Just a brief note to say that if you should fancy a listen there is only one day left to listen to the A Year In The Country piece with Verity Sharp on BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction:
“Ah well, seeing as it is May the 1st we just had to kick off with that didn’t we? It’s a tune called May Day from The Hare And The Moon. They were a band that once existed but now are they say ‘as ghosts’. Which means that they slot perfectly into a genre called hauntology and that’s something that I’m going to be exploring a little bit later on with Stephen Prince, who works under the guise of A Year In The Country and he goes seeking out what he calls pastoral otherlyness in this sceptred isle.
“You don’t have to look very far for it either. I wander how many of you were up at dawn watching your local Morris side dance as the sun came up? And forget maypoles in the imagined town of Scarfolk, children would once again be dancing around that May Pylon.
“And for me personally Beltane is the thing, that ancient Celtic tradition where you can light a big bonfire and join hands with your friends and share thoughts about new beginnings. Let us celebrate all of that tonight…”
(Verity Sharp, from the introduction to the show.)
Wander amongst the spectral fields in the company of amongst others the just mentioned The Hare And The Moon, alongside The Advisory Circle, Trader Horne and Cat’s Eyes and enter a land of imagined plenty with Neil Mc Sweeney via the BBC’s iPlayer.
Thanks again to Verity Sharp and Rebecca Gaskell for inviting me on and putting together the show.
Plus this review for the A Year In The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields book recently appeared in issue 448 of Starburst magazine, which was nice to see:
“…aimed fiercely at turning over soil in pastures new… if you’re already interested in folk culture and want to be astonished by how deeply its roots run, you’ll treasure A Year In The Country enormously… covers everything from folkloric film and literature to electronic music to acid folk to folk horror to the dystopian fiction of John Wyndham and the classic unearthings of Nigel Kneale to the formation of under-the-furrows record labels like Trunk, Ghost Box and Finders Keepers… there are excursions to Kate Bush and Broadcast, television shows like Children of the Stones and Sapphire & Steel, the psychogeography of the Uncommonly British Days Out books and even a visit to the gentler landscapes of Bagpuss and The Good Life.”
Thanks to Ian White and Ed Fortune for that, much appreciated.
PS The above maypole image is from the booklet that accompanies the Willow’s Songs album released by Finders Keepers records, which is a collection of 12 vintage recordings of traditional British folksongs that inspired the soundtrack to The Wicker Man.
Well worth seeking out, particularly for the wonderfully evocative version of Highland Lament and its tales of social dispossession.
- A Year In The Country / Stephen Prince at BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction, with Verity Sharp
- Issue 448 of Starburst, featuring the A Year In The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields review
- Willow’s Songs at Finders Keepers Records
- The Advisory Circle’s And The Cuckoo Comes at Ghost Box Records
- The reissue of Trader Horne’s Morning Way at Judy Dyble’s site
- Cat’s Eyes The Duke of Burgundy: on CD at Milan records and on vinyl at Cat’s Eyes own site
- The Hare And The Moon’s May Day, on their eponymous 2009 album, originally released on Reverb Worship
- Neil McSweeney’s Land of Cockaigne from A Coat Worth Wearing
- Verity Sharp at Twitter
- Rebecca Gaskell at Twitter
Elsewhere at A Year In The Country:
- A Year In The Country at Late Junction with Verity Sharp, BBC Radio 3 – Tonight 1st May 2018
- A Year In The Country at Late Junction with Verity Sharp – Archived at BBC Radio 3
- Day #3/365: Gather In The Mushrooms: something of a starting point via an accidental stumbling into the British acid folk underground (and I expect a fair few other places around these parts)
- Day #52/365: The Advisory Circle and ornithological intrigueries…
- Week #1/52: The Duke Of Burgundy and Mesmerisation…
- Day #18/365: Willows Songs
- The A Year In The Country: Wandering Through Spectral Fields book