2010) - sousaphone, helicon, tuba


Studio Albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
2006 Burlesque
  • Released: 2006
  • Label: Westpark
2008 Matachin
  • Released: 22 September 2008
  • Label: Navigator Records
2010 Hedonism
  • Released: 4 October 2010
  • Label: Navigator Records
  • UK: Silver
2012 Broadside
  • Released: 15 October 2012
  • Label: Navigator Records
2014 Revival
  • Released: 23 June 2014
  • Label: Island


  • New York Girls (2010)
  • Cold Blows The Wind (2010)
  • 10,000 Miles Away (September, 2012)
  • Roll The Woodpile Down (February, 2013)
  • Betsy Baker (July, 2013)
  • Christmas Bells / Jingle Bells (December, 2013)
  • Gosport Nancy (16 June 2014)

Extended plays

  • E.P.Onymous (2004)


  • Live at Shepherds Bush Empire (2009)
  • Hedonism Live (November, 2011)

Other works

  • Umbrellowhead (2009)

Awards and nominations

At BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards

The BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards are an annual awards ceremony held to celebrate achievement among folk artists that year. To date Bellowhead have won 8 of these awards.

Year Recipient Award Result
2013 Bellowhead Best Group Nominated
Broadside Best Album Won
2012 Bellowhead Best Group Nominated
Best Live Act Nominated
Bellowhead Best Group Won
Best Live Act Won
Hedonism Best Album Nominated
New York Girls Best Traditional Track Nominated
2010 Bellowhead Best Group Nominated
Best Live Act Won
2009 Bellowhead Best Group Nominated
Best Live Act Nominated
2008 Bellowhead Best Group Nominated
Best Live Act Won
2007 Bellowhead Best Group Won
Best Live Act Won
2006 Bellowhead Best Group Nominated
Best Live Act Nominated
2005 Bellowhead Best Group Nominated
Best Live Act Won


External links

Video clips