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Biography (short)

Union Jill (Helen Turner and Sharon Jagger) are a UK folk duo who have toured the country over the last ten years, delighting audiences with their humour, banter and storytelling. Their original songs are laced with subversive comment, often making the personal political, but delivered with sensitivity and musical precision. Most noted for their harmonies, Sharon and Helen also keep the music varied with a range of instrumentation, including guitars, mandola and mandolin, concertina and banjo. Their ethos is to be entertaining and their shows draw audiences into their on stage conversation with surprising and quirky stage-craft.

Biography (long)

Union Jill (Helen Turner and Sharon Jagger) are a UK female folk duo, whose original material has delighted audiences around the country over the last ten years. Noted for their stunning harmonies, Union Jill weave storytelling into their shows, often with a political edge that aims to engage audiences with their on-stage conversation. Their quirky and engaging act features tales of ghosts, pirates, historical figures and events, feminist commentary and personal experiences, delivered with humour that has audiences laughing out loud.

In the studio, the duo have worked with Clive Gregson and John Wood, and with the support of a line-up of highly accomplished musicians, have produced a rich and detailed collection of four albums. They have also toured with stand-up poet Kate Fox, appearing at Edinburgh Fringe and gathering loyal fans of their show ‘Letting Off Steam’ through Rural Touring and arts venues.

Both Sharon and Helen began their music careers as solo performers, but when they came together in an experimental session they realised their voices were made for each other. Their trade-mark harmonies are supported by their accomplished instrumentation, including guitars, mandola and mandolin, concertina and banjo. Providing variety and pace, their shows are uniquely engaging and layered, and audiences now come to relish their own role in creating an unrepeatable evening of entertainment.

Performances

2013

Greenbelt Festival

Wee Folk Festival, York

Waveney Folk Club

Potteries Folk Club, Stoke

Frazer Theatre, Knaresborough

Northwich Folk Club

Hepworth Folk Club

Kirkham Folk Club

Forest Folk Club

Woodman Folk Club

Holmfirth Folk Festival

Cross Keys Folk Club, Saddleworth

Gate to Southwell Festival

Wimbourne Folk Festival

Newport Folk Festival

Wessex Folk Club

National Forest Folk Festival

Broadstairs Folk Festival

Galtres Folk Festival

Burham on Sea Folk Festival

Otley Folk Club

Derby Traditional Music Festival

Ingleby Greenhow Folk Club

Hartlepool Folk Club

Sale Folk Club

2014

Bradford Topic Folk Club

Beverly Folk Festival

National Forest Folk Club

Folk 21 Showcase

Burnham on Sea Folk Club

Hardraw Folk Gathering

Cleckheaton Folk Festival

St Neots Folk Club

Stainsby Festival

Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival

BAA Festival, Bellingham

Chapel Allerton Arts Centre

Uxbridge Folk Club

Beverley Folk Club

2015

Meadow Folk Club, Ironbridge

Whalley Village Hall

York Literature Festival

Sale Folk Club

Tudor Folk Club, Chesham

Leigh on Sea Festival

Spalding Festival

Otley Folk Festival

National Forest Folk Club

Bishop Stortford Folk Club

Hove Folk Club

Glenfarg Folk Club

Bromsgrove Folk Club

Bodmin Folk Club

Helmsley Arts Centre

Topic Folk Club, Bradford

Saltburn Folk Club

2016

Bollington Folk Club

Black Swan Winter Folk Day

Black Swan Residents Weekend Festival

Support for Karine Polwart (Hull and York)

Macclesfield Folk Club

Whalley Village Hall

Beverley Folk Festival

Bromsgrove Folk Festival

Sheffield Crookes Folk Club

AFO Conference

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

2017

Rural Touring (Armathwaite, Dufton, Arnside, Castle Carrock, Wooler, Seahouses, Whittingham, Boldron, Orton)

Woodman Folk Club

Tredegar House Festival

BAA Fest, Bellingham

Bowes Folk Club

Thorganby Folk Club

Kettleshume Village Hall

Macclesfield Rural Touring

2018

Retford Folk Club

Black Swan Residents’ Festival, York

Bromsgrove Folk Club