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Folk fans with an eye on the big prize


Communion, the folk club night and label co-founded by Mumford and Sons keyboardist Ben Lovett and Kevin Jones is behind the debut releases of two of this year's Mercury Prize nominees – Michael Kiwanuka and Ben Howard.

Its latest signing is Joe Banfi, from Northwich in Cheshire, whose haunting debut EP, Iron, is out now, produced by Communion's Ian Grimble.

When Lovett and Jones launched their Communion night as a platform for young musicians, they quickly developed a folk identity, booking early shows for Laura Marling, Johnny Flynn and Noah and The Whale. They clearly have an eye for the next big thing. Lovett also discovered the beguiling rising star Rachel Sermanni when she played on a beach in her native Scottish Highlands. Whether Banfi will follow in their illustrious footsteps remains to be seen.

Joe Banfi's 'Iron' is out now