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September 2014

Rusalnaia Magic!

Gillian is flying in from the US on thursday and we’ll finish mixing the new Rusalnaia album together. Then she and I will play a couple of Rusalnaia shows – one in Nottingham and one in Sheffield – the first we’ve done in at least 2 years.

The new album is more electric than our first album, and the live shows will feature Gill alternating between dulcimer and electric guitar. We’re excited about playing these songs live as well as revisiting some of the songs on our first album. It’ll be great to spend time together again and take her to some of my favourite new haunts: last time she visited I was still living in the wilds of Wales and we wandered desolate hillsides by moonlight and visited ruined castles. This time it’ll be a tour of the local Sheffield cafes and pubs, with excursions into the Peaks – I can’t wait!


Fiendish Ireland

I just got home from an amazing trip to Ireland that included gigs in Dublin, Athlone, Dungloe and Belfast, visits with old friends and some new, and culminated in the ‘Fiend in the Furrows’ conference at Queen’s, Belfast.

On my travels I met the cutest dog…









… saw a tree with the reddest apples growing on it …

apple_tree… and wandered in still forests in County Leitrim …









A Fiend in the Furrows‘ was masterminded by Eamon Byers and Craig Wallace and brought together academics, film critics, folklorists, musicians and dramatists to talk about The Wicker Man, the Pendle Witches, Angela Carter, M. R. James, Aleister Crowley, Hauntology, nostalgia, and much more. Over the course of the three days of the conference, much  stimulating discussion was had, along with a good amount of reminiscing about 70s TV series. It was a fun and sociable gathering and I hope there’ll be more of the same in the future.

I got the chance to sing with Clare Button – a joy, as ever. I’m just sorry that she returned afterwards to a Scotland that hadn’t mustered enough votes to fly the UK nest.