Sleaford-based folk duo Winter Wilson are putting on a rare local gig next weekend having just returned from a lengthy debut tour of Australia.
The pair have come a long way since their early beginnings back in the 1990s, as half of local folk-rock band Ragtrade.
Since turning full time in 2012 their music has taken them the length and breadth of the UK, as well as into Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland. 2017, however, has seen their biggest adventure yet, as they spent the first 10 weeks of the year touring Australia and New Zealand having trawled the internet fixing up a massive variety of gigs and festivals.
Kip explained: “It was an incredible trip. We played four festivals, plus loads of folk clubs, community halls, cafes and bars, house concerts and even somebody’s garage! Mind you, their garage was almost as big as our house.
“We played across four states in Australia, plus both the North and South Islands of New Zealand.
“It was great. The audiences were really appreciative and it looks like we’ll be going back in a couple of years.”
“And we came home to another grandchild!” added Dave.
In the meantime, though, it is back to normality, or at least as normal as you can get when you spend most of your life travelling round Europe in a VW campervan called Tallullah.
Since their return from Down Under, Kip and Dave have already played various venues in England and Wales, but on Saturday May 20 they will be performing a rare local concert in Harmston Memorial Hall, just 10 miles from their Sleaford home.
“We love life on the road” said Dave, “but just once in a while it’s nice to go home straight after a gig and sleep in your own bed. It’s also great that local folk can come and see what we do; it’ll be lovely to catch up with some friends.”
So what can the audience expect?
“Well obviously we’re still touring Ashes & Dust, the latest album,” said Kip, “but I’m sure there’ll be a few old favourites in the set too. The thing is, we don’t actually work to a fixed set list. We usually know what the first couple of songs are going to be, then we play it by ear from there, so if anyone has any requests we can generally fit them in.
“There’s a new album in the pipeline at the moment, too, so a few of the new songs might find their way in on the night - who knows?”
Indeed variety and unpredictability are very much Winter Wilson’s trademark, both musically and in the often hilarious “patter” between the songs.
“That’s not planned either,” added Dave. “It just sort of happens. After twenty-odd years, we’re still both capable of surprising each other, and sometimes ourselves!”
And what’s next? As usual, the pair will be playing festivals throughout the UK during the summer months, as well as a return tour to Germany in June. “But the main target this year is to complete album number nine. We have a big tour early next year, supporting some heroes of ours, which we can’t actually announce yet, but we want to release the new album in time for that,” said Dave.
Next Saturday’s concert in Harmston starts at 7.45pm. Tickets can be reserved in advance from Keith on 01522 722462 or Jo on 01522 722919 or bought from The Thorold Arms in Harmston.