Folk legend Roy Bailey announces new album

Roy Bailey Live At Towersey Festival

Roy Bailey

New album, Live At Towersey Festival 2015

Released 26 August 2016
Official launch at Towersey Festival on 29 August 2016

One of the greatest socialist folk singers of his generation” – AllMusic

Six years on from his acclaimed album of children’s songs, Tomorrow, singer and activist ROY BAILEY returns with Live At Towersey Festival 2015.

As the title suggests, the 11-track collection was recorded live at the long-running Oxfordshire festival, and will be officially launched at the 2016 event, on Monday 29 August.

Roy’s relationship with Towersey stretches back over 50 years. Friends with the festival founders, he was present at early planning discussions and appeared at the very first festival, in 1965. He’s been a much-loved regular visitor ever since, with his firmly established Monday afternoon concerts drawing capacity crowds.

Live At Towersey 2015 finds Roy interpreting songs by Bob Dylan (With God On Our Side), Tom Waits (In The Neighborhood) and John Tams (Rolling Home), along with three compositions by American singer-songwriter Si Kahn. Among them is Si’s What You Do With What You’ve Got, which opens the album.

What You Do With What You’ve Got, as I understand, was written on behalf of disabled people,” says Roy, who first met Si at a Canadian folk festival during the early 1980’s. “For me it has almost become my signature tune, as I invariably sing it at the beginning of my concerts and have done so since about 1984/85! It has a central theme that applies to us all.”

Joining Roy on several tracks are guitarist Martin Simpson and melodeon player Andy Cutting, plus Marc Block (bodhrán) and Ian Brown (guitar), as well as Roy’s daughter and grand-daughter, Kit Bailey and Molly Simpson.

The 2015 show was recorded in secret by Roy and co-producer/ engineer ‘Ich’ Mowatt, who then edited the 90 minute concert down to just 11 tracks. Expertly capturing the intimacy and warmth of a live performance, it’s remarkably Roy’s first live album.

“I wanted to do one … but never go around to it,” says Roy simply.

Roy Bailey is one of the UK folk and acoustic scene’s most admired and accomplished performers. He began his long career performing skiffle in student union bars in the late 1950s before falling in love with traditional songs and the stories they tell. Quickly developing a unique repertoire of songs of dissent and hope, he’s gone on to perform on stages, TV and radio all over the world. En route, he’s been joined by such artists as Leon Rosselson, Martin Carthy, Chumbawamba and MP Tony Benn (a collaboration which won them a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award).

Today, he remains as committed as ever to his life-long principles of Equality, Liberty, Justice and Internationalism.

“… as powerful as anything I’d heard by The Clash – it was Roy’s voice, the strength of it and the compassion in it.” Billy Bragg

“Roy represents “the very soul of folk’s working class ideals… a triumphal homage to the grass roots folk scene as a radical alternative to the mainstream music industry.” MOJO

Roy Bailey: Live At Towersey Festival 2015 (Fuse Records) is released on Friday 26 August 2016. Distributed via Proper.

For more information see:

Roy Bailey: Live At Towersey Festival 2015 – tracklisting:

  1. Intro: Spoken Word: MC Keith Rusby…
    What You Do With What You’ve Got (Si Kahn)
  2. George Fox (Sidney Carter)
  3. Go To Work on Monday (Si Kahn)                           
  4. Molly’s Garden (Kit Bailey)         
  5. With God On Our Side (Bob Dylan)
  6. At The Dawning Of The Day (Les Barker)
  7. In The Neighborhood (Tom Waits)
  8. All Sang Bread & Roses (Si Kahn)
  9. Welcome (Jon Fromer)
  10. Home By Christmas / Empty Chair / Home By Christmas (Robb Johnson)
  11. Rolling Home (John Tams)

Buy now via Proper Music.

Forthcoming Live Dates:

Monday 29 August 2016
Towersey Festival, The Thame Showground, Thame, Oxfordshire OX9 3JL
Tickets from £30

Saturday 3 September 2016
Sheffield Cathedral, Church Street, Sheffield S1 1HA
Concert for HARC (Homeless And Rootless at Christmas)

Sunday 11 September 2016
Green Note, 106 Parkway, Camden, London NW1 7AN

Thursday 20 October 2016
Roy’s Birthday Bash (with MC Martin Simpson)
The Greystones Pub, Greystones Road, Sheffield S11 7BS

Saturday 12 November 2016
Bolton Socialist Club, 16 Wood Street, Bolton BL1 1DY


Roy Bailey: Welcome (from Live At Towersey 2015 *

* The track Welcome is also featured on the free Towersey Festival 2016 compilation album. Available for download exclusively via Noisetrade.

Live Bookings: for all live bookings contact Alan Bearman Music.

Archive interviews with Roy Bailey:
– Roy Bailey talk at TEDxAylesbury – “Misfits and Pioneers: Undefeated” (2015)
– Living Tradition interview (1998)
– Mainly Folk podcast interview (2014)

Selected reviews for Live At Towersey Festival 2015:

“I can guarantee that you, like the Towersey audience, will be duly spellbound.”Fatea

“Bailey’s performance is a unique mix of his fire for justice, his gentle wit and his warmth.”Bright Young Folk

“[Roy] still has that unique timbre that has thrilled us down the decades.”The Living Tradition

“Roy Bailey Releases First Live Album”WeekendNotes

“Remarkably … it’s Roy’s first ever full live album!”FRUK

  • Review copies available upon request. Roy is also available for selected interviews. Contact use for details: