Written by Lee Cuff
As this year’s gigs slowly come to a close we’re beginning to pick up the pace with writing and recording new material. We’ve booked studio time to complete our traditional EP and there’s plenty going on behind the scenes as we prepare to launch the project early next year. If you sign up to our mailing list you’ll be able to catch some exclusive snippets of the EP tracks, including a brand new traditional arrangement. To coincide with our Big Comfy Bookshop Session in which we recorded ‘Just as the Tide was Flowing‘, we’ve also recorded a new version of the song, reflecting the way our interpretation has changed. You might have spotted the accordion and melodeon that feature on the revamped track and you’ll hear the current vocal arrangement that features three part harmony alongside David’s mandolin. Listen carefully and you might also detect some double bass in the texture. We’ve released this exclusively to our subscribers but we’ll soon be sharing the track to a wider audience as we begin to whet appetites for the impending EP release.
Looking back at the gigs through October, we certainly enjoyed some of the best performances of the year so far. A sold out audience at Wessex Acoustic offers enough of a buzz, and when you add a great sound engineer the band are set for a brilliant night. Throw a headline slot from Chris Leslie into the mix and you can see why we were more than a little excited. Chris treated the crowd to a phenomenal performance, effortlessly switching between guitar, mandolin, fiddle and the atmospheric Native American Indian flute. The storytelling was rich and the songs varied, covering all manner of different topics and characters, and interspersed with a selection of tune sets. There was plenty of opportunity to sing along and lend some harmony to a chorus and equally sit back and find ourselves swept away in some interesting instrumental textures. We loved the chance to chat with Chris about everything from the inspiration behind his fiddle sets to the joys of antique bows. We managed to catch Kadia’s David joining Chris for an impromptu Mandolin jam before the concert.
After misfortune struck and our gear was stolen earlier in the year, we sadly had to cancel a gig planned for that same evening. We’re extremely pleased to say that we were invited back and the night was a success! We joined Gilmore and Roberts as support for the event at ACE Space in Newbury. The turnout was fantastic and it was great to see some familiar faces and other local folkies in the audience. The venue is so well suited to these kinds of events and the hospitality of our hosts was on par with some of the best that we have experienced during our time as travelling musicians. Fed and watered, we played a traditional set crammed full of foot-stomping numbers as we warmed up the crowd for Gilmore and Roberts. Jamie and Katriona stormed through the rest of gig and kept the energy high until the closing number with an appropriately seasonal number. We would like to thank Richard for sharing some photographs of the night. You can see some of his snaps in the review published in the Newbury Weekly News.
Previously repaired after damage in the great storms of 1987, the cupola at St Thomas’ Church is once again in urgent need of repair. The structure on the roof of the church has gradually succumbed to the elements over the last three decades and it is hoped that a series of concerts will help contribute to funding this work. The building is an impressive performance space, lofty and bright with a stunning acoustic. The cabaret style seating helped transform the church into an atmospheric and social concert venue and bring the audience closer to the music. Kadia shared a number of new songs, previewing one of our EP tracks for the crowd ahead of the upcoming recording. We’re pleased to say it was well received. Those listening carefully in the interval may even have heard the sounds of the flute echoing gently round the choir stalls. You can expect to hear it during our gigs from in the New Year. The support acts really helped shape the evening and we really enjoyed ‘The Only Way is Wessex’ sung by Hannah Snellgrove, a delightful parody of the things that make this part of the country simultaneously beautiful and frustrating. We also need to thank Steve West, Roy Clayton and Jim Brown for performing.
After a successful night at the Big Comfy Bookshop we were excited to head back across the country, this time going just a little further on into Tamworth. The Folk Club there is hosted in a fine old manor house and those in attendance were certainly on good form, winning our prized ‘Heckle of the Year’ award! When it was clear that audience participation was going to be at an all time high, we took care to include some chorus numbers and a good old Irish drinking song. Across the evening the audience shared with us a number of suggestions for traditional songs to include in future sets and we even sang some shanties together at the end of the night. It has been lovely to share some emails with the organizers and patrons since the gig and we hope that they all keep in touch.
Returning to a folk club like the one held at the Drax Arms always feels a bit like coming home. There’s a sea of familiar faces and plenty of ale with a selection of fine tunes from the local musicians. Sadly, we were missing one familiar face due to illness and we all wish him a speedy recovery, however, his stand in for the night was a great sport and delivered a great set in partnership with Paul. We loved the old time fiddle tunes and it definitely inspired us to trawl through some old favourites to reinvigorate a few current Kadia songs.
This month we received our very own signed copy of a brand new anthology of short stories, ‘Stalking Leviathan: A Bestiary of Tales‘. What makes this extra special is that Kadia make an appearance in the story ‘Kestrel and the Cryptonites’. We’ve all had a chance to read the story and indulge in a few other tales from the collection and we cannot recommend it enough! For e-book readers it couldn’t be easier as you can download the tome directly from Amazon here. Although we’re happy to say that the story features our song about the Beast of Bodmin Moor we don’t want to give anything else away!