Mudcat Café message #2999275 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #132501   Message #2999275
Posted By: GUEST,John Miles of Smiles
04-Oct-10 - 08:50 AM
Thread Name: What is psych folk...?
Subject: RE: What is psych folk...?
Fair enough to ask about dissidence, but I hope it's not too unreasonable to apply the term to all of the artists involved!

The point of the show was to put together a line-up that speaks to (but pushes the envelope for) traditionalists whilst attracting WIRE-schooled fans of lysergic folk to investigate cornerstones of the folk establishment (eg Cecil Sharp House and the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & Archive). We're hoping for cross-pollination of audiences as well as musicians, and have been trying to reach out to trad promoters like The Goose is Out and Pull Up the Roots as much as our traditional promoting peers like Upset the Rhythm, Colour Ride and Knom (which has morphed into The Local in recent times). If you have a look at our past shows at Cecil Sharp House hopefully this impulse will be clear there too!

In terms of this bill - Shirley, despite being the President of EFDSS, is a maverick voice sitting largely outside of and sometimes at odds with prevailing orthodoxies. We've been corresponding with her about this show for a while, and some of her proposed picks would've put hair on people's chests, for sure. In terms of her own music also, I think some of the wilder collaborations with Dolly and with Davey earn the epithet 'dissident'.

Alasdair has always had good trad credentials, but anyone with half an ear can hear in his guitar style as much from early 90's post-rock and what was originally termed 'emo' (a label that's shifted a long way in the water over time! I mean Rites of Spring, Joan of Arc, etc) as from traditional players. Anyone who's seen him live will be aware of his willingness to subject his material to savage extrapolations, feedback squalls and furious free drumming. He's collaborated widely with artists across the spectrum outside folk from Will Oldham and Jason Molina to Richard Youngs and Alex Neilson, with whom he plays (alongside Lavinia Blackwall and Mick Flower from Vibracathedral Orchestra) in Black Flowers.

Trembling Bells owe a strong debt to Pentangle, Fairport Convention and the like but Lavinia's early music roots bring the band into proximity with Nico's The Marble Index or modern Hildegaard von Bingen devotees like Fursaxa and Valet. Alex's credentials are the most 'out there' of all, right down to ongoing collabs with Jandek and Ashtray Navigations.

Sorry to rant, and I hope that explains adequately. In short, over 35s are not only welcome, but if they aren't there then the guiding philosophy of the event will have been confounded!