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Special Offer… Tilston & Lowe new CD The Janus Game… coming soon!

januscover500The Janus Game, the new album by Steve Tilston & Jez Lowe will be released on 24 November and is available for pre-order now click here to benefit from the special pre-order offer available until the release date.

STEVE TILSTON and JEZ LOWE are two of the UK’s finest singers, songwriters and guitarists. They have performed together successfully on previous occasions but this is the first time they have written songs together, a radical change for two such singular artists. As Steve says: “Initially we were both wary of the process of co-writing, as for the most part, we are both firmly entrenched in a solitary approach to the creative process. That said, once we had a go at one song, and were pleasantly surprised by the results, we found ourselves on a bit of a roll and out came an album’s worth of material”. That album is the upcoming brand new release ‘The Janus Game’. The title takes its name from the ancient Roman god, Janus, the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, doorways, passages, and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, on the same body but pointing in opposite directions, since he looks to the future and to the past. Steve and Jez’s music does that too, looking back at the past to extract the best ideas but to the future to let the music develop anew.


2017 Tour Dates

Tue 24 Jan Glasgow with Fairport Convention @ 50
Celtic Connections at Old Fruit Market, Candleriggs, Glasgow G1 1NQ
0141 353 8000                                                                                                                                           
Fri 17 March Buxton    
Pavilion Arts Centre, Water Street, Buxton SK17 6XN     
01298 72190                                                                       
Tue 28 March York     
Black Swan FC at NCEM, St Margaret’s Church, Walmgate, York YO1 9TL    
01904 658338                                                                                   
Wed 29 March Birmingham
Red Lion Folk Club, Vicarage Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham B14 7LY
0121 472 4253
Thu 30 March Wiveliscombe
Silver Street Sessions, Cotleigh Brewery, Ford Road, Wiveliscombe TA4 2RE       
01984 623308      
Fri 31 March Torrington       
The Plough Arts Centre, 9-11 Fore Street, Great Torrington, Devon EX38 8HQ    
01805 624624                                                          
Sat 1 April South Petherton
David Hall Arts Centre, Roundwell Street, South Petherton TA13 5AA
01460 240340
Sun 2 April Hitchin      
Hitchin Folk Club, The Sun Hotel, Sun Street, Hitchin SG5 1AF   
01462 812391
Tue 4 April Tewkesbury
Roses Theatre, Sun Street, Tewkesbury GL20 5NX
01684 295074
Wed 5 April Dorking
Dorking Folk Club, Dorking Golf Club, Deepdene Avenue, Dorking RH5 4BX
01306 888530
Thu 6 April  Keighley
The Exchange Arts Centre, Corner House, Russell Street, Keighley BD21 2LE
01535 603136
Fri 7 April Bishop Auckland
Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Market Place, Bishop Auckland, County Durham DL14 7NP
03000 269524
Sat 8 April Etal
Etal Live Music, Etal Village Hall, Etal, Cornhill on Tweed TD12 4TL     
01890 820566
Sun 9 April Kinross
39th Glenfarg Folk Feast, Backstage at the Green Hotel, 2 The Muirs, Kinross, Perthshire KY13 8AS
07473 931440
Sun 30 April Raunds
Raunds Music Festival, The Saxon Hall, Thorpe Street, Raunds NN9 6LT
07756 015615
More dates to follow, why not join the Steve Tilston mailing list to keep up to date with future plans click here to sign up.
Posted in News |

“…it is definitely worth sitting up and listening.”






written by Thomas Blake 29 November, 2016 for Folk Radio UK

Songwriting partnerships are nothing new in folk music. By dint of its innate openness and a strong sense of democracy amongst its practitioners, the genre lends itself to collaboration. But when two artists as singular and well-respected as Steve Tilston and Jez Lowe get together to co-write after forty-odd years of ploughing their own distinctive furrows, it is definitely worth sitting up and listening.

These two well-travelled veterans of the folk music scene have still got a great deal to say and can still say it with style. That they have chosen to say it together, for this album at least, is something we should all be grateful for.

Read the full review here

Posted in News |

“…a fearsome combination, The Janus Game an album rich in song…”




Steve Tilston & Jez Lowe – The Janus Game

When Yorkshire-based singer-songwriter Steve Tilston met north-easterner Jez Lowe in a Massachusetts music club five years ago, a special collaboration was born. While Tilston has tended to plough a lone furrow throughout his highly respected career, multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Lowe has contributed to many collective projects not least The Broonzies and The Pitmen Poets, all the while maintaining his own long-established band, The Bad Pennies.

The title of The Janus Game is taken from the ancient Roman god of beginnings, transitions, doorways and endings, who is usually depicted as having two faces on the same body, but pointing in different directions, as he looks both to the past and the future. The duo see their own music as doing the same, taking the best aspects of the past, i.e. the folk tradition, but letting new ideas develop in contemporary subject matter, musical direction and arrangements.

So here are presented eleven fine original tracks in that vein, with subject matter ranging from child refugees (Lucky Sami, a serious message wrapped up in a charming arrangement and featuring some atmospheric bowed guitar from Tilston) to the decline of the steel industry (The Wagga Moon, a catchy mandolin-led foot-tapper). Personal narratives are very prominent too. Shiney Row for example, nostalgically portrays life in a small town close to where Lowe was brought up, while On Beacon Hill relates to two commonly named features in the East Midlands and County Durham respectively, Tilston’s ten-string guitar somehow adding to a sense of history.

The Strings That Wizz Once Strummed is a delightful and fond salute to Wizz Jones, a strong influence on both, told through a story of a revered guitar untouched since it was once played by the great man. The final track Goodbye Johnnie D’s/Hey Frankie is a lively tune-cum-song by way of musical thanks to the now closed music club (Johnnie D’s) and house (Frankie’s) where the pair first played together.

Both Tilston and Lowe are musicians’ musicians who don’t get the wider recognition they work hard to merit although all the while those in the know revere and respect them highly. Hopefully The Janus Game will bring their respective talents to a wider audience, while also gaining deserved praise in its own right.

Ian Taylor


Posted in News |

“brave British folk”






Steve Tilston and Jez Lowe: The Janus Game – brave British folk ***

Unexpected collaborations are among the great strengths of the current British folk scene, and this is one of the most intriguing to date. Steve Tilston and Jez Lowe are long-established soloists, respected for their skills as singer-songwriters and instrumentalists, but this is the first time they have written together.

Their finest compositions are the bravest. Crosses, Crescents and Stars tackles religion and religious wars, while Tattered and Torn is a pained but thoughtful song about contemporary Britain, in which the sentiments of the traditional ballad The Bonnie Bunch of Roses that dealt with Napoleon’s demise and the unity of England, Scotland and Ireland, are compared with the current problems of “this broken land”.

Elsewhere, there are songs about child refugees, closed steelworks or two-faced politicians, but sadly there is little opportunity for Tilston to demonstrate his remarkable guitar playing, even on a tribute to Wizz Jones.

Robin Denselow

Posted in News |