Tag Archives: forestofdean

PLEASE VOTE ON MAY 2 TO HELP STOP FASCISTS GETTING ON TO THE COUNCIL

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[sod all to do with music or FOIST but just felt this had to be published somehow, somewhere]

ORGANISATIONS such as Unite Against Fascism, Hope Not Hate and the more direct-action group Anti-Fascist Action are celebrating the slow demise of the British National Party, English Defence League and a number of tiny nationalist splinter groups and parties. And they have just cause to do so.

The BNP only now exists tenuously and is heavily in debt; many of its members have left. The EDL is pretty much finished as a street-fighting force – its supporters were only some of the miserable 200 “patriot” thugs who turned up for the March For England on April 21, to be met by a wide coalition of opposition in Brighton. About 50 or 60 National Front supporters gathered in Swansea recently for a “White Pride” rally. Their rally didn’t go ahead because they were vastly outnumbered by anti-fascists, but they succeeded in sneaking off to a bikers’ club in the valleys for a Blood & Honour gig where two dressed as KKK Klansmen and lynched a grotesque gollywog dummy.  But on the whole, the “no pasaran” (“they will not pass”) method of Cable Street in 1936 of preventing fascists from marching down high streets and spreading hate and violence as they do so, seem to be working. Usually the police objective is to bus them in, and bus them out again in as short a time as possible.

But, and this is a big but, does the near-demise of these groups mean people are becoming enlightened and turning away from fascism/nationalism (the difference/overlap between the two political stances seems to be similar to communism/socialism – ie, not a lot)? Or does it mean they are getting their far-right-wing fix elsewhere? In the past month I have become increasingly embroiled into researching and watching UKIP (the United Kingdom Independence Party) and campaigning against them where I live, the Forest of Dean.

Now UKIP is not 100% fascist, and its supporters/members are not all racists, fascists or xenophobes (depending on how you define these terms) – if you take a peek at those attending the “common sense” tour meetings, full halls everywhere but almost everyone appears to be a pensioner, and I’d imagine many would be horrified at the accusation of associating with fascists – but the EDL has called on all its supporters and other nationalist groups and parties to get behind UKIP as they have a chance of gaining power. “They are saying exactly what we say, just in a different way, do you know what I mean?” said the EDL leader, Tommy Robinson.

UKIP, for its part, bans anyone from joining if they have previously been a member of most of the fascist parties or the EDL. But it doesn’t ban members of the English Democrats (which, unlike UKIP, is listed as a ‘hate group’ by Hope Not Hate), and the EDL doesn’t operate membership lists. Besides, although in some places such as Cornwall, BNP defectors have been discovered and kicked out, elsewhere – including in Kent, where an ex-National Front member is a candidate for the county council – they have been allowed to remain. UKIP leader Nigel Farage has admitted that in the rush to put up 1,700 council candidates, the vetting procedure was non-existent in many cases.

But, for all its efforts to stem known fascists within its ranks, UKIP is openly nationalist – and proud of it. The party with its policies stands somewhere between Thatcherite and right-wing libertarian, and Enoch Powellite and culturally censorious – ie it supports laissez-faire, low taxation and cutting bureaucracy, but also wants to scrap workers’ and employment rights and ban things being taught which it disagrees with. One analysis finds UKIP  more than 60% fascist: http://www.scribd.com/doc/134276292/UKIP-Fascism-Analysis

A recent leaflet The Truth About UKIP has, at time of writing, been seen by 3,500 people – but I’ve yet to see UKIP managing to debunk any of it: http://www.scribd.com/doc/135716750/THE-TRUTH-ABOUT-UKIP

So, to conclude, the fascists from the EDL,  NF, BNP may have largely vanished from the streets with their respective banners, only to be biding their time and helping to promote UKIP, mostly less than overtly as they don’t want to wreck the party’s chances and bid at respectability by showing their moronic faces.

And UKIP is being given an easy ride by almost all of the media – it has the Sun, Mail, Times and Telegraph as its cheerleaders, and the Guardian and BBC are not doing much to criticise UKIP. Farage now seems to get as much prime-time coverage on programmes such as Question Time as Cameron and Miliband, and is quoted as much as the big-two party leaders. It’s almost as if the mainstream media is giving fascism a helping hand. And Hope Not Hate recently polled its members to ask whether it should oppose UKIP as it does the EDL et al, but it appears members voted not to.

The nub of UKIP’s current scaremongering – anti-Muslim sentiment having faded a little – is an apparent influx of Romanians and Bulgarians from January 2014 when the EU relaxes restrictions on their travel. But a Channel 4 News report followed Farage to Bulgaria where he was repeatedly told – even by his far-right Bulgarian ally – that no one had any wish to come to Britain. Still he and his growing number of supporters remain myopic and happy to continue their fever-pitch anti-foreigner propaganda.

At the same time, many on the left seem blind to the danger UKIP poses. Many I’ve spoken to shrug and say “they will just split the Tory vote, which can only be a good thing”. Maybe, but what’s the likelihood, when UKIP have pushed ahead of the LibDems, they and the Tories will team up for the next coalition government? Also, to take this stance is not opposing the rise of fascism, the cancer of the extreme-right wing which is spreading rapidly now through our communities.

We should all be getting out there and persuading people that UKIP is a bad thing, not a fresh change – but more of the same, and a whole lot worse.

TO VOTE OR NOT TO VOTE, THAT IS THE QUESTION…

I consider myself an anarchist and traditionally anarchists don’t vote because it perpetuates a faulty system which they oppose. If you are against being governed, why vote for a politician? However, and this brings me into dispute with other anarchists, I believe that some politicians are worse than others. In the past I’ve held my nose and voted Labour in a bid to keep the Tories out. Now we need to keep both the Tories and UKIP out – and UKIP have candidates in all 8 wards.

For the county council elections on May 2 I will be voting for an Independent: basically because he was a champion against the Forest of Dean being sold off, leading a delegation to the Houses of Parliament, and has been doing all he can to oppose a 200-acre corporate land-grab just down the road from me, which is supported and promoted by local Labour councillors: savenorthernunited.wordpress.com

Therefore, I can’t bring myself to support Labour at all as they are pushing for a large area of public land, a wildlife haven, to be concreted over with a road, business development, housing, a hotel and college. The perfectly decent college down the road, much to the chagrin of campaigners there, is earmarked for demolition and the land including the fields sold for housing development. We need new, affordable housing (probably in addition to the many empty and derelict homes being made available for living in) and jobs must be created, but there is plenty of land ripe for this kind of development that is already in a built-up area. Destroying virgin land – and public land – however would seem to be more of a money-spinner for all involved.

I’ve even given the candidate Claude Mickleson, standing in Cinderford for the Trade Unionists and Socialists against Cuts (TUSC), a hand leafleting. Claude, it should be said, is 89 years old but has more fire, energy than most a quarter of his age and maximum integrity as a man of the people.

For those in the ward Blakeney and Bream, the only candidates besides UKIP standing are the Lab-Lib-Con formation – but it’s the branch chairman Richard Leppington they’re up against, and I believe having someone as your county councillor who helps promote Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood speech on Facebook, sharing it from the Infidels of Britain page (which he did on April 25) might well not be a good thing.

Also standing in the Cinderford ward is UKIP’s Ann Guyton, a former accountant, and (a source tells me) ex-police officer from Teesside. Her husband, Colin Guyton, also an ex-copper from Teesside, is standing for UKIP in Lydbrook & Drybrook. He made it on to his local parish council a couple of years ago unopposed. Both the Guytons are well into “zero tolerance” to crime.

But that stance doesn’t prevent them from aligning themselves with Lydney’s UKIP candidate and convicted shoplifter Alan Preest, who was thrown out of the district council’s Tory group, and off the council’s police liaison group for thieving. Preest, who has also been reported staggering home from the pub in the middle of the road and shouting at passing traffic, managed to narrowly win a byelection to Lydney Town Council where 15 per cent of the electorate turned out. A cautionary tale of what you can end up with if you don’t turn up and vote.

Another of the UKIP FoD eight is John Sullivan – outspoken to the point of foolishness, who – like Leppington – openly admires Enoch, but also US white supremacist Bob Whitaker’s cult White Rabbit Radio, the National Front, and has even alienated some of his own party with his homophobia. Boarding-school educated (he recently published a story detailing his regular canings and resulting buttock welts), the main ticket he is standing on is more grammar schools, reinstatement of the student grant and EMA. For those who know nothing of him beyond his electoral statement published in the local newspaper, he could almost be a socialist… that is, if no one was aware of UKIP’s policy of privatising state schools.

Perhaps the other UKIP candidates are less extreme, I don’t know either way. It’s only those who like to broadcast their extreme views that attract attention.

So who can you vote for besides UKIP, Tory or LibDem? Here are my suggestions:

Cinderford – Claude Mickleson (Trade Unionist and Socialists Against Cuts)
Coleford – Paul McMahon (Labour) or Ian Whitburn (Independent)
Newent – Jan Royall (Labour)
Lydney – James Greenwood (Green)
Sedbury – Chris McFarling (Green)
Blakeney & Bream – Bill Evans (Labour)
Mitcheldean – Ken Power (Green)
Drybrook & Lydbrook – Andrew Gardiner (Independent)

In France, where they have two rounds of voting in national elections, several years ago the fascist Front National came close to getting into power after the first round of voting; thus many shocked people who’d not bothered voting in the first round came out to ensure they wouldn’t get in for the second round. In Britain, we only get one round of voting, one chance to ensure fascists are not running our local services. The Tories are awful, UKIP would be worse than awful!

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Friends, who needs them? Maybe they’re tarnished by any admitted association with FOIST, but since our inception we have operated partly as a self-indulgent unit, and also periodically reached out and embraced whatever tentacles of a music scene we could grasp hold of and pull into our orbit…

We may be thanked, but we also may be cursed, both by those we claim as friends below, and also anyone who’s got a computer like mine that emulates the days of ZX81s and dial-up when many links are presented in a blog. But let’s carry on regardless.

We could an inordinate amount of links of those FOIST has helped along the road to fame – Carlton B Morgan And The Supernormals, Obesity Rollers, Basti… the list goes on… but I’m being strict here and only including the combos that are still going concerns, even if they have just reformed and are a shadow of their former selves, or have reinvented themselves with new name but similar personnel…

For starters, let’s zoom in on a bizarre comedy act (or is it serious, I can’t tell?) who have been and ARE STILL Foist alumni (once you enter Dr Pleasure’s world, you never really leave)… I believe a new episode is due out very soon, but let me present to you… a previous episode of the BLUEBELLS series, based on real life:

Incidentally, one member of the Bluebells team (GERRARD BURRIDGE aka GODFREY DREAMTONE aka EVIL 3) has been an erstwhile FOIST member, playing drums with CASUM, HEX FREMLIN and DIRTY BOY, but here’s his latest combo, PURE EVIL with the jaunty little number, SAUCY JACKY:

And here’s a more typical side to PURE EVIL, performing the first of a weekly series of gigs staged by FOIST back in November 2009 (the gigs continued into 2011) at The Angel Hotel in Coleford… thanks to TREV for the brilliantly shot footage!

The other member of the BLUEBELLS team, RICHARD ‘DOBBINS’ ROBBINS, also featured in DIRTY BOY… he went on to join THE PEPPERMINT HUNTING LODGE, who featured prominently in FOIST’s ANOTHER FINE MESS 2009-11 series. They have now been reborn as NOVELLA NOISE…

Other past/present FOIST alumni are guitarist/singer TONY HOPKINS, who first collaborated with FOIST for the live act THE SEX TONES, and fiddler/banjoist/mandolinist/whateverelseist JIM WILLIAMS, who played on 2 tracks of the new BIG CUN TREE EP, MEADOWS OF PHLEGM… both were and still are members of the recently reformed POSH FROCK & JUKEBOX, featured below:

Other stars of the Forest of Dean scene of a few years ago, and both (as did TPHL) featured on the FOIST-produced double-CD scene compilation OUT OF THE WOODS, were JOE & THE SLUTS and TWIST THE KNIFE… they have been renamed, respectively, with slightly different personnels but more metallic and powerhouse BLACK  ART and MEDIK… check them both out below…

http://blackart.bandcamp.com/album/dashed-hopes-broken-fingers

… But let’s return to the early daze of FOIST… back then (1989-90) we put on a series of 13 (I think) gigs at the (now demolished) Coleford Community Centre. The gigs really took off when this (recently reformed) duo performed, the same week they made the front page of Melody Maker…

We also hosted the 3rd or 4th gig by this (still-active) combo from the Forest of Dean (where they tried out their EMI-sponsored stage show for the first time):

HEX FREMLIN played a memorable gig with Bristol’s mighty MOONFLOWERS, who trashed the playgroup area at the back of the stage, destroying a sofa and covering themselves and the whole area with paint which they daubed over themselves… here they are, recently reformed:

Also on the bill that night were the delightfully named STD… and the left-handed bassman Spike is now the man behind the NOISE RESEARCH INSTITUTE, whose output is available on cassettes and here:

Should also mention two other acts that are strongly still going that have played a part in the FOIST saga… CITIZEN FISH and RADICAL DANCE FACTION… I’ll leave you with one of each… if there’s anyone I’ve missed, let us know and maybe there’ll be a part 2 of FOISTIAN CONNECTIONS…

But FOIST might not have existed (at least not with this name) had it not been for THE MINUTEMEN, as we named our collective after the song BIG FOIST, below… we have been periodically in touch with MIKE WATT, the bassist, and are planning a FOIST outing to see him play the Marrs Bar in Worcester on February 28.

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Yes, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make £££s, $$$s, Euros, Yen, Roubles, Gzlotis, whatever currency you love, just for reading this and listening to Foist’s tunes.** The slower you read and the more tunes you listen to, the more you earn… just give us all your bank details below and we will pay into your accounts…***

Why are we paying people to listen to us rather than the other way round?**** It’s down to experience really. FOIST, a few of you will know, has now been in existence since 1989-ish, so that’s 24-ish years! In the early days we actually imagined we might make it as indie stars or something, perhaps travel the world with our music, have a cult form around us… influence the pop charts with our innovative ideas. The reality was that the £20-odd we made from cassette sales (of the 1990 compilation The Storey Of Brian’s Mind) went on beer and chips, and we actually had to work at putting up marquees for scout camps and suchlike in order to pay for studio time, on the rare occasions we went outside Dr Pleasure’s FOIST HQ…

So, increasingly we have given away our music. Before the internet and computers and stuff in tapes in the mail to record companies, DJs, promoters etc, few which seemed to go anywhere but dead letter offices (though I don’t think we ever got round to sending John Peel anything, who knows he might have played it?). The only time FOIST ever made a hit with promoters, the band had split up (thus HEX FREMLIN missed out on supporting REBEL MC, GARY CLAIL, KALIPHZ and FUN-DA-MENTAL in the early 1990s).

Hex Fremlin, along with Casum, Dirtyboy, Helium Dealer, Turbowanker and several other outfits FOIST had high hopes for in its initial phase of 1990-2000 sort of era. Their ‘greatest hits’ (all unjustly misses, truth be told) can be heard on one of the Soundcloud sets here (the other set is five of the best of the newest stuff, which we tried to get people to listen to a month ago, with less than a whisper’s worth of response)

We keep meaning to get round to releasing some of the hours and hours worth of music in our vaults… we gave away the strictly limited-edition run of 13 copies of THIS DEVIL FROM THE WOODS compilation several years ago to random people at ALL TOMORROW’S PARTIES at MINEHEAD BUTLINS (including Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth I believe). Some other FOIST oldies can be found on this earlier Soundcloud, of which we have long ago lost the log-in and password details to so it cannot be updated…

We have now given away ALL the copies of last year’s LP, 3600 ADD… here’s a sample of the 60-track hour-long collection here…

We have not yet got round to releasing the latest EP by new FOIST signing, BIG CUN TREE, MEADOWS OF PHLEGM… here’s a preview of this folkin’ fandango…

And we STILL haven’t had a proper release of the 2011 compilation SYNT, even though this catchy number went down a storm on WHITE LABEL RADIO:

And the few who heard this, our venture into drum’n’bass, liked it (except I think HOLLY, our guest singer, was embarrassed of it for some reason though I reckon she done us proud… but see what you reckon???):

Anyway, we are serious under-achievers here at FOIST, but I, Tarzan, for one, am an attention-seeking pain-in-the-arse (or would be given the chance) and if I had the money***** I would, SERIOUSLY, pay people to listen to us!

I did hear from a good friend of FOIST (one of the small handful of friends we have) that a certain rawwkkkk drummer said “what’s this shit?” on hearing the 3600ADD LP. That made my day, and gave me a reason to go on… WHY? Because we WANT a reaction, and a seriously NEGATIVE reaction is just as good as a POSITIVE one… I would hope that the reason we don’t get people saying “THIS IS FUCKING AWFUL/ DREADFUL/ BOLLOX/ SHITE” is because they’re too fucking polite and don’t want to hurt our feelings, but I fear it’s because either “I CAN’T BE ARSED TO LISTEN/COMMENT” or “IT’S OK, I SUPPOSE”… a non-committal response which just makes me go ARRRRGHHHHHH! So PLEASE anyone who actually does read/listen to this, MAKE YOUR FEELINGS KNOWN, WHATEVER THEY ARE! WE THRIVE ON REACTION OR I DO AT LEAST COS I’M AN EGOTISTICAL TWAT!

Er… anyway… So what’s new on the FOIST front… well after the disastrous no-show of the Brain Parade (a project abandoned midway through), we are now embarking on an ambitious project, a satirical musical/ concept compilation soundtrack with the working title of HECTOR. For this we are enlisting FOIST associates from the near and distant past… our dream is that we get it in the WEST END or BROADWAY, or at least staged by am-dram companies in our beloved native FOREST OF DEAN…

But we all know that at FOIST… DREAMS DON’T COME TRUE, we’re gonna press on with it anyway…

As an aside, Tarzan Evans – that’s me, the principal libretto writer of HECTOR, is also involved with another blog site http://fodanarchists.wordpress.com/news/ … which has had more readers/viewers than this FOIST blogsite has EVER had in the space of a couple of weeks thanks mostly to the interview with the famous anarchist Stuart Christie (the next interview we have lined up is of a famous anarchist pop-star, now playwright, I’m so excited about it I’ve almost given the name away!)… the Forest of Dean Anarchists – and we are fucking SICK of people saying “how can anarchists be organised”, when since the 19th century, anarchism HAS ALWAYS been organised – are meeting fortnightly on Tuesdays at the Severn View pub in Lydney on the 2nd Tues of the month, and Bailey Inn, Yorkley 4th Tues of the month).

SMALL PRINT

* Not really
** You’re a sucker if you believed this

*** We’re not gonna empty those accounts, we don’t know how to phish anyway

**** This was a ruse to get you to look, if you hadn’t guessed already (I wonder if it’ll work? Doubt it)

***** If you think I, Tarzan has any money, you’ve obviously never met me/him (to write in 1st person or 3rd person, I can never decide? What a quandary… NOT)

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Here’s an exclusive preview of FOIST’s upcoming compilation THE POINTLESS OF EVERYTHING, out when our many acts have recorded their many ditties… also, another exclusive track off what’s sure to be a big hit in the folk world, BIG CUN TREE’s debut EP, MEADOWS OF PHLEGM.

So ello ello ello what’s all this then, what’s it’s all about etc etc…
ok, TRACK 1: SCIFILIZ by THIRD KIDNEY FROM THE SON

We’re very impressed by our new signing, a space-garage-rock band we discovered floating above a leyline in the middle of the woods (location secret). We’re assured by the songwriter that any incidental reference in the lyrics to any person, alive or dead, is purely coincidental.

TRACK 2: NEITHER DEAD NOR ALIVE (VESTIBULE) by AFTERNOON SKY

It’s fortunate that this reclusive combo, which has been in hibernation for the past 2 decades, added that word in brackets, or we wouldn’t know what they’re talking about. Via semaphore signals, this collective, which inhabits scowles, explained: “We were interested in the synthesis between music of the Mesolithic age and that of the electronic age. Imagine you have been transported 6000 years into the future, and find yourself at an electronic music convention. As is the natural way of things, you are part of a shamanic hunter-gatherer procession and you dip briefly in and out of rooms and marquees where various forms of electronic music are being performed. Is your primal being enriched by the modern sounds, has your ego developed beyond an embryo as a result? We leave it up to the listener to ponder these possibilities.” Quick bit of background… AFTERNOON SKY first sent FOIST signals via short-wave radio in about 1989, indicating it wished to make 2 yin-yan concept albums, titled SO MANY REASONS FOR US TO BE ALIVE and WISH I WAS DEAD. Both have gone done in history as astounding successes in the collective-unconscious concept-album sphere. There was a third one, but can’t quite recall the title. So it was quite a surprise when they emerged from the depths of the earth once again, the other week.

3: MR PHANTASIST by ADULT PLAYROOM

Perhaps the most infectious act out there in the FOISTIAN dimension, ADULT PLAYROOM presents another corker, in contention to being as big a smash as BANG BANG BUSY and NEVER THE SAME, and their debut LP, HEAD FULL OF TOYS. This one is about someone singer Ian Morley knows too well…

4. BLOW THE WINDS (HEIGH HO!) by BIG CUN TREE

On a mission to folk off the planet, these cunning traditionalist minstrels have taken an excerpt from another ancient song, something about a man spying a lady bathing in some water, and reinvented the fiery Celtic wheel.

5. This last one, if it has a title, I really can’t recall what it is, and not sure who it’s by either. Must check when we have the next FOIST session tomorrow night. But to me it sounds like the perfect slice of loping funk with only faintly sinister undertones…

So, that’s yer lot for now… let us know what you think. Don’t be polite.

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What connects Obama with Wild Willy Barrett and the latest Foist act, Big Cun Tree? Er, nothing really, except I wanted to give all 3 subjects a heads-up.

First, the most expensive US election in history has bought Obama victory. A sigh of relief that we didn’t get that rabid rightwing fundamentalist Romney waving America’s big stick, but little comfort for the families in Pakistan and Afghanistan being devastated by the US’s death-by-remote-control drones, nor the thousands of Muslims being tortured in Guantanamo Bay. Wall Street, Rothschild and the other elite families win whether it’s Democrat or Republican. I think a great many of us worldwide realise that. But I’m pleased people did actually turn out and vote Obama, despite many on the left advising them not to bother. Lesser of two evils, in my view, and I like to think Obama would do more good if he wasn’t tied to the puppet strings of the military-industrial complex. As for Romney, like our Tories over here, I don’t think he has an ounce of compassion for anyone except his own redneck people…

Never mind the bollocks, here’s another reminder to ensure you check out WILD WILLY BARRETT at the FLYING SHACK at GLOUCESTERSHIRE AIRPORT, STAVERTON (between Gloucester and Cheltenham) this FRIDAY night. Btw, the other gig I flagged up, POSH FROCK & JUKEBOX’s reunion at the Railway in Newnham on Sunday was fantastic – even if it took 30 minutes of involuntary molestation of friends and strangers to get to the bar/loos/outside for a fag. So when’s the next gig, Posh Frock?

So, WILD WILLY BARRETT… the other half of OTWAY & BARRETT who enjoyed hits in the late 70s with Really Free, Beware of the Flowers and Cheryl’s Going Home. They still team up from time to time, but the FLYING SHACK gig sees Barrett in a different combo, SLEEPING DOGZ.

Tickets are £5 (includes temporary club membership for the night), doors open 7pm, music starts c. 8.45 pm, you get tickets by calling Flying Shack on 01452 690046 or email mike@flyingshack.com or better still in person at The Shack for cash! Lots of info on Willy at www.willybarrett.com

Organiser and Flying Shack mainman Poetpilot says this is the musical event of the year at the flying school-cum-venue. I repeat the info I was given before (and posted in an earlier blog): Their original blend of material covers genres from Bluegrass, Irish jigs and acoustic blues to what can only be described as punk folk, played on instruments as diverse as guitar, banjo, fiddle, cello, Irish pipes, whistles and drums.

“Willy has been working in France for the last year with French singer Mary-Laure (who will also be with him at The Flying Shack where the talented multi-instrumentalist has been putting together a more up-beat set with jazz-jive and country rock influences.

“Willy says he is undergoing a musical metamorphosis and this is reflected in his playing. If you are looking for a group within a set genre performing covers, forget it. However, if you are looking for a truly original performance full of fun, dry humour and the unexpected, with toe-tapping fiddle and banjo interspersed with haunting vocals, cello and guitar – see you there!”

Here’s a snippet of what to expect:

Lastly, I simply MUST draw your attention to Big Cun Tree, Foist’s latest signing, currently preparing their debut EP Meadows of Phlegm for limited release… here are 2 diverse examples, both using ancient lyrics with new, invented tunes:

and…