Many happy returns to you, Pete Coe ...

Pete Coe
Pete Coe

Calderdale folk hero Pete Coe will spend his 67th birthday today (Sunday) doing what he loves most – playing music among friends.

Pete, who lives in Ripponden, will celebrate with a variety of songs and instruments as he presents ‘The Stories so Far’ at Square Chapel, Halifax (7.30pm).

It’s a rare chance to see him play on home turf, as much of his time is spent travelling to folk festivals across the UK, and to venues in the US and Europe. “It’s been a privileged life in many ways, because it’s allowed me to travel and do what I love doing,” he said.

A veteran solo artist and a professional musician since 1971, Pete has accumulated a vast repertoire of traditional and original songs and has picked some of his favourites for this gig – some tragic, some comic.

His distinctive voice is complemented by his instrumental versatility as he switches between bouzouki, mountain dulcimer, banjo and melodeon to name but a few.

As a veteran solo artist he’s accumulated a vast repertoire of traditional and original songs and performance experience on festival main stages, concerts, in arts centres, theatres, village halls, folk clubs, workshops, dances and schools.

Pete is founder of the hugely successful Ryburn 3 Step folk development project, based in the Ryburn Valley, which has gained a national reputation for its regular programme of events and activities.

Described by BBC Radio 2 as “a one-man folk industry”, Pete also runs folk clubs, dances and workshops and teaches music and dancing in schools as well as teaching folk music at Huddersfield University.

Ryburn 3 Step’s Red Door Rappers, a juniors’ sword dancing team, came second at the Dancing England Rapper Tournament at Burton upon Trent earlier this month.

Tickets for Pete’s gig are £11 and £9 concessions in advance or £12 and £10 on the day available through Square Chapel’s box office on 01422 349422 or online at

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