Ant Noel lives and works on Jersey, in the Channel Islands.
Ant moved to Bristol in 2003, staying for a music degree and eleven years of plying his trade as a musician (piano, fiddle, guitar, mandolin & harmonica) and teacher before relocating to the haven of Somerset for five years. Ant spent the past years releasing four original albums – Hurricane Rising (2010), Under City Lights (2012), The Water’s Line (2014) and Ferryman’s Wake (2018) – and performing in venues across the South West in a variety of roles, some rather kitsch (e.g. ‘cocktail pianist’ for P&O ferries), others more suited to traditional tastes (e.g. session fiddle player, folk festival performer). A seasoned performer, Ant has played well over a thousand gigs, including many festivals big and small, plenty of live music venues and lots of city bars and country pubs. Ant was founder and director of the Raggedy Folk Players, a regular folk music workshop in Bristol between 2013 – 2017 and also jointly ran a folk session in Croscombe, Somerset, in 2014 – 2019, alongside fiddle player Paul Dix. Ant finally moved back to Jersey in 2019.
In 2011, Ant formed backing band The Peabody Drakes in order to flesh out the bare bones of his music. The band’s most recent line-up included James Stallwood (clarinet), Anneka Johnson (percussion), Alex Pearson (double bass), Paul Dix (fiddle) and Chris Webb (guitar). Ant Noel & The Peabody Drakes performed Ant’s original music, a melting-pot of styles, anything from Classic Rock to Celtic, Klezmer, Americana or Cajun. Often described as lively and upbeat, these are songs of travel, ale and coffee drinking, french love stories, Jersey shenanigans and west country rambles!
In 2014, Ant released The Water’s Line to critical acclaim from the likes of BBC Introducing, Somer Valley FM and the Musicians Union who picked the cd as their ‘stand out’ release of the winter that year: “Ant Noel is proving a rising star on stages across the south west and beyond thanks to a winning way with a tune and an intriguing lyric. His third album is packed with melodic twists and he steps out from his folk roots to capture a wider audience with his endearing songs.” (The Musician Magazine)
2018 saw the release of Ant’s newest album Ferryman’s Wake, the first to truly capture a crossover between the worlds of folk and classic rock. With his most personal set of songs to date and a big sound full of epic arrangements, Ant hopes this album will thrill fans of both genres alike. The Musicians Union said of the album: it is “a soulful set of rousing folk-rockers. Slice-of-life storytelling shines through on songs borne aloft by timeless melodies and epic arrangements.”
When he’s not performing on stage or writing songs, you will find Ant teaching younger talent at The Jersey Academy of Music.