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Music Interview

Photo by: Paul Heathfield

instrumentation which has made the band so successful? It’s one of the constituent parts, yes. To be able to change the textures, and have a wide palette upon which to draw, is an asset - if not a luxury.

What was the recording process like for your fourth album ‘Broadside’? Rehearsals with our new material started months before the recording, so the songs were bedded in. We made the album with the legendary John Leckie at the equally legendary Rockfield Studios in Monmouthshire and it was a lovely place to be - although we all ate far too much due to the generous catering! After a month there, I was dangerously near needing elasticated waistbands. Overdubs

were done later at Barrie Barlow’s (ex-Tull drummer) studio on the Thames.

Are there any musicians who you dream of one day collaborating with? There are many musicians whose work I love, but the idea of finding time for more work brings me out in a cold sweat...

How did such a large ensemble come together? Were you all great friends before establishing the band? Jon and Pete’s mothers were friends and colleagues, and had a running joke about their sons forming a band. In the meantime, Benji and I, Jon and John, Pete, Brendan and Gideon were all in bands

together, so when the Jo(h)ns got the ball rolling, the pieces fell quite quickly into place.

Your last album ‘Hedonism,’ was the highest-selling independently released traditional folk album of all time, congratulations! How did you all celebrate this? With Hedonism beer which was brewed for us especially with our help by the Pot Belly Brewery!

Do you have any words of advice to other top-notch folk musicians hoping to break into the industry? I’m not sure there’s any hard and fast way of breaking into the industry. All we’ve done is work our socks off, made the

most of any opportunity, and kept going. Staying-power counts for a lot.

After the release of ‘Broadside’ and your tour is over, what is on the horizon for Bellowhead? Next year will see more touring of UK seated venues, and in Belgium and Holland. No doubt we’ll do loads of festivals – we did over 20 this summer! And in 2014 it will be our 10th anniversary, for which we plan to have a big celebration gig.

You can catch Bellowhead at Southampton Guildhall on Sunday 11 November. Go to to find out more information and to book your tickets.

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