MUSICAL history will be made in Oxford tonight with the reunion of one of the city's greatest ever bands - Bellowhead.

The folk-rock supergroup were formed in Oxford in 2004 and played their first gig here at the Town Hall for the Oxford Folk Festival - booked by folk artist and enthusiast Tim Healey (son of the late Labour politician Denis).

Read again: Tributes paid to former Bellowhead member Paul Sartin

The band featured a bewildering treasure chest of talent, many of its members having close links to the county, not least frontman and ringmaster Jon Boden - a familiar performer in the city - and affable south Oxfordshire squeezebox player and Morris tune enthusiast John Spiers.

It is also featured much-loved folk artist Paul Sartin. The former Magdalen College Oxford choral scholar and lay clerk of Christ Church Cathedral, died last month before going on stage in the city.

Bellowhead went on to have massive success, taking their big, brassy, squeezy, fiddle-sawing roots-riots everywhere from Glastonbury Festival to the Royal Albert Hall. They ended their 12 year-run in 2016 with a farewell gig at the St Aldate's venue where they started.

Oxford Mail:

Tonight they reconvene, not at the Town Hall but the New Theatre to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their album Broadside.

The 11 members of Bellowhead first reconvened online during lockdown in 2020 to remotely record ‘New York Girls - At Home’. They then reunited in person for a one-off performance which was streamed to mark the anniversary of their iconic album Hedonism.

Such was the demand from fans for more, they have come together to celebrate their fourth LP Broadside.

"The reaction to the online concert was overwhelming and we really did enjoy playing together again," said the band.

"The 10th anniversary of Broadside presented an opportunity for us to take things one step further and get back out on the road. We couldn’t say no! It’s going to be lots of fun – hope you’ll join us for the party.”

Broadside was released in 2012 and produced by John Leckie. It gave the band their first Top 20 in the UK Official Album Charts and features 12 songs including the BBC Radio 2 playlisted singles ‘Roll the Woodpile Down’ and ‘10,000 Miles Away’.

Oxford Mail:

Support comes from Bellowhead veteran Sam Sweeney with his band. The former artistic director of the National Folk Youth Ensemble recently released his second solo album Unearth Repeat.

Read again: Bellowhead sign off with joyful final fling

Bellowhead, who received two silver discs and won eight BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, began their tour in Portsmouth last night and tour for the rest of the month.

Expect a heartfelt tribute to Paul Sartin, whose absence will be painfully felt by all.

Tickets from

Bellowhead tour

NOVEMBER 2022 10 PORTSMOUTH Guildhall 11 OXFORD New Theatre 12 LECEISTER De Montfort Hall 13 CAMBRIDGE Corn Exchange 14 LONDON Royal Albert Hall 15 BRIGHTON Dome 16 SOUTHEND Cliffs Pavilion 17 IPSWICH Regent Theatre 18 BATH Forum 19 PLYMOUTH Pavilions 20 CARDIFF St David's Hall 21 BIRMINGHAM Symphony Hall 22 NEWCASTLE o2 City Hall 23 NOTTINGHAM Royal Concert Hall 25 HARROGATE Convention Centre 26 LIVERPOOL Philharmonic 27 SHEFFIELD City Hall 28 MANCHESTER Bridgewater Hall