MAKING A SPLASH: Katie Doherty and the Navigators will perform at Mickleton Village Hall on Saturday, May 21 Pic: Jules Williams Photography
MAKING A SPLASH: Katie Doherty and the Navigators will perform at Mickleton Village Hall on Saturday, May 21 Pic: Jules Williams Photography

NORTH East folk stars Katie Doherty and the Navigators are heading to the dale this weekend as part of a 14-date UK tour.

The trio, comprising Grace Smith and Dave Gray as well as Ms Doherty, are showcasing their new album FLOW.

They bring the show to Mickleton Village Hall on Saturday., May 21.

Their new album, which they describe as the band’s “boldest storytelling yet” was road tested on four community groups across the region before being recorded.

Ms Doherty said: “Community outreach, participation and education has always been a big part of my ‘other’ work away from performing. My work feels much more purposeful if I can reach further. In fact, it's nothing without that connection.

“It was a joyous experience to take rough versions of songs to people and say, ‘What do you make of this? What does it make you think and feel?’

“It was really wonderful to talk about different people’s often very different responses to the same piece. It offered a great insight into how music works.”

The resulting album, produced by Mattie Foulds is scheduled for release later in the summer.

Ms Doherty said the collection of songs combine hope for the future with a recognition of challenges people are currently facing up to.

“I think FLOW is the best representation of how I hear my songs so far.

“It is a stronger, bolder, braver and more mature sound definitely, but with the same storytelling rooted in the folk tradition,” she said.

The trio’s tour kicked off of at the Sage Gateshead last week.

“It feels wonderful to have dates in the diary again after such a long time away and we definitely appreciate being in front of an audience on a whole new level,” she said.

“We’re looking forward to celebrating being back on stage with everyone and introducing them to FLOW.”

Since their album And Then was released in 2019, Katie Doherty and the Navigators have enjoyed extensive airplay all across Europe including live sessions on BBC Radio 2 and 3.

A raft of tour dates, including performances at the Cambridge Folk Festival, Manchester Folk Festival and Cheltenham Festival and support slots with Blue Rose Code and Rachel Newton cemented the band’s place on the list of acts audiences want to see.

The Sage Gateshead show featured a community choir of backing singers who didn’t need asking twice when Katie put out a call for volunteers.

Katie said: “The choir call out has been a huge success.

“Those applying mentioned how much they have missed singing as part of a group and I totally get that.”

Tickets for Saturday’s show at Mickleton are available online at katie-doherty-and-the-navigators-tickets-288635044187.

Alternatively, they can be purchased by calling 07443 654837.

The show will also feature a short set by local musicians.

The trio’s new album has also prompted the development of an accompanying multi-media theatre show in co-production with Alphabetti Theatre, in Newcastle, which is due to receive its premiere in the winter.