Sounds that might have wandered through the spring sunshine from a hazy meadow in the 1970s will be found at venues across Hereford city over the weekend of March 17th – 19th as Sproatly Smith hosts the springtime return of Weirdshire.
This vernal gathering of musicians associated with the psychedelic folk scene in and around the global borders of rural Herefordshire is becoming a regular feature on the musical calendar, and this year welcomes old friends and new visitors to Hereford’s musical folk-soaked ‘Shire’.
Special guests include Jo Lepine, the signature voice of left field folk pioneers The Owl Service. Jo will be headlining on Friday evening at De Koffie Pot, playing alongside performances of intricate dark folk songs from Sharron Kraus, tender harp pickings from Joe Botting, and ‘unnerving candlelit folk’ from locals Alula Down.
Bird Radio headlines on Saturday at The Booth Hall. Bird Radio (aka Mikey Kirkpatrick for locals who know him) is a powerful performer with a Scott Walker voice and a style that places him somewhere between an ‘old testament preacher and Captain Beefheart’. Other performances this evening include chamber pop from Bristol based Snails and ‘wistful shimmering folk-pop’ from Mark McDowell and Friends.
Guests to Herefordshire on Sunday evening at De Koffie Pot come from further afield. Trappist Afterland is a drone-folk band from Melbourne who create a mesmerizing mixture of esoteric psychedelia. They are joined by Chicago-based Constantine, whose recent work ‘Day Of Light’ is described as “a truly wonderful Acid Folk masterpiece”. Bristol based Zeuk, and Herefordshire’s David Ian Roberts also play on this equinox afternoon and evening of music, alongside a performance from the weekend’s curators. Sproatly Smith now have a worldwide following and create a sound that has been described as “quintessentially British, yet psychedelic … immersed in nature, tuneful and evocative of Britain’s folk tradition”.
This springtime’s Weirdshire is a testament to the power of global friendships that grow up around a shared artistic language and musical interest. With a varied guest list of inspirational performers and sounds that cover the spectrum from traditional folk to suburban guitar pop, drone-based electronica to finger picked guitar playing, Weirdshire offers audiences a local folk inspired festival with an entirely contemporary international attitude.
Many of these artists are also featured on a new Weirdshire compilation ‘Burning The Bush‘, which will be launched on Friday 17th March at the opening of the Weirdshire Weekend.