**THIS EVENT HAS SOLD OUT. Sorry, there will be no tickets on the door**
The Trials Of Cato, a band that arrived fully formed and functioning from Beirut in the winter of 2016, have since torn a shape very much their own into the canvas of the UK folk scene. Originally from North Wales and Yorkshire, whilst living in Lebanon they spent a year boiling down the roots of their sound into a sweet hybrid of traditional influences that intrigued Lebanese audiences in the country’s biggest venues. They moved back to the UK and spent a tireless year performing up and down the country, leading to BBC Radio 2’s Mark Radcliffe hailing them as “one of the real discoveries on the folk circuit in recent times.” Their musical development in the run up to their debut album proper, has been swift and sure.
This winter the trio release Hide And Hair, after a year of near-vertical ascent from a standing start. The trio may inhabit the folk genre with a grateful respect for its history but with this album they twist its old bones into something febrile and contemporary. Stunning instrumental technique hooked to an innovative presentation of traditional and original material leads to a sound where a seventeenth century widow’s lament for a lost soldier lover (My Love’s In Germany) can segue into a stomping dance tune – transporting us from the gloom of the Thirty Years War to the vibrant bounce of beckoning festival main stages.
With a clear nod to the musical revivals of the sixties and seventies, Hide And Hair is rooted in the folk traditions of Ireland and Britain but the themes remain decidedly contemporary and questioning. Recorded in the spring of 2018 at Penylan studios in mid-Wales, the array of material is hugely diverse, the album almost being treated as a journey across both time and continents. Album opener Difyrrwch is their own arrangement of three traditional tunes, two Welsh, one English (Hen Ferchetan, Difyrrwch Gwyr y Gogledd, The Parson’s Farewell) and Kadisha – the title of which was taken from the name of a spectacular valley in northern Lebanon – finds the band inspired by their first steps into a part of Lebanon peppered with monasteries and ancient buildings. Hide And Hair is as much about characters as it is places, however. Gloriais a story of self-discovery and a celebration of being true to oneself. And Gawain takes its inspiration from the medieval tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. It’s a folk song in spirit but perhaps one which here draws on some heavier rock, psychedelic and Eastern influences, with the electric guitar even making a rare appearance. Like Gloria, it is essentially the human story of an ordinary character trying to deal with extraordinary circumstances – in this case a beheading match with the supernatural character of the green knight.
Throughout Hide And Hair, the band’s skill, playfulness and willingness to keep exploring and developing their sound – and the genre – is clear. Whether plying their trade busking, performing in front of thousands at festivals across Europe, or frequently selling out their own club shows, The Trials of Cato have the wind behind them.
Mixed by Donald Richard in Toronto and mastered by John Davis of Metropolis Studios in London.
STRAWBERRY FAERIES PRESENTS OUR THIRD BENEFIT GIG FOR SCARECROW CORNER AT STRAWBERRY FAIR, 2019.
A WINTER SOLSTICE WARMER!
Cara Means Friend
Last Gang in Town DJ’s
Admission – 6 on the door.
Loud, full on and in your face no-holds-barred post punk at its best – that’s The Blunders. This band take no prisoners and are getting recognition for their live gigs and on the festival circuit. Tight and danceable with biting social commentry and savage humour from this West Country 3-piece. After strong reccomendations, we are looking forward to hosting their first gig in Cambridge.
They have just released their second album, ‘No Respite’, in August, which follows the highly acclaimed ‘People Get Smaller’ from 2017.
CARA MEANS FRIEND
Acoustic Reggae/Ska/Folk/Hip-Hop/Punk and any other vibe that resonates from the dynamic singer of The Defekters. Cara, a firm favourite, performs another solo gig for us and has performed with the full band as well as solo at Strawberry Fair and at the Devil Kicks Dancehall at Boomtown Fayre. More recently she has been performing with Zion Train and Pama International.
The Dirt are a 3 piece Cambridge punk rock n roll band born of the surviving members of The Pretty Young Things, playing don’t give a shit, sleazy, gutter punk reminiscent of The Stooges.
LAST GANG IN TOWN DJ’S
Last Gang need very little introduction in Cambridge – this DIY punk collective have been constantly putting on gigs for the last 15 years and for the last 6 years have been hosting the Devil Kicks Dancehall, now Hangar 161 at Boomtown Fayre as well as DJ’ing at Strawberry Fair in Scarecrow Corner. Their own hometown gigs continue this autumn.
Flint Moore are an alt-rock/grunge/folk band. They are the winners of the Cambridge Band Competition 2017 and Twisted Melon Battle of the Bands 2017. Thanks to their philosophy of “play with, not at”, their live performances are so explosive and open you can’t help but feel swept up in the moment. They push for sound that can only be described as energetic, melodic and meaningful. Listen to them here:
Joined with them are the marvelous FES, who combine Math Rock and catchy melodies which will absolutely get you moving. Listen to them here:
And Oscar Corney Music, who’s rich, powerful and soulful voice will engulf you and ask you if you ever truly knew what cream was.
Keston Cobblers Club return after a two year Hiatus with a special, intimate UK headline tour to celebrate the release of their fourth studio album ‘Siren’. Join them on the 4th of April at The Portland arms for a night of foot tapping and Rambunctious folk.
“What a fantastic discovery” Bob Harris, BBC / legend
“Rambunctious folk and joyous elemental pop” The Guardian
“Ear-worm melodies” Financial Times
“Wondrous….hugely accomplished” fRoots
“Every song is an absolute killer…They’re terrific” Dermot O’Leary, BBC Radio 2
“One of the best new discoveries I’ve made” Steve Lamacq, BBC 6 Music