The Noughties

The decade started with the biggest crisis in the band so far, one that came close to end the band for good.  But thanks to 'caretaker' Peter Knight and the formation of a 'classic line up' including Maddy, by the end of the decade the Band had enjoyed its busiest period since the 70's with the longest running line- up the band had ever known.  There were 6 studio albums, 2 Live albums with DVD's, various global Tours to America, Australia and Europe and a 'Folk Tradition' award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.  



2nd: Ludlow festival.  Dave Mattacks joined the band on drums. Prickly Bush; Old Turf Fire; Black Jack Davy; Dark Eyed Sailor; The Stuttering Lovers; Bonny Birdy; Water is Wide I wish I was Never Wed; Well Don Liar; Thomas the Rhymer; Old Maid in the Garratt; All Around my Hat/Jigs. 

 3rd: Nettlebed Folk Club, Oxford.  Dave Mattacks on drums. I assume this is Bob's last concert.   


Bob Johnson announces he will leave the band after finishing the next album. No statement by Bob giving reasons for his leaving but one band member said that it was due to 'Personality Differences'.


 Rick Kemp (Bass) announced as replacement for Bob on the tour, with Tim Harries moving across to guitar. Rick did not become a full member of the band until the reunion in 2002. 

US Tour 

Dave Mattacks on Drums, Rick on Bass. 

Prickly Bush; Old Turf Fire; Who told the Butcher or One True Love; Dark Eyed Sailor; John of Ditchford; Hawkstow Grange; Erin; [Interval]; Staring Robin; Bonny Birdy;  The Water Is Wide; Wish That I Never Was Wed; Thomas The Rhymer; Old Maid In The Garrett; All Around my Hat; Jigs and Reels.

19th:     Rams Head Annapolis
20th:   Birchmire Alexandria

 21st:     New York The Bottom Line. 2 Shows

 22nd:  Philadelphia Tin Angel

 23rd:   Boston Fol Festival

 24th:   Iron Horse, Northampton. Massachusetts

25th Sept: Eighteenth ALBUM: Bedlam Born (Park Records). 

Click on cover for full details (wiki)

A significant change in direction after Horkstow Grange. The two albums are effectively opposites with this one having more emphasis on the rock element of Folk Rock, although still a mainly Trad. Arr. set of songs. 

It was also however a very strained album with Bob effectively announcing in the liner notes that he was leaving the band. He recorded most of his parts on his own and did not get very involved with the recording by all accounts. 

1. Well Done Liar 2. Who told the Butcher 3. John of Ditchford 4. I see his Blood Upon the Rose 5. Black Swan 6. The Beggar 7. Poor Old Soldier 8. Arbour 9. There was a Wealthy Merchant 10. Beyond the Dreaming Place 11. We Poor Labouring Men. 12. The Connemara Cradle Sing 13. Stephen 14. The White Cliffs of Dover

Staring Robin

During the recording sessions for Bedlam Born the band recorded a Tim Harries song called 'Staring Robin' which had been popular live. Park Records recommended that the track was not included as it was closer to 'Punk Folk' and would detract from the rest of the album. Peter Knight has since said he felt that this was an incorrect decision (by the band to follow the recommendation). I have have a poor quality bootleg that I recorded myself, (video below, audio only) which I believe is the only known live recording of it, and is interesting to listen to purely from an historical perspective.


Autumn UK 'Bedlam Born' Tour (23 dates).

I heard 'There was a Wealthy Merchant' played on this tour but I don't think it was played often. The 'Hat' song was dropped a few times in this period. With Bob having left it impacted how many new album tracks were played, although Rick's return did mean the return of 'Robbery with Violins' . The band continued to play Starting Robin and Stuttering Lovers despite neither making the grade for the album. 

Not exact order: Horkstow Grange; John of Ditchford; Who Told the Butcher; Prickly Bush; Bonny Birdy; I see his Blood upon the Rose; Robbery with Violins; Stuttering Lovers; Beyond the Dreaming Place; Staring Robin; Thomas the Rhymer; White Cliffs of Dover;  encore: All Around My Hat; The Masons Apron. 

1st    Bath Theatre Royal
 4th  Bexhill De La Warr Pavillion
 5th   Rickmansworth Watersmeet
 6th  Gravesend Woodville Halls
 7th  Bewdly Festival Heath Hotel
 8th  Congleton Daneside Theatre
 9th  Derby Assembly Halls w.Pentangle
 11th Stafford Gatehouse
 12th  Redditch Palace Theatre (Maddy Prior in the audience)
 14th  Hunstanton Princess Theatre
 15th  Colchester Arts Centre
 17th  Bradford St Georges Hall
 18th  High Wycombe Town Hall
 20th Barnstaple Queens Theatre
 21st   Paignton Paalce Theatre
 22nd Milton Keynes The Stables
 23rd Swindon Arts Centre
 25th Tewksbury The Roses Theatre
 26th Southsea South Parade Pier
 30th Weston Super Mare The Playhouse
 1st    Hayes The Beck Theatre
 3rd  Bolton Albert Halls
 4th Canterbury Gulbenkian Theatre

2001: Maddy Prior became a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to Traditional Music.

The Crisis of 2001/2002

January 2001

Gay Woods leaves the Band.
No reasons given but it has been commented online that it was in part due to financial issues
around Band royalties. Her statement was:  "I will say that after the tour I'm afraid my dealings with the whole situation were not very nice so I decided it would be, for health reasons,....better just to leave it. So I'm just myself now "

This initiated a very tricky time for Band, and Peter in particular as at various points over the next year it was entirely possible that Steeleye would have finished at this point. As Peter later reflected (in a Richard Hollis Interview):  
"As the last man standing, the future of Steeleye did rest with me and for a long time I wasn’t really sure what to do about it. The Band had been around for over thirty years and to be honest, that seemed as though it should be enough and time to call it a day anyway. So no, at that point I wasn’t confident about its survival and there were moments when I really didn’t want the Band to reform."  

 19th Peter Knight and Tim Harries (the remaining full time members, as Rick Kemp had just joined for the last tour) make a joint statement that they will continue to work on new material and see where the music takes them before making a decision on new members later in the year. 

 Peter: "I am pleased to tell you that Tim and I have decided to work together and reform the band. This will be both exciting and challenging. We will be performing at Cromer on May 13th as planned and the line-up will include Rick Kemp on Bass. I will keep you informed of any developments. Thanks so much for all the email and for your continued support. Forever Forward. Peter."

 Tim:  "Thanks to everyone who's shown us the kind of genuine support we have grown to really appreciate. Once again awash with change, we've put our heads together and that's where they're going to stay, co-writing and demoing a new STEELEYE SPAN Album that we intend to have ready to record by the end of this year. All potential future Line-up decisions will be based on combining this new work with vintage Steeleye in the most volatile mix possible. After that we will saddle up and storm the gates in a clatter of rockin' bones"

 13th:  'Folk on the Pier', Cromer.   Tamsyn Alexander, Tim Harries, Rick Kemp, Terl Bryant and Peter Knight. This line up was a one off in order to fulfil this long standing booking, which was the only appearance by the band this year. Seagull; Wee Weaver; Who Told the Butcher; The King; The Prickly Bush; Alison Gross; John Of Ditchford; Eb English; Bonny Birdy; I see His Blood Upon the Rose; Staring Robin; All Around my Hat. (not in order)

19th: Tim Harries leaves the Band.
 A new low as Peter Knight is the only remaining member. His statement was "Tim Harries has had a change of heart and has decided not to battle on against the odds. I don't feel at present that I want to reform the band alone, but I will live with it for a while before making a final decision."

 Peter Knight indicated on his website that he was in discussions with Park Records/John Dagnell about the future of the band, and that it was looking promising.

 6th:  Peter Knight confirms that the band will continue, with a new line up in the new year. No news until then.

 'Keltic Fusion' (Maddy Prior, Troy Donockley, Nick Holland, Rose Kemp, Jacqui McShee) Single: 'Gaudete/Greenwood Side' (Park Records).
The Single release that nearly derailed the proposed Steeleye Span reunion........  

February 2002
 Peter Knight says on his website that there are delays to announcing the new line up, due to, in his words: "I can't give you a positive answer to your Steeleye question. With no prior warning, and no pun intended, Park Records released another version of Gaudete by Maddy and her 'friends' which has created a variety of reactions and a conflict of interests. We have decided to wait for the dust to settle and talk again next year. Very unfortunate."


 8th:  Peter Knight Statement  "There are plans to reform a classic Steeleye Span line-up. Talks have been going on for several months between myself and Park Records, Maddy Prior, Bob Johnson, Rick Kemp and Liam Genockey. We were hoping to tour later this year but due to unforseen circumstances this is now looking unlikely. I shall now concentrate on my solo work and remain optimistic that we will see Steeleye Span on tour next year."

July 2002
 10th:  A new statement from Peter that the Band will now tour in 2002 and release a new studio album that will consist of re-recordings of the classic Steeleye songs voted by fans in an online poll on the Park Records Website.

Peter finished the statement with:

On a personal note I would like to say that I am delighted that this has all come together at last, and I am looking forward to playing with, and hearing this great line-up. I will keep you informed of all developments.

A huge thanks to all of you for your wonderful support, patience and optimism.


November / December

NINETEENTH ALBUM: Present (Park Records) 

Click on cover for full details (wiki)

An important studio album reflecting the 're-setting' of the band with its new 'classic' line up and the return of Maddy Prior. (Probably helped with the re-setting of royalties as well!)  It is made up of re-recorded classics, in part voted by the public in an online poll by Park Records. It included the 'Lyke Wake Dirge' for the first time, it was a standard concert opener in the mid 70's; re-workings of 'When I was on Horseback' & 'Hard Times of Old England';  The 'as intended' verses of 'Let Her Go Down'; A bonus track - an A Capella version of 'Rosebud in June' (after King Henry). 

The collection of songs formed the basis of the live set for the next couple of years. 

As mentioned above, the track listing was meant to be chosen mainly by visitors to Park Records. who were asked to vote for their favourite all time Steeleye tracks. However, as you can see from the results below, the band/Record Company took a significant  'artistic license' with the results! To be fair the wording they used was:  "In recognition of the loyal support of their fans Steeleye will be looking very closely at the results of the online poll of fan’s all-time favourite tracks when selecting material for the album".  Perfectly understandable of course that the Band can record whatever they see fit, and the additions they made themselves were great, but personally I think they missed some great tracks! I have highlighted the ones from the list not recorded. 

  1. King Henry 2753 (votes)
  2. Long Lankin 2699
  3. Drink Down The Moon/The Cuckoo 2687
  4. Thomas The Rhymer 2647
  5. The Wife Of Ushers Well 2608
  6. Cam Ye O'er Frae France 2579
  7. Alison Gross 2572
  8. The Weaver And The Factory Maid 2553
  9. One Misty Moisty Morning 2530
  10. Spotted Cow 2520
  11. Gamble Gold (Robin Hood) 2437
  12. The Bold Poachers 2136
  13. The Dark-Eyed Sailor 2066
  14. Black Jack Davy 2015
  15. Hard Times Of Old England 1857
  16. The Ups And The Downs 1594
  17. Sir James The Rose 1521 
  18. Orfeo \/ Nathan's Reel 1496
  19. Skewball 1265
  20. Seven Hundred Elves 1254

November / December

Bob Johnston Leaves the Band.  

He pulls out before tour on medical grounds, described by Park Records as having a 'minor heart condition'. He did not rejoin the band and subsequently retired from music. Peter Knight made a statement on his website that he retires with everyone's best wishes at that it will not make any difference to the bands plans for 2004 (35th Anniversary).  Bob's replacement was announced at the same time

Ken Nicol joins the Band.
Ken replaces Bob after Rick Kemp had seen him perform at a solo gig back in August. Ken had previously been part of the Albion Band. Ken joined initially for the tour but everything went well so he joined the band full time after the tour. 


Winter UK 'Reunion' Tour (17 dates). 

Ken Nicol kept a diary of the tour and recorded the attendances, which I have included below. Rose Kemp joined the band for the tour and sang Backing Vocals on some of the songs towards the end of the 2nd set. The set list was taken completely from 'Present', which would make sense with Ken joining just before the tour.

The King; Black Jack Davy; Sir James the Rose (Ken on vocal); One Misty Moisty Morning; Let Her Go Down; Lyke Wake Dirge; The Weaver and the Factory Maid; John Barleycorn (Rick on voal) Hard Times of Old England; [Interval] ; King Henry (Ken on vocal); When I Was on Horseback; Blackleg Miner; Drink Down the Moon; Long Lankin; Two Magicians; Cam Ye O’er Frae France; Thomas the Rhymer (inc Rose Kemp); Encore: All Around My Hat (Inc Rose); The Lady of the Morning/The Sailor’s Bonnet; Gaudete

 29th    Aylesbury Civic Hall 350
 1st Dec  Abergevenny The Borough Theatre 326
 2nd Abergevenny The Borough Theatre 327
 4th  Derby Assembly Rooms 750
 5th  Leicester De Montfort hall 1250
 6th  York Grand Opera House 500
 7th  Southport Southport Theatre 800
 11th Kings Lynn Corn Exchange 750
 12th Reading Town Hall 750
 13th Chichester Festival Theatre 1200
 14th Christchurch Regent Theatre 472
 15th  Warwick University Arts Centre 1200
 16th  Burgess Hill Martlets Hall 340
 17th  Salisbury City Hall 950
 18th  Cheltenham Town Hall 922
 19th  London QEH 915
 20th Bradford St Georges Hall 1500


(No Steeleye Activity)


'Peter Knight's Gigspanner'

 30th The Queens Head' Icklesham, Sussex. Debut of Peter Knights new trio as 'Gigspanner'. Now called 'Peter Knight's Gigspanner'. The band starting touring and recording seriously in 2008, and become Peter's main focus when he finally decided to call it a day with Steeleye in 2013. Click on the picture below. The band has released a number of albums and tour regularly, with always a good measure of Steeleye songs in the mix. 


With 71 dates the busiest year since the 70's. The 35th Anniversary year with a tour of Australia and two new studio albums!


 10th  Nettlebed.  Included new songs Child Owlet; Samain & Si Begh SI Mohr

Denmark Tour (4 dates)

 12th Tobakken, Esbjerg, Denmark. (Folk Event 2004)

 13th Strib Vinterfestival, Strib

 14th Reserveret, Skråen Ålborg


Australia/NZ Tour (14 dates)    Support: Ralph McTell.

A Calling On Song or The King; One Misty Moisty Morning; Samain; Sir James the Rose; Let Her go Down; Two Magicians; Cam Ye or Blackleg Miner (or neither); Betsy Bell; Drink Down the Moon/ They Called Her Babylon; Si Begh Si Mohr; Long Lankin or When I was on Horseback; Thomas the Rhymer; Encore: All Around My Hat; Gaudete; Tunes.

 2nd TV: Interview and a live singing of 'The King' for Channel 9 'Kerrie Ann Morning Show'. Aired 4th.

3rd Two Live Performances and interviews for 'Angel Catterns' and ABC Canberra.

 4th Canberra Theatre, Canberra (700)
 5th  State Theatre, Sydney (1200)
 6th  Port Fairy Folk Fest, Port Fairy (6.30pm 40 mins)
 7th   Port Fairy Folk Fest, Port Fairy (11.15pm)
 8th   Port Fairy Folk Fest, Port Fairy (12pm) Added The King
 11th  Twin Towns Services, Coolangatta
 12th  Lismore Workers, Lismore
 13th  The Tivoli, Brisbane 650, sold out
 14th  Empire Theatre, Toowoomba
 16th  The Bruce Mason, Theatre, Auckland 900 people estimated
 17th The Basement, Sydney. Impromptu performance at a small club.
 18th  I.P.A.C Theatre, Wollongong
 19th  National Theatre, Melbourne 650, sold out
 20th Norwood Concert Hall/ The Guv, Adelaide
 21st  Regal Theatre, Perth

29th March:  TWENTIETH ALBUM: They Called her Babylon (Park Records)

Click on cover for full details (wiki)

The first album of completely new material from this new line up and since the return of Maddy Prior. A strong mix of traditional and original tracks including the title track by new boy Ken Nicol.

1. Van Diemen’s Land 2. Samain 3. Heir of Linne 4. Bride’s Farewell 5. They Called Her Babylon 6. Mantle of Green 7. Bede’s Death Song 8. Diversus And Lazarus 9. Si Begh Si Mohr 10. Child Owlet 11. What’sThe Life Of A Man?


35th Anniv. World Tour 'UK' (25 dates)

310cb888-8a93-4c22-ba2a-2548445f7d27jpg     40b8915a-8021-4dd4-b025-80c4d66d56a9jpg

Surprisingly only 5 tracks from the new album made it to the setlist and most of those had been seen on the previous tour. A significant amount of songs from 'Present' are still played but Prince Charlie Stuart and 4 Nights Drunk make a return to the live shows, prince Charlie was played at the Journey concert  and 4 Nights Drunk did appear in the 80's occasionally. 

King Henry (dropped in tour); Padstow, replaced by King Henry from 4th;  Prince Charlie Stuart; Four Nights Drunk; Who Told the Butcher; Mantle Of Green; Long Lankin; Samain; All Around My Hat; Interval; Tam Lin; Let her Go Down; Liam's Drum Solo; Drink Down the Moon; Si Begh Si Mohr (dropped & brought back); Betsy Bell and Mary Gray; They Called Her Babylon; The Blackleg Miner; Sir James the Rose; Van Diemen's Land; Encore: Cam Ye or Thomas the Rhymer Or Padtow in May!; Gaudete.  

 15th Interview on Radio Lancashire with Maddy and Ken. perform Babylon and Mantle of Green 

 18th April  New Theatre, Oxford
 19th  Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury
 20th  Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury. Recorded for 35th Anniversary DVD ; 'Folk Rock Pioneers in Concert CD' & 'The Official Bootleg' CD
 22nd  The Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells
 23rd  Fairfield Hall, Croydon
 24th  The Playhouse, Western-Super-Mare
 26th  Wyvern Theatre, Swindon
 27th  The Royal Theatre, Northampton
 28th  The Anvil, Basingstoke
 29th  The Beck Theatre, Hayes
 30th Queen's Theatre, Barnstable
 1st May  Coliseum Theatre, Aberdare
 2nd   Chatham Central Theatre, Chatham
 4th    Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
 5th    Civic Hall, Stratford-upon-Avon
 6th   Assembly Rooms, Derby
 8th   Theatre Hafren, Newtown, Wales
 9th    Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool
 10th  St Georges Hall, Bradford
 11th   The Winding Wheel, Chesterfield. Mantle of Green added due to request
 13th   Daphne Du Maurier Festival, Fowey
 14th   The Hawth, Crawley
 15th   Southampton Guildhall, Southampton Recorded for CD: 'Folk Rock Pioneers in Concert'; The encores for 35th Anniv. DVD and 5 tracks appeared on  for 'The official Bootleg'
 16th   Cambridge Corn Exchange, Cambridge, 1,400 virtually full house.
 17th    King Georges Hall, Blackburn.


Denmark Tour (3/4 dates)

 23rd  Roskilde near Copenhagen, Open Air.

 24th   Tuno Festival

 25th    T.B.C.    did anything happen?

 26th   Fredericia Concert


 16th Brampton Live, Cumbria


 1st Sidmouth Folk Festival.  There was a programme on BBC4 on 27th August which celebrated 50 years of this Folk Festival and the listing included Steeleye Span but it is not known exactly what was shown but from the reviews - not much Steeleye! 

November/ December

Twenty First ALBUM: WINTER (Park Records). 

Click on cover for full details (Ext. site)

The 2nd Studio album of the year and a collection of seasonal songs (rather than a 'Christmas' album per se) . A mixture of traditional songs/carols and original compositions, mainly by Ken.

1. Winter; 2. The First Noel; 3. Sing we the Virgin Mary; 4. In the Bleak Midwinter; 5. Today in Bethlehem; 6. Mistletoe Bough; 7. Down in Yon Forest; 8. Hark the Herald Angels Sing; 9. Chanticleer; 10. Winter Snow; 11. Blow your Trumpet Gabriel; 12. Bright Morning Star; 13. Good King Wenceslas; 15. Unconquered Son

Winter UK '35th Anniversary' Tour.  

Included special 35th Anniv. concert at the Palladium where they gave away the official bootleg cd'. The tour was recorded for 'Live at a Distance' CD/DVD

a023d529-0cf1-4973-84b2-00249dcbb397jpg   5909de64-6f4d-461f-8d37-1419c35e4d47jpg

Unsurprisingly the set list features songs from the new album as songs from 'Present' slowly get dropped. 'London' is played for the first time since 1976 and Cold Haily Night, for the first time since 1971, apart from the Journey concert in '95. The latter will make the next album in 2 years time.

Van Dieman's Land; Cold Haily Windy Night; Four Nights Drunk; Drink Down the Moon; The Unconquered Sun; London; Down In Yon Forest; Babylon; Seagull; Bright Morning Star; [interval]; The King; Today in Bethlehem; Sing with the Virgin Mary; The First Nowell; Silky; Let Her Go Down; Samain; Tam Lin Encores: See Amid the Winters Snow; All Around My Hat; Gaudete

 25th White Rock Theatre, Hastings
 27th Corn Exchange, Kings Lynn
 28th Leeds City Varieties, Leeds
 29th Tameside Hippodrome, Ashton-Under-Lyne
 30th Grand Opera House, York
 2nd  Borough, Theatre, Abergavenny
 3rd    Hall for Cornwall, Truro
 5th   Corn Exchange, Ipswich
 7th   St. David's Hall, Cardiff
 8th   Martlets Hall, Burgess Hill
 9th    Cliff Hall, Folkstone
 10th Huntingdon Hall, Worcester
 12th  Palace Theatre, Southend
13th   London Palladium, London.   Special '35th Anniv' concert. W. Martin Carthy/Ralph McTell/Tim Harries. Given 'Official bootleg' CD if attended. The line up was meant to include John Kirkpatrick but he fell over in the hotel and had to go to Hospital, Tim Harries stepped in on String Bass. Extra songs: I Live not Where I love & Dancing at Whitsun for this concert, and had Ralph sing 'Streets of London' as the first encore.
14th  City Hall, Salisbury 900 full house. First Nowell becomes first Encore.
 15th  Town Hall, Cheltenham. Full house.
 16th  Reading Concert Hall, Reading. Full House (700)
 17th  Southport Arts Centre, Southport
 19th  Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry. Full House 1,200.
 20th Buxton Opera House, Buxton
 21st   The Stables, Milton Keynes. Recorded and used 2 tracks on  'Folk Rock Pioneers in Concert CD' and x tracks for  2009 Live CD ' Live at a Distance'
 22nd The Stables, Milton Keynes. Extra date added as first was a sell out and a small venue (396)
 30th The Sage, Gateshead

Sample videos from 35th Anniversary DVD available on Park Records



 TV/Radio: Steeleye Span receive the 'Good Tradition' award at the Radio 2 Folk Awards and perform Van Diemens Land at the show. 


4th July   Frome Festival
30th July Kentwell Hall sowed the seeds of venue for 'SpanFest'
30th Aug Beautiful Days Festival, Devon


(51 dates) 2 tours and new Album


 13th Celtic Connections

April / May 

 15th LIVE CD: Folk Rock Pioneers in Concert

Spring UK Tour (24 dates)
Big Changes after a year away with the 'Winter' songs get dropped replaced with new songs from the upcoming new album, including Bonny Black Hare as the opener which eventually becomes the big set closer for many years. Introduced are two song that will only appear on a live album: 'Who's the Fool now' and 'I live not where I love', the latter last played live in the 80's.

Bonny Black Hare; Cold Haily, Windy Night; Who Told the Butcher; Who's the Fool now; I live not where I love; Hard Times of Old England; The Scullion King; Seagull; Van Diemen's Land; [interval]; Saucy Sailor; Padstow; Lord Gregory; Nedd Ludd; Demon of the Well; Lord Elgin; Last House in Connought/The Lady of the House. Encore: All Around My Hat; Gaudete.

27th April  The Muni, Colne, Lanashire
 28th The Palace Theatre, Mansfield.
 29th The Cresset, Peterborough.
 30th The Corn Exchange, Cambridge.
 1st May The Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham.
 3rd The Assembley Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells.
 4th The White Rock Theatre, Hastings.
 5th The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury.
 6th The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury.
 7th The Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool.
 9th Martlets Hall, Burgess Hill.
 11th Camberly Theatre, Camberly.
 12th The Playhouse Theatre, Weston-Super-Mare.
 13th The Deco, Northampton.
 14th The Grand Hall, Dorking.
 15th St Georges Hall, Exeter.
 16th Hall For Cornwall, Truro.
 19th Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon.
 21st The Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield.
 23rd The City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds.
 24th The Beck Theatre, Hayes.
 25th The Medina Theatre, Newport, Isle-of-White.
 26th The Theatre Royal, Winchester.
 28th The New Theatre, Oxford.


 25th Nettlebed Bootleg exists 

Bonny Black Hare; Cold Haily, Windy Night; Who Told the Butcher; Who's the Fool now; I live not where I love;  The Scullion King; Long Lankin; Seagull; Van Diemen's Land; [interval]; Padstow; Lord Gregory; Nedd Ludd; Demon of the Well; Lord Elgin; Last House in Connought/The Lady of the House; Tam Lin;  Hard Times of England;  Encore: All Around My Hat; Gaudete.

 Italy dates. Did they actually happen?


 6th   Wickham Festival

 10th  Cropedy Festival
Bonny Black Hare; Cold Haily, Windy Night; Who Told the Butcher; Long Lankin ; The Scullion King; I live not where I love; Who's the Fool now;  Demon of the Well;  Betsy Bell and Mary Grey; Van Diemen's Land; London ; Seagull ; Last House in Connought/The Lady of the House; Tam Lin; Hard Times of England; Cam Ye O'er Frae France; All Around My Hat 

November / December 

Twenty second ALBUM: Bloody Men (Park Records)

Click on cover for full details (wiki)

The first studio album cover to feature the band on the cover since All Around My Hat and to be honest you can see why, it doesn't really work. The album was a 50:50 split of original and traditional recordings with Rick's 5 part 'Ned Ludd' set of songs on CD2. Cold Haily Windy Night gets another studio outing as do the tunes from Tempted and Tried. 
1. Bonny Black Hare 2. The Story of the Scullion King 3. The Dreamer & The Widow 4. Lord Elgin 5. The 3 Sisters 6. The 1st House in Connaught 7. Cold Haily Windy Night 8. Whummil Bore 9. Demon of the Well 10. Lord Gregory; 11. Ned Ludd Part 1 (Inclosure) 12. Ned Ludd Part 2 (Rural Retreat) 13. Ned Ludd Part 3 (Ned Ludd) 14. Ned Ludd Part 4 (Prelude to Peterloo) 15. Ned Ludd Part 5 (Peterloo the Day)

Bloody Men' UK Tour (23 dates)

Set list is heavy on the new album with 6 in total plus 4 songs from 'Winter' coming back into a festive setlist. Rick is still bringing back older songs and this time 'Edward' appears for the first time since 1986 apart from the Journey concert in '95. Royal Forester is sung which again has not been heard live for many years (80's) despite it being a staple live closing song throughout the 70's

Long Lankin; Lord Elgin; Demon of the Well; Who's the Fool now; Let Her Go Down; Today in Bethlehem; In the Bleak Midwinter; Edward; Bonny Black Hare; [Interval] ; Nedd Ludd; First House in Connought; Unconquered Sun ; The Dreamer and the Widow ; Three Sisters; Royal Forester; Encore: The Song Will Remain; The First Nowell; Gaudete. No All Around My Hat, at least at some concerts

24th The Anvil Basingstoke
 25th Assembly Rooms Derby
 27th Grand Opera House York
 28th Buxton Opera House Buxton
 30th Wycombe Swan High Wycombe
 1st   St David's Hall Cardiff
 2nd St George's Bristol BristolI attended
 3rd  The Stables Milton Keynes
 4th  The Stables Milton Keynes
 5th  Borough Theatre Abergavenny
 6th   Huntingdon Hall Worcester
 8th    The Landmark Theatre Ilfracombe
  10th Melton Theatre Melton Mowbray 
  11th   Ipswich Corn Exchange Ipswich
 12th   Leas Cliff Hall Folkestone
 13th   The Concert Hall Reading
 15th   Carnglaze Caverns Liskeard
 17th   City Hall Salisbury
 18th   Hove Centre @ Hove Town Hall .  Recording of 'Live At a distance' DVD (videos below)
 19th   The Town Hall Cheltenham
 21st    St George's Concert Hall Bradford
 22nd Guild Hall Preston
 23rd   The Priory Centre St Neots


July 25th Nettlebed. Warm up gig for SpanFest

24th July: SINGLE: Lord Elgin / Lord Elgin (Live)

Written by Peter Knight. The live version was also available for free as a download at some point. Released to help promote Spanfest.  

lord elginjpg

July 27-28th SPANFEST. The 1st Steeleye Span run Festival

The festival was well run and fairly well attended, I can't recall if it was professionally recorded but there was certainly footage being taken around the festival and there was some clips available from Park Records for a short time afterwards (and as a promo for the following years running  - video below). There are also some limited audience recordings on youtube which give a flavour of the setup. The event was run at a loss however which meant the following years was not held at Kentwell Hall, as originally planned. See below. 

Sadly I can't find a 100% accurate Set List, despite being there myself. Confirmed songs but order wrong:
Van Diemen's Land; Prince Charlie Stuart; Si Bheg Si Mhor; '1st House' reels; Cold Haily Windy Night; Seagull; Let Her Go Down; London; Who's the Fool Now; Who Told the Butcher?; They Called Her Babylon; 3 Sisters; Lord Elgin Tam Lin; Betsy Bell and Mary Gray; Bonny Black Hare; Hard Times of Old England; Hat; Tunes.



 3rd: Steeleye Span is a specialist subject on BBC TV Mastermind for Stewart Cross who went on to the Grand Final. 

April / May

 Spring Tour

Van Dieman's Land;  The Bird in the Bush/Cuckoo's Nest;  Neckbelly  Reel;  Babylon;  Lovely on the Water; (Peter on Mandolin)   London;  Gone to America;  Seagull; King Henry  or Long Lankin;  Saucy Sailor (sometimes);  The Weaver and the Factory Maid;  Cold Haily Windy Night; The Blacksmith (Mandolin); Bedlam Boys -Maddy duet with Peter playing pizzicato;  Three Sisters;  Cam Ye O'er Frae France (mandolin);  Bonny Black Hare;  Encores : All Around My Hat;  Hard Times (rock 'n' roll version);  The Song Will Remain

 17th   Arts Centre, ABERYSTWYTH
 18th   The Brewhouse Theatre, TAUNTON
 19th   Hall for Cornwall, TRURO
 20th   Babbacombe Theatre, TORQUAY
 22nd  Corn Exchange, KINGS LYNN
 23rd   The Cresset, PETERBOROUGH
 24th   Corn Exchange, CAMBRIDGE
 25th   Martlets Hall, BURGESS HILL
 27th   QEH (South Bank Centre),
 28th   Borough Theatre, ABERGAVENNY
 29th   St David's Hall, CARDIFF
 30th   Roses Theatre, TEWKESBURY
  1st     Roses Theatre, TEWKESBURY
 2nd    Reading Concert Hall, READING
 4th    Buxton Opera House, BUXTON
 5th     Preston Guildhall, PRESTON
 6th     Forum 28, BARROW IN FURNESS
 7th     Victoria Theatre, HALIFAX
 8th     Palace Theatre, MANSFIELD
  9th   Mercury Theatre, COLCHESTER
 11th   Assembly Hall,TUNBRIDGE WELLS
 13th   Colston Hall, BRISTOL
 14th  Pavilion Theatre, BOURNEMOUTH
 15th   Birmingham Town Hall, BIRMINGHAM
 16th   The Derngate, NORTHAMPTON


 Johnny Rotten (John Lydon-  Sex Pistols) expresses his love for Steeleye Span in Mojo, commenting that 'one of the most wondeful things I have ever done is to meet Maddy Prior '


24th  Nettlebed. SpanFest warm up gig.

 26th:  'Spanfest Folk Day'.


 The second but sadly final running of SpanFest. 

This time at Stanford Hall. Initially it was advertised as a 3 day festival at Kentwell Hall (picture below) , but it was reduced down to one day and moved to Standford Hall (announced 18th April). Leicestershire. Probably moved due to low ticket sales in the first year, although ,Maddy said it was because of a "confusion" (?).  The general view is that Kentwell Hall is privately owned and hosting festivals was just not something they felt comfortable with. They also confirmed that they lost money and assurances they needed to avoid a loss this time around from Park Records were not forthcoming, and so a repeat in terms of numbers was probably not attractive. The venue has not since hosted any concert/festival. 

Other acts included The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, Whapweasel and Maddy Prior alongside Steeleye. The day went well considering it was not widely advertised (as usual) and there was an estimated 800-1,000 sized crowd. And the beer didn't run out this time. 

This is the planned set list, but 2 were dropped due to time running short, not sure which two! John Kirkpatrick joined the band for much of the set

Van Diemens Land;Drink Down the Moon; First House tunes; Babylon; Lovely on the Water ; London; Lark in the Morning (With JK); Seagull (JK); Bonny Black Hare (JK); Saucy Sailor; Weaver and the Factory Maid (dropped?) Cold, Haily, Windy Night (JK); The 3 Sisters (JK); Cam ye o'er frae France; (JK) Thomas the Rhymer (JK); Hat (JK); Hard times of old England. (JK)


spanfest08 that never happenedjpg


18th August: SINGLE (Never released): Hard Times of Old England

The (Digital Download] single that never got released. Promo CD below. Studio version of the 'Rock 'n Roll' version that the band were playing at the time. Quite short with verses taken out.      

Hard Times single that never wasjpg

 Wiltshire - Private Party Terry Pratchett 60th B'day


24th BBC4: Maddy Prior 'Electric Proms' appearance at 'Cecil Sharp House' (recorded 23rd)

Maddy appeared with  daughter Rose Kemp and friends & collaborators June Tabor and Tim Hart. John Kirkpatrick also played. Further videos on Youtube and one with Tim is at the bottom of this page. 


21st: BBC4 TV 'Steeleye Span night'.  'Electric Folk' episode from 1974.

Showed 'Maddy Prior at the Electric Proms' - 1st aired on 24th October. The first showing of an episode from the 1975 series 'Steeleye Span: Electric Folk' This was the one from Penshurt Place, Kent. Video is on the 1974 section. The show followed 'Maddy Prior at the Electric Proms' - 1st aired on 24th October.  


 Roweltown to spend a few days working on potential new material


A busy end to the decade with it being the 40th Anniversary year. 2 UK Tours, an Australian and a US tour plus of course a new Studio Album. 

April / May

 20th : LIVE CD & DVD: Live at a Distance (exert from DVD below)

 Pete Zorn joined the Band on tour as Rick Kemp was ill.
Tim Harries was approached but could not make all the dates. Pete had two weeks to learn all the songs.  

 UK Spring Tour 40th Anniversary Tour. (23 dates)

Blacksmith; When I was on Horseback; The Scullion King; I live not where I love; Who Told the Butcher; First House in Connought; Madam will you Walk with me; Lady Diamond; Thomas the Rhymer. [Interval]; Bonny Black Hare; Seagull; Betsy Bell and Mary Grey; Lovely on the Water; They Called her Babylon; The Royal Forester; The Three Sisters; Encore: All Around My Hat; Black Jack Davy; The Song Will Remain

 14th  The Alban Arena St Albans
 15th   Woodville Halls Gravesend
 16th  Bedford Corn Exchange Bedford
 17th  The Castle Wellingborough
 18th    Assembly Rooms Derby
 19th  St Georges Bristol Bristol
 21st   Gulbenkian Theatre Canterbury
 22nd    Ashcroft Theatre Croydon
 23rd   Assembly Hall Worthing
 24th    Everyman Theatre Cheltenham
 26th    Octagon Theatre Yeovil
 27th   The Queens Theatre Barnstaple
 29th   Palace Theatre Redditch
 30th  The Winding Wheel Chesterfield
 1st      Theatre Severn Shrewsbury
 2nd    Theatr Hafren Newtown, Powys
 3rd     Newark Palace Theatre Newark
 5th     Victoria Theatre Halifax
 6th    Floral Hall Southport
 7th    Hull City Hall Hull
 8th    Corn Exchange Kings Lynn
 9th     Victoria Hall Stoke-on-Trent[TBC]
 10th    Lancaster Grand Theatre Lancaster

 26-29th Rehearsing for new album at Parlour Studio, Kettering. 'Decision to largely avoid personal compositions' A decision that Ken had "a degree of disappointment" to doing, in his own words. 


 Recording new album at Propagation Studios, North Tamerton. Joe Partridge arrived to potentially produce the album but contract negotiations etc broke down.

 25th Doncaster Rocks Festival. With Jethro Tull. The Blacksmith; Seagull; They Called her Babylon; Edward; Lovely on the Water; Jigs; Bonny Black Hare; Tam Lin; All Around my Hat


 17th Nettlebed     Warm up gig for World Tour

40th Anniversary US Tour . Rick Kemp did not travel so again Pete Zorn on Bass

 19th  Somerville Theatre, MA

 20th B.B.King Blues Club and Grill, NY 

 21st   Sellersville Theater PA

 22nd Live Session at Sirius XM, Sirius DC. One hour Live Set. 

 22nd Birchmere, Alexandria VA

 23rd  The Ark, Ann Arbour MI USA

 25th  Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago

September / October

40th Anniversary Australian Tour     Pete Zorn still on bass

 29th A.B.C Radio Show. Performed Ranzo. 

 30th "Event Centre" Southern Cross Club, Canberra, Australia.

 2nd   Oct Seymour Theatre Centre, Sydney

 3rd.   The Tivoli, Brisbane

 4th.    Lismore City Hall,

  7th.    IPAC, Wollongong

 9th     Norwood Concert Hall,

 10th.  National Theatre, Melbourne

 11th.   Octagon Theatre, Perth

November / December

Twenty Third ALBUM:  Cogs, Wheels & Lovers  (Park Records)

Click on cover for full details (wiki)

The 6th studio album of the decade! After a tendency towards a mix of traditional and original songs for the last few albums. this one is rooted 100% in the traditional.  At rehearsals the band decided to focus on traditional songs and not the original compositions brought forward for consideration.  The arrangements are mainly by Peter and Maddy as Rick was not well and Ken's original contributions were not used. Ken did express some dissatisfaction at the focus away from original songs.

  1.Gallant Frigate Amphitrite 2.Locks and Bolts 3.Creeping Jane 4.Just as the Tide 5.Ranzo 6.The Machiner’s Song 7. Our Captain Cried 8.Two Constant Lovers 9.Madam will you Walk 10.The Unquiet Grave 11. Thornaby Woods, Great Silkie of Sule Skerry (hidden track)

November / December

"The 40th Anniversary Tour" UK Autumn Tour

4f43f7f5-2d62-4574-adba-511716fecb4ajpg   3131718c-0c39-4d48-ac41-d915bacf41cdjpg

Including 40th Anniversary concert at the Barbican with Martin Carthy and John Kirkpatrick

Rick Kemp back to Tour. However, during the tour Rick was feeling unwell so it was arranged that Pete Zorn would join the tour from 22nd November. As it happened Rick was ok so Pete joining made Steeleye a 6 piece for the first time since 1982. Old songs back in the set for the 1st time since the 70's I believe - All things are Quite Silent; SheepCrook & Black Dog (1974 on Electric Folk) and Little Sir Hugh. With set-lists scarce from the 80's I can never be quite sure though when making these pronouncements! In fact, I can see no mention of 'All things are Quite Silent ever being played live..! While Rick also brings back Bachelors Hall for the 1st time since he left in 1986. 

Tour Set List:   Little Sir Hugh; Creeping Jane; Seagull  (replaced Who Told the Butcher after 2 nights) ; Bachelor's Hall;  Cold Haily Windy Night (added from 1st Dec) Sheep Crook and Black Dog; They Called her Babylon; I live not where I love; Si Begh Si Mohr ; The Gallant Frigate Amphitrite [Interval]; All Things are quite Silent; Ranzo; The Silky of Sules Skerrie; Unconquered Sun; Van Diemens Land; Peace on the Border; Tunes; Bonny Black Hare (not on all the tour); Thomas the Rhymer (dropped after 1st Dec for  'The Three Sisters' when Maddy's voice needed more rest); Encore: All Around My Hat; Hard Times of Old England; Song Will remain .  

 11th City Hall, Salisbury
 13th Mick Jagger Centre, Dartford
 15th Swan Theatre, Worcester.
 16th  Reading Concert Hall, Reading.
 17th  The Playhouse Theatre, Weston Super Mare.
 18th  Exeter Corn Exchange, Exeter. Full House - 500.
 19th  Salisbury City Hall, Salisbury.
 20th Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Well
 22nd The Marina Theatre, Lowestoft. Pete Zorn joined bringing his 'array of wind, percussion and string instruments'
 23rd  Ipswich Corn Exchange, Ipswich.
 26th  The Medina Theatre, Newport.
 27th  Town Hall, Birmingham.
 29th  The New Theatre, Oxford. 2/3rds Full. Cold, Wet & Miserable. But per Ken a great concert!
 30th. Nov.Epsom Playhouse, Epsom.
 1st. Dec.The Stables, Milton Keynes. Full House.
 2nd. Dec.The Stables, Milton Keynes.
 3rd. Dec.Regent Centre, Christchurch.
 4th. Dec.Farnham Maltings, Farnham.
 6th. Dec.Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester. Martin and John join for Dress Rehearsal for Barbican. 1,200 crowd

 Monday 7th. Dec.The Barbican, London.Special 40th Anniversary concert. With Martin Carthy/John Kirkpatrick. 'Virtually full'.  Youtube clip of Hard Times of old England below. Little Sir Hugh; Cold, Haily, Windy Night; Seagull; Sheepcrook and BlackDog; Babylon; Great Silkie of Sules Skerry; Bachelors Hall; I Live Not Where I Love; Si Bheg Si Mohr; The Gallant Frigate Amphitrite; [Interval] The Boar's Head Carol (with Martin & John); Four Nights Drunk (with M&J); The Lark in the Morning (with M&J); The King (with M&J); All Things Are Quite Silent (with Rose); Ranzo; Unconquered Sun; Van Diemen's Land; Peace on the Border; Tunes (1st House in Connaught/Lady of the House); Three Sisters (with John); Bonny Black Hare; First encore: All Around My Hat (with Martin & John again);  Hard Times of Old England (with M&J); Second encore; The Song Will Remain

8th. Grand Theatre, Swansea.
 9th. Borough Theatre, Abergavenny.
 10th. Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury.
 11th. De Montfort Hall, Leicester
 14th. St. George's Hall, Bradford
 15th. Parr Hall, Warrington.
 16th. The Sage, Gateshead.
 17th.  Guild Hall, Preston.
 19th. The Hove Centre, Brighton.
 20th. Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry

24th December 2009. Tim Hart dies, aged 61, from Cancer.  The Guardian Obituary. 

 His last appearance was at Cecil Sharp House in October 2008 with Maddy Prior for the Electric Proms concert on BBC4. Video Below.

1990 - 1999  -  2010-2019