Cornish folk rock band The Countrymen will be performing in Tavistock and Okehampton later on this month as they set out on their 2023 tour.

The shows will be held at the Charter Hall, Okehampton and The Wharf in Tavistock on March 18 and March 17 respectively as part of their Bal Maiden Tour which will also see them perform at Newquay, Truro, Holsworthy and Penzance.

Steve Gilbert, lead singer, said: ‘We’re really looking forward to just getting out there and perforning again. We love performing everywhere. But in a concert on people doing nothing else other than sit there looking at you. You really have to raise your game because every mistake is spotted (in a pub you can get away with blue murder) which means that our concerts generally are our best as far as performance is concerned. We put a lot into every one, making them a little bit special.’

The Countrymen started singing regularly at an open mic session at Langdon Cross and, after finding that their music was well-received, decided to become a professional band. Despite being a primarily Cornish-based band, The Countrymen have performed in Devon after finding that the sentiments in the songs they performed were also relevant to Devonians.

Mr Gilbert added: ‘We tend to do stuff that’s more obscure or original stuff we’ve written, but it’s a balance between writing about the demise of the tin mining industry and fishing you know, and second homeowners all that stuff that gets brought up and the songs generally reflected Devon as much as Cornwall.’

The titular ‘Bal Maiden’ comes from the name given to female mine workers who were often charged with breaking the rocks with sledgehammers.