RAY Cooper, former member of the British folk rock band Oysterband, is heading to Craven in February for a concert at The Victoria Hall, Settle.

Ray, also known as Chopper, left the Oysterband, which formed in the mid 1970s, in 2013. He has recently been nominated for ‘male artist of the year’ in the Fatea magazine awards.

He is an acoustic singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, and accompanies his songs with a cello, mandolin, guitar and piano, each song comes with a story.

Ray started to play in bands when he was 16 years old. After art college in Brighton, he joined the punk band Amazorblades, moved to London and began to work with other groups and genres.

By the time he joined the world music band, 3 Mustaphas 3 in 1982, he was already an experienced session musician and had worked with a number of producers such as Steve Lillywhite and Edwin Starr.

He had been moving between rock, punk, pop and world music, and working as a singer, bass guitar player and cellist, before he finally hooked up with Oysterband.

After moving to Sweden in 2000, Ray continued playing with Oysterband, touring and recording 19 albums. In 2012 the band won three awards from BBC Radio 2’s Folk Awards, appeared on Later with Jools Holland and were dubbed by Froots magazine as one of the three ‘Icons of Folk’. Since leaving the band in 2013, Ray has carved out a successful solo career, recording four solo albums and has toured extensively in Britain, Northern Europe and Canada.

He is due in Settle on February 6 as part of a short UK tour. Visit: settlevictoriahall.co.uk