Caistor’s young folk stars win through to song final

Salutation band members, with Jono Brien (left) at their radio session
Salutation band members, with Jono Brien (left) at their radio session

A teenage folk music group from Caistor is getting ready to hit the airwaves after reaching the final of a county-wide competition.

Salutation - Isaac McCann, Maya McCann, Joe Dodd, Sophie McCulloch, Alex Mottram and Alex Bignall - have made it through to the final of the BBC Radio Lincolnshire ‘Write a Song for Lincolnshire’ competition.

They will be performing against eight other finalists at the event being held tomorrow (Thursday) in Spalding and the competition will be on air from 7pm.

“We are all so looking forward to it,” said Alex Mottram.

“As a band we have incredibly privileged with our gigs.

“We love performing and we know we will enjoy Thursday’s event.”

The band members, who are all 16, have known each other since they were five.

They all attended Caistor Primary School and have always shared a love of music.

Two years ago, they decided to form a band and their debut performance was at Nettleton’s Salutation Inn.

When it came to choosing a name they couldn’t decide, so their music mentor Nick McCann suggested ‘Salutation’.

He said: “Not only does it pay homage to their first gig, it also sums up what folk music is all about.

“Salutation means welcome - and everyone is equal and welcome to join in when it comes to folk music.”

It was Nick who encouraged the group to enter the ‘Write a Song for Lincolnshire’ competition.

He said: “The competition has been going for around 20 years and is getting bigger all the time.

“I wrote the words, but the young people have come up with the musical arrangement.

“It is a wonderful achievement and whatever the outcome, will be a really good experience for them.

“I know I am a proud dad, but they do make a good sound.”

Although Salutation is folk music based, they are adding extra instruments to bring their own fusion.

Over the past year they have performed a number of gigs and also recorded a six-song album at locally based Trip Down Studios owned by Ritchie Chappell.

The album caught the attention of folk show presenter Mike Harding, who has taken a liking to the group and given them air time on his show.

Salutation was also invited by the song competition organiser Jono Brien to do a live session on Radio Lincolnshire.

And if that isn’t enough, they have also been booked to play at The Great british Folk Festival at Butlins in Skegness this December, where they will be brushing shoulders with the likes of Eddie Reader, Sean Lakeman, The Mighty Doonans and Fairport Convention.

“It is all such an amazing opportunity,” added Alex Mottram.

“We want to thank everyone who listens to our music and comes to our gigs - it is so amazing people are interested in our music.

“We particularly are grateful to Nick McCann; he is the most incredible person I have ever met and we wouldn’t be where we are now without him.”

○ Copies of Salutation’s CD are available through the Mike Harding Show website.