Originally from North Wales and Yorkshire, The Trials of Cato formed whilst living in Beirut. On returning home in 2016, they have since torn a shape very much their own into the canvas of the UK folk scene with their glorious harmonies and great musicality. BBC Radio 2’s Mark Radcliffe hailed them as “one of the real discoveries on the folk circuit in recent times.” Musical development in the run up to their debut album was swift and sure, with “Hide and Hair” winning acclaim and receiving repeated national airplay on BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music.
Praised for the diversity of their material and influences, The Trials of Cato live show “invariably stuns audiences wherever they play.” FATEA. Whether plying their trade busking, performing in front of thousands at festivals across Europe, or frequently selling out their own shows, The Trials of Cato have the wind behind them.
Celtic Connections Danny Kyle Award winner Bella Gaffney (guitar, banjo, vocals) writes folk-inspired songs which she performs along with her own original arrangements of traditional pieces. Polly Bolton (mandolin, banjo, vocals) first picked up the mandolin as a child and has been touring internationally in various line ups since her early teens.
The Magpies initially a duo project between Bella and Polly, expanded in 2018 to a quartet with the original pair joining forces with acclaimed cellist Sarah Smout and fiddle ace Holly Brandon. Their material is led by powerful vocals and glittering instrumental ornamentation. They each draw on their transatlantic influences to create a unique blend of Celtic and bluegrass folk, transporting audiences to distant lands and capturing imaginations with their enthralling live show."A natural chemistry... all three voices blend and harmonise beautifully... the mix of styles offers so much promise." Folk Radio UK