Traditional English songs and dance tunes performed on acoustic instruments
"a group of talented musicians and singers with an obvious love of the folk idiom"
"the finest English Folk Band for concerts"
"quite the best offering of English traditional songs and dance tunes that has come this way in many a day"
Friday 24th March - Percy Manning centenary concert, Oxford
with Headington Quarry Morris Dancers
Sunday 30th April - Holywell May Eve concert
full details on the News & Gigs page
New CD "Three Quarter Time" coming soon
The band have nearly completed recording a new album, for release in 2017. Tracks include current live favourites including 'The Dancing', 'Dance around the Gallows Tree', 'The Captain and his Whiskers' and the 'One More Dance and Then' tune set. The CD features guest appearances by various friends of the band, including Jackie Oates, John Spiers and Paul Sartin.
Latest CD "The Robber Bird"
more details reviews buy online
Celebrating 20 years of Magpie Lane
2013 marked our 20th anniversary. The centrepiece for our celebrations was a
20th anniversary concert at the Holywell Music Room in Oxford on May Eve
where we were joined by former band members and a number of really special guests, including
John Spiers, Benji Kirkpatrick, Paul Sartin, Jackie Oates, Chris Leslie and Hilary James & Simon Mayor.
View archive photos watch archive video footage read
Tim Healey's account: Magpie Lane - how it all began
Magpie Lane perform traditional English music and song. They combine powerful vocals
with vigorous dance tunes - inventive arrangements on acoustic instruments.
Magpie Lane appear regularly at top national Festivals - including Sidmouth, Towersey,
Fylde and Chippenham - and have recorded eight critically acclaimed CDs.
We were superbly entertained, it is wonderful to see a group of talented musicians and singers with an obvious love of the folk idiom playing such a variety of well thought out arrangements. Our pleasure was compounded by the fact that you clearly enjoyed the evening yourselves. Long may Magpie Lane continue and we look forward to your next visit.
Bill Wilkes, Grand Union Folk Club
In my opinion the finest English Folk Band for concerts... Magpie Lane release a much-anticipated CD which still manages to exceed our high expectations... if I want to show someone why I love English folk music, I can play them this.
Flos Headford, Shreds and Patches
quite the best offering of English traditional songs and dance tunes that has come this way in many a day... a well chosen and balanced programme, full of change of pace and variety
Vic Smith, Sussex Folk Diary
What is so special and indeed unusual about the band is their combination of strong stage presence, delivery, technical skill and instinctive verve, with a genuinely scholarly understanding of the music at its core.
Jon Boden, English Dance & Song, Summer 2012
this Oxfordshire sextet represents the very best in the English country dance and song tradition
I have heard it said that Oxford on Fire was one of the best concerts we have ever put on at Chippenham. I would like to agree with that and thank you all for your hard work, input and enthusiasm for the gig.
Bob Berry, Chippenham Folk Festival
release consistently good albums of English songs and music
Mike Harding, BBC Radio 2
"Traditional English songs and dance tunes performed on acoustic instruments". These modest words of theirs tell only a small part of the story. The Oxfordshire-based quintet marry a deep love of their material with an unflashy musicality and a seriousness of purpose that is never solemn. This is traditional music with nothing taken out and just the right soupçon of seasoning.
Jon Boden & Fay Hield, Royal Traditions, Dungworth
Thanks for another great evening. Every time Magpie Lane appear at Ringwood Folk club we are near to capacity, with plenty of great singing from you and the audience. It's really good to hear proper Southern English Traditional music played so well.
Rod Biggs, Ringwood Folk Club
We have had some superb feedback from audience members. The fact that each member is not only a fine singer but also an instrumentalist in many ways makes the band quite unique.
We have been scratching our heads trying to think of another English act which is able to offer the same standard of performance!
Alan & Maggie, The Barn in Baston