Jagwar Ma announce October UK Tour Dates




Jagwar Ma have announced a UK tour for October.

The Sydney psych-addicts will play five UK shows, kicking off at Glasgow’s Art School on October 20th, they will visit Manchester, Bristol and Leeds before rounding things off at Camden’s Electric Ballroom on the 26th.

Jagwar Ma will play:


  • 20 Glasgow, Art School
  • 21 Manchester, Academy 2
  • 23 Bristol, Marble Factory
  • 25 Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
  • 26 London, Electric Ballroom

Source: In the junkyard music

Frightened Rabbit announce December UK Dates



 Frightened Rabbit have confirmed they will cap off 2016 with a UK tour.

The Scottish rockers who recently released their latest LP ‘Painting Of A Panic Attack’ will play ten dates through December, concluding on the 12th in Newcastle at the Riverside.

Frightened Rabbit will play:


  • 30 Manchester, Cathedral


  • 01 Birmingham, Library
  • 02 Leeds, Stylus
  • 03 Norwich, Arts Centre
  • 05 Brighton, Concorde 2
  • 06 Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
  • 07 London, Roundhouse
  • 09 Bristol, Trinity
  • 10 Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
  • 12 Newcastle, Riverside

Source: In the junkyard music

Palm Honey unveil new single ‘You Stole My Blackout’


Palm Honey have shared their latest single ‘You Stole My Blackout’.

The follow-up to their 2015 debut ‘Bewitched’ sees the Reading quartet continue down the psychedelic route. Brimming with scratchy, retro-lined guitar-licks, the track throws the group in with more well known psych-pop acts such as; Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Temples in re-shining this age-old genre.

Listen below:

Source: In the junkyard music

East Midlands Chilli Festival

chilli fest

The Hot Spot for Cool Families this Summer

chilli bob 2

The hot place for families this year is the East Midlands Chilli Festival being held at the Newark Showground NG24 2NY – 16th and 17th of August.

A great family event for chilli, non-chilli lovers, we already have an exciting array of stalls, including an impressive list of East Midlands and UK wide artisans, street food and drinks vendors. There is something for everyone.

During the two days, entertainment will consist of East Midlands bands, competitions and demonstrations, whilst on the Saturday evening there is a music festival.

For the chilli lover we have a chilli eating competition on both days and also on the Sunday a chilli cook-off – winners of which will receive £200 and entry into the National Cook-off finals.

It’s an event for children too, and for a nominal entry fee, activities such as theatre, a workshop, face painting and bouncy caste are free. There are also plenty of children’s competitions to keep them busy all day long.

Make a weekend of it… Newark Showground has camping and caravan facilities for individuals and rallies which should be pre-booked – Saturday only or Friday/Saturday options available.

Discounted tickets are now available from the website www.em-chillifest.co.uk along with caravan/camping bookings. If you plan a rally, please get in touch directly with Chilli Bob on 07901820914 or email festival@em-chillifest.co.uk

We look forward to seeing you here.

Chilli Bob.

CD Review – Moment by Mark Chadwick

Mark Chardwick

Mark Chardwick

Sometimes I listen to a new album and it sets me off on a train of thought, not about music but about politics and passion and the great givens of humanity. It doesn’t happen too often but when it does I end up wanting to write something that reads more like a history lecture than a CD review.

I’m listening to new work, a solo album, from Mark Chadwick, vocal lead and guitarist with The Levellers. The album is called Moment, and is the culmination of two years of fairly introspective song-writing and contemplation about the role that both alcohol and addiction play in our lives – and my train of thought is this:

There are several huge foundation stones on which our culture is built; one is certainly religion and belief; you cannot truly understand Shakespeare, Tolkien or Blake for example, if you don’t get the Christian references in their structure and language. Similarly you can’t study the glorious, kaleidoscopic paintings of Chagall if you are not prepared to learn something of Jewish thinking and folklore. I would say that beauty, attraction and romantic love form a second foundation stone (on which we can pile our greatest paintings, poetry and music); and desire for power and glory is a third (which holds up much of our beloved literature and plays). Holding all those stones in place is the very human ability to become obsessed, fascinated and totally dependent on something – addiction, in its very broadest terms. The only thing that has changed is our attitude. Today we put people into rehab, or send them to counsellors and generally view addiction as an illness, however the ancient Macedonians viewed regular drunkenness as essential to manliness, and to the medieval Christian mind it was the fault of demons or possession by ghosts.

Furthermore, drugs, alcohol and generally altered states of consciousness have been part of religious ritual since we first started to ask questions about the world. So can we really consider addiction as a human ‘fault’? There is drunkenness in the early texts of the Bible – the Jewess Judith overcomes her Assyrian oppressor by getting him drunk, apparently without incurring the wrath of God.  I’m going to risk the wrath of the church-going righteous of Middle England and say that, to those of us who observe the world as humanists or atheists, religion and power look as much like addiction as alcohol or opium.  Reliance on alcohol causes devastation to families and to individuals, all-consuming devotion to religion or desire to exercise power seems to be causing devastation across entire nations. With such a formidable persecutor as addiction, it seems both fitting and oddly healthy to choose it as a muse with whom to explore the world. And, standing firmly on those huge foundation stones, that is exactly what Mark Chadwick has done through his new album, Moment.


Mark Chadwick 1a

With an introduction like that, I’ve probably made Moment sound as if it will be both gloomy and daunting – in fact it is neither. The opening track, Waterfall, is a riot of fiddle-work spinning along behind a leaping melody. In the best traditions of The Levellers, this is a song about drinking and drunkenness, and it is as fast-paced and lively as the best craic at which you could find yourself. Mark Chadwick doesn’t ease you gently into his theme, he picks you up and flings you in, and expects you to dance. Following Waterfall is Redsky, a warm and gently-given piece of advice: the world is a puzzle that you will always have to face; if you accept that there will be no warning and no signposts you’ll get along better in this life.

Moment, the title track and Bullet both add an intense style of storytelling; they focus on the detail of just one moment’s decision or the instant captured in a photograph and examine it in close detail from several angles. The lyrics are so forthright and the perception of feeling is so vivid that these moments seem to be laid before you naked and unapologetic, not for you to judge, just for you to observe and accept that this world you live in is indeed a puzzling one.

As the album goes on, we seem to home in more and more closely on how humans behave in the grip of addiction, grief or in the darkest moments of the night. These are songs in which the lives of alcoholic neighbours are observed (Christian and Pam), we are invited to enjoy the strange sort of freedom you have in being always an outsider (Killing Time) and made uncomfortably aware that at their most intense, extremes of emotion seem to become detached and hover in front of you like a separate entity (Air).  Finally the album slips quietly into the night, and turns its attention to the way that worries and tiny little memories are magnified by the darkness and come to dominate our thoughts (Last Night); it seems that night time too, even the cool reviving night, can be a kind of drug that alters our perception of the world.

In terms of sheer artistry, Mark Chadwick remains ahead of the game and has sensibly stayed well out of the way of the promoters who would buff him up and polish him until he and his work were unrecognisable. And that’s what makes this music important. This album manages to be both political and very personal, but above all it is scrupulously honest. If I were again a teenager trying to decide if music was important to the world, then this is the kind of work that would tip the balance and confirm my view that music is vital to life.

[Download the album here: http://www.markchadwick.org/music/]

Mark Chadwick 3a

When you have a good composition performed by accomplished musicians it renders the veneer of studio perfection both unnecessary and undesirable.  What speaks to you in this album is an urgent and forthright voice that wants to talk of subjects from which many would prefer to turn their head away. Mark Chadwick is clearly an artist who operates only on his own terms; and one of those terms is to be honest and non-judgemental in the face of what our society thinks degrades us.

Whether we find it a comfortable thought or not, we human beings have always seen some value in altering our perception of the world – whether that is by creating stories to explain what we do not understand and becoming convinced of their reality, or whether it is by consuming chemicals that change the way the world looks to us and then being unable and unwilling to return and look at it once more as it really is. The human tendency towards addiction is nothing new, indeed it likely that it has been around as long as we have, and will seize a hold of a King as easily as it will grab a commoner. With unflinching directness, Moment encapsulates all of that and establishes Mark Chadwick as a musician capable of voicing an opinion without making a judgement, and of creating music that people will love, while remaining unconventional. Rare combinations indeed.

Link to lyrics, tour dates and background information here: http://www.markchadwick.org

The Beautiful Days festival is now sold out, but you can read catch up on news and photos here: http://www.beautifuldays.org/

Review by @autumnrosewell

Interview with Angel Sinclair founder of Models of Diversity about their campaign for more diversity in the modelling world.


Find out more from Angel Sinclair, founder of Models of Diversity, a non profit organisation fighting for equality within the modelling world. Looking at giving a chance for all people, no matter their shape, colour of their skin, disability in having the same opportunities & potential to be catwalk models.

Models of Diversity is the campaign for more diversity in the models we see every day. We call on the fashion, beauty and marketing industries to recognise the beauty in people of all races, ages, shapes, sizes and abilities. Our mission is to change the face of fashion and modelling.

Clearly, not just anyone can be a model; a successful model must have a special beauty, confidence, professionalism, ability to take direction, even artistic awareness. But no one with those talents should be excluded from the industry on arbitrary grounds. And no one should feel shut out from the modern presentation of beauty.

Angel Sinclair, the founder of Models of Diversity is a former model herself. She founded the campaign after appearing on Gok’s Miss Naked Beauty in 2008. Angel was struck by the great variety of beautiful women participating in the event and how that contrasted with the narrow range we see in the fashion industry. That’s when she decided, to promote using models that reflect the diversity in society, in race, shape, age and ability.

So we campaign at fashion events, hold street surveys, offer workshops and vigorously promote a more diverse range of models in the media and social networking.

We know from our surveys that the public is in favour of more diversity, so our ambition is to change how the fashion industry thinks and responds to the needs of all the fashion-buying public.

Find out more at http://www.modelsofdiversity.org

listen to the interview again at http://www.radiowarks.com
Reporter @LianeKate

Interview with Commercial Director, David Jane, co-ordinator ‘Belgrade Theatre Unplugged 2014

david jane

Belgrade Theatre Unplugged Returns for 2014

The Belgrade theatre is thrilled to announce the return of ‘Unplugged’ from Sat 19 – Sat 26 July 2014. First launched in 2013, the week-long performance programme taking place at venues throughout Coventry and Warwickshire will once again offer audiences the unique opportunity to preview rehearsed readings from the Belgrade’s Autumn Season of home-produced drama.

Building on the great success of Unplugged 2013, this year’s event will see the Belgrade theatre leave its home to visit a host of exciting new locations across Coventry and Warwickshire, giving both new and existing audiences a rare opportunity to preview the Belgrade theatre’s programme of forthcoming work in production.

Rehearsal readings will take place in a series of unique settings around Coventry and Warwickshire, including The Establishment Bar and Grill, Coventry, Nicholas Chamberlaine Almshouses, Bedworth, Touchwood shopping Centre, Solihull, the historic Upton House near Banbury, Rugby Museum and Art Gallery, Lunt Roman Fort and former site of a medieval quarry Primrose Hill Park.

As part of Unplugged 2014, audiences can look forward to readings from a selection of upcoming productions which include the world premiere of Peter Arnott’s Propaganda Swing, 2Tone musical Three Minute Heroes and the popular B2 X-mas show Oh No It Isn’t. There will also be the opportunity to preview scenes from forthcoming work by our nationally-recognized Community & Education Company.

The Belgrade’s Artistic Director Hamish Glen said, “I’m delighted that Belgrade Unplugged will be returning for 2014. These events have been devised to offer people the chance to come and hear excerpts from our forthcoming autumn season in the form of rehearsed readings in interesting and inspiring settings. They aren’t fully realised productions with big sets and lighting; they are stripped back, “unplugged” readings that I’m putting together with a group of talented actors, to give you a unique taste of what’s in store at the Belgrade throughout the rest of the year. Whether you’re a theatre aficionado or just looking for a fun and entertaining cultural experience, Unplugged promises to be a great showcase of some of the exciting theatre we’ve got coming up this Autumn.”

Development Manager and Belgrade Unplugged Co-ordinator David Jane added: ‘We’re thrilled to be able to bring Belgrade Unplugged back on tour again this year, which has been made possible thanks to funding through the Arts Council England Catalyst Arts programme. Last year was a great success and introduced people from across the region to the work that we stage at the Belgrade. The readings are free to watch and will last around an hour, and if the sun is out, there will be plenty of opportunities to being a picnic to the outdoor events’.

The first event will take place in the familiar surroundings of the Belgrade Theatre’s Restaurant, the B4 Grill on Saturday 19 July at 1pm. Guests at the event will also have the option to have lunch served to them in the Restaurant to accompany the reading if they choose.

This will be followed by an early evening visit to The Establishment Bar and Grill on Monday 21st July at 5.30pm. Situated in the cobbled streets of Coventry’s cathedral quarter at the heart of the City Centre, The Establishment Bar and Grill is set in the Old County Hall which dates back to 1783 and until the mid-1980s was the main court in Coventry. As part of the evening, guests can enjoy a post-work drink or a bite to eat in the building famously known as the site of Coventry’s last public hanging.

Lovers of history can look forward to journeying back in time on Tuesday 22 July at 7pm as Unplugged moves to the Nicholas Chamberlaine Almshouses in Bedworth. Built in 1840, these Tudor-style buildings remain one of Bedworth’s best-loved architectural gems. Taking advantage of the buildings’ beautiful grounds, rehearsed readings will be performed outdoors from 7pm with the opportunity for guests to bring their own picnic to enjoy during the show. In the event of bad weather, readings will move indoors to the Residents’ Lounge.

Continuing the historical theme, guests can enjoy a taste of the high life on Wednesday 23 July at the stunning Upton House and Gardens near Banbury. Managed by the National Trust and former home to celebrated 1930s millionaires, Lord and Lady Bearstead, this beautiful property is renowned for its internationally important art and porcelain collections. A total of four rehearsed readings will take place every half an hour between 1.30pm and 3pm in the Picture Gallery, with a different reading performed each time.

There is no charge to watch the performance but there is an admission fee to enter the property and gardens. Guests are advised to visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/upton-house for more details.

From historic splendour to the buzz of a thriving town centre, Thursday 24th July at 1.00pm sees Unplugged move to Touchwood, Solihull’s award-winning City Centre shopping centre. This will be followed by a visit to Primrose Hill Park in Hillfields on Friday 25 July at 1pm, former site of a medieval quarry now considered to be one of the city’s favourite local beauty spots. In the event of bad weather, readings will move to The Hope Centre just across the road from Primrose Park.

Moving east to Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, families can look forward to an early afternoon reading from the Belgrade Unplugged Company on Saturday 26 July at 2pm. Located in the thriving city centre, the Art Gallery and museum houses an exciting exhibition of contemporary and modern art as well an extensive museum collection of Roman and local history objects.

Completing this year’s Unplugged line-up for 2014 is Lunt Roman Fort in Baginton. A gem in Coventry’s cultural crown, Lunt is a partially reconstructed Roman fort dating back to AD 60 and was originally built as part of the fortifications to defend the Roman Empire against attacks from the Iceni of East Anglain, led by the legendary Boudica.

The atmospheric surroundings of the gyrus will provide the final backdrop to the 2014 series of readings and a fitting destination for a summer picnic.

For more information about all of The Belgrade Theatre Unplugged events visit www.belgrade.co.uk/unplugged.


Reporter: @LianeKate

Interview with Carole Sleight About Art in the Park

art in the park

For the first time ever, Jephson Gardens will become the stage of an exciting contemporary art fest with cultural activities and events for all the family.
A Gentle Stroll by Kim and Paul Ingvar On 2nd-3rd of August, Leamington Studio Artists (LSA) will be holding Leamington’s first ever Art in the Park event in Jephson Gardens.

Sponsored by LSA and the Warwickshire District Council, Arts Development Grant scheme, the two-day event will be showcasing an eclectic selection of painting, photography, sculpture, crafts, jewellery, live music, dance, theatre and demonstrations by local and regional artists.

Among the many artists involved will be Birmingham sculptor, Graham Jones, who will be creating a chainsaw sculpture live, and Leamington artist, Sonia Bubliatis, whose works are currently on show at Ryton Gardens, will be presenting an installation of her ‘log canvases’ created using recovered or dying wood.

Kim and Paul Ingvar of KPI Images, will be presenting a fascinating series of digital works, featuring surreal and ‘otherworldy’ images of some of Leamington’s key landmarks, whilst Caroline Gatehouse and pointillist artist Bryan Kelly will be exhibiting a selection of paintings inspired by landscapes and nature.

Ceramicist and glassworker, Gabrielle Rucinski, whose works have been included in the famous Wedgewood ‘Artisans Collection’, will be running a free pot making activity, where people of all ages can create their own pot to take home and keep.

To get involved email Carole@artinpark.co.uk.

Art in the Park will open its doors on Saturday, 2nd of August, from 11am-6pm and Sunday, 3rd from 11am-4pm.

To find out more – http://www.lsa-artists.co.uk/Artinthepark.html

reporter @LianeKate

Review of The Belgrade’s ‘Entertaining Mr Sloane’


Review of The Belgrade’s ‘Entertaining Mr Sloane’


By @molly__louise

A classic play by Joe Orton being put on at the Belgrade, from Thursday 3rd July – Saturday 5th July directed by Michael Cabot. This play is part of a UK and Ireland 2014 tour.

Middle-aged Kath and her elderly father, Kemp, live in a house on the outskirts of a rubbish dump. Their drab existence is interrupted by the arrival of a young and attractive lodger, the enigmatic Mr. Sloane.

The set was lowly lit throughout the play, with no change in lighting or set. The setting was old pieces of late 1950s furniture piled across the stage, a disturbing scenario in which the furnishings were piled up in different angles, capturing the sense that something was very wrong here. Mainly because the house was said to be on the edge of a tip, which made more sense. This made it more effective with it being one long running play, no change of scene or lighting.

Comparing to the acting it was highly uncriticizable, they all had high presences, it shared some truly laughable moments. Paul Sandys, who played Mr. Sloane, managed a difficult job of keeping his act together throughout the seductive, humorous affection of Kath played by Pauline Whitaker. She showed a side of being explicitly seducing to Mr. Sloane through treating him like a child of her own. Brother Ed the rough-edged character played by Jonathan Ashley showed a menacing performance, sometimes overacted facial expressions, but that might have been the way he interpreted the character. Nicholas Gasson played an almost cliché character of Kath and Ed’s dad, toasting crumpets on the electric fire, however he is nowhere near elderly.

Overall, it was a strong piece of theatre, with laughable moments, seduction, blackmail and murder. Suitable for an older generation, as the terms and jokes are a bit explicit but however it is an immense play by a terrific cast.

 Links to Box Office: http://www.belgrade.co.uk/event/entertaining-mr-sloane

Femme Fatales of Folk – Folkstock Records

Folkstock0 CD image

Femme Fatales of Folk – Folkstock Records

Review by @autumnrosewell

Folkstock0 CD image

One of my personal bug-bears – no it is more than a bug-bear, it is a real anxiety – is about what the music industry encourages in female artists. I have lost count of the number of (particularly very young) women who send me tracks in which they show very little vocal confidence, and which are invariably accompanied by notes explaining that they sound ‘like a young Joni Mitchell/Odetta/Suzanne Vega’ (etc etc) and photographs of themselves performing at gigs wearing apparently as few clothes as possible, even mid-winter, as if exposing flesh distracts from the fact that they aspire to sound only like someone else. Why do so many women do this? I cannot think of one male singer who, when sending me their material, has felt the need to compare himself to another artist. Who is it that is telling these women that they need to look and sound a certain way to be their best and to be appreciated? I think this is a habit that we need to get out of in the world of acoustic song-writing and performing. I’d dearly love to have the majority of women artists sending me notes that say ‘Have a listen to this – I sound just like me and like no one else at all’. As Femme Fatales of Folk, Folkstock’s new compilation of work by female artists shows, it is not only perfectly possible to be female and original, but the sheer variety of what is possible, beautiful and thrilling means that comparisons are unnecessary and unhelpful. http://www.folkstockartsfoundation.com/folkstock-records/

The opening track, The Witch of Walkern, from Kelly Oliver is an original piece in a satisfyingly folkloric tradition, drawing on the events of the 18th century trial of Jane Wenham, the last woman to be tried formally for witchcraft in England. The true horror of the tale is powerfully conveyed and somehow made all the more chilling when spoken through Kelly Oliver’s light, bright and very feminine voice. As a piece of folk storytelling, it is animated and full of drama. Kelly Oliver’s variations of pace and volume add to the tale and show her to be more than a musician; she is a performer with links to a tradition that goes back to the great storytellers of our oldest European tales.   http://www.kellyoliver.com

Folkstock1 Kelly Oliver

As if to prove and announce upfront that this album will be diverse and challenging, Kelly Oliver is followed by the rich, warm tones of Marina Florance who grabs us and pulls us down into the genuine tenderness and grief of loss through war with her track The Path He Chose. While her voice is certainly warm, it is also slightly sultry, and the result is something like a storm cloud in the heat of summer that hovers and in which lurks the threat of thunder. With hints of country, and the reassuringly constant guitar work that holds its nerve in the background, Marina Florance tells us a story that, with war still glaring at us through our newspapers and television screens, is and always will be, a mother’s greatest fear. http://www.marinaflorance.com

Folkstock2 Marina Florance

In response to Marina Florance’s storm cloud, Zoe Wren has a voice like the firmament: a beautiful voice that it is very clear and shivers with silver.  Not much about her track sounds ‘country’ to me as her text describes; I think it is far more interesting than that. The first thing that leaped to my mind when I first heard 45 Fever from Zoe Wren was the treasures found at Hissarlik, the Jewels of Helen of Troy, that finely-woven filigree gold, embedded with lapis lazuli and balanced so finely together that they tremble slightly in their museum case as you walk past. It’s a wonderful voice and she wears it like the jewels of a queen. http://www.zoewren.com/

Folkstock3 Zoe Wren

There are a handful of artists that I’ve met on my folk travels for whom I will always make space in a broadcast. I gave a little squeak of delight when I saw a track from Daria Kulesh listed on Femme Fatales of Folk.  Her haunting eastern European and Russian influence, full of folklore and magic grips me every time. Fake Wonderland is like a deep forest of music and tangled fairy tales; the temptation to wander in and get lost is irresistible. I’d be prepared to create an entire show on a particular theme if it meant I would have an excuse to broadcast a new song from Daria Kulesh and her group, KARA http://www.daria-kulesh.co.uk

Folkstock4 Daria Kulesh

I am listening to these tracks in what I call my ‘music room’. That sounds very grand, but actually it is just a room with a nice acoustic quality where we keep my husband’s cherished baby Grand piano and my son’s drum kit. Daria Kulesh’s crimson rose of a voice is followed by Kaity Rae’s song, It Is. Kaity Rae’s voice has a different quality altogether, it sounds somehow like your own private thoughts; and I think that there must be a technical reason for that because a few moments in to the track, I realised that her voice was resonating perfectly with both the piano strings and the wires under the snare drum. The whole room seemed to be responding to her voice and asking to join in. Her guitar work, with its plucks and its slides is superb too, but she allows her voice to stand tall above it and to shimmer out and touch everything. https://www.facebook.com/KaityRaeOfficial?fref=ts

Folkstock5 Kaity Rae

In Japanese music they have something that they refer to as ‘the concept of ‘ma’’ – which is the musical role played by little moments of silence between the notes or drum beats. Those little silences sparkle in Minnie Birch’s track, Wise Words. Her girly, comely voice is as bright and clipped as fresh spring rain but it is the technique with which she uses it that sets it free. To say it is disciplined would make it sound regimented, it is not that at all. Minnie Birch simply has the skills to use her voice well and let it flutter around the chords like the first butterflies of the year. http://www.minniebirch.co.uk/

Folkstock6 Minnie Birch

Roxanne de Bastion is another favourite artist, whose work I’ve broadcast before. Her work is without fail, original and hugely intelligent. Broadcasting alone doesn’t really do her justice as she is a superb live performer (not something that comes naturally to all artists). Here’s Tom with the Weather is a cuttingly political song. Roxanne de Bastion weaves careful and subtle lyrics with her own sweet voice to make a commentary, based on the works of the late Bill Hicks, that is poignant and sharp witted. http://www.roxannedebastion.com

Folkstock7 Roxanne de Bastion

In some contrast to her work in the opening track of this album, Kelly Oliver’s cover of Dougie MacLean’s Caledonia is peaceful and dreamy. For me it embodies perfectly a quality that all these tracks have; an emotional honesty that shines through and is really attractive. This is the only track in the collection that is not an original piece, but it sits well. A well-covered traditional-style folk song snuggled in and comfortable only makes a collection more appealing.

I heard early work from Helen Chinn last year and she struck me then as an artist who had a great command of who she was and what she wanted to convey through her work. I decided immediately then to put a track of hers onto a CD compilation I was curating at the time, so I’m delighted to see more of her work on Femme Fatales of Folk.  She blends a tone of quiet resentment and intensity with melodies and chords that are really lovely. Her voice has an agility that she uses well. Second Chance has a what I can only describe as a painterly quality; musical phrases and rich vocals tumble about like sumptuous pre-Raphaelite hair, painted against a perpetually moving background of rising and falling string work. The overall effect is very womanly and complicated; it curves and it sways but never does quite what you are expecting it to do.  Like the minds of all women of all time, Helen Chinn’s work churns incessantly with questions, hopes and desires. I hope very much that we’ll hear more, much more, from this artist.

Folkstock8 Helen Chinn

Of all the tracks on this album, the work of Fay Brotherhood was the one that leaped out at me and stared me down like a wild hare. This was the track that I kept going back to, that I kept thinking about and wanting to hear just one more time. She has the most supremely confident vocal ability. There is a depth of expression in her voice and a desire to be heard and to be different that stood high above, like a sentinel in this undulating landscape of songs. Blue Spiral Screams is a powerful invocation; a soaring, spiralling incantation designed to lure humans, animals and other more shadowy creatures to join her in a wild dance. There is anger here, but also some kind of devotion that cries out to gods more ancient and more powerful than that more timid deity that arrived on these shores with Saint Columbus. If Fay Brotherhood stood up to speak in one of our ancient gathering places, I think we could all expect Fire and Brimstone more deeply felt, more real and chilling than any Christian priest could manage to mumble about. https://www.facebook.com/faybrotherhoodmusic?fref=ts

Folkstock9 Fay Brotherhood

What really makes this collection of songs shine is not so much the flair of each artist as the fact that ten very different pieces have been beautifully recorded and produced; they hang together in perfect balance, like a mobile. The skill in making very different vocalists and musical styles fit together, complement each other and still to allow so much personality to flood out, cannot be overlooked when considering how to review this album.

If there is something that all these artists have in common, it is a certain subtlety of musicianship that goes with personal confidence, a clarity of voice and a fearless honesty that is unashamedly emotional. So to all other female artists out there, take some confidence from the work of Folkstock Records; please aspire to sound more like yourself with each new song because that is the only person worth sounding like.