[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”Lee Dorrian about picking Galley Beggar for Rituals For The Blind Dead”]They are one of very few bands around today that understand the timeless beauty of acid-tinged folk-rock. In the true spirit of classic era Fairport, Trees, Spriguns, Mellow Candle and other contemporary kindred spirits their gentle, yet melancholic will act as the perfect refrain from all the dark, beastly heaviness surrounding the event. Don’t miss them![/pullquote]
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Galley Beggar grows out of the great British folk-rock tradition of bands like Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention, Strawbs and the like. Combining the sentimentality of folk with the sentiments of 70s acidy rock, and in Galley Beggar‘s case thus creating music that’s both introspective and musically expressive.
Silence & Tears (Galley Beggar‘s third album, released in 2015) might well join the ranks of many-a-famed 3rd albums, in being perhaps the one where a given band starts unfolding their true potential, noticing their wings, and soaring away to put some real air underneath them.
[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”From a review on Bright Young Folk”]Folk rock: It’s a difficult corner to master. Many a band has spiced up a traditional sound with the ’twist’ of introducing an electric guitar, but it’s far rarer to find musicians who can produce a truly authentic blend of these two genres. In Galley Beggar, however, you find just that.[/pullquote]
Not that their first two releases were slouches or anything – it’s just that on Silence & Tears what was learned from their previous releases were put to good, focused use to create something that stands above.
Sorrow is bleeding from the music. From the violin, from the vocals, from the bass, and there’s a new kind of solemnity to this album, as the band’s earlier efforts are crystalizing into a newfound sense of direction. I continously seemed to notice supposedly wellknown pieces of melody subtly arranged into something else, creating an interesting juxtaposition between old and new – which given the genre, creates an almost meta-feeling. Something to make me both comfortable and on the edge at the same time.
But in the end, it is the music that does the talking, and this is the kind of music that really tend to highlight the vocal abilities present in the band. And they do have a true gem in Maria O’Donnell. She might not be Maddy Prior (but then, no-one but Maddy Prior is Maddy Prior!), but her voice is near as expressive and fits fantastically into the woven soundtrack. Just listen to the way the vocals and the bass fits almost magically together on a track like Empty Sky.
[pullquote align=”normal” cite=”Maria O’Donnell about writing the lyrics for Empty Sky, from an interview on Femme Metal Webzine”]After listening to it a few times, I just felt the feel of the music was one of hopelessness. I sat down to write the lyrics in the back room of the house which overlooks a valley and woodland, which in the winter can look pretty bleak – like a scene from a Bronte novel – with the dark and imposing sky…. which is kind of where the lyrics came from. It’s more about feeling angry and abandoned than anything else.[/pullquote]
And on top of this, Galley Beggar‘s version of John Barleycorn is actually better than Steeleye Span‘s (which I truly find is an amazing version in its own right), and their set at Roadburn 2016 could very well be a much welcomed oasis of soothing, melancholic folk-rock. Whether you’re originally into the genre, or you just need a reprieve from the somewhat darker matter present in abundance.
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Lee Dorrian decided to invite Galley Beggar to appear at Roadburn 2016 on Saturday, April 16 at Het Patronaat in Tilburg, The Netherlands.
[thrive_headline_focus title=”Galley Beggar online discography” orientation=”left”]
|Reformation House||LP (2011)|
|Galley Beggar||LP (2012)|
|Silence & Tears||LP (2015)|
Review quote from Bright Young Folk
Interview quote from Femme Metal Magazine