“Stylish, high-energy brand of folk-minimalist music”
“An immersive, trance-like musical treat.”
“Striking instrumental folk.”
– The Independant
“A trio of the highest order that, despite their young age, sound like they have always sat comfortably among the greatest of the folk scene.”
– Bath Folk Festival
Contemporary folk trio Effra are Alex Bishop (guitar), Tom Newell (fiddle, mandolin) and Aidan Shepherd (accordion). Heralding from Bath, Shrewsbury and Canterbury respectively, they met in London in 2011. Although coming from rock, classical and jazz backgrounds, a strong connection was quickly formed, and they began meeting regularly to write and develop music that shared a common ground.
Early performances were well received, and the band soon grew an identity of its own, fuelled by innovative ideas brought to the table by all three members. In 2012 after only a year since their first meeting, the band won the Bath Folk Festival ʻNew Shoots Competitionʼ on the strength of their compositions and high-energy performance. In 2014 they released their debut album, ‘Lose An Hour’ and toured extensively through 2015-16 with performances at BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’, Cambridge Folk Festival, and EFEx/Homegrown festival.
In Spring 2017 Effra will release their highly-anticipated second album. Below Ground captures the unseen subterranean world beneath our feet and the recording process saw the band trek to the source of London’s only fully concealed waterway (and musical namesake) the Effra river, as well as venturing within 96km worth of tunnels underneath the UK’s largest limestone quarry, Box Freestone Mine.
Alex is a guitarist and guitar maker based in Wiltshire. He runs a workshop hand- building folk- and gypsy jazz-style guitars, repairing and restoring musical instruments, and teaching guitar making and playing. He is artist-in-residence at The Pound arts centre in Wiltshire.
Tom studied Violin at Trinity College of Music. He is a violinist with his own quartet and currently does voluntary work at Cecil Sharp House. In 2017 he completed his MA in Ethnomusicology at SOAS. He also performs with Sam Lee and the Nest Collective’s ceilidh band the Ceilidh Liberation Front and jazz ensemble Alex Mendham & His Orchestra.
Aidan studied as a pianist at Leeds College of Music, graduating in 2005 with a BA (Hons) Jazz Studies. He holds teaching positions at various schools in the South-East as well as working for the Sidney de Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health. His main focus is on composition and performing as an accordionist. He also performs with chamber folk ensemble Arlet, experimental jazz quartet Ruby Rushton, and the Papylonian Babooshkies.