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VERNAL EQUINOX FESTIVAL

Friday, 3 March 2017 - 6:00pm - Sunday, 5 March 2017 - 11:00pm

 
Vernal Equinox - an exciting new festival in Preston pulling together divergent strands of underground music -
folk / psych / wyrd
 
CHECK OUT THE AMAZING LINE-UP BELOW - MORE DETAILS COMING SOON 
 
Weekend tickets £28
Day tickets:
Fri £12.50 / Sat £10 / Sun £16 
 
Also in person from The Continental (01772 499 425)
& Action Records (01772 884 772) 
 
 
Trembling Bells / Galley Beggar / Mugstar
Mike Heron (Incredible String Band) / Gnod
Alasdair Roberts Trio / Clones / King Champion Sounds
Tricca McNiff / Crumbling Ghost / Pill Fangs
Dodson and Fogg / Newts / One Sided Horse
Howie Reeve / Sweeney Astray / Vukovar
The Common Cold / The Condor Moments
UCLAN Music play Terry Riley's 'In C' 
 
 
Friday 3rd March   6.30pm – midnight  Event Room and Snug (2 stages)  
 
MUGSTAR

Forming in Liverpool in the early noughties, MUGSTAR have paid their dues 10x over,  rightfully earning their status as one of the most well-respected British underground bands and their profile has deservedly been raised in recent years by the current boom in psychedelic rock and Kosmische music.     
 
Starting off with early twangy guitar-led singles, ‘Spotlight Over Memphis’ and ‘Flavin’ Hot Rod’, which were reminiscent of American acts such as Man or Astroman and Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet and recording one of the final John Peel sessions in 2004, Mugstar gradually developed a heavier and more expansive sound, shedding extraneous diversions such as tunes and song lyrics in favour of huge, epic mantras with guttural vocalisations from Peter Smyth, always spectacular when delivered live and accompanied by their stunning visuals.
 
 
Mugstar released a number of standout albums for cult US indie Important Records, including ‘Sun Broken’ and ‘Lime’  (both 2010) and Axis (2012), before signing to Mogwai’s label, Rock Action for the UK, releasing double LP Magnetic Seasons in 2016.
 
Mugstar have also been involved in a number of diversions over the years that emphasise their depth and class, from unlikely cover versions of Fairport Convention and ZZ Top to a highly-praised film soundtrack (‘Ad Marginem’) to collaborations with Damo Suzuki and Oneida.  After a year where band members have devoted time to solo and side projects (and their expanding families!), Mugstar shows are now rarer than they once were and bigger events (they notably played The Albert Hall with Goat last October).  They played a couple of shows as a three-piece in 2016 due to these other commitments, but the classic Mugstar line-up of  Steve Ashton (drums), Jason Stoll (bass), Neil Murphy (guitar) and Pete Smyth (Guitar, vocals, keyboards) are all coming to The Continental for this headline set which promises to be a memorable one.
 
GNOD

Alongside Mugstar, Salford’s

GNOD complete a spectacular double header of the North West’s finest Kosmiche outfits for Vernal Equinox.  Formed in 2006, Gnod is an ever-changing collective of musicians based around the core members Paddy Shine, Chris Haslam and Marlene Ribeiro.  Gnod music is often improvised and reactive to the talents and preferences of whoever is playing in the band at the time and the live environment.   
 
Drawing a direct line from angular punk to heavy motorik, and from noisy techno vibrations to tripped out near-ambient, tribal rituals, Gnod have released dozens of full-length albums, CD-Rs, cassettes and short run releases, in addition to several higher profile LPs on Rocket Recordings, each one seemingly materialising from the ether, as the band is shrouded in mystery.
 
 
Gnod’s new album for 2017, ‘Just Say No To The Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine’  could well be their best ever record, stunning stuff, showcasing the band at their most ferocious and their most creative. Gnod have created the perfect soundtrack for 2017. 
 
This year Gnod are also taking stock and referencing their various previous incarnations as the ‘Artists in Residence’ at the prestigious Dutch Psych/Stoner festival Roadburn.  Gnod will be headlining the Concrète Tapes stage at Vernal Equinox and. suitably, their set will be electronica based, recalling their Throbbing Gristle-influenced sets of 2012 and 2013.   
 
KING CHAMPION SOUNDS
 
KING CHAMPION SOUNDS is an Anglo/Dutch band and the brainchild of  Ajay Saggar, an honorary Prestonian, (Dandelion Adventure, Donkey, The Bent Moustache) who’s played The Continental several times before at the Un-Peeled shows, most recently in 2016 in his shoegaze side project Deutsche Ashram.’ Vocals and lyrics are taken care of by G.W. Sok (The Ex).
 
The seven piece line-up is completed by a stellar second guitar player, bass and drums (a rhythm section that Mark E. Smith would be proud of), and two horn players. The result is  “a mix of The Fall, Can, Sun Ra, Captain Beefheart, Public Image Ltd, King Tubby. I love this band”, said Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore.
 
The debut album “Different Drummer” was released in October 2013 to international critical acclaim with glowing reviews from The Sunday Times through to Pitchfork. The second album “Songs For The Golden Hour” was released in October 2014.
 
They sound like the primordial ooze that birthed touchstones like the Stooges and the Velvets come to life, nursing a mutha of a hangover, and a grudge. They sound like a group of 5 marauding musicians who locked hard into a groove and gave the 6th fellow the chance to grab the mic and spew out his laser guided lyrics.  As on record as live this band are something to behold.
 
 
At Vernal Equinox, King Champion Sounds will be performing a live soundtrack to the 1929 Dziga Vertov-directed film, Man With A Movie Camera which presents urban life in cities of the old Soviet Union and was voted 8th  best film ever made in the BFI’s 2012 Sight and Sound Poll.  This is a UK exclusive performance of the film soundtrack.
 
PILL FANGS

PILL FANGS is the great new garage/Velvet Underground inspired project from Lancastrian songwriter/guitarist Dan Haywood, previously of Dan Haywood’s New Hawks, a sprawling wide-ranging folk and Americana influenced band who at times came across like a Rolling Thunder revue for the North West UK and whose first album was a huge 32 song suite double CD.   
 
Pill Fangs is a more stripped-down back to basics vehicle for Dan’s songwriting and turns in a punchy, rocking set that will knock your socks off.  Their debut album is keenly anticipated by the cognoscenti. 
 
THE COMMON COLD 
 
After debuting as the mystery last minute addition to last October’s Un-Peeled line up, THE COMMON COLD can now be revealed as Preston scenesters and Peel session vets Marcus Parnell and Ajay Saggar (from legendary Preston late 80s/early 90s noiseniks The Dandelion Adventure) and Dave Chambers who drummed for Cornershop in their early years,  when most of the band studied at Preston Polytechnic, as well as numerous other great Preston acts including Formula One and The Wandering Step
 
Anyone who saw The Common Cold's Un-Peeled set will testify that these chaps have still got ‘it’, Marcus still has 25 years worth of unused lyric books to plough through since Dandelion Adventure split, Ajay was manfully controlling both treble and bass frequencies through a gazillion effects pedals and Dave was laid down an impeccable motorik backbeat.   The lads apparently reconvened in January when Ajay was back in the UK for a spell and have now worked out a longer set for your delectation.  Genuine local music legends. 
 
THE CONDOR MOMENTS
 
THE CONDOR MOMENTS are another local (in the League of Gentlemen use of the word) act who are shrouded in mystery.  They used to play Preston a lot in the mid-noughties, usually on bills at the Mad Ferret with other smoking-related acts like Superkings and Benson & Hedges, although they were alleged to hail from the backwoods areas of North Lancs and outer Merseyside.   Despite this they were a major part of the Preston ‘scene’ at that time, possibly the last time that Preston may have had  a scene.  One album appeared, “And Though We’re Told We’ve Got It All, The All We’ve Got Is Freezing Cold” which drew comparisons to Frank Zappa, cabaret, avant jazz and lounge music and then they faded into obscurity. 
 
Now Richie Midnight, Brucie Millions and associates Bob Drake, humansacrifice, Lady Dah and Daddy Madge are back doing selected shows, possibly out on day release.  Their bandcamp states that they have recorded “the most amazingly complex and purehearted collection of cinematic songclusters since The Sun City Girls ‘300,003 Crossdressers from beyond the Rig Veda’ , Ash Ra Tempel’s ‘7 Up!’ and Fela Kuti’s ‘Coffins for Heads of State’ combined.” Surely this is reason alone to catch their set on the Concrète Tapes stage!    
 
VUKOVAR
 
Last-spotted in Preston at shows supporting The Membranes and Rose McDowall, balaclava-clad trio VUKOVAR hail from the St Annes/Wigan/St Helens axis of evil.  They emerged thirty years too late to take up their rightful place at the Leeds Futurama Festival, but nonetheless at the rite time for their acerbic, bass-heavy post-punk to be informed by everything which came before, such as Cabaret Voltaire, Sisters of Mercy, J.G. Ballard, J.G. Thirlwell and The Coachwhips
 
Resourceful and prolific, Vukovar have put out two great albums of their own material within a year, ‘Emperor’ and ‘Voyeurism’, on the Isle of Man-based Small Bear label and also found the time to put out a super-limited cassette of choice cover versions called ‘Fornication’ where they get to grips with tunes by kindred spirits such as Coil, Soft Cell, Die Artze and Laurie Anderson.  Vukovar have some more provocatively-titled releases on the way, which will doubtlessly be unveiled at this gig. 
 
Make sure you turn up early to see one of our favourite North-West acts.         
 
UCLAN MUSIC PLAY TERRY RILEY’S ‘IN C’ 
 
UCLAN MUSIC and Concrète Tapes present the first masterpiece of 20th Century Minimalist Composition, Terry Riley’s ‘In C’, performed by over a dozen music students from The University of Central Lancashire plus some special guest players. The performance is arranged and conducted by composers and artists Jon Aveyard and Joshua Horsley
 
CLONES (Evil Blizzard)
EVIL BLIZZARD are the gut-wrenching, rubber mask-wearing, show-stealing phenomenon that has put Preston back on the music map.  With 4 bass players, a singing drummer and a couple of Bez-like agent provocateurs from your worst acid trip nightmare: a hatchet-wielding pig-man (Blizzpig) and a zombie janitor (Mopman), Evil Blizzard have been taking their PIL-influenced post hardcore/doom metal and stupendous stage show to venues and festivals up and down the UK over the last 5 years, always going down well and usually being invited back to play a bigger space next time. 
 
Not content with their ever-increasing profile and imminent takeover, the Blizzard boys have decided to double their coverage in 2017 by launching a new version of themselves, Kraftwerk style, as CLONES, who will be releasing an album later in the year.  This could also be an ingenious measure devised by their accountant to counteract the forthcoming EU working time restrictions on quadruple bass-player related activity that will still apply to UK bands pre-Brexit.  
         
Vernal Equinox marks the live debut of CLONES on the Concrète Tapes stage.  Expect bass, theremin, latex, facepaint, crowd invasions and chaos!         
 
 
Saturday 4th March  6.00pm – 11,30pm  Event Room  
 
GALLEY BEGGAR

GALLEY BEGGAR are a great modern folk-rock band who are very well-known on the trad folk circuit in London and the South, but still largely undiscovered by the mainstream music media.
 
Consequently Galley Beggar’s headline set on the Saturday of Vernal Equinox is a tremendous coup for both us and you as they rarely play in the North.  Anyone with an interest in acts like The Unthanks, The Staves, Trembling Bells and festivals like Green Man and End of the Road will love Galley Beggar.        
 
Bringing diverse musical tastes to the band, all six members of Galley Beggar converge on the folk fusion of the late 1960s and early 1970s - Fairport Convention, Pentangle, Steeleye Span, Trees, and many lesser known groups whose musicianship was largely overlooked in a rapidly changing music scene.  
 
 
What goes around, it seems, comes around. At the time of writing, Galley Beggar’s Facebook page shows over 12,000 “likes” from fans across the world as testament to the band’s crossover appeal at home and abroad. By exploring and expanding the acid folk genre, they continue to win music fans of all ages.  Amongst these fans is psych rock aficionado and doom metal veteran Lee Dorrian, who signed Galley Beggar to his label Rise Above Records in 2014 - and put them together with analogue recording wizard Liam Watson (best known for his work on the White Stripes’ 2003 album “Elephant”) at his famous studio, Toe Rag
 
This resulted in a standout, harder-edged  album ‘Silence and Tears’ which revealed a band that draws on deep roots to send its tendrils ever outwards into new sonic spaces.  This success led Galley Beggar back to Toe Rag to record new album ‘Heathen Hymns’ due for release on Rise Above in April 2017.  Maria Fowler’s beautiful cut-glass vocals and the rest of the band’s accomplished playing mark Galley Beggar as a stand-out act.     
 
CRUMBLING GHOST

CRUMBLING GHOST are an exceptional band, uniquely weaving folk standards and, occasionally, their own compositions into doom-infused psychedelia that places the ancient stories of darkness, murder and betrayal they relate into a thrilling new context.
 
Now onto their third record, “5 Songs”, since their inception in 2010, at times Crumbling Ghost play pretty much unreconstructed heavy rock that is simply illuminated by Katie Harnett’s cut-glass vocals. Each of these elements could have appeared on any number of early 70s albums from the dawn of metal and the folk revival, but listening to an accomplished band fusing both together at once is a raw and invigorating experience. 
 
ONE SIDED HORSE
 
ONE SIDED HORSE is the brain child of Mark Whiteside and is his first solo effort away from the radically different Evil Blizzard where "Side" his singing drummer alter ego haunts audiences from the back of the stage.  Here we see Mark move front and centre and with the help of some of his friends, create a new kind of sound which fans of Mark's work will love.
 
Mark has shaped a collection of songs which are a far cry from his previous work, both haunting and melodic the album will be worth waiting for.  Starting with playing his tracks to friends and family, over mobile phones, in fields and in his flat, the One Sided Horse journey began.  Encouraged by positive feedback Mark took his tracks into the studio and on to the stage playing support with a 6 track set at the The Continental, Preston in late November.
 
With the album planned for release this year and the start of an official set of gigs to promote the album in the works, we are looking forward to an exciting year, we hope you will join us for the ride...
 
NEWTS
NEWTS are an experimental rock trio from Cambridge, making noisy music about the futility of all endeavour in the face of the great enemy, time.  They’ve put out  a 4 track EP so far which has already received rave notices on BBC 6 Music from Stuart Maconie’s Freak Zone  and Tom Ravenscroft.
 
Newts say that their ultimate musical ambition would be to invent a time machine so they could go back do a Peel session, which immediately endeared them to us. Failing that, they want to make a record that will adequately capture the combination of terror, despair, fragile hope and abject disgust that is the human experience in this, our glorious modern hell.  
 
SWEENEY ASTRAY
 
SWEENEY ASTRAY are a four piece alt indie folk band from Lancashire and Manchester (in equal measure) driven by the songwriting of Mike Kneafsey.  His songs are a "delightful mix of poetic balladry, catchy melody and meaningful lyrics". Every song tells a story, whether it's about love and the ocean, backpacking, drinking or fighting in a war. It's about good music, togetherness and holding onto that inner strength, sometimes against the odds! Last year’s single, ‘The Rooks of Kathmandu’ was a great example of Kneafsey’s engaging tales and melodies.  
 
For this performance Sweeney Astray will be playing with an expanded line-up of: Mike Kneafsey (lead vocals/guitar, songwriter), Katie Ritson (harmonies, guitar) and Anna Ashworth (drums/percussion).
 
 
Sunday 5th March  4.30pm to 11pm  Event Room
 
TREMBLING BELLS
 
TREMBLING BELLS are a Glasgow based band whose original mission was to “seek to reanimate the mythic landscapes of Great Britain via a love for traditional folk, early music and canonical rock”.  
 
Since then they’ve established themselves as one of the most consistently excellent and forward-thinking British acts and were Tuff Life Boogie’s natural choice to headline Vernal Equinox Festival. Stuart Maconie described their music as "wild and romantic, witty and heartbreaking", saying that "It has both the charm of folk music and the power of rock". 
 
 
Trembling Bells' most recent album, ‘The Sovereign Self’ from 2015 – named after a line from Dennis Potter, the late television auteur –  is a driving, dramatic and at times hallucinatory work, filled with a great sense of tension and release; a witches’ brew, a psychedelic stew mixing up the range of the band’s musical interests – everything from ramshackled ballads to ancient May Day chants, swaggering acid rock to swirling prog epics.
 
“Some songs are a little challenging” says lead vocalist Lavinia Blackwall, “Bringing Alasdair C Mitchell into the band means we have the interplay of two guitar parts. Musically, this album has been a lot more collaborative and democratic and as a result a lot of our other influences have come through – psychedelia, early-70s prog and rock. It’s heavier and darker. I find it physically and emotionally draining to sing these songs, because they are quite intense you have to put so much into them.”
 
 
As always, there is a strong sense of place in songs: Glasgow, Padstow; East London, the Great Western Road; the A61 and A82 – you could plot the songs of Trembling Bells on a chart; you could drive around in them. They are a band poised between mappa mundi and SatNav.
 
“I have an irresistibly romantic attraction to places. I want to glorify them and give an impression of the feeling that they evoke in me,” says band lynchpin Alex Neilson. “I’m interested in the way that Dylan Thomas and Walt Whitman engaged with their native land. They sang of the soil itself. I was always interested in the way that blues and country did the same for places in America, but it didn’t seem like there was an equivalent in Britain. Carbeth, Yorkshire, Sussex and Cornwall have a strong allure for me, so this is a way to eulogise and elevate these places that have a very personal significance for me into the realm of myth and mystery.”
 
Trembling Bells formed in 2008, born from Glasgow’s close-knit scene, united by shared tastes, passions and imagination. “We all like music on a forensic level,” says Neilson. “We’re all obsessive, pedantic, maladjusted, unemployable nerds.” 
 
It is tempting to regard them as a band out of time, five tempunauts who would rather be hanging out in the studio of William Morris, or Weimar-era Berlin, or quaffing cider in Merrie England than in the sometimes tawdry, often dull world of social networking and digital downloads. They seem profoundly nostalgic, yearning for the past like a child for its mother. Is that fair comment? “Possibly,” says Neilson. “I’m a little bit cautious about that because we get called folk-rock quite a lot. But no, I don’t really relate to much of the modern world. I feel that there’s a lot to learn from 30,000 years of civilisation.”
 
That range of cultural and counter-cultural interest is apparent from the front cover of The Sovereign Self – a series of twenty portraits painted by Lavinia Blackwall: an eclectic gallery of genius from Emily Dickinson to Aeschylus; Lou Reed to Ovid.
 
Another key influence, psych-folk pioneers the Incredible String Band, has loomed large in the lives of Trembling Bells in recent years. They have toured with ISB co-founder Mike Heron, performing tracks from his songbook, and are revisiting this material at Vernal Equinox, playing a second set with Mike.
 
“It was a profound pleasure to get inside that music,” says Neilson. “Everyone in the Trembling Bells grew up with the Incredible String Band. I remember listening to them on the school bus and being petrified that anyone would hear what was in my ears. It was so audaciously imaginative and disarmingly whimsical that it was almost embarrassing to listen to when you were fifteen. But it really came to shape the music I aspired to create. When we do the concerts, you can tell that it means a lot to the people in the audience and it means a lot to me to play it. It’s music that is very cherishable because it’s so idiosyncratic.”
 
Having released five cracking LPs in six years, in addition to a number of side-projects, Trembling Bells show no signs of slowing down. Already, work is being done on solo records from three members, and there are plans for an album of reworked traditional folk songs with vocals from comedian Stewart Lee. This is quite simply a group of people with music pouring out of them.
 
“We’re very ambitious creatively,” says Neilson. “We’re always pushing ourselves deeper and deeper into the mystery.”
 
Trembling Bells have played a number of memorable shows at The Continental in recent years and, together with the rest of Sunday’s amazing line-up, their set at Vernal Equinox will be a special event.  
 
MIKE HERON WITH TREMBLING BELLS: ‘THE CIRCLE IS UNBROKEN’   
 
To coincide with Hux Records’ release of Incredible String Band ‘Live at Fillmore East, 1968′ album, original ISB band member, MIKE HERON teamed up with Trembling Bells to perform classic String Band material from their hugely influential first four albums for a series of great shows between 2013 and 2015, including a couple of sell-out events at The Continental. Heron and Trembling Bells are reconvening for a special one-off performance of ‘The Circle is Unbroken’ at Vernal Equinox.  
 
Few bands could be said to embody the spirit of the 1960s more comprehensively than the Incredible String Band. On albums such as The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter or Wee Tam and the Big Huge - with their epic perspectives, pantheistic lyrics and visionary synthesis of musical forms- ISB gave the hippy generation some of their most emblematic anthems. The breadth of their appeal is beguiling, with admirers as diverse as Robert Plant (Led Zepplin) and Rowan Williams (Archbishop of Canterbury) professing a long term love affair with the band. In 2010 Fledg’ling reissued their first 4 albums to unanimous critical acclaim, ensuring their appeal to successive generations of fans. One of the new generations of bands indelibly influenced by ISB is the Glasgow based 6 piece Trembling Bells.
 
 
Trembling Bells first joined forces with ISB founder member, Mike Heron, in 2010 at “A Very Cellular Song”- the Joe Boyd curated celebration of ISB material at The Barbican, London. Since then they have played at Stewart Lee’s “Austerity Binge”, Cecil Sharp House and recorded a 7″ single of Heron’s ‘Feast of Stephen’, cementing their kinship.
 
Mike Heron & Trembling Bells: The Circle is Unbroken covers rare and popular material from the ISB song book and much more besides, and promises to be a spectacular evocation of the times. 
 
ALASDAIR ROBERTS TRIO

ALASDAIR ROBERTS is another of our favourite modern folk musicians and we’re delighted to welcome him back to the Continental with his Trio. Alasdair's distinctive reedy voice and deliberate, head-nodding guitar style that we can only describe as ‘gnarly’, single him out as an exceptional artist, as do the great lyrics on his self-penned songs, which Pitchfork described as “impossible to place in time, as Roberts manages to deliver archaically worded sentences without sounding like a budget Yoda impersonator”
 
Although based in Glasgow, Alasdair has worked with the lauded US indie label Drag City Records (home of Bonnie Prince Billy, Joanna Newsom, Pavement, Royal Trux etc) since 1997, becoming one of their core acts.  Alasdair firstly released three albums of self-written material under the name Appendix Out and then several albums under his own name, the most recent being the eponymous Alasdair Roberts in 2015. He has also released music on labels such as Secretly Canadian, Galaxia, Clay Pipe and Stone Tape Recordings.
 

 
His work mainly consists of two parallel strands: self-written song material (which can be heard on albums such as Farewell Sorrow, The Amber Gatherers, Spoils, and A Wonder Working Stone) and interpretations of traditional songs and ballads from Scotland and beyond (which can be heard on albums such as The Crook of My Arm, No Earthly Man and Too Long In This Condition).
 
Alasdair has collaborated widely with many different musicians throughout his musical career, including the Scottish Gaelic singer Mairi Morrison, with whom he made the 2012 album Urstan.
 
He has also collaborated with artists from other disciplines such as puppeteers (Shane Connolly, with whom he worked on a puppet theatre interpretation of the Scottish folk play ‘Galoshins’), film makers (including Luke Fowler, contributing a soundtrack to his film ‘All Divided Selves’) and, most recently, a poet (fellow Scot Robin Robertson, with whom he made the 2013 album Hirta Songs).
 
In addition to these projects, Alasdair also recently became a member of the English/Scottish folk quartet The Furrow Collective, along with Lucy Farrell, Rachel Newton and Emily Portman, who have so far recorded 2 albums, At Our Next Meeting and Wild Hog.
 
Alasdair’s new album, Pangs, is released on 24th February 2017 and it features ten new songs recorded by the power trio of Alasdair (guitars, voice), Stevie Jones (bass, keys) and Alex Neilson (drums, percussion), who will both be in Alasdair’s Trio at Vernal Equinox, and guest appearances from Debbie Armour, Tom Crossley, Rafe Fitzpatrick and Jessica Kerr.
 
TRICCA MCNIFF
 
EMMA TRICCA has played The Continental several times before and we’re stoked to welcome her back at Vernal Equinox in a combination that’s new to us but has been on the back burner for some time.  Emma and Jason McNiff first met each other a number of years ago in the 12 Bar Club, a venue that they both played at and frequented looking for like-minded souls. Brought together by their mutual appreciation of Bert Jansch and John Renbourn, (Jason knew Bert and Emma knew John) they forged a friendship and made plans to one day record together. 
 
Their solo careers blossomed, Tricca "carving folk's new golden era" with her two delicate records for Finders Keepers and McNiff releasing six albums of highly regarded singer/songwriter material touched by Americana. But the roots run deep with Tricca and McNiff and the friendship and intention remained, and their recording plans were finally realized in the summer of 2015. 
 

 
Fortune found them with time on their hands and after a summer of rehearsal in a farm house in rural Italy and engineer/producer Tommaso Colliva of Calibro 35, suddenly free from duties with Muse, they got to fulfil this career long ambition and record the album
Southern Star. It  features the pair sharing vocals on each other's material and highlights a yearning for travel and the emotions that are stirred by distant shores. The only kids in town who were listening to Bert and John and finger-picking on their guitars in those distant days of the 12 Bar deliver a consummate and engrossing listening experience where one travels with them on a southbound train, taking in stops in New York, the Hills of Rome and Paris in rain, the long way. As Tricca sings on McNiff's song, "Hills of Rome", "I come down on my bike to the market place, got petrol in my blood and wind in my face, my God I seem to be winning this race, got no one to chase to now..."
 
DODSON AND FOGG
 
DODSON AND FOGG is a prolific music project led by Leeds-based writer and musician Chris Wade, named after the unscrupulous lawyers in The Pickwick Papers.  Dodson and Fogg has been variously described as psych folk, folk rock and acid folk.  Between 2012 and 2016 Chris has released a dozen albums featuring collaborators such as Celia Humpris (of legendary folk rock pioneers The Trees), Nik Turner, Judy Dyble, Toyah Wilcox and even Young Ones actor Nigel Planer!
 
Somehow the result is fresh if decidedly retro, with the occasional searing guitar by Chris himself contrasting with his hypnotic melodies and vocal harmonies. Dodson and Fogg’s albums have picked up rave reviews from aficianados in psych  publications Terrascope and Shindig
 
Fascinating, largely unknown and very much an intriguing proposition, Dodson and Fogg shows are quite rare and we’re delighted to present a solo set from Chris Wade at Vernal Equinox
 
HOWIE REEVE
 
HOWIE REEVE has been ploughing a furrow deep into the underground for over 20 years now, initially with frenetic post-punk shambling outfits Sedgewick, followed by Shlebie and Maxton Granger.   
 
Since 2012 Howie has followed an introspective solo muse, putting his acoustic bass and vocals into as many different live situations as possible, and releasing three excellent albums along the way.  
 
 
Tickets also available from The Continental (01772 499 425)
& Action Records (01772 884 772) 
 
 
 
         
 
 
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