Wednesday 1 July 2015, 7.30pm
*Please note that doors open at 7:30pm for this event – first act 8pm*
Trembling Bells return to OTO for the first time since 2009 for a packed residency ahead of new album, The Sovereign Self, on Tin Angel Records.
The Sovereign Self - named after a line from Dennis Potter, the late television auteur - is the fifth album by Trembling Bells, their first 2012’s The Marble Downs, a collaboration with Will Oldham. It is a driving, dramatic and at times hallucinatory work, filled with a great sense of tension and release; a witches’ brew, a psychedelic stew mixing up the range of the band’s musical interests - everything from countryish ballads to ancient May Day chants, swaggering acid rock to swirling prog epics.
For this two day residency, Trembling Bells are joined by collaborators old and new. On Wednesday, they perform alongside Incredible String Band founder Mike Heron, with support from legendary folk artist Martin Carthy, songwriter Dan Haywood, and Trembling Bells acapella offshoot, Crying Lion.
The evening kicks off with a screening of ‘Ottery’ – a short film by Tom Chick about the landscape and traditions of the village of Ottery St.Mary in Devon.
Glasgow-based TREMBLING BELLS are a psych folk phenomenon seeking to reanimate the psychic landscapes of Great Britain and relocate them to some vague, mythic land where basic human crises are encountered and conquered
Their debut album Carbeth was album of the month in Uncut, Observer and Rolling Stone magazines and their music and live performance has earned praise from artists as diverse as Paul Weller, Stewart Lee and Joe Boyd. They have played with some of the most influential and innovative musicians of the last 50 years, including the Incredible String Band, Kaleidoscope and Bonnie “Prince” Billy, with whom the band recorded the 2012 collaborative album The Marble Downs.
Trembling Bells have toured extensively around UK, Europe, North and South America. The past few years have seen the band go from success to success, becoming a huge festival draw in the process. They released a new album Dungeness in March 2018, their first full-length issue since 2015’s Sovereign Self. Adventurous and dynamic, fusing dark psychedelic expansiveness with joyous folk salutations, it is the sound of a band on top of their game.
Together with Robin Williamson and Clive Palmer, Mike Heron was a founder member of The Incredible String Band. Formed in Edinburgh in 1965, they soon broke from the folk club beginnings they shared with other emerging artists such as Bert Jansch, John Martyn, Davey Graham and Billy Connolly to pioneer an eclectic "world music" approach.
In 2010 the Barbican hosted a tribute to the ISB curated by Joe Boyd. Taking part were musicians as diverse as Richard Thompson, Green Gartside, Abigail Washburn, Alisdair Roberts, Clive Palmer, The Trembling Bells, Dr Strangely Strange and Robyn Hitchcock. At the end of the evening, a tribe of these musicians joined Heron onstage to perform his 1960s psychedelic epic A Very Cellular Song.
Leading on from these musical meetings, Robyn Hitchcock invited Mike to play at his Southbank Festival. Mike then joined Robyn on tour with a line up which included Georgia, and the Trembling Bells guitarist Mike Hastings with his musical partner Solveig Askvik. Mike and The Trembling Bells went on to record a new version of his song Feast of Stephen, which was released by Honest Jons in December 2010.
“Arguably the greatest English folk song performer, writer, collector and editor of them all” – Q Magazine
For more than 40 years Martin Carthy has been one of folk music's greatest innovators, one of its best loved, most enthusiastic and, at times, most quietly controversial of figures. His skill, stage presence and natural charm have won him many admirers, not only from within the folk scene, but also far beyond it. Trailblazing musical partnerships with, amongst others, Steeleye Span, Dave Swarbrick and his award-winning wife (Norma Waterson) and daughter Eliza Carthy have resulted in more than 40 albums, but Martin has only recorded 10 solo albums, of which the much anticipated Waiting for Angels (Topic TSCD527) is the latest.
Dan Haywood‘s reputation as a UK songwriter/storyteller/performer of the highest distinction is gathering steam, on the back of his slow-burn classic of a debut triple album, 'Dan Haywood's New Hawks', as well as a string of choice tours and shows with fellow sonic nomads including Josephine Foster, A Hawk and A Hacksaw, Michael Hurley and The Tallest Man On Earth.
Latest album Dapple, out now on Southern Bird, finds him in the great outdoors (The Forest Of Bowland, to be precise), delivering a sweet and lyrical song cycle that repaints the English folk pastoral in bright and beautiful tones.
Crying Lion are an unaccompanied 4 part harmony singing group from Glasgow featuring members of Trembling Bells (Alex Neilson and Lavinia Blackwall) and Muldoon’s Picnic (Harry Campbell and Katy Cooper). The group combine elements of such vocal traditions as American Sacred Harp, Gregorian chant, Medieval Madrigal and English Folk all refracted through Alex Neilson’s song writing to forge a sound that is intimate and glorious.