2014 Bands & Performers

Dwayne Ego & the Electricians

Dwayne EgoFantastical zydeco creole dance party, with glitter and glitz panache and pizzazz, featuring the greatest hits from Mr Dwayne Ego himself! A shimmering mirage of some of the best creole and zydeco musicians in Europe as you've never seen them before! Inspired and created in a caravan in Yorkshire back in March 2014 (yes drink was involved) this quartet of musical reprobates will amuse and entertain, but most importantly deliver the very best foot-stomping creole and zydeco dance music this side of the Atlantic.

Featuring... On Sparkly Accordion and spangly suit Mr Dwayne Ego! (aka Gavin Lewery) On guitar and fiddle Mr Eugene Leblanc! (aka David Buyle) On the Drums Mr Larry Lamott! (aka Andy Watson) On the Bass Mr Clovis Phillipe! (Clovis Phillips)

(Image credit: Phil Underwood)

Bluebell Cajun Dance Band

Bluebell Cajun Dance Band

The Bluebell Cajun Dance Band – Sarah Smith, Jennifer Ewan, Simon MacPherson and Kim Tebble - have been playing together for a year and are based in the Highlands of Scotland and Edinburgh. They performed at their first Cajun and zydeco festival in March at Malton in Yorkshire, where they were overjoyed to find an enthusiastic dance audience for their 'Old-time Louisiana party music for new times'. They hope to appear at many more such events and are very pleased to have been invited to Bristol.

The band play the songs of Nathan Abshire and Dewey Balfa, Bois Sec Ardoin and Canray Fontenot and other Creole and Cajun masters from the 1960s to the 1980s. They sing in French and pepper their set with original compositions in the style – 'Les Patates', 'Party on the Farm' and 'Blues from Space'. They model their beats on the old-time Louisiana guitar, drums/triangle line up of the 1963 Joe Falcon Silver Bell String Band, as well as the Balfa Brothers and the Ardoin Brothers, and are led by fiddle and Acadian single row accordion.



Downtown Cajun Band (Holland)

Photo of the Downtown Cajun Band on stageThe Downtown Cajun Band play Cajun music in the "old time" style of the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Led by former Cajun Company fiddler Will Pieters, this wonderful Dutch 4-piece will enchant you with music in the tradition of Dennis McGee, Wade Fruge and Dewey Balfa.

Having delighted audiences at festivals throughout Europe over the years, the band had the privilege last year of playing a live TV broadcast performance at the Liberty Theatre in Eunice, Louisiana USA.


Elvis Fontenot & The Sugar Bees

Elvis FontenotFormed in the dim and distant past of 1993, in Stoke-on-Trent, Elvis Fontenot and the Sugar Bees have evolved through many line-ups changes to become the premier European swamp’n’roll outfit that they are today. The line up of Nick Barber (Accordion/Vocals/Frottoir/Mandocaster) Paul Asher (Accordion/Fiddle/Mandolin/Bass),Craig Beverley (Guitar/Vocals), Stuart Duthie (Bass/Harmonica/Vocals) and Chris Plimbley (Drums) returned to play in Louisiana and Texas in 2007, after previously playing at the French Quarter Festival in New Orleans in 2003 and 2005. In 2006 and 2009, they were crowned “European Zydeco band of the Year” and have invited back to the Kilkenny Rhythm and Roots Festival in Ireland on an unprecedented four occasions. They’ve also been played on the BBC by Andy Kershaw and Mike Harding and have been on TV in Austin, Texas and featured on radio stations across America and also in Australia. Expect an infectious good time!

Elvis Fontenot & The Sugar Bees Website

Elvis Fontenot & The Sugar Bees Facebook

The Bearcats Trio

Bearcats Cajun TrioThe Bearcats trio make a very welcome appearance at Bristol to play their authentic traditional down home back porch stripped down rockin' Cajun music. Combining skilled musicianship with depth, knowledge, sensitivity and soul, the line up features Chris Hall - Cajun accordion, vocals. Mitch Proctor - fiddle, vocals and Murray Brailsford - guitar.

Collectively their pedigree lists like a who’s who of Cajun and Zydeco Music… RCajun and the Zydeco Brothers, Cajun Roosters, Zydecomotion, Deepzone Zydeco, Petite et La Gross, Out of the Swamp, and that’s without even mentioning that Chris has recorded with folks like Paul McCartney, Dave Gilmour, Kate Bush, Bill Wyman, and Seth Lakeman (phew!) This combination of some of the best-known Cajun musicians in the country makes them one of the most sought after outfits in their field for anyone looking for a high quality band who can really get into the heart of Cajun music! Expect a great dance groove. The perfect end to a great weekend.

See the Swampmusic Website for more about The Bearcats and all things cajun.

Cheryl & Ian McIlroy

Cheryl and Ian McIlroyI doubt many regulars on the cajun festival scene will have failed to noticed the McIlroy's arrival in the last 4 years if not least just for Ian's taste in shirts! Ian's love, style and devotion to his Acadian accordions has become more than just playing with his band Rough Chowder, through personal projects with his wife Cheryl, Ian has developed his own accordion style, increased his repertoire and gone in search of more obscure cajun and creole tracks. His playing has started to become known on both sides on the pond as well as in Europe and being part of this large 'Cajun family' gives him the fire in his belly to strive to get better and better. Cheryl has also developed her own style of washboard playing and it has been said by many a sound man (and by her Mum) that she doesn't need a microphone! Cheryl has a developed a strong female cajun voice guaranteed to have you weeping one minute and pinned up against the wall for doing her wrong the next... you have been warned!!

The jam sessions at Bristol have been the one of the highlights when attending the festival so Ian and Cheryl are really honoured to be given the opportunity to lead this years' and they hope you'll join them.

Carol Wilson (zydeco dance)

Carol Wilson Carol Wilson first discovered Cajun and Zydeco dancing in Los Angeles where by chance she saw CJ Chenier in a bar and to her amazement young couples got up to dance together! Since then she has made regular trips to Louisiana. As the drummer in the Cajun band Zigazag and Colin & The Crawfish she has studied Cajun and Creole music and played with some of the top musicians there. Over the years Carol has also watched the changing nature of their dances. She has refined her own techniques and has taught at a number of festivals and classes throughout the UK and Europe. Carol aims to make her classes simple and accessible to all because “Dancing should be about having fun and enjoying the music.”

Kay Anderson (cajun dance)

Kay Anderson teaching a zydeco workshop Kay Anderson has been dancing all her life but got hooked on cajun and zydeco music a number of years ago at Broadstairs Folk Festival. Finding gigs and workshops locally proved difficult so she started her own regular dance workshops in Kent where she offered to share what she had learnt. She has led the cajun and or zydeco dance workshops at the Bristol Cajun & Zydeco Festival since 2004, at the Gloucester International Cajun & Zydeco Festival since 2006 and each year at the Broadstairs Folk Festival since 2001 - as well as teaching a monthly cajun and zydeco dance workshops in Kent! If you’re down south, look up kentcajun.org.uk and come and join in the fun. "You learn by doing!"

MCs and & DJs Lil' Queenie and Flying Home from Swamprock, London

Carole and Nigel

Nigel Bewley (aka "Flying Home") has been DJ-ing since 1972 and was bitten by Zydeco music in 1986 when hanging around the offices and studios of Island Records he met Buckwheat Zydeco, the label's new signing. Nigel has a huge record collection of many different styles and when DJ-ing likes nothing better to make people dance to tunes he loves. Laissez les bons temps roulez - vous avez raison!

Carole Lateman (aka "Lil' Queenie") has always been a passionate fan of music and dance. In 1988, on her first visit to New Orleans, she discovered the exciting rhythms of Cajun and Zydeco music and dance. In 2004, together with Neil Papworth, she started London’s Swamp Rock Club, putting on regular dances with live Zydeco bands, and also DJ-ing with her husband, Nigel. Together, they have run stages at The Thames Festival, promoted gigs at The 100 Club and other London venues, and DJ-ed at numerous dances and private parties. As a dancer, she knows what music to play to get that dance floor jumping!

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