I am currently collaborating with film-maker Richard Mansfield to make a soundtrack for his upcoming folk horror film entitled “Scare Bear”
Acoustic guitar, electric bass, synthesizers & voice combine into a folk synthesis of strangeness. I look forward to the premiere screening early next year…The new Cunning Folk album, “Ritual Land, Uncommon Ground”, will also be released in 2017, with a preview performance in early December…
For several weeks now I have been obsessing about this song. It is about a town in Cheshire called Congleton which is about 20 miles south of Manchester.In the 17th century Congleton also went by the name of “Beartown” as it was famous for bearbaiting (likely) or for a dancing bear (less likely,marginally more humane). It is a matter of public record that on one occasion the town bear died just before one of the annual town “Wakes” (holidays) & money was lent to buy a new bear. The loan to the bearward was 18 shillings & came from the town’s church bible fund!
The song was written by Derbyshire folk artist John Tams in the early 1970s. The version I have included is by a 70s English Folk band called “The Druids”.
I believe this song may find it’s way into the Cunning Folk repertoire…
George Nigel Hoyle – Wiltshire, July 2016 from S P Collins on Vimeo.
Cunning Folk, A.K.A George Hoyle, is looking forward to releasing an album of songs about the land we live in. People have made parts of Britain into ritual landscapes: the video shows Cunning Folk walking through Wiltshire in high summer. West Kennett Long Barrow seemed an appropriate place to sing a song about Alfred Watkins. Before entering West Kennett Long Barrow it is advisable to show respect with a libation. A beer which you would really want to drink yourself is poured at the threshold in order to honour those whom have been here before.
Cunning Folk learned this ritual a few years ago when employed to install a sound art project in a catacomb in a London cemetery. None of the electrical equipment would work & the mp3 player was unresponsive for a number of days until a bottle of Old Thumper was bought & brought to the threshold of the catacomb whereupon it either leaped from the hand of it’s own accord & smashed, or was dropped by a nervous fellow hoping to appease restless bones. Whatever the cause of the falling bottle, the desired effect was achieved & the installation worked without hitch for the duration of the art project.