Earby entertainer triumphs at folk festival

Andy Hill
Andy Hill

THE “Bard of Earby”, comedy performer Andy Hill, has returned triumphant from Ingleton Folk Festival.

He took first place in the comic song contest with his “Slap and Tickle” number which had the audience in stitches.

Andy, who started playing guitar and singing in the 1970s in the emergent folk clubs, relaunched himself on the scene in 2004 when he began performing a mix of covers and a growing collection of his own songs.

He is a regular entrant at the Ingleton festival and his self-penned songs have covered a range of topics from a dog eating a marigold glove, a rivet salesman who wears women’s underwear beneath his suit to the parking ticket machines they had in Skipton. Andy said his car park song “caused such an uproar they had to change the parking ticket machines in Skipton”. His more serious songs have included lyrics about Culloden, closed-down mines and Irish immigrants.

Andy’s own life took rather a more serious turn in September last year when he suffered a near-fatal brain haemorrhage. He said: “Almost dying certainly helps to refocus one’s life and just see what is important and what isn’t. Winning at Ingleton this year was a real milestone in my comeback. It proved to myself and others that Andy’s back! And it returned the crown back to it’s rightful place.”

Andy first won the title of Best Original Song at Ingleton Folk Festival in 2005 and has since picked up various accolades.

He has also released three CDs and is writing the next one. He can be found performing every Thursday at the Station Hotel. Andy said: “It’s a real laid-back night, no prima donnas, just friendly folk. All levels of musicianship are welcomed and encouraged. There is no entry fee and a free supper. What more could you ask for?” Andy’s performances can be seen at www.youtube.com/andyhillfolk