Graeme Miles was one of the finest songwriters of his generation. Following his passing away in 2013, The Unthanks, Wilsons and Young’uns have committed to biennial concerts, both to celebrate and explore his work, and to raise money for the Graeme Miles Bursary.
Graeme Miles Bursary, in association with EFDSS, is aimed at providing important development opportunities for young North East artists that will have a lasting impact on professional careers. This year, the proceeds will be shared between the bursary and the Redcar Steelworkers.
A contemporary of Ewan MacColl, Miles wrote his first song (Sea Coal) at 14, and after hearing the traditional songs of Tyneside, set himself a 20-year task to create a collection for his adopted native Teesside. Miles wrote hundreds of songs about the area, and could be regarded in that respect as a one-man folk tradition, finding poetry and beauty in the industrial landscape of Middlesbrough and the surrounding Cleveland hills and dales. Shortly before he died, EFDSS awarded him the Gold Badge Award for outstanding achievement. With many of his songs still to be unearthed, and many of today’s folk exponents keen to shine further light on his work, the legacy that Graeme Miles leaves burns brightly.