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Newcastle-based folk group Pons Aelius win prestigious award at Celtic Connections Festival

The sextet, who were one of 73 acts performing on the Open Stage at the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow in the competition won the Danny Kyle Award

Newcastle based progressive folk sextet Pons Aelius have won a prestigious Danny Kyle Award at this years Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow
Newcastle based progressive folk sextet Pons Aelius have won a prestigious Danny Kyle Award at this years Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow

Progressive folk group Pons Aelius have won a prestigious Danny Kyle Award at this year’s Celtic Connections festival in Glasgow.

The Newcastle-based sextet were among the 73 musical acts who performed on the Danny Kyle Open Stage at the Royal Concert Halls over the course of the festival - named after the Scottish folk singer who passionately championed new folk and traditional music.

Only half a dozen acts got a spot at the final night showcase on February 1 and Pons Aelius were among them, much to their unabashed delight.

“After we’d played our first set, we couldn’t stop thinking about whether we’d be asked back”, says piper Jordan Aikin, “when we finally got the call we were absolutely buzzing!”

Since forming mid-2014 year, the collective - made up of students from the much-respected Folk and Traditional Music degree at Newcastle University - has gone from strength to strength, ending the year with a headline performance in Hall Two of Sage Gateshead.

Jordan, together with Tom Kimber (mandolin/tenor banjo/piano), Bevan Morris (double bass), Alasdair Paul (guitar/bouzouki), Sam Partridge (flute), and Callum Younger (bodhrán) have developed a bold and exciting sound that fuses their traditional music roots with a fresh and innovative attitude.

And it certainly caught the ears of those judging the Danny Kyle Award.

Newcastle based progressive folk sextet Pons Aelius
Newcastle based progressive folk sextet Pons Aelius

Pons Aelius, along with the other five finalists have been booked for a support slot at next year’s festival, as well as at the opening concert of the 2016 Danny Awards.

They also join a select club of winners, which includes leading acts such as Karine Polwart, Breabach, Rura and The Chair.

Safe to say it was a pretty way to start what is shaping up to be a very good year for the band.

“We’re away to Norway next week and have some other really exciting gigs in the pipeline, as well as plans to get into the studio” says bassist Bevan. For more information on the band, visit www.ponsaeliusmusic.com

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