New Beautiful South


These are the bands and musicians who performed at our 2009 festival. Our 2010 acts are listed on the 2010 bands page.

New Beautiful South

The Beautiful South are now New Beautiful South having taken a two-year sabbatical.

Formed 20 years ago, the band have sold over 15 million albums worldwide and had a string of hit singles such as Old Red Eyes Is Back, Rotterdam, Don't Marry Her, Perfect 10 and Number One single A Little Time. Their greatest hits album, Carry On Up The Charts, was one of the fastest-selling albums in UK history, entering at Number One and staying there for weeks, becoming one of the country's most popular albums ever.

Three lead singers now become two as Paul Heaton has left to pursue a solo career. The band includes original members Dave Hemingway (vocals), Alison Wheeler (Vocals), David Stead (Drums), Damon Butcher (Keyboards), Gary Birtles, and Tony Robinson... and will introduce their new guitarist and bass player on stage.



opened the first ever Randall Rootz festival in 2007 as a duo. Last year they were a quartet, but this year they will be performing as a trio. We're thinking of running a competetion where you have to guess how many of them there will be next year.

Opaque album


have a deserved reputation as one of Peterborough's most tuneful and inventive bands, and will be playing for us in one of the few home fixtures in their current "Break the Circle" tour.

The Dead Rabbits

Dead Rabbits

the UK's finest Pogues tribute band headlined our first festival with a lineup including Andrew Ranken and Spider Stacy - both members of the original Pogues. This year they are once again performing early in our Saturday lineup.

The Brackets photo

The Brackets

With becoming modesty The Brackets say about themselves: "The Brackets can proudly say that they are to music what mint green summer slacks are to fashion. Yes, really." On the other hand they also play the sort of fast paced guitar-led indie rock, bolstered by a big drum sound and classic indie vocals that might mean you'd be willing to believe that mint-green slacks were just what you had always wanted.

Chris Watson Photo

Chris Watson

This year the local guitar legend and snazzy dresser will be appearing in our Saturday line up. If his performance is anything like his sets at the first Randall Rootz in 2007, or at the 2001 folk festival organised by Mark Randall, you will be in for a day never to be forgotten. Heeeeey Macarena!

Dr Robeatnik photo

Dr Robeatnik

His set may be the best chance you get of being served quickly at the bar all day as according to Art & Soul magazine Dr Robeatnik's entrancing flamenco-style guitar and hand-tapped rhythms seem to have the knack of hypnotising audiences and making them forget all about drinking. Let's hope pub landlords don't look too closely at his MySpace page otherwise they'll think twice before booking him!

Heather McVey photo

Heather McVey

This year's Randall Rootz will be notable for the number of strong female vocalists appearing. Heather McVey's musical style is reminiscent of Beth Orton with its gentle and melodic guitar intros, and occasional forays into drum & bass, but her voice has a power and depth that would have many soul singers weeping into their microphone. Think Annie Lennox unplugged and you'll get the general idea.

Oka Vanga photo

Oka Vanga

are, according to their MySpace page: "a high octane guitar duo that combine the influences of instrumental Folk music, percussive Flamenco rhythms, acoustic freestyle, Afro-beat and powerful metal bass to create music that is both rhythmically powerful and melodically rich."

Motor City Vipers photo

The Motor City Vipers

It is of course the band's loving recreation of some of the greatest music of the 60s and 70s that has earned the Motor City Vipers a coveted evening slot at our festival: the fact that their male vocalist and guitarist are both on the organising committee for Randall Rootz had no bearing on our decision to inflict them on you allow them to showcase their breath-taking talents. And it is entirely coincidental that on the same day we awarded them their slot Detroit's biggest employer, General Motors, went bust.



Kissmet's heady fusion of Asian drums and music with English rock has been delighting festival audiences both locally and further afield for at least a decade now. This year Kissmet have played at two festivals in Latin America, and at Glastonbury, so we are delighted that they are playing Randall Rootz for the first time, in what may well be one of their only performances in their home town this year.

The Huxleys Photo

The Huxleys

The Huxleys are a female fronted, three piece rock band. Their influences stem from the surfy sound of the sixties and guitar rock of the seventies and their catchy tunes are sure to set the downstairs of Charters rocking as the festival moves inside again.

Stolen Gnomes Photo

The Stolen Gnomes

are what happens when a bunch of talented musicians used to playing authentic Irish traditional music learn to make a living by gigging in English pubs in Spain. Get ready to hear your favourite (and least favourite!) party tunes from the likes of Madonna and Cher through to Cliff and Black Sabbath - all lovingly recreated on mandolin, bodhran, fiddle, with added flamenco drums and kazoo. No doubt they will also sneak in a few more traditional tunes when they think they can get away with it.

Icons Of The Brave logo

Icons Of The Brave

are a local four-piece indie band formed at the end of 2007, who recently played a gig at the Hard Rock Cafe - in Warsaw. Their music is melodic-sounding but with edgy lyrics. Icons of the Brave will open the third and final day of this year's festival.

The Malingerers Photo

The Malingerers

Featuring several members from the late-lamented Surgens, anyone who has seen "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" will agree that The Malingerers are Peterborough's very own version of "The Soggy Bottom Boys" and that even George Clooney and the boys would have found them a hard act to follow.

The Hi & Lo's new album

The Hi & Lo

are one of the most rootsy acts playing this year's festival. They are a duo (Nick Bott and Paul McClure): after they have packed all their instruments (including guitars, mandolin, banjo, harmonica, and drums) there is probably no room for anyone or anything else.

Iryna Muha Photo

Iryna Muha

and her band appeared at last year's City Roots festival with their mix of Slavonic folk music with added spices from everywhere from India to Cuba via Ireland. Ukranian-born Iryna moved to Lincolnshire from New York in 2004 and has settled here despite having had to shake hands with Tony Blair at 10 Downing St.

Quest Photo


are a duo featuring singer-songwriter Thornton Holmes (guitar and vocals), and local artist sculptor and classically trained musician Kat Moore on violin.

Lexie Green Photo

Lexie Green

bought her first guitar in January 2007, performed her first live gig late the same year, but has already appeared twice on Radio Cambridgeshire and been played by several other radio stations. Both her songs and her voice are amazing. Don't miss her!

A Claddagh Ring

The Claddagh Band

or ring is a famous traditional Irish design of ring from Galway used as wedding ring or as a friendhip ring. This year's Randall Rootz will be closing its free week-end festival with music from another kind of Claddagh band: a traditional Irish folk/ceilidh band, with accordion, melodeon, whistle, guitar, mandolin, banjo, bodhran and bass, who promise to keep the tunes flying (and maybe your feet too as they will probably give us the opportunity to take part in some dances). We hope that after the last strain of your favourite Irish songs has faded into the late evening subshine, we shall have made many new friends for our festival and that you will already be looking forward to coming to next year's festival.