December 2023: Downend Folk & Roots Preview




Headlining the now legendary Downend Folk & Roots Christmas concert on Friday 15 December will be one of the most exciting young trios to emerge in recent years, as they embark on a festive-themed tour… and tickets are unsurprisingly flying out of the door!

Taking their name from a Gerard Manley Hopkins classic, The Wilderness Yet fuse the clear, charismatic vocals of former BBC Young Folk Award finalist Rosie Hodgson with the fine, sensitive fiddling of Rowan Piggott and the deft guitar and flute playing of Philippe Barnes.

Independently, they have earned audiences’ esteem as consummate musicians; together, they weave an eclectic tapestry of traditional and original songs and tunes; from a cappella three-part harmonies to luscious instrumental arrangements.

The band’s eponymous debut album was released in 2020 to critical acclaim, closely followed by a short EP of commissioned covers called John O Dreams. Their latest studio album, What Holds The World Together, was released in July 2022 and was lauded widely by reviewers, with airplay on BBC Radio 2, 3 and 6 and an appearance in the Official Folk Albums Chart.

Lockdown saw the trio record Turn The Year Round, a winter album featuring secular re-writes of classic carols and carefully arranged seasonal favourites. The album has proven to be hugely popular, with the band even playing live on BBC Radio 3 on Christmas Day 2022. Now, they’re taking the album on tour, so join us this December as we turn the year round together.

Joining the trio on the bill will be Leo Mackenzie, a singing cellist who is unique in using the baroque cello to accompany his own voice. Drawing on an eclectic mix of styles and almost two decades of live performance, he is now embarking on his first solo project. 

Tickets for the concert, which takes place at Christ Church Downend on Friday 15 December 2023, are available online at and from Melanie’s Kitchen in Downend (cash only). They are priced at £14 each in advance or £16 on the door. Doors open at 7.30pm and the music starts around 7.45pm.

There will be a bar, stocking cider, soft drinks, wine, hot drinks and real ale from locally-based Hop Union Brewery. There will also be mulled wine on offer! Audience members are encouraged to bring their own glass/mug/tankard, as well as reusable bottles for water, as part of the drive to be more environmentally aware; there is a 50p discount for those that do. There will also be sweet treats available at the bar courtesy of the Radstock-based Great Cake Company, as well as a prize draw, which helps to fund the support artists for each concert.

For further information, please email or visit the website

This concert is expected to sell out so get your tickets early… half have gone already at the time of writing! 

For those that can’t make it to Downend, or miss out on tickets, this concert will also be live-streamed in partnership with Live To Your Living Room. Go to