Manchester Folk Horror Festival IV
Sat Feb 05 2022 at 01:00 pm
The Peer Hat | Manchester, EN
AdvertisementFor the fourth time in five years, the Manchester Folk Horror Festival returns to The Peer Hat. Currently sporting a largely music and live performance based event, this time, the focus is squarely returned to 'Re-enchantment', older, wiser, more focused.
This aim is to begin and end a ritual performance that encompasses the entirety of the day, linking the performers in a grand movement, seeing different voices coalesce and dissolve, a celebration of Imbolc, and a call to the spirits of The Peer Hat and Manchester.
Ultimately, we are coming together to tell a story. And that story, we will remember and we will draw from it...and it will spiral out and away...and the whatever it touches, will create more stories in it's stead.
That's the plan.
A dream to some, a nightmare to others.
THE FATES A Folk Horror mainstay, and vitally important to both our times and the grand scheme of the day. The Fates are led by Manchester punk icon Una Baines, releasing Furia in 1985 and then disappearing into the annals of UK punk purgatory. With all the DIY traits and snarling attitudes of Manchester's smart-arsed punk retaliation, the band delivered a record of haunting, mechanical folk and pastoral drones. This virtually unknown LP, with a backstory that unites sleeve artist Linder Sterling (Ludus), Tony Friel, Martin Bramah, and John Cooper Clarke with the 16th century Pendle witches, is a vital missing piece in Manchester's self-help anti-pop industry. Lost in the ether, lauded by collectors, and likened by Mark E. Smith to the Third Ear Band, this unclassifiable arty-fact renders tags like "pagan punk" utterly inadequate. File under-ground.
ZIM ZUM Salford's sonic sorceress approaches the Black Stage with a brand new organically seeded box of tricks. Consistently compelling.
CHELSEA HARE Another of our mainstays, always unpredictable, mercurial and brilliantly gifted. This is music from a un self consciously liminal space that invites comparisons from Nick Drake, to Throbbing Gristle.
ME LOST ME is the solo electronic music project of Newcastle based artist, composer and musician Jayne Dent, current Artist in Residence at internationally renowned concert venue Sage Gateshead. Described by BBC Radio 6's Tom Robinson as a "brilliant peculiar noise", Me Lost Me delights in experimenting with genre, taking influence from folk, electronica, art pop, ambient and noise music to create a beguiling mix of soaring vocals, synth, field recordings and hypnotic rhythms. Her live shows are atmospheric, dark and playful, with a repertoire that explores storytelling through original songs, improvisations and reworkings of traditional ballads.
Following the release of her debut album 'Arcana' in 2018 she has been touring the UK extensively, with notable performances including BBC Radio 3’s ‘Exposure’ at Fruit in Hull, Manchester Folk Horror Festival, Northern Electric Festival, and recently supported Maximo Park at the Virgin Money Unity Arena. Me Lost Me was named in NE Volume’s ‘Top 10 Artists to See Live in 2021’, after gaining attention for her experimental and adaptable approach to livestreams and online works during 2020.
Her highly anticipated second album 'The Good Noise', released in November 2020 and supported by Tallbird Records and an enthusiastic crowdfunding campaign, demonstrates a maturing of her sound and a deepening of her exploration of landscape, sonic texture, storytelling and her experiments with genre.
Of Swedish origin and now living in Newcastle upon Tyne, Nathalie first served her apprenticeship in Swedish pop punk band Candysuck, which influenced the emerging Swedish feminist music movement in the mid-90s, before moving to the UK and founding the guitar/drums duo Lake Me in 2001. As a solo act, and keen to explore traditional Swedish folk heritage and more experimental sounds, she released her debut album ‘Firetales’ in 2009 on her own label Minta Rec and on the German label The Company With The Golden Arm.
Her long awaited follow-up, ‘Nerves and Skin’, was released in 2019 and builds on the experimental folk traditions of her debut, awash with vocal harmonies, synth loops and drones but with the maturity of an artist who knows their craft and is at the top of their game. Using a sparse set up of loop pedals, vocal effects and synths, Nathalie sculpts haunting soundscapes that fuse a love of old folk songs, horror and folk lore with vocals and lo-fi electro textures. The album was released on Inverted Grim Mill Recordings and Cruel Nature Records on CD, limited white vinyl and limited cassette tape (sold out).
Nathalie is often joined on stage by Lindsay Duncanson and Marek Gabrysch from the experimental performance collective Noize Choir, and whose vocal effects augment the tracks on ‘Nerves and Skin’, ranging from industrial noise to melting glaciers.
Having toured extensively throughout the UK, Europe and North America, Nathalie has supported luminaries like Silver Apples, tune-yards, Daniel Higgs, Damo Suzuki and was invited to perform an improv gig in Austin, Texas, with Thor Harris from Swans.
She performed at BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking Festival in 2017, and is featured in ‘Folk Horror Revival Volume II – Sweet Fruits’ (Wyrd Harvest Press, 2018), a book series with content contributions by today’s folk horror practitioners including literature, poetry and artwork. Nathalie also runs the regular radio show, HÄX, on CAMP Radio.
BRONA MCVITTIE Pioneering her own brand of cosmic folk, Bróna McVittie both deftly reimagines traditional folk and crafts her own nature-inspired songs with a rich mix of acoustic and electronic instruments. Her debut solo album We Are the Wildlife, released in January 2018, earned her a string of four star reviews from MOJO, Uncut, The Guardian and The Independent garnering high praise from critics including Nigel Williamson and the late Andy Gill.
The album’s single Under the Pines was featured in Lauren Laverne’s best-of-2018 list. And before her Womad appearance in 2019 Bróna was interviewed live by Cerys Matthews on her BBC 6 Music festival highlights show (it was then that Cerys described her music as ‘cosmic folk’).
Her second album The Man in the Mountain, released in September 2020, immediately scored the much-coveted Folk Album of the Month spot in The Guardian. Later that year Jude Rogers ranked it 4th in her 10 Best Folk Albums of 2020. In her words “You’re put in the place of a bird navigating wide open landscapes, absorbing light, space and air. This is music that takes you on its wing, and gives you fresh visions”.
The Man in the Mountain features notable collaborations with avant-garde Nordic composer Arve Henriksen and electronica trailblazers Isan. The title track, inspired by the local legends and lore of Bróna’s homeland, tells a tale of a battle between Irish and Scottish giants. Her desire to steer traditional folk into the 21st century is borne out of her immersion in the London Irish music scene (for many years she was lead singer for 6-piece trad outfit The London Lasses) and her longtime love of electronica. Her own songwriting is harnessed in a deep reflection on the natural world.
The new album has been broadcast on BBC Radio 2 by Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 3 by Sara Mohr-Pietsch, BBC6 Music by Iggy Pop and Gideon Coe, BBC Radio Scotland by Roddy Hart, BBC Radio Ulster by Lynette Fay, Eve Blair and Brian Mullen; RTÉ Radio 1 by Ruth Smith, RnaG by Cian Ó Cíobháin and Lyric FM by John Kelly and Ellen Crannitch; and internationally in Italy, The Netherlands, the USA, Canada and Australia.
Bróna lives in her hometown, a small village in County Down on the shores of Carlingford Lough where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea. In 2019 she performed with her trio at Dublin’s National Concert Hall, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, London’s Kings Place and Womad festival. She champions folk songs and tales from her homeland both in her own work and as leader of the Mourne Community Choir with support from The National Lottery and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
HOLY SCUM Formed in 2019, Holy Scum is an improvised band based in Manchester featuring members of Gnod, Schoolhouse, Shuck. Spending their first year locked in a room, they worked on playing together without compromising their individual styles and musical pasts, creating improvised music that is immediate yet familiar. Their chaos will bring our event to a suitably Sabbatic conclusion.
LOGOS- the producer born James Parker
is an aural cartographer, attempting to trace the patterns of Englsih liminality., These hinterland fissures are best heard on his album, the fascinating, complex, and impossible to place ‘Imperial Flood’. It’s a record prompted by shifts in his studio set up, but also by both recollection and imagination, a twisted take on England’s forgotten environs. As a primarily ambient LP, it’s these atmospheric tools that contribute most to the ominous mood of ‘Imperial Flood’. Where beats do appear, they mostly feel coincidental, as if stumbled across amidst the mist and mire. They work, in fact, as an incredibly accurate — in concept if not exactly in timbre — reflection of another of Parker’s influences for the album: the man-made yet slightly unsettling countryside of East England. The fields and the fens and the incessant flatness. An area where the effects of humans are clearly visible, but that maintains a primordial dread — things that could be said, too, of ‘Imperial Flood’.
THE HOUSE IN THE WOODS - Pye Corner Audio specialise in majestic, cinematic electronica that evokes sci-fi soundtracks, dystopian futures and the sound of haunted dance floors. The discography to date includes ten full length albums and many more singles and EPs across several labels. There are also remixes for John Foxx, Mogwai, Ride’s Andy Bell, Mark Lanegan, Alice Hubble, Stealing Sheep, Knightstown and Dolphin Midwives.
Pye Corner's Martin Jenkins (aka The Head Technician) is a veteran live performer, and has played shows and festivals all over Europe, Canada and the USA. Most notably he has supported Mogwai on several tour dates, played the Mutek festival in Montreal, the Mugako Festival in Spain and Barcelona’s Primavera Club.
Pye Corner Audio pieces appear in the soundtrack to Adam Curtis’s 2016 film HyperNormalisation, the 2018 Shudder TV series, Deadwax and forthcoming Netflix documentary Slay. The track “The Black Mill Video” was used for the title music of Sky TV’s 2019 sci-fi drama series, Curfew.
Here, he will be returning to his House In The Woods side project "A murmured distance gives way to séance melodies and crumbling dreamworlds. The album is understated, affecting, and a study in sonic texture. I nominate this one for 'essential.'" 8 SIDED BLOG
Where is it happening?The Peer Hat, 14-16 Faraday Street, Manchester, United Kingdom
Event Location & Nearby Stays: