The York Waits

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What the critics are saying...

Carol concerts come and go, but these two offered something a little out of the ordinary, with more than a nod to past Christmases unsullied by commercialism.
In a lunchtime event, with low sun brilliantly illuminating the mediaeval stained glass, the Waits unpacked their splendid panoply of old instruments. These included a 16th-century Flemish rumble-pot (friction drum) with seasonal associations. Deborah Catterall supplied vivid soprano words (and occasional recorder).
The group roamed all over Europe. A ‘joyfull noyse’ came from top-calibre sackbuts (Anna Marshall and William Marshall) teamed with fluent shawms in Germany and Spain. Gentler sounds issued from curtals, violins, recorders (including Tim Bayley’s great bass), harps and guitars.
A trio of bagpipes gave the shepherds authenticity, in France and the Netherlands. England was not forgotten, with Henry VIII and a jolly wassail. Truly the Waits are among York’s greatest treasures.

www.yorkpress.co.uk. First published Monday 22nd December 2014 in Music news and reviews by Martin Dreyer

Thank you for coming to play at our Medieval Festival. We really enjoyed your lecture and your concert was truly wonderful. Everyone is talking about it! Even those who didn't know what to expect or weren't sure if they'd enjoy it, have come away singing your praises!

Pat Sumner, Llaneliden.

They are fantastic live... Brilliant musicians playing unpretentious good-time music that they obviously get a huge kick out of playing.

David Williams

Absolutely stonking day with the York Waits! A whole day's workshop of late Tudor/Early Jacobean music, expertly led by Tim Bayley and Deborah Catteral. Relaxed but alert - just what we like. And to follow - an evening of the music of 15th centry Europe -sometimes unearthly, sometimes rousing and always vibrant.

Music in New Radnor

Rescue act links well with understanding professionals.

Clive Peacock,Leamington Courier
Click here to read the full review

Cries of 'brilliant' from the audience at York Waites show
Early music maestros The York Waits assured a capacity audience of a merry Christmas by promising an early return to Halifax in the New Year.
Muttered adjectives in the audience including "beautiful", "brilliant" and "wonderful" followed the rendition of festive songs, some well-known, others a pleasant and atmospheric surprise.

Pauline Hawkins, Halifax Courier
Click here to read the full review

The York Waits... gave a display of consumate discipline and immense breadth...The six gentlemen are renaissance players par excellence... in company with Deborah Catterall's warm, clear soprano, it made an aural - and visual - feast.

Martin Dreyer, Yorkshire Evening Press.

In November, very close to the fifth, I had the pleasure of seeing The York Waits perform from Fortune My Foe, which is a collection of popular music from the time of the Gunpowder Plot. The tunes in the live set are interwoven with story and narrative, making for a dramatic and moving evening’s entertainment...

David Kidman, Stirrings (South Yorkshire folk mag) issue 127
Click here to read the full review

For reviews of The York Waits' CDs and publications, see the CDs & Publications pages.

The York Waits are one of the country’s most vivid and versatile early music groups, who always display the full richness of Renaissance instrumentation. I particularly enjoy the way in which they bring early dance music to life, playing with an exciting sense of rhythm which is enough to shatter any glass case one might be tempted to put up around the music.

William Marshall, Halifax Evening Courier
(shortly before he was invited to join The York Waits).

a brilliant display of versatility from The York Waits ..... a sight and sound not to be forgotten.

Steven Banfield, Musical Times.

It is rare and refreshing to hear a group like The York Waits for whom this repertory is once more a living tradition. Much of the credit must go to the group’s intelligent realisations and to their stage presentation, a seemingly effortless and so probably hard-won balance of the informal and the informative. It was difficult not to enjoy the music as much as they did.

David Mather, Yorkshire Evening Press.

The atmosphere was set by The York Waits who won cheers from an enthusiastic crowd, warming up for the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of York.

Stacey Brewer, Yorkshire Evening Press.

The York Waits were omnipresent, playing in the street, in the pubs, in processions and in the formal pageantry invented for the occasion. They also gave a very fine concert in the cathedral.

Clifford Bartlett, Early Music Review.


These are musicians of whom York can be justifiably proud.

Martin Dreyer, Yorkshire Evening Press.


The York Waits are a glorious ensemble.

Parsons, American Record Guide.