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Magpie Lane are an unusual five-piece band rooted firmly in Oxfordshire, and quite infrequently venturing far from home. But what a treat for those lucky enough to catch them – which is why the concert is being promoted at South Molton where more people will have the chance! Their sound is unmistakeably English, and although a concert might now include the occasional item from Ireland, the Isle of Man or even France, as well as a few recently-composed pieces, English traditional songs and dance tunes remain at the core of their repertoire. With a vast range of instruments to call upon – and the skill and talent to play them – the group’s instrumental prowess is matched, if not surpassed, by its vocal strength, with all members contributing, with occasional powerful harmonies as well as superb solo voices. The members of the group are variously: a member of the Oxford Waits, a past winner of the Sidmouth Singer award at Sidmouth Folk Festival, a member of the traditional Bampton Morris, a musical collaborator in Oxford’s vibrant acoustic scene, and a classical and jazz (as well as folk) singer. That range is brought to the fore as they marry a deep love of their material with an unflashy musicality and a seriousness of purpose that is never solemn. As Jon Boden of Bellowhead said, “This is traditional music with nothing taken out and just the right soupçon of seasoning.”