Jiří Wehle

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A street musician from Prague who specialises in tradional and Medieval instruments, Jiří Wehle has had many musical incarnations in his life, but, in his words, has always followed the path of the troubadour.

Starting his musical life in the 1960’s where he played guitar in a rock and roll band, Wehle has been a prolific artist for over fifty years. After his father’s death in the 90’s, with whom he had a long-standing musical collaboration, he has gone on to play for The Estate Theatre in Prague, compose original music for Czech puppet-performer Pavel Vangeli, and take musical roles in several films.
Wehle also plays constantly in the streets, something which he continued to do throughout the Communist regime of the 1980’s and 1990’s. After this turbulent period in history, Wehle’s music became much more independent, and he also began to use Medieval instruments such as shawms, bagpipes, chalumeaus, krumhorns, cistras and hurdy-gurdy.

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Richard Dawson

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Rising up from the bed of the River Tyne, a voice that crumbles and soars, steeped in age-old balladry and finely-chiselled observations of the mundane, Richard Dawson is a skewed troubadour, at once charming and abrasive.

Dawson is a barrage of musical expression and personality. A shambling exterior, amidst tales of pineapples and underpants, ghosts of family members and cats, his stage presence is at once inviting and awe-inspiring. The visceral power of his voice against the lurching modality of his guitar lines conjures false memories of Tim Buckley and Richard Youngs duetting with Sir Richard Bishop and Zoot Horn Rollo. There is a rawness to the music that embodies timeworn singing traditions: the fire and pestilence gait of the Sacred Harp singings, the fractured call and response of the Gaelic Psalms, the unbridled power of Mongolian throat singers. Its power is tempered by intimacy, flecked with human emotion anchored by a sense of place. These are tales sung to ward off the misery of the everyday, to transport and transcend, one moment tender, one moment violent. Music to alter our reality.

Having spent years incubating his singular art, becoming a quiet legend on the Newcastle experimental scene before exploding across the UK and Europe in 2012, Richard is no stranger to the Supersonic stage. This year, he returns to perform as well as curate an afternoon of music by a selection of his favourite artists from the UK and across the globe, offering a very special insight into his musical fascinations.

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