Ríoghnach Connolly & Honeyfeet
Still residing as BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year, Ríoghnach Connolly’s taste for
musical adventure is eclectic. Along with her companion players, as Honeyfeet, they
collectively drive a broad terrain of musical textures from esoteric protest songs to
foot tapping, and floor thumping, dance rhythms.
Ríoghnach (pronounced ree-oh-nah), and the Honeyfeet ensemble are equally
proficient in headlining festival stages as they are in stripping back to sublime
obscure jazz on theatre stages.
Deadpan wit courses through Connolly’s veins. Known for her broad smiling on-
stage banter, she often describes the delight of her multi-cultural voyage of discovery
while pushing aside life’s banality in favour mischievous energy and creative joy.
Traditional and folk are fundamental in Connolly’s musical cannon, coming from a
long line of singers on both sides of her family, she channels the music of her
grandparents and can draw from a breadth of styles and folk traditions across the
world. In her voice you can hear equal parts Sean-nós Caoineamh, west African griot
ululation and American deep-south resonance. She performs in the more traditional
form with Stuart McCallum as The Breath, whilst corralling her more heavily layered
and theatrical songs into her performances with Honeyfeet.
Alongside Ríoghnach the Honeyfeet line up is; Lorien Garth Edwards, bass; Ellis
Davies, guitar; John Ellis, keyboards; Biff Roxby, brass; and Phill Howley, drums.
An eclectic troupe, all now based in Manchester, Honeyfeet’s brass heavy sound
spans from the bountiful to the subtle, with everything from big-band swing to
Alabama blues-tinged folk, all held together by the powerful vocals and flute from
From the start of lockdown, they used the time to write new material and explore
multiple genres of music, and on the gradual journey back to live audiences, in May
2021, they re-opened Manchester’s Albert Hall taking the place by storm with a long-
awaited return to the stage.
For more than a decade, Honeyfeet have been ‘on the road’. When lockdown rules
didn’t interfere, the norm was headlining stages at Shambala, Beautiful Days and
Moovin Festivals along with wowing audiences at Glastonbury, Boomtown,
Wilderness, Secret Garden Party and Kendal Calling.
During lockdown, the band invested their time in recording a new album. Stretching
further than before into string arrangements, greater dynamics and implementing
sparse introductions to Ríoghnach’s vocal stream. Where her poetic consciousness,
gives rise to honest, personal, heartfelt lyrics.
Which obviously means.. a new Honeyfeet album is on the way. A single in late June
will be followed by the new album in August 2022. More details to follow.
Honeyfeet's previous album, Orange Whip, came out on Wah Wah 45s in March
2018 and was BBC 6 Music's Album of the Day in April 2018.
“Brilliant Band” — Craig Charles, BBC 6 Music
“A righteous blast of working-class energy” — ClashMusic.com “I'm in love with
Honeyfeet” — Benjamin Zephaniah