Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening


There are songs and voices by the well, in the air by the house,
But I cannot catch them.
He said you could take them from the air
Bring them down and sing them bonny.

(Holywell Pool, based on a poem by Kathryn’s father, Mike Tickell)


Touch ancient ground, dance through swirling, chilly mist, hear the whispered voices of the ancestors… Join us as Kathryn Tickell & The Darkening invoke the dark, powerful, shamanic sounds of Ancient Northumbria.

Kathryn Tickell OBE is a Northumbrian piper, fiddle player, composer, educator and broadcaster. Her work is deeply rooted in the landscape and people of Northumbria. Tonight she performs with her stellar band ‘The Darkening’ (Northumbrian for ‘twilight’).

Inspired by the dramatic, weather-bitten countryside along Hadrian’s Wall, the band bring some of the oldest Northumbrian tunes and songs to life. Mixed with new material and modern attitude, this is beautiful, exciting, passionate music full of compelling drama.


Kathryn has released 15 of her own albums. She has also recorded and performed with Sting, The Chieftains, The Penguin Cafe Orchestra, Andy Sheppard and many more. In 2009 Kathryn was presented with The Queen’s Medal for Music. She has twice won ‘Musician of the Year’ at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and was awarded an OBE in 2015.

A crucial and exhilarating band setting the world on fire. fRoots

Kathryn Tickell Northumbrian smallpipes, fiddle, voice
Joe Truswell drums, percussion
Amy Thatcher accordion, synths, voice, clog dancing
Stef Conner voice, lyres
Kieran Szifris octave mandolin