HUDDERSFIELD folk favourites The Demon Barbers have won a top BBC music award
The band picked up the Best Live Act 2009 title at the BBC Folk Awards in London on Monday.
They collected the award at the Brewery venue, after beating off competition from popular folk act Bellowhead and former Mercury Music Prize nominee Seth Lakeman.
The award was a metal statuette made by Holmfirth artist Mick Kirby-Geddes, who has made the awards for the past decade.
Vocalist and fiddle player Bryony Griffith said: “It has not sunk in yet. It is a massive deal. It was massive that we were even nominated, we were amazed. But we never thought we would win.”
The Demon Barbers are fronted by singer and guitarist Damien Barber, who is from Keighley.
Bryony and melodeon player Will Hampson both live at Skelmanthorpe. Bryony’s brother, drummer Ben Griffith, hails from Clayton West.
Bassist Lee Sykes completes the musical line-up, but the band are also accompanied by six highly-skilled traditional dancers, including David Hall from Kirkheaton.
Will and Bryony went to King James’s High School and Kirklees Music School together. After graduating from their degrees they moved back to Huddersfield, where Bryony is a professional singer and teachers piano and violin. She also started the Shepley Singers community choir in 2007.
Her mother Angela is a local music teacher and passed on her talents to both Bryony and Ben.
Ben went to Shelley High School and then lived in Barnsley, before joining his sister in The Demon Barbers.
The band, who formed eight years ago, were the highlight of last years Shepley Spring Festival.
Bryony said: “We have been to Glastonbury and on TV shows but this is the biggest thing that has happened to us in our history.
“We started getting more bookings just from being nominated.”
They were nominated by a panel of experts, who whittled down 150 artists and groups to a shortlist.
The band discovered they had famous fans in the audience, including presenter Jeremy Vine.
Bryony said: “It was mad the amount of people who were there that we admired. All the big wigs in folk – I was sat next to James Taylor in the green room!”
Their big moment at the BBC awards was aired live on Radio 2, although the broadcast was limited by the fact that presenters Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie were stuck in Manchester because of snow.
They had been due to do a live interview with the band in London but had to manage with a link.
Also featured on the broadcast were comedian and musician Adrian Edmondson, who was at the ceremony, and James Taylor, who received a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to folk music.
The Demon Barbers plan to keep playing gigs and have just release a six-track EP called Plus 24DB.
Bryony and Will are also planning to record a duo album and will perform together at Shepley Spring Festival in May.
For more about the band, visit www.thedemonbarbers.com