The first of two recommendations from last week’s Folk Weekend: Oxford festival (which the keen of memory might remember I’ve been running the local stages for). There were lots of festival highlights, but the Welsh trio Elfen was the surprise hit that everyone was talking about. This band was actually booked by the other artistic director, Jenny, so I wasn’t really aware of them until I happened to see them perform. Continue reading

I discovered the band I Said Yes when I was booking bands for Folk Weekend: Oxford (for more on the adventures of which, read this month’s newsletter), and Count Drachma, who were initially going to play, had to drop out and kindly lined up their own replacement. So I had heard I Said Yes online, but that’s a different thing to seeing in person. Here’s what their press says:

A versatile and energetic five-piece who combine arresting harmonies with styles ranging from traditionally inspired folk to rousing indie disco. Their live shows have a reputation for ‘stormy warmth’ and they’ve supported artists such as Florence and the Machine, Lucy Rose, Johnny Flynn, Stornoway and Turin Brakes.

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


My monthly recommendations tend to be music, films, books or YouTube channels. And probably in that order. But in the name of trying not to keep repeating myself, this month is different.

I use a lot of photos from free stock libraries, and ‘Annie Spratt’ is a photographer’s name that comes up again and again in the libraries I use. In fact, I have used her photographs again and again — the last time being last month’s featured track, The Sheep Stealer. Continue reading

Spotify discovery this month: Arum Rae, with this great ‘frozen moment’ song. It’s basically two chords, underneath a gentle musing about whether her date is ever going to fucking show up. The song works fine without the video, but it’s a great video too.

Current Favourite Part:
The noise she makes at the beginning after singing the line “He said he’d be here round midnight…”