Come away with the fairies at the 2019 Soundpost singing weekend

Soundpost Fairy Gathering

World getting a bit weighty? Lift your spirits in the wilds of South Yorkshire at Soundpost’s 2019 singing weekend.

The Fairy Gathering 2019 (which takes place 10-12 May in Dungworth) will feature singers such as Marry Waterson, Fay Hield, Lucy Farrell, Ewan MacPherson and Ben Nicholls. The idea for this year’s weekend comes from the Modern Fairies Project, a unique collaboration between leading songwriters, musicians, artists, poets, filmmakers and researchers to develop exciting new work, presenting fresh perspectives on what folklore means to us in the modern world. The weekend will see the artists delving into the world of folk tales and exploring how they can be made relevant to singers and listeners today.

They will present hands on workshops to help you develop your own singing and songwriting with plenty of opportunity to get involved and explore new ways to work with folklore and music.

“The fantasy of the fairy world offers escape to a place of light and beauty, of endless food and drink, of laughter and happiness, but the allure draws us away from what is really important into a dangerous world of make-believe. These vivid, timeless and enduring truths about human existence still speak to us powerfully today,” says Fay Hield, Soundpost co-founder.

Soundpost was formed in 2011 by Hield, Sam Sweeney, Andy Bell and Jon Boden to explore folk traditions through practical workshops, performances, debate and discussion.

The organisation’s annual weekends started in 2011 as a celebration of song, with workshops, talks and practical sessions. Last year’s Wanton Seed event featured content from the reissues of the classic folk song books Marrowbones and The Wanton Seed and the brand new omnibus edition, Southern Harvest.

Soundpost singing weekends are notable for their accessibility, whether you’re a singer, fairy fan, music teacher or keen listener. If you want to develop your singing or songwriting skills or if you just want to hang out with a group of amazing people and absorb the charmed atmosphere, the Soundpost Fairy Gathering is where the magic happens.

–       £95 Weekend Ticket: Full Price (includes concert)
£75 Weekend Ticket: Students and Unwaged (includes concert)-       £12 Saturday night concert ticket only (Max: two additional tickets only. If demand is high we may not be able to guarantee concert tickets. Refunds will be issued if this is the case)

Event website: http://soundpost.org.uk/events/2019-04-26-fairies-gathering

 

THE FURROW COLLECTIVE – Blow Out The Moon (Furrow FURR009)

THE FURROW COLLECTIVE Blow Out The MoonBlow Out The Moon is a five track EP from The Furrow Collective: Alasdair Roberts, Emily Portman, Lucy Farrell and Rachel Newton. All the tracks are traditional except for the tune of the title track which was written by Lucy for a children’s verse found in a book called Far, Far Away and it goes without saying that it isn’t anywhere near long enough.

It has to be said that The Furrow Collective don’t always pick the jolliest material and, indeed, the centrepiece of this record is Rachel’s version of ‘The Unquiet Grave’. There is, however, a sprightliness about this set that isn’t the band’s rather stately debut album, At Our Next Meeting. Lucy zips through ‘Poor Old Horse’ in under two minutes and Emily gives us a positively bouncy ‘Shule Agra’.

Alasdair can hold an audience spellbound with just his voice and an old ballad but here he contributes a bit of Irish gentleness in ‘Lament To The Moon’ from the singing of the late Packie Manus Byrne. The final track combines ‘Oh To Be In My Bed And Happit’ led by Alasdair and ‘Blow Out The Moon’ to send us happily to bed. Blow Out The Moon is a splendid set which whets the appetite for more.

Dai Jeffries

We have set up a new UK & U.S Storefront for brand new CD/Vinyl/Download releases recently featured together with a search facility for older stuff. The link for the folking store is: https://folking.com/folking-store/

Click to order featured CD/ Vinyl/Download/Book/DVD

Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artists’ website: http://www.thefurrowcollective.co.uk/

Needless to say, it’s too soon for any video from Blow Out The Moon so here’s a live cut of ‘The Blantyre Explosion’ from their album:

EMILY PORTMAN – Coracle (Furrow Records FURR008)

CoracleI’ve always been a fan of Emily Portman’s songwriting; less so in the past of her performances. Hearing her recently with the reunited Devil’s Interval, however, I was struck by the impact that years of writing, playing and singing, leadership of her trio (Lucy Farrell and Rachel Newton, who are the bedrock of this album), not to mention motherhood have had on her.

I still think that Emily is at her best when she is working from traditional themes so my favourite tracks reflect that. ‘Brink Of June’ is a May song and only the title might stop you from researching the traditional source. ‘Borrowed And Blue’ holds up a mirror to ‘The Cruel Mother’ with plays on the words “buried” and “bridal/bridle”. Like many other songs in this set it seems preoccupied with the process of motherhood, with an almost Catholic sense of guilt. I’m certain that Emily is happy with her role but you can read a lot into her words.

Call me weird but ‘Seed Stitch’ reads like an allegory for the loss of virginity, something that is irreplaceable, while ‘Dotterine’, derived from an Estonian fairy-tale, mythologizes the act of giving birth while omitting the unhappy ending of the source story. As ever, many of Emily’s songs seem to come from a mysterious other world. There is a simple explanation behind ‘Darkening Bell’ for example but don’t let that put you off and ‘Nightjar’ embodies many ideas although we’re also talking about motherhood again.

Coracle isn’t exactly an easy album but it is a very powerful one and it will only serve to reinforce Emily’s reputation as one of the country’s best young songwriters.

Dai Jeffries

We have set up a new UK & U.S Storefront for brand new CD/Vinyl/Download releases recently featured together with a search facility for older stuff. The link for the folking store is: https://folking.com/folking-store/

Click to order featured CD/ Vinyl/Download/Book/DVD

Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artist’s website: www.emilyportman.co.uk