Review – Cupola:Ward Guildhall Theatre, Derby

cupola wardCupola:Ward premiered their new line-up in a barn storming fashion on the stage of Derby’s Guildhall Theatre.

With an eclectic choice of music and their brilliant musicianship they had the audience stomping for more at the end.

“You must have liked us then,” declared the delighted Lucy Ward, who admits she is still adapting herself to work in a band rather than as a solo artist.

It was apt that the quartet’s first gig was in their home city as they have all been stalwart’s of Derby’s thriving folk scene in recent years.

They first met in 2010 when Derbyshire Libraries commissioned Mills and Chimneys a project to bring local songwriters and musicians together.

At the time Lucy was just starting out on what has become a highly successful career already featured in artsbeat and mentioned in our review of 2013 this month.

Sarah Matthews, already a highly respected fiddle player who has been involved with other bands but most recently Cupola with Doug Eunson and Oli Matthews, took her under her wing and the pair became firm friends.

As the project wound down they stayed in touch and decided to pool their talents – so Cupola:Ward was born.

“We just love playing together. For the last four years I have generally performed as a solo artist so it is great to be able to share the stage with such talented musicians and singers as Cupola,” said Lucy.

At the Derby gig the band performed songs from the folk tradition as well as their own compositions and moved from jazz style to bar room rousers with ease.

Lucy gave us a stunning solo version of Bob Dylan’s One More Cup of Coffee and the band performed a lively cover of Alison Krauss’ When God Dipped His Pen.

There was a moving acapella version of the Derby favourite King of Rome and they brought a whole new meaning to the Britney Spears track …Baby One More Time. There’s a story behind it and it involves dressing up, 21st birthdays and a 90s theme but best you go and watch them to find out.

The beautiful harmonies and their obvious love for the music make for a fantastic evening of entertainment.

They will be at Stainsby Folk Festival in July and Nottingham Riverside Festival in August. You can find out more at or