Rob St. John: Folklore Tapes Nights & New Single


Rob St. John is going on tour next week, with nights booked in Glasgow, Edinburgh, London, Cambridge and Bristol. These dates serve as launch nights for Rob’s new single, which is released on Mayday (1 May), and is a 7” single of two traditional songs Charcoal Black and the Bonny Grey and Shallow Brown.  If you’ve been to a show in the last year, you’ve doubtless heard both.

The recordings were done in a day with a Coven Choir of Tom Western, Bart Owl, Malcolm Benzie and Owen Williams, and are a fair bit more free-form and fractured than anything we’ve released by Rob before. Owen played drums on the vaulting horse in our living room, and I actually recorded and mixed the two songs myself, so umm yes, please don’t say anything mean about them.  More info on this to come, pre-order link up here.

The Edinburgh and Glasgow shows are even more interesting than a mere (mere? MERE?) single launch too, as they will be nights which celebrate the absolutely brilliant Pendle 1612 tape, now long since sold out, which Rob and David Jaycock put together last year. Rob recently conducted a really interesting interview with The Herald where he goes into the project in much greater depth, and also has this to say about the two nights:

“Folklore Tapes is an ongoing research and musical heritage project covering and soundtracking the folklore of the UK in volumes of tapes housed in bespoke books, boxes and hand stamped envelopes, which have included contributions from artists such as Dylan Carlson (Earth), Paper Dollhouse, Anworth Kirk, David A Jaycock and Dean McPhee.

“This pair of specially curated nights in Scotland on 24/25 April will host Rob St. John’s release of the ‘Charcoal Black and the Bonny Grey’ 7” single (including a live performance); a bespoke performance based on Iona folklore by Iona Magnetic; the first live outing of a collaboration based on Devon witchcraft between Ian Humberstone and Malcolm Benzie (eagleowl, Withered Hand); a presentation on traditions and practice of folk song and field recording by Tom Western; and music and projections from David Orphan (Folklore Tapes / Finders Keepers).”

24 April: Glasgow Glad Cafe.  Folklore Tapes night with Iona Magnetic, Ian Humberstone & Malcolm Benzie, Tom Western and David Orphan (info and tickets)
25 April: Edinburgh Scottish Storytelling Centre.  Folklore Tapes night with Iona Magnetic, Ian Humberstone & Malcolm Benzie, Tom Western and David Orphan (info and tickets)
27 April: London St John’s Church Bethnal Green with Dean McPhee (info and tickets)
29 April: Cambridge CB2’s with Dean McPhee and C Joynes (info and tickets)
2 May: Bristol Cafe Kino



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