Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles


Tim Van Eyken is one of the most outstanding members of the new folk generation who have taken the folk tradition as inspiration and brought it bang up to date. Those who saw Tim Van Eyken win the 1998 BBC Young Folk Award knew there was likely to be a glittering career ahead of this engaging young musician with a passion for English music, and indeed, he was soon snapped up by English traditional music’s best loved band, Waterson:Carthy.


Collecting together a band of like-minded musicians in Nancy Kerr, Oliver Knight, Pete Flood and Colin Fletcher, Tim has produced an astonishingly impressive debut album from the band – Van Eyken.
It’s a “band album” in the best sense, with remarkable, imaginative and contemporary arrangements of electric and acoustic guitars, fiddles, accordion, bass and drums that still maintain the essential integrity and gritty reality of the traditional songs and tunes, pacing it firmly in the future, firmly from the past and … firmly of today. This is the first Topic album by this exceptionally assured singer and musician. The production by Tim and Oliver Knight sets new standards for the presentation of contemporary/traditional folk music in England.

  • “An album full of thought, variety and surprises … but a real sense of history and tradition is its essential heartbeat.” fRoots
  • “Tim van Eyken delivers a clarion call for tradition – a triumph.” The Observer Review
  • “What makes this set special are the arrangements and inspired instrumental work. The variety is remarkable, from the gently textured wash of guitar and fiddle on Bold Fisherman to the spitting drums on Fair Ellen of Ratcliffe or the carefully uneasy lend of brooding and jaunty styles on the bleak story of Babes in the Wood. It’s been a great year for the new folk scene, and this fresh, compelling album is one of the high points.” ★★★★ The Guardian
  • “…quietly radical … van Eyken – at his best – encourages the songs to speak for themselves, and finds that they still have plenty to say.” ★★★★ CD of the Week Sunday Times

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