Welcome to the Pitmatics

Pitmatics is an exciting new folk band with its roots in the language and music of the North East of England. Original and cover songs tell powerful stories with great arrangements, superb musicianship and stunning harmonies.

“Absolutely spectacular – we have a bit of treasure in here tonight” – Sue Marchant, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. 09/09/2018.

pitmatic, n. Pron. /pɪtˈmatɪkA patois used by miners in the north-east of England. aka Yakka. (OED)

“Interesting arrangements and production..” Sting 2017

Founder member Charley Foskett has been a major influence on the band’s direction – he has moved on to other projects and we wish him all the best. The band has collaborated with great artists like Julie Felix.

“.. a fantastic evening, an exceptional and very talented bunch of musicians – folk music it’s the new rock and roll – catch them if you can.” John Joe Dunne 2018

For more info please explore this website,  Contact Us and visit our  Facebook page


  • Ned Lawton: whistles, uilleann pipes, bodhran
  • John Birkby: mandola, guitar, banjo
  • Phil Underwood: melodeons, concertina, long necked banjo, guitar
  • Heather Harding: keyboard, tenor horn, accordion
  • Denise Dryburgh: percussion
  • Caroline Riches: fiddle


The first citation in the OED entry for pitmatic—the language of the miners and pit villages of the north-east of England—is taken from The Times of 21 August 1885, in which a bewildered writer reports on a visit to a colliery foreman’s office ‘thronged with men talking an unintelligible language known, I was informed, as Pitmatic’. Source: OED