We’re back!

Kerfuffle in Chesterfield
Kerfuffle in Chesterfield

Top award nominee Hannah James has good reason to be excited in the run-up to Christmas.

Top award nominee Hannah James has good reason to be excited in the run-up to Christmas.

The Chesterfield-based singer and accordionist and violin-player Sam Sweeney have been put forward for best duo in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and their old band Kerfuffle are reforming for a short tour.

On a high after being nominated for the award, Hannah said: “It is very exciting. The awards are in Glasgow at the end of January. We’re hoping to go but I’m down in the south-west on the days either side of the awards so will probably have to fly up!”

As well as being tipped for best duo, also contested by Kerfuffle’s guitarist Jamie Roberts and violin-playing partner Katriona Gilmore, Sam is up for best musician.

Kerfuffle’s mini-tour kicks off tomorrow (December 14) when Hannah, Sam, his bass player brother Tom and guitarist Jamie will perform in nine venues. Hannah said: “Most of them are places we have played quite a lot as Kerfuffle and where we have a big following.”

The band will launch the tour in Aslackby in Lincolnshire and play the last show on December 22 at Chesterfield’s Crooked Spire church. Hannah said: “The Crooked Spire church is a very atmospheric place to play, It is nice to be playing to a home crowd.

“We’ll be playing a lot of stuff from our Lighten The Dark album. There will be old carols in which people might recognise the words but not the tunes because the tunes are a lot older.

“We like to play Christmas music to people - it is nice to get away from all the commercialisation and the shopping.”

Kerfuffle split three years ago due to the pressure of work. Hannah said: “Sam and I were playing full-time and needed to work on block tours and the other two members had jobs.”

Members of the band are now tied up with high-profile commitments.

Hannah said: “Sam is mega busy working in Bellowhead, Jon Boden and the Remnant Kings and Fay Hield and the Hurricane Party as well as working on our duo which we got together in 2008.

“I’m a member of Lady Maisery and we are just as the end of a tour. We are doing well - we were nominated for a Horizon award at the BBC Folk Awards last year.“

Hannah is also working with Maddy Prior and performed with her at the Whitworth Institute, Darley Dale, this autumn. “It was really full and everyone enjoyed it,” she said.

Tom Sweeney is running a record label which Kerfuffle started up. “ “It’s a non-profit label and a good deal for young artists, said Hannah.”

Guitarist Jamie is working full-time with fellow folk artiste Katriona Gilmore.

With three of the members just 25 years old and Sam only 23, the experience they gained in nearly ten years of playing in Kerfuffle is paying dividends.

Hannah said: “It really gave us a grounding from being in a band at such an early age. With the folk scene you have to do quite a long apprenticeship before you can make a living from it. We did that when we were very young and now we are able to make a living.”

Tickets for the Chesterfield concert cost £10. Contact www.kerfuffleonline.co.uk

l Chesterfield’s singer/guitarist Blair Dunlop has been nominated for the Horizon award in the Radio 2 gongs.