Back to church for folk songwriting legend

Steve Ashley
Steve Ashley

ONE of Britain’s most respected singer-songwriters will return to Wigan to showcase his take on the timeless sounds of folk music.

Guitarist and vocalist Steve Ashley, who is a former lead singer of The Albion Country Band, will perform in the Acoustic Roots series of concerts at Wigan Parish Church later this month.

Since beginning his career in 1974, with award-winning debut album Stroll On, his songs have been performed and recorded by the likes of Fairport Convention, Anne Briggs, Martin Simpson, Phil Beer and many others.

Hailed as a key figure in the folk-rock scene, Steve’s 10 albums of original songs showcase his ability to meld tradition and innovation and write intelligent English poetry to go with his distinctive melodies.

As well as leading his own group, Ragged Robin, he has been accompanied in concert by Fairport Convention and overseen a project to produce orchestral settings of his songs.

He has even had his career celebrated in musical biography Fire and Wine – An Armchair Guide to Steve Ashley, which was written by David Thompson in 2013 and recently updated to include his latest album This Little Game.

His return to the historic place of worship on Crawford Street, following a hugely-successful previous visit to Wigan, will see him supported by special guest Paul Liddell.

Acoustic Roots promoter David Cartlidge said: “Steve is one of British folk’s finest singer-songwriters, whose songs have been covered by a legion of artists.

“If you like songs that are edgy, challenging and compassionate, and sometimes very funny, then don’t miss this performance.”

Steve Ashley performs at Wigan Parish Church on Friday, July 24, with doors opening at 7pm and the concert beginning at 7.30pm.

Tickets are £12.50 in advance, available by ringing David on 01942 824291, emailing or visiting Symphony Music on Market Street, and £15 on the night.

Advance tickets can be bought at

For more information visit