Pilgrims’ Way are back this month (but not as you know them) with their third studio album Stand and Deliver (20 October 2017). Stand and Deliver is a theatrical tour de force of a concept album on which they draw on the rich seam of English traditional highwayman songs (and the not so traditional – including Adam and the Ant’s 1981 hit Stand & Deliver from which the album takes its name). They also bring with them a new look, lineup, and a plethora of instruments. Watch them in action on their video for Shoot them All! (Box On Her Head) – “Having killed a highwayman in self-defence, this girl gets a taste for blood and murders three more, thereby pre-empting the plot of ‘Dexter’ by several hundred years.”
The Stockport-based band originally consisted of Lucy Wright, Tom Kitching and Edwin Beasant. They were nominated for the Horizon Award in the 2012 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards following the release of their debut album Wayside Courtesies.
The band then became four when joined by Jon Loomes who brings with him a host of instruments from double bass to concertina, cittern, trumpet, hurdy-gurdy and even tubular bells. And, with the departure of Lucy Wright comes Jude Rees whose early woodwind and immaculate, powerful oboe and flute playing has brought a new ingredient to the broad brushstrokes of sound. She also supplies vocals and English bagpipes. Another new addition to the band is Heather Sirrel, who is playing bass in the video. She also plays with a band called Bric a Brac.
The album was produced by Jon Loomes at his Talking Cat studios in Yorkshire and Edwin Beasant at The Drum Room, Stockport.
The brainchild of Loomes, the album promises to be bold and feisty and frequently eyebrow-raising. In a daring move, they cross genres from classic folk-rock, through to Manchester, via doom metal and disco to something which sounds almost ‘West End’. Talking about the album Loomes says: “This is an album for anyone who has ever fantasised about being more glamorous, more stylish, more romantic – the highwayman runs like a ribbon through our English folk culture and these songs range from the tongue-in-cheek to the serious.”
The album is released on October 20th and will be showcased on a UK Tour (dates below).
Pilgrims’ Way – Stand & Deliver Album Tour
October 28th – Ragged Bear Festival, Nuneaton
October 31st – Hoy at Anchor Folk Club
November 1st – Spalding Folk Club
November 2nd – Lyceum Folk Club, Newport (South Wales)
November 3rd – Square and Compass, Worth Matravers
November 5th – Foxlowe Arts Centre, Leek
November 6th – Green Note, Camden
November 9th – Florence Arts Centre – Egremont
November 12th – Halsway Manor, National Centre for the Folk Arts