Naomi Bedford

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Naomi Bedford
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Born (1968-12-30) 30 December 1968 (age 54)
OriginLondon, England
GenresFolk music
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
Years active1993–present

Naomi Bedford (born in London, England) is an English folk singer and songwriter. Although a solo artist, she is most often accompanied by Paul Simmonds (songwriter and instrumentalist of the band The Men They Couldn't Hang), with the pair being a duo act in both her recorded and live works.

Her albums have featured across U.K. national media, including Mojo (magazine) Top 10 and The Guardian's Top 5, with her work having also received Arts Council backing. She has appeared at Glastonbury Festival's The Left Field Stage,[1] Cambridge Folk Festival,[2] Celtic Connections,[3] Cecil Sharp House[4] and many others.

Personal life

Naomi Bedford was born in Putney, London.[5] Her father, Richard, was a film editor, who worked on The Great Rock and Roll Swindle, Absolute Beginners (film)|Absolute Beginners and many pop music videos from the 1980s, for artists such as Sade, Abc, Culture Club and more.[6] [7]

She started playing guitar at the age of 13, receiving her first lessons from Andy Summers, guitarist of the band The Police, for whom she babysat at the time.[8]

She is a mother to two (Noah and Luca Bramley).[9]

Music career

Bedford sang in various bands from the age of 15, with the most prominent being 'Jonah Hex', which she started with her ex-partner and father to her children, Andy Bramley.[10]

Bedford first came to prominence through the hit 2001 Orbital song "Funny Break", appearing as a vocalist and co-writer (alongside Bramley) for the track, and through her appearance on the show Later... with Jools Holland in 2001 performing "Funny Break" with Orbital.[11] [12]

Bedford also featured on the song "In a Way" by 'Mex' in 2001, released on the record label Catskills Records.[13]

In 2006, Bedford featured on the Nylon Rhythm Machine track "Remember" (co-written by Bedford and Bramley), on the album Fanta Vista, with the song appearing in the film The Waiting Room (2007 film) | The Waiting Room.[14] [15]

She co-wrote and features on the Ministry of Sound track "7th Wave" (2005) by Finn, under the name 'Triptych' with Andy Bramley.[16]

In 2007, Bedford self-released her album Dark They Were and Golden Eyed. Produced by Mick Glossop, it is considered to be a precursor to her current works (Tales From The Weeping Willow and subsequent releases). The album caught the attention of Justin Currie (lead singer of the band Del Amitri), leading to her being a support act for Currie's 2008 tour [17] and their many future collaborations, including the pair co-writing and duetting on a number of songs for all her following albums.[18]

Sometime in 2010, Bedford and Paul Simmonds founded the ‘Dusty Willow Recordings’ label to self-release their future albums and projects.

In 2011, Bedford released what is considered to be her true first album, Tales From The Weeping Willow, and the first of a trilogy of themed albums - murder, struggle, love and madness. The album tells stories with themes of murder, death and sorrow and features duets with Scottish Folk singer, Alasdair Roberts (who also features on her second album) and Paul Heaton (from The Beautiful South and The Housemartins). The album, a mix of traditional and original songs, was regarded as "both brilliant and original in equal measure" by Andy Gill from the Independent, with Nigel Williamson from Uncut praising Bedford's vocals as having "soared, soothed and haunted in equal measures".[19]

Bedford released her Bluebirds EP in 2012, with the title track featuring a duet with Ron Sexsmith and being written by Paul Simmonds.[20]

In 2014, her second album A History of Insolence was released.[21] [22] The song "Spider and the Wolf" saw Bedford and Simmonds nominated for a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award in the category "Best Original Song".[23]

In 2017, she released her third album Songs My Ruiner Gave To Me. Featured with critical acclaim in the Guardian, Independent, Mojo, R2 and No Depression, the album was the first to officially present Bedford and Simmonds as a duo act. The album features The Police's Andy Summers on two songs and Del Amitri's Justin Currie on one song.[24][25]

Released in 2019, Bedford and Simmonds released Singing It All Back Home, an album of Appalachian ballads. The project, inspired by meetings with Shirley Collins, is produced by (and features) Folk Award winner Ben Walker and featured as The Guardian's 'Folk Album of the Month'.[26]

During the first nation lockdown in U.K., Bedford put together and released a cover of the Bob Dylan song "Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts" as a download to help raise money for homeless people via a campaigning organisation called 'We Shall Overcome'. Bedford gathered musicians from the folk and Americana genres to donate their time and record from home. The song was produced by Noah Bramley and musicians included were Nancy Kerr, Ben Walker, Robert Vincent, Ben Webb (Jinnwoo) Cathy Jordan (Dervish), Phil "Swill" Odgers (TMTCH), Paul Simmonds, Joe Solo, Boss Caine, Alasdair Roberts, Phil Jones, Scott Smith, Justin Currie, Jess Silk, Carol Hodge and others.[27] [28]

Bedford is working on a new political themed album for release in 2023. She has also sung on the Simmonds written song "A Revolution Starts With A Song" which is planned as the title music of a Clash Documentary out in 2023 called On Resistance Street.[29]



  • 2001 - "Funny Break" – Orbital feat. Naomi Bedford
  • 2005 - "7th Wave" – Fynn feat. Tryptych
  • 2006 - "Remember" – Nylon Rhythm Machine feat. Naomi Bedford
  • 2012 - Bluebirds EP – Naomi Bedford
  • 2013 – "Bobby's Song" (on the album Answer Ballads) – David Rotheray, Naomi Bedford


  • 2007 – Dark They Were and Golden Eyed
  • 2011 – Tales From The Weeping Willow
  • 2014 – A History of Insolence
  • 2017 – Songs My Ruiner Gave To Me
  • 2019 – Singing It All Back Home


  1. "Line Up For Leftfield At Glastonbury Festival Announced". Retrieved 20 June 2022.
  2. "2011-2015". Retrieved 20 June 2022.
  3. "Celtic Connections 2012: Naomi Bedford". Retrieved 1 March 2023.
  4. "Cecil Sharp House - search results for Naomi Bedford". Retrieved 1 March 2023.
  5. "NAOMI BEDFORD – A History of Insolence: Songs of Freedom, Dissent & Strife (Dusty Willow)". Retrieved 2 March 2023.
  6. "Richard Bedford". Retrieved 1 March 2023.
  7. "Naomi Bedford". Retrieved 20 June 2022.
  8. "Folk Across the Water: Naomi Bedford & Paul Simmonds". Retrieved 1 March 2023.
  9. "We did it!". Retrieved 1 March 2023.
  10. "Funny Break (One is Enough) - Info". Retrieved 2 March 2023.
  11. "Orbital on Jools Holland 11 Jun 2001 - Funny Break". Retrieved 1 March 2023.
  12. "Orbital - Funny Break (One Is Enough)". Discogs. Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  13. "Various - Straight Out The Cat Litter (Scoop Three)". Discogs. Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  14. "The Waiting Room - soundtracks". Retrieved 1 March 2023.
  15. "Nylon Rhythm Machine". Catskillsmusic. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
  16. "Finn* Feat. Naomi Bedford - 7th Wave". Discogs. Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  17. "Nothing Ever Happens - Justin Currie with Naomi Bedford". Retrieved 1 March 2023.
  18. "Naomi Bedford – Dark They Were And Golden Eyed". Discogs. Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  19. "Naomi Bedford - Tales From The Weeping Willowd". Brightyyoungfolk. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
  20. "Naomi Bedford – Bluebirds EP". Discogs. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
  21. "Naomi Bedford: A History of Insolence CD review – impressive political-edged folk". Retrieved 1 March 2023.
  22. "First Person: From Insolence to Defiance". Retrieved 1 March 2023.
  23. "BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2015". Retrieved 1 March 2023.
  24. "Naomi Bedford and Paul Simmonds: Songs My Ruiner Gave to Me review – UK folk with a transatlantic pull". The Guardian. 14 December 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2022.
  25. "Naomi Bedford e Paul Simmonds – Songs My Ruiner Gave To Me". Discogs. Retrieved 18 June 2022.
  26. "CD: Naomi Bedford & Paul Simmonds - Singing It All Back Home: Appalachian Ballads of English and Scottish Origin". The Arts Desk. 14 December 2017.
  27. "Watch: Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts by The Rolling Ramshackle Revue". Retrieved 1 March 2023.
  28. "Utterly brilliant beyond compare: Rolling Ramshackle Revue with Lily, Rosemary et al". Retrieved 20 June 2022.
  29. "Resistance Street Liverpool 2022 : Clash fans all-dayer line up announced". 16 March 2022.

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