Summer, hay, sunshine and all that jazz. We heeded the cry to the festival infested hills of Britain, did our fair share of nonsense in a variety of fields and still have all our limbs to show for it. Sweet success, so here’s a taste.
|The road from Rhayader to Devil’s Bridge|
We began our season with the fabulous Fire in the Mountain, now in its fourth year and thriving with fresh folk. Indeed, its Welsh waves have not gone unnoticed, recently picking up the Best New Festival on the Block award at the AIF Congress 2014. Moreover, the festival’s producers, a superb team of half hillbilly, half hell-raiser, one-hundred-percent-committed festival organisers, persuaded most of East London to decamp some 200 miles west and to mingle with disparate music obsessives plus the odd obligatory sheep for a entire weekend. No small feat. Musical highlights included the Foghorn Stringband who laid down some fabulous Cajun grooves, the wizardry of Stomping Dave, and undoubtably The John Langan Band who reached new nights of folk-rock. Our performance was set amongst the colourful rags of Owlsworld. For which we’d crafted rather ridiculous uninterrupted 45 minute medley of Odysseian proportions, musically galavanting across continents and centuries. The Welsh mountainside evidently appreciated our psychedelic efforts and, mid-performance, rewarded us and the rapt crowd with the most honeyed of sunsets.
|A Welsh Sunset|
Our compass then directed us yet further west, just across the other border into the Southern Celtic world. There The Rod & Line pub and its assorted aquatic taxidermy and oddball sculpture welcomed TEYR with rapturous thigh-slapping, not least from the irrepressible landlord and his affable bellowing presence. This is a true pub indeed. Following our musical nonsense, we then tumbled back into the bandwagon with the pub’s finest gourmet morsels still tantalising our taste-buds (the fish and chips are criminal) and sped down to the tip of these fair isles through the night.
|Fully Rigged Mousehole|
Awaking to a deep wooded Cornish valley we set about the technology, arraying microphones carpets, cushions and strategic hobnobs across the house. This wooden palace was our office for the next few days. Save for the occasional trip to the sea to wash clean our minds we fermented heavy sounds solidly, the products of which should be heard sometime next year. Before leaving our Atlantic base however we had a rather wonderful appointment at the biannual Mousehole maritime festival known as Sea, Salt & Sail. This beautifully sheltered cove clinging onto the edge of the ocean fringe is the last safe, walled haven for boats before the big blue. To help preserve the culture of working with and on the water, the festival has been around since the mid 1990s hosting the crafts, produce and most prominently, the gorgeous old working boats of the region. On the final day, the sound of restless rigging from the several dozen boats bouncing across the tiny harbour, we had the pleasure of playing to a sun drenched, entranced audience. One little fella even took to the stage for a solo dance off.
|The Lúnasa Audience Inside…|
Our last sips of the summer festival wine tools us back to England’s shire. Over the course of a single weekend we managed a rather ridiculous four gigs at three festivals, hurtling from Standon to Cambridge to Clacton and back. Suffice to say there was a discernible discrepancy between the patrons of Standon Calling and Cambridge Folk Festival. The latter, though lacking in enthusiasm (the main feature being its foldable chair-city afore the main stage) was nonetheless hosted a buzzing milieu of bands desperate to be seen. Our blink-and-you-miss-it set in the club tent one earned its salt in free publicity. Moreover, it was priceless to catch such bands as the endlessly creative Moulettes, the inspiration of John Doyle (who without which our guitarist James would not likely exist), the grooving Bristol-based Bombs and the living legends Lúnasa,
So lets raise a glass to those warmer months while we gradually forment our grand plans for next time. Help, of course, is always appreciated. Like our music? Tell us where we should navigate in 2015. It’s gonna be a big year. We can feel it.