Tuesday, November 04, 2008

fernhill @ swn festival 08

The ever supportive Radio One and Radio Cymru DJ Huw Stephens has invited fernhill to perform as part of the Swn festival in Cardiff on Sunday 16th November. The venue is the Reardon Smith lecture theatre @ the National Museum -
also performing that night are our lovely friends Sild and harpist/singer Georgia Ruth Williams.

Details www.swnfest.co.uk/site/ and www.museumwales.ac.uk/en/1854/

Saturday, September 06, 2008

howard wolfson review of tegeingl

howard wolfson kindly wrote about our gig at tegeingl on his
excellent blog

here it is also:

In a fair world Fernhill would be as big as any “world music” act, and their cds must haves for even casual music fans. The world, alas, is not fair, and in order to hear them live you must take a a three hour train from London to Flint, Wales and then walk 6 miles through the Welsh countryside to the town of Mold (and back) to see them perform as part of a Welsh folk festival. There, in a tent with a couple of hundred folk music fans, next to a truck selling Welsh lamb, I saw one of the great bands on the planet. Their lead singer Julie Murphy has got an unbelievable voice, pure, powerful and evocative. The band, led by Ceri Matthews on guitar and flute, are intimate enough with tradition that they are unafraid to stretch its boundaries. A truly magical evening.

All of the songs on their myspace page are worth savoring.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Tegeingl festival Aug / Gwyl Tegeingl awst 2008

Fernhill are playing at the first tegeingl festival in Mold, Wales, on Friday 15th August. This is the bands only festival appearance this summer and the first gig as a four piece since Christine's return from China.

'Na Pradle' in MOJO list

We recently discovered ( through Tom googling on 'tinternet ) that 'Na Pradle' was in the MOJO top ten folk album list for 2007. Colin Irwin, who draws up the list, reviewed the album in FROOTS magazine.

"Na Prádle is extraordinary. A live recording made by Czech radio at a theatre in Prague, it’s as stark, harsh and evocative as anything you’ll hear this year. And yet it’s also majestically hypnotic. Julie Murphy’s commanding voice cuts through the Divadlo na Prádle (Theatre at the Laundry!) with passion, power and grace. It’s a formidable performance from Murphy, demonstrating the uncompromising strength of the human voice when used without frills or guile on a selection of mainly Welsh folk songs.

Yet the brooding menace of Murphy’s tour de force is brilliantly undercut by the sinister trumpet and piano accompaniments of Tomos Williams giving it all an eerie, bluesy edge. With songs of dark desires like Bredon Hill and Grey Cock, it adds to a terrible beauty that, unusually for a live album, is as transfixing to the CD listener as it clearly was to the Czech audience."

Friday, August 24, 2007

fernhill trio@cardiff harbour festival 2007

The trio will be performing twice at the cardiff harbour festival in the oval basin, cardiff bay, on bank holiday monday 27 august. on stage@12 and 4pm. copies of the live album 'na pradle' will be for sale at the gigs.

ceri will also be performing at the festival on sunday 26 with sille ilves of the group sild. on stage@ 12 and 4.10pm.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

fernhill trio summer dates

10.08.07 : DOLGELLAU / Ty Siamas / 01341 421800 / www.tysiamas.com

19.08.07 : THE GREENMAN FESTIVAL / www.thegreenmanfestival.co.uk

Monday, February 26, 2007

album released today

new album released today in the shops. very nice four star review in the western mail last week by christopher rees who made it his CD of the week.

Fernhill, Na Pradle ****
Feb 16 2007

Christopher Rees, Western Mail

DESPITE being born in London and brought up in Essex, Fernhill singer Julie Murphy has become Wales' greatest international ambassador of traditional folk song.

After meeting her husband Ceri Rhys Matthews at art college, the couple formed Fernhill in 1996 after moving back to his native West Wales.

Surrounded by Welsh speakers Murphy commendably committed to learning the language and soon felt drawn to the folk songs embedded in the landscape. In the process, she has earned the respect and admiration of her neighbours and the wider musical community via her mesmerising vocal prowess and the way that she inhabits the songs and the language with so much authenticity and soul.

Unlike traditional Irish, Scottish or English folk music, which has always enjoyed healthy maintenance, ancient Welsh songs have been largely neglected and misrepresented for many years, so what Murphy has achieved with the material on home turf and on stages around the world is quite remarkable.

This new live album is testament to that. Recorded in Prague as part of a British Council-supported tour of the Czech Republic, it captures Fernhill as an intimate trio, complete with Matthews on guitar and flute and Tomos Williams on trumpet and piano.

The natural acoustics and ambience of the theatre helps provide a haunting atmosphere that's enhanced and given character by Murphy's sensitive interpretations of songs like Llatai and the flute- laced Folantein.

Williams also contributes significantly to the overall mood as his Miles Davis-styled trumpet floats in and out of Bredon Hill, while his stark and profound piano underscores the darker emotion of Lloer Dirion.

Murphy's voice really is a thing a great beauty, power and passion and sounds equally so, whether she sings in Welsh, English, or Breton - all the more reason then to applaud her for adopting the language and becoming such a dignified, graceful and worthy ambassador for Welsh folk music.

Na Pradle captures a performance of outstanding purity and conviction, one that might be Fernhill's greatest statement yet.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

gigs coming up / gigs nesa

25.11.06 cardiff /the point / caerdydd / meltdown club 20th birthday party

20.12.06 pontypridd /clwb y bont 01443 403502

28.01.07 glasgow / celtic connections / royal concert hall / strathclyde suite

31.03.07 oxford folk festival/ gwyl rhydychen

first live album released soon...

fernhill's first live album is to be released into the shops in january 2007. it will be available from beautiful jo records from december ( date tbc )

the album features highlights of an intimate concert recorded by czech radio at divadlo na pradle
( theatre at the laundry ) in prague in march 2006

line up :
julie murphy / vocals
ceri rhys matthews / guitar and flute
tomos williams / trumpet and piano

track list :
whilia/llatai/bredon hill/grey cock/gwalch/folentein/lloer dirion/chwant