Ben Moss is a developing folk arts practitioner, involved in both the teaching and performance of folk dance and music. He plays with several ceilidh bands, namely the A3 Ceilidh Band, Ceilidh Factor and The Ceilidh Tree and dances with The World Famous Hammersmith Morris Men and the Seven Champions Molly Dancers. When not playing or dancing he can be found drinking a cup of tea in the company of a good crossword.
Laurel Swift is a folk musician and dancer. She plays double bass with Gadarene, fiddle with The Gloworms and created ‘Under Her Skin’ with the performance storyeller, Debs Newbold. Laurel has twice showcased compositions with innovative folk organisation, Distil. Laurel is also the founder and choreographer of Morris Offspring, a young team of morris dancers who have appeared on BBC2’s Culture Show, sold out the South Bank, and last year toured UK Arts Centres with folk powerhouse, Faustus. Laurel has taught morris for theatre and film, most recently working on Tom Morris and Handspring Puppet Company’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ at Bristol Old Vic.
Together they are Ben Moss & Laurel Swift, performing as a duo since 2013. Having danced together in Morris Offspring for many years they have developed a punchy, infectous style of playing that defies anyone not to dance and sing along. Ben and Laurel sing and play folk music from a wide variety of sources.
•Traditional material: 'Highwayman Bold' which Ben found in The Full English Collection and another version on The Song Collector’s website. 'King John and The Abbott of Canterbury', which Laurel found in Patrick O’Shaunnessy’s Lincolnshire Folk Song collection. 'What’ll We Do If We Have No Money', Scottish Classic, absorbed from years hanging out at folk festivals.
•Poems: Laurel’s setting of Walter De La Mare’s ‘Mad Prince’.
•New Material, such as an unaccompanied version of Andy Mitchell’s ‘Indiana’ (learnt from the singing of Andy Irvine); American Band, The Gruff’s, ‘East For The Winter’ and Laurel’s 'Here We Are'.
•Tunes: Playford, country dance tunes, and newly written tunes.
•Clog: dances from Pat Tracey’s East Lancashire style.