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Why the hills of the Holme Valley will be alive with the sound of banjos this weekend

Armitage Bridge shop tells of global success story of the Deering banjo

The world’s best selling banjo shop is in ... Armitage Bridge.

And now banjo players from around the world are set to descend on the Huddersfield village this weekend to celebrate Eagle Music Shop’s remarkable achievement.

Steve Noon runs the shop with daughter Rachel Price and son James Noon.

Over the last 14 years they’ve grown the business to become the biggest Deering banjo dealer globally.

On Saturday they’ll stage a one-day festival at the North Light Gallery to mark their success – with musicians from around the world flying in.

Eagle Music, Brooke's Mill, Armitage Bridge, Huddersfield.

Steve said: “The banjo is going through a renaissance period. Bands such as Mumford and Sons helped make the banjo popular. In fact, Winston Marshall from the band plays a banjo named after our shop – the Eagle II Deering banjo.

“We’re experts and people from around the world want to buy from us. In fact, some American banjo players buy from us even though the banjo is made in their country. I always tell them where they can get one over there, but they want to buy from us.”

The team at Eagle have sold more than 4,500 Deering banjos – and that’s just one of the many musical instruments they stock.

Steve added: “Last year Deering said we sold more banjos than the largest musical chain shop in America – that’s amazing for a little shop in Armitage Bridge.

“The banjo is such a cheerful sound. It feels good to play it and it’s an instrument played by wonderful musicians.”

On Saturday they’ll welcome some of the world’s best banjo musicians to town for a festival that’s almost sold out.

Steve explained: “We’ve got the Kruger Brothers coming from North Carolina and it will be their only UK concert. We’re bringing in JigJam and they’ve just finished a tour in America.”

There will also be workshops and a highlight will be at 3pm when festival-goers can join in a group performance of Buffalo Gals with the Kruger Brothers.

Steve added: “We might just be a little shop in Armitage Bridge but we export daily worldwide. I’m really proud of what the whole team has achieved.”

He employs around a dozen staff and sub-contractors – and all of them are musicians.

The festival runs from 10.30am-10.30pm. Full or half day tickets are available from visit www.eaglemusicshop.com .



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