Jez Lowe will make two appearances at Ely 2012. Along with his Big Bad Pennies, he will provide a fabulous finale to our Friday night concert with electric vitality. Then on Saturday afternoon, he will perform from his award-winning Radio Ballads series.

Jez Lowe has built an enviable reputation as a songwriter and performer in the world of acoustic music, and as a recognised musical ambassador for his native North East England, with more than a dozen albums and countless live performances around the world over the last twenty years.

Jez Lowe and The Bad Pennies have been playing their songs and music of Northern England for a decade and a half around the folk festivals, clubs and concert stages of the world. “Acoustic simplicity coupled with electric vitality” was how they were described in their early days, and with half a dozen albums to their credit, along with solo albums by Jez and by other members of the group, their following has continued to increase. Strong vocals, backed by outstanding instrumental back-up on guitar, cittern, fiddle, fretless bass, keyboards and Northumbrian Pipes, have made them one of Britain’s top attractions on the folk/acoustic/celtic circuit. The Big Bad Pennies are a six-piece version of the regular touring line-up and include Kate Bramley, Andy May ,David de la Haye, Hinny Pawsey and Martin Douglas.

Back in 2006 Jez was one of the principle songwriters in the award-winning BBC series The Radio Ballads. The success in 2010 of another one-off programme has now inspired the BBC to commission a further six programmes for 2012, on the subject of The Olympic Games, and Jez is currently working on his contributions for this forthcoming series. In all, he has so far written almost forty songs over the last five years for the Radio Ballads series, many of which such as “Taking On Men” and “The Miami” have already become widely-sung folk classics, and Jez has developed a special concert performance that includes a varying selection of these songs, under the title of “The Muse MacColl”, referencing the instigator of the Radio Ballads format, Ewan MacColl.