Soma Music on the Folk Fringe

Alan Dearling shares some World Music vibes

Soma performed a ‘perfect’ storm-ing set at ‘The 3 Wise Monkeys’ as part of the fringe events at the 8th Todmorden Folk Festival. This annual May Weekender event mixes up a richly spiced, diverse range of folk music and dance from around the globe. Plenty of venues – pubs, community halls, churches, open spaces and businesses are involved.

Soma are a justly very popular outfit who offer what their main singer, front-lady, Tímea, describes as, “…a Magic Carpet ride…come fly with me to many places and their music.”

And throughout the show she reminded us of her Hungarian heritage with songs from her country including family favourites.

This Calderdale-based band brings together four colourful individuals from very different musical worlds. Collectively, they weave their experiences, voices and an impressive variety of musical instruments together into a web that creates something surprising, fresh and magical.

Soma were formed in 2016 with what they call, “…a passion to celebrate connection …between individuals…traditions… mind and body… people and earth. Music which is more than the sum of its parts… music to gladden the spirit. Ancient and modern traditions from many places. Hungarian song, hypnotic rhythm, hints of jazz and even some psychedelia.”

At each performance the audience are invited into the wonderful and sometimes mystical World of Soma!






Here are Soma at the Circle 2:

Soma are: Andrew Daley, clarinet, keys and percussion; Steve Lacey Marsden, mandola and pedal steel guitar; Tímea Kennedy-Kovács, singer and percussion; Sandi Thomas, percussion.

 “Soma’s performance was a dreamlike yet earthy experience…”

So says, Peter Findlay, Storyteller

Recently, Soma were with Billy at Robinwood Studios to record ‘Tebe Zhdu’, as their contribution to the fundraising album which was put together by their musical friends…The Ukrainians.

‘Together For Ukraine’ is an album of songs written by The Ukrainians and recorded by a genre-spanning range of international artists. I bought my copy of the album to help them raise money for the Ukrainian Humanitarian Appeal. You can check it out at:

After a two year break, Soma are now back and reinvigorated. They have welcomed a fabulous new band member, Tímea , learnt haunting Hungarian songs and woven hypnotic new compositions. They invite their audiences and you to visit and subscribe to their Youtube channel for a taste of what they have been up to:

Personally, the ‘Witches’ Reel’ was a real highlight, crammed full of ‘Widdershins’…a great song…

“Cummer gae ye afore, cummer gae ye,

Gin ye winna gae, cummer let me,


Linkin lithely widdershins,

Cummers carlin cron and queyn

Roun gae we.”

On Youtube, a version of the Witches’ Reel  by Green Crown:

‘Nemed Cuculatii’ – The Sacred Grove of the Hooded Ones. Thanks to Andrew for more info about the Witches’ Reel:

Andrew also explained to me that ‘The Abbots Bromley’ horn dance has a fascinating history:  

“I think the tune we use was collected from a local fiddler in the 1850s and published by Cecil Sharp in 1912. As far as I know, there has never been a song associated with the tune so I wrote my own lyrics for it.”

The ‘Dulce Solum Natalis Patriae’ goes back to the 11-13th Century. It forms part of the work called Carmina Burana. The lyrics and translation are here:”

To capture a little of the ‘flavoursome’ fare on offer at the Tod Folk festival, here are a few words and a couple of pics of one of the dance teams… This is the Blackstone Edge Rappers who ventured into Tod’s Indoor Market and performed for the Market Tavern audience. They describe themselves as: “A female/non-binary Rapper Sword dancing team formed in 2019. They emerged from a bog on the grimy moors above Littleborough, mostly made of millstone grit and corduroy. Fuelled by fried chicken and dirty beer, they bring the party wherever they go.”




This entry was posted on in homepage and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.