Hello Folks! Welcome to the music page… where I will do my best to share with you some snippets on the Pagan music scene, who’s out there and what’s happening. Please bear with me while I familiarise myself with the blog and how to work it… I’m sure it’ll work out as I go along!
First up, I’d like to introduce my own band to you ...
We’re a five-piece band of musicians from deepest, darkest Essex and we’ve been together for three years. Our music is probably best defined as contemporary folk if you want to be formal or groovy folk if you don’t. Either way, it’s earthy and melodic, with fluctuating rhythms and soulful lyrics.
I write the songs mainly and play percussion and whistle, accompanied by my husband Ian on acoustic guitar, Jim on the bass, Mark on the djembe and mandolin and Lyz with drums/ percussion/guitar and backing vocals.
We launched our first album, Call to Avalon, in 2014 at Glastonbury and have continued to play at various music festivals and Pagan events since. All the while we’ve continued to write new material, record it and are having great fun with a bit of filming too. Our drummer Mark, as well as engineering and recording the sound for the Morrigans is a keen photogragher and has produced some great videos recently…of which, fingers crossed I will include in this post!
The Crossing of Paths
We’ve put on a couple of our own gigs too which have been great fun to do… One was a book launch party last December at the Blue Boar in Maldon and the most recent – a fundraising gig for a 7th century Celtic Chapel in Bradwell where Ian and I live.
It was a completely magical evening (a couple of weeks ago) where a few months beforehand we’d filmed a video for a new song – Not a Dream. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DgGXLh7lG0
The chapel, built on the remains of an old Roman fort, sits just behind the beach, surrounded by land, sea and sky. I visit it most days with my dog Lola and it’s a great source of inspiration for my songs as well as food for the soul on every level. It’s my spiritual home, so you can imagine how excited I was to be playing in there with the band.
When I first approached the chaplain of the Chapel last year about the gig, she was very receptive to the idea. We were raising money for the roof remember… But we chatted over a cuppa and she said how she wanted to ‘see where our paths crossed’ as she was ‘sure they did’. Although I’ve experienced my fair share of negative attitude towards my craft and spiritual beliefs throughout my life, I said that if only we could focus on similarities instead of differences on a subject so many find insanely precious – then things would change. Yes, she said, they would…
So we found some common ground. I was not the wicked witch and she was not the bible basher – variations on the theme probably lay somewhere in between but it didn’t matter. Connection is key to good communication don’t you think?
Relationships depend on it.
So anyway, the chaplain went away on holiday (for months) and I was handed over to the church warden to liase with about the event which, to my delight, had been agreed. He was a lovely chap and enjoyed telling me about the history of the place, refering to it as a Saxon Chapel, pre-Celtic you know. Well, I didn’t know but I do now, thanks to him. You never stop learning!
David offered to print tickets, posters and flyers and arrange ‘refreshments at half time’ with a local lady from the next village… I was most impressed and greatly relieved as promoting any event is hard enough but when you are performing too – is a lot of work. Having someone to help me out with those things really made a difference, especially on the night.
I was nervous. We were playing in a stone building where the acoustics were amazing and it would have been idyllic to play completely acoustically but Jim was bringing his amp – as the bass needs to be heard – and if we didn’t sort out some extra sound I was going to drown under the instruments! I needn’t have worried as between them the guys worked it out. With no electrics, we relied on a battery operated mixer and candles for lighting. Perfect.
The evening was a success.
We sold all the tickets, raised £820 for the roof and got to play to all our friends in a sacred place, full of history and magic. For me, it was extra special as it’s the birthplace for a lot of my lyrics and I couldn’t imagine getting through it at first, without turning into a puddle. But I did and thoroughly enjoyed it.We played two sets, one of the first album and one of the very nearly finished second. Some of the newer songs we’d never gigged before…and one of those , Mark managed to capture on film.
Draw Her Down is a song I felt inspired to write from a Healing ceremony I did last year on the beach outside Bradwell’s nuclear power station. It was under a full moon with the battle queens and every guardian you could think of in attendance…On a night that meant so much, to birth that song was an amazing result. Hopefully it will work its magic every time its played. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rij4gUlLd8M
This weekend, we are playing at the Faerie Festival in Sussex (Sun 22nd) and I’m excited about that, singing with the band is a great way to get out more! There’s lots of other music on so I will be on the look out for who I can nab for an interview and a few pics…and hopefully I’ll have something interesting to report back to you shortly.
Until then, take it easy folks and if you are partial to some magical music…have a listen to Morrigans Path and enjoy!
Magical Musical Blessings,