A FOLK duo from Chester has won the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award for the best newcomer at this year’s Folk awards.
Greg Russell, 20, from Chester and Ciaran Algar, 17, from Stoke, won the award one year on from winning the Young Folk Award at the Royal Albert Hall.
The guitar and fiddle duo were chosen by scores of music industry representatives, including broadcasters, journalists, festival organisers, record company directors, agents and promoters.
Speaking to the Leader, former Upton High student Greg said he was shocked by the win. He said: “It was a huge surprise.
“Folk music is so strong at the moment and there are so many fantastic people doing it, we never thought we would win.
“The awards are the most prestigious in folk music and it is nice to have that recognition.”
Greg started playing guitar when he was 12 at his home in Mickle Trafford. When he was 18 he started doing solo gigs in local music venues like the Chester Folk Club, Alexander’s and Telford’s Warehouse before he met Ciaran at a festival.
Since then they have been playing gigs across the country together and earning rave reviews.
Greg, who is currently taking a break from his Politics degree at Exeter University to have a year concentrating on music, said: “We’re hoping the award will get us noticed a bit more. More exposure means people, who might not have been convinced by us before, will book us.
“We’re really busy at the moment so we are enjoying things.”
Greg and Ciaran’s next gig in Chester will be at Chester Music Theatre on July 19.
They also have an album out – The Queen’s Lover – on the Fellside Records label.