Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Freaky Folk

My thoughts are focused on all things folky this morning, ahead of the Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies book which I ordered yesterday, I'm listening to a compilation on the Cold Spring label entitled John Barleycorn Reborn: Dark Britannica, a double CD of songs that tap into the rich vein of Albion folk music. It's an eclectic listen with tracks ranging from surprisingly traditional jigs to Sandy Denny style numbers to neo-folk and experimental psych-folk. I tend to lean towards the more apocalyptic flavored folk like Comus or Current 93, neither represented here but the artist behind English Heretic is a good approximation. So not entirely successful but this compilation serves as a good jumping off point and I'm definitely going to check out Tony Wakeford's Sol Invictus. Here's their contribution to John Barleycorn Reborn, the oppressive martial call to arms To Kill All Kings

Listening to the John Barleycorn Reborn album, one of the tracks entitled The Wicker Man jogged a memory, not of Robin Hardy's film but of a Clive Barker story which featured in the second volume of the Tapping The Vein graphic novel from 1989. In the Hills, the Cities originally appearing in the Books of Blood is a surreal rural horror story in which two cities meet in the remote countryside to enact a ritualistic fight to the death. The instruments of war are not the traditional kind, instead the citizens of both cities bind themselves together by ropes to form two huge walking giants. Truly bizarre stuff but brilliantly realized by John Bolton’s stunning artwork…

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