The Urban Folk Quartet
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The Urban Folk Quartet

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""one of the most exciting acoustic groups on the scene today""

"...now I am really excited about this next bit because The Urban Folk Quartet are one of my favourite bands at the moment... in my humble opinion they're one of the most exciting acoustic groups on the scene today. Fabulous musicians, very vibrant and percussive."
Mike Harding, BBC Radio 2 - BBC Radio 2


""music to engage ears, heart and feet simultaneously""

“The UFQ produce a truly uplifting concoction that is undeniably folk music but with the rhythmic and improvisatory flexibility of jazz. It’s music to engage ears, heart and feet simultaneously and the pleasure the band take in making it is plain to anyone who has seen them.”
Oz Hardwick, R2
- R2 (Rock'n'Reel)


""one of the tightest line-ups I have ever seen”"

“A sizzling hot ensemble who fuse folk with elements of dub, house and rock with an ease that shouldn’t naturally follow that list of genres. Built on the rhythms of a cajón-wielding percussionist and oud-playing bassist, the phenomenal fiddlers led the quartet in one of the tightest line-ups I have ever seen.”
Olivia Haughton, Songlines - Songlines


"ALBUM REVIEW"

"It's difficult to believe these guys have been playing together for less than a year....It's a truly impressive first pressing." Caroline John, Taplas magazine - TAPLAS


""I was absolutely slain by a band I'd never heard of before""

About a month ago I stood in room decked out like a psychotic Chinese tart’s boudoir over a dodgy pub in Hackney and was absolutely slain by a band I’d never heard of before.
The Urban Folk Quartet were playing Passing Clouds – run by the Magpie’s Nest, winner of the BBC’s folk club of the year award – and as I watched 150 people bouncing up and down, sweating on each other to wild fiddle playing that sounded like cross between the Charlie Daniels band and Steeleye Span’s Peter Knight (his solo is about 3.30 in) I thought the floor of the building – which used to be the print works for the Hackney Gazette – might give way.
That it didn’t was no thanks to Joe Broughton or Paloma Trigas, the duelling fiddle players who encouraged the chaos by taking pictures of the audience. Broughton is a familiar face on the English folk scene as a result of having started extremely young – he was in the Albion Band when he was still a teenager. It turned out that he and Trigas, who is from Galicia, had something in common.
“I met Paloma at the Birmingham conservatoire, where I was teaching her,” he told me a few days later. “I knew that she played professionally at the weekends but she kept very quiet about exactly what it was that she did. It turned out that she was doing stadium sized gigs with Carlos Núñez all over the world and had been since she was a kid… Yeah, that was quite impressive.”
It’s possible that the early start they each had is what drew them together – and led them to form the Urban Folk Quartet with Tom Chapman and Frank Moon. But who cares about the pop psychology when on their fourth outing as a band (six months ago) they won the Spanish International Folk Competition?
Their first album is out this week and Broughton says that they’re determined not to mess up the marketing – so I hope I can help, even though as a result of having contracted a Facebook virus over the weekend that sent out faintly appalling messages purporting to be from me, he probably thinks I’m a loony.
“We’ve got a few international festivals to play this summer,” mused Broughton. “But nothing much in this country. Don’t know why not really.”
Good question.
Emma Hartley, The Telegraph - The Telegraph


"Exciting new folk-world crossover act delivers knockout blow"

Album review:
The Urban Folk Quartet
The Urban Folk Quartet (Fellside Records)
Sunday 09 May 2010
by Matt Fancy

This assured debut album from the Birmingham folksters sees them gaily leaping across folk and world boundaries like a well travelled band of Gypsy minstrels with worn-out passports.

Considering that they've been playing together for less than 10 months and yet have already played to audiences in Italy, Belgium, Britain and an award-winning festival performance in Spain, great things were expected from this album, which fortunately delivers.

Opening with the jaunty and appropriately named Upstart, the UFQ take us on a journey through a folk fusion melting pot led by the interplay of dazzling fiddle players Paloma Trigas and Joe Broughton.

Tom Chapman's percussion is inventive but never intrusive (sometimes a curse with folky combos) and he lends a plaintive, husky vocal to The Swallow.

The joy of the album is in the mixture: frenetic jiggery-pokery combined with emotional, committed playing - especially on the mournful Suspiro Del Moro - means you're never reaching for the skip button. If this lot aren't the toast of the folk festival circuit within months, I'll eat me folk waistcoat.
- The Morning Star


"Exciting new folk-world crossover act delivers knockout blow"

Album review:
The Urban Folk Quartet
The Urban Folk Quartet (Fellside Records)
Sunday 09 May 2010
by Matt Fancy

This assured debut album from the Birmingham folksters sees them gaily leaping across folk and world boundaries like a well travelled band of Gypsy minstrels with worn-out passports.

Considering that they've been playing together for less than 10 months and yet have already played to audiences in Italy, Belgium, Britain and an award-winning festival performance in Spain, great things were expected from this album, which fortunately delivers.

Opening with the jaunty and appropriately named Upstart, the UFQ take us on a journey through a folk fusion melting pot led by the interplay of dazzling fiddle players Paloma Trigas and Joe Broughton.

Tom Chapman's percussion is inventive but never intrusive (sometimes a curse with folky combos) and he lends a plaintive, husky vocal to The Swallow.

The joy of the album is in the mixture: frenetic jiggery-pokery combined with emotional, committed playing - especially on the mournful Suspiro Del Moro - means you're never reaching for the skip button. If this lot aren't the toast of the folk festival circuit within months, I'll eat me folk waistcoat.
- The Morning Star


""up there with the best of them... amazing playing""

"up there with the best of them... amazing playing" - Mike Harding, BBC Radio 2, May 2010 - BBC Radio 2


""up there with the best of them... amazing playing""

"up there with the best of them... amazing playing" - Mike Harding, BBC Radio 2, May 2010 - BBC Radio 2


"Urban Folk Quartet live at Alexander's"

"world class music with unrivalled stage presence" - chester chronicle


"web review"

"5 stars...this folk band really rock!" - Loudervoice.com/reviews


"urban folk quartet"

This is folk music with a heady contemporary twist performed by four young musicians who bring different musical backgrounds and sublime technical ability to their performance style.

Traditional tunes from England and Spain are thrown into a melting pot and mixed with a vibrant fusion of world and urban rhythms from the Birmingham scene. The result is lively and spontaneous.
- bath chronicle


"British band wins International Folk prize in Plasencia"

"The UFQ took our festival by storm, getting a standing ovation for their amazing live show, full of freshness, talent and originality. An incredible band and wonderful people - what more could you ask for?"
- Ruben Berejerano, Folk Plasencia, August 2009 - Amigos de Folk Plasencia


"urban folk quartet"

This is folk music with a heady contemporary twist performed by four young musicians who bring different musical backgrounds and sublime technical ability to their performance style.

Traditional tunes from England and Spain are thrown into a melting pot and mixed with a vibrant fusion of world and urban rhythms from the Birmingham scene. The result is lively and spontaneous.
- bath chronicle


Discography

"The Urban Folk Quartet" (2010, Fellside Recordings).

"The Urban Folk Quartet: Live" (2011, SAE).

"Off Beaten Tracks" (2012, SAE)

Photos

Bio

Joe Broughton, Paloma Trigás, Frank Moon and Tom Chapman are The Urban Folk Quartet. Four highly accomplished musicians, a dozen instruments and three voices coming together to craft a knockout show of globally–influenced, electrifying acoustic music that has been taking the European folk scene by storm.

This is fiddle-led music that draws heavily from the celtic dance forms and traditional song but from there on in it is unlike any folk band you have ever heard. Just as English country dance unassumingly met with big band jazz musicianship in the mid 20th century, The UFQ's approach to the folk ethos is to embrace any and every influence that genuinely makes sense of their time and place and makes sense in their music. From funk grooves to middle eastern melodies, afrobeat to north indian rhythms…

The first of those phenomenal fiddlers is Galician Paloma Trigás, who has shared stages and recorded with with the likes of The Chieftains, Sharon Shannon and Altan, during her tenure touring the stadiums of the world with Spain's biggest folk star, Carlos Nuñez. The second is Joe Broughton, long established on the folk scene as the fieriest English fiddler and showman of his generation. In The UFQ he deftly shares multi-instrumentalist duties (often mid-song!) on guitar and mandolin with Frank Moon, a first-call gypsy jazz guitarist and oud player on the London world music scene, recently commissioned as a composer and one-man band by The Royal Ballet. The lineup is completed by Tom Chapman, widely considered to be the most accomplished and innovative cajonero the UK has to offer.

With the vibrant and diverse Birmingham music scene as a fundamental influence, The Urban Folk Quartet is a truly international band. Foreign touring and globally-influenced music have been at the heart of what they do since day one, when in June 2009 their first four gigs took place in four different countries.

Summer 2011 saw the UFQ embark on their biggest adventure yet - a three month roller coaster ride of gigs across Spain, Germany, Canada, Italy and the UK. Playing everything from secluded coves to 30,000 capacity festival fields, igniting audiences and winning them a devoted fan base far and wide.

March 2012 saw the release of their third album, "Off Beaten Tracks". Recorded in the middle of this whirlwind world tour, it's both a travelogue of musical snapshots from the road - compositions dedicated to Spanish bus rides or The Vancouver Island coastline, for example - and a collection of highlights from the set that had revellers dancing the night away at festivals from The Bay of Biscay to edge of The North Pacific.

2013 brings a new live album of mostly brand new material, recorded in Birmingham and London in the midst of a UK tour.