A Colne Valley band is keeping age-old music traditions alive in a fun way that’ll broaden your mind while moving your feet … quickly.

Klonk fuses eastern European folk with mash-ups of all kinds of styles brought to the sound by its eight members which they describe as “kick ass gypsy funk.”

They’re headlining The Picturedrome in Holmfirth on Sunday, May 5, to raise money for Holmfirth Food and Drink Festival. Support is from local band Deadwax playing an upbeat set of funk soul covers and an acoustic set by teenage Colne Valley singer songwriter Mason Whittle. DJ Gary Duncan will keep the crowd going after the live music ends.

Klonk’s promo promises: “100% certified pure industrial grade rock-n-roll dynamite, crafting stone-cold killer cuts out of klezmer, Balkan, funk, jazz, metal and hip-hop. Expect full-tilt horns and wild strings going toe-to-toe with a powerhouse rhythm section. Expect scratching and sampling. Expect a dance riot.”

The band – a favourite at festivals – hails from the Colne Valley, drawing its musicians from Golcar, Milnsbridge, Fartown, Leeds and Todmorden. The line-up is Tom Taylor (fiddle), Atholl Ransome (sax), Ed Wolstenholme (fiddle, bouzouki and oud), Kevin Cook (cello), Sally Edward (trombone), Stephen Needham (bass), Teal Bain-Roben (drums) and Dr Weevil (turntables).

They also had accordionist Jonny Tyler from Meltham, but he sadly suffered severe multiple injuries in a car crash and now finds playing physically too painful.

They’re all top class musicians. Kevin, for instance, plays cello with Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra.

Klezmer is an instrumental musical tradition of the Ashkenazi Jews of central and Eastern Europe – a style and sound virtually wiped out during the Holocaust in the Second World War.

Klonk has helped to revive the tradition while giving it their own unique twist.


Klonk’s Tom Taylor (left) with accordionist Jonny Tyler

Crowds will be amazed to hear more familiar music weaved into the sound with samples from the likes of The Chemical Brothers, James Brown and Rage Against The Machine.

Tom said: “The music is life-affirming. It’s strange but it grabs your interest and its roots are usually in celebrations such as birthdays and weddings.”

Sally added: “We seem to have hit the right formula by taking traditional eastern European folk melodies and mashing them up with these big iconic tunes.”

The music’s roots come from right across eastern Europe including Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Rumania, and Hungary.

“We are pretty full on from start to finish,” said Sally. “Music students especially understand the complexity of what we are trying to do and are amazed at the musical skills and dexterity needed to achieve it.”

But she is concerned that Huddersfield, like many other places across the UK, could lose more and more live music venues.

“People’s going out habits seem to have changed since the pandemic,” she said. “Then we’ve been hit by the cost of living crisis. It’s a real struggle for live venues so we’d appeal to people who love live music to support their local venues. They really need it.”

The band has released two EPs with another now being recorded and the stunning artwork is done by Huddersfield illustrator John Broadley who comes from Golcar and is now based in London.

The first two EPs – The Sound Of Things Falling Into Place and Klonker’s Delight – are available on Spotify and Band Camp.

The band is now looking for a booking agent. Contact them via their website at https://www.klonk.co.uk/

Tickets for the Picturedrome gig can be bought at https://www.picturedrome.net/tickets/Jamfactory/20240505.htm

One of the support acts is teenage singer songwriter Mason Whittle (above) who will be performing a mix of his own songs and a few covers, including a popular song mash-up based on The Proclaimers’ 500 Miles.

Mason, 17, of Linthwaite is just finishing his extended Level 3 National Diploma in Music Performance at Leeds City College and is thinking about doing a music degree at university to hone his performance and songwriting skills.

“The Picturedrome gig will be the biggest venue I’ve done so far,” he said. “I’ll be doing a half-hour set.”

Mason didn’t start playing the guitar until he was 13 but quickly became a familiar sight busking in the Colne Valley, was given his first performing break at the Northern Sole café in Slaithwaite and has never looked back. He’s released several of his self-penned songs on Spotify.

You can also see him live in May at the New Inn, Marsden, Sunday, May 5 (2pm); Saturday, May 11, Golcar Party On The Pitch (2.30pm); Holmfirth Folk Festival behind the Picturedrome, Sunday, May 12 (5pm); Friday, May 17, The Little Bridge, Slaithwaite (7pm); Sunday, May 19, The Sair Inn, Linthwaite (3.30pm); Saturday, May 25, Longwood Bowling Club (8pm); Sunday, May 26, Kirkfields Festival in Kirkheaton (1.15pm) and Linthwaite Bowling Club (4pm).

Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.


What’s On in Huddersfield in May 2024 with concerts, shows, music, street food and great vibes