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Four years after their critically-acclaimed album Broken Down Gentlemen, Faustus, the pioneering ‘bloke folk’ trio return with their third release – Death and Other Animals. Here they tackle, head-on, subjects from the Dance of Death to the plight of the common man, sand-swallowed ships to mythical black dogs.
‘One of Britain’s outstanding folk bands.’ – **** The Guardian
During 2016 the band have been Artists in Residence at Halsway Manor, National Centre for the Folk Arts, in the Quantock Hills of Somerset, where they have had unlimited access to the Manor’s extensive library. Material found therein has shaped this album which includes four songs unique to Halsway’s little-known Ruth Tongue archive. Halsway has been omnipresent throughout the process as the band not only researched material but recorded the album in the Manor.
In addition to traditional music from the English canon, in which Faustus excel, they present a song by UK legend, Bill Caddick, and have set a poem by award-winning Olivia McCannon, to new music. Original melodies sit alongside old words (some from manuscripts lurking in a secret filing cabinet at Halsway, yet published) and newly composed instrumentals are included on the album as well.
‘The concept? To rescue contemporary folk from the curse of feyness… Bloke-folk!… Fans of Led Zep III should take a thoughtful interest.’ – **** Independent on Sunday
The band have also turned to pastures new for release and production, striking up a deal with German-based label, Westpark Music, and bringing in Rupert Christie as producer. With past production work including Bellowhead, Tom Baxter, Jessie J and Fisherman’s Friends, Rupert and Faustus was a match made in heaven as he and the band hit it off incredibly well.
Nominated in the 2009 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Faustus are three of the leading lights of their generation: Benji Kirkpatrick (Seth Lakeman Band, Bellowhead), Saul Rose (Waterson:Carthy, Whapweazel) and Paul Sartin (Bellowhead, Belshazzar’s Feast). They have a plethora of experience between them, brought together here in a virtuosic display of musicianship and testosterone. Rooted deeply in the English tradition, in 2007 they received a 75th Anniversary Award from the English Folk Dance and Song Society.
Benji: Benji Kirkpatrick was a key member of the recently disbanded folk big band and BBC Award winners Bellowhead. He spent three years in the Seth Lakeman Band having featured on Seth’s successful releases ‘Kitty Jay’ and ‘Freedom Fields’. He has also released four solo albums, the latest ‘Hendrix Songs’, saw him strip back the songs of his hero and set them in a new, acoustic light. In summer 2016, as part of the Shakespeare 400 celebrations, Benji was involved in ‘The Fairy Portal Camp’ at the RSC in Stratford upon Avon. Musicians, actors and dancers collaborated to produce new works every day for a week, working up to a final performance which opened ‘the fairy portal’… Benji has also worked with numerous other artists including Oysterband, John Jones, Maddy Prior (Steeleye Span), Thea Gilmore and Joan as Police Woman
Saul: Saul Rose was a long time member of Waterson:Carthy, winning two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards with ‘Broken Ground’ and forming a duo with Eliza Carthy. The double album ‘Red Rice’, of which Saul was an integral part of the ‘Rice’ half, was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in 1998. More recently Saul has joined Whapweasel, played in Ruth Notman’s band, and formed a duo with James Delarre (Mawkin). He is a founder member of new folk big band Eliza Carthy and The Wayward band. He has played on numerous albums as a guest, including Jackie Oates’ album ‘Hyperboreans’, Norma Waterson and Eliza Carthy’s album ‘The Gift’ and the soundtrack for the films ‘Morris- A Life With Bells On’ and ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’. He was nominated for the Musician of The Year award in the 2010 BBC Folk Awards and during 2011 took the part of Songman in the West End play War Horse.
Paul: A member of the late Bellowhead, as well as BBC Folk Award-nominated duo Belshazzar’s Feast, Paul is Director of the Andover Museum Loft Singers. Following the ‘Bellowhead Songbook’, his latest publication is ‘Community Choirs Folk’ for Faber Music. Recent broadcast appearances include BBC Radio 2’s ‘Clare Balding Show’ and BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’ and ‘The Choir’. Having received a BASCA nomination for ‘The Hartlepool Monkey’ with Streetwise Opera, he has been commissioned to write music for Central School of Speech and Drama; Broadstairs Folk Week; Sidmouth Folk Festival and the Southbank; Somerville College, Oxford; and BBC Radio 4’s ‘Playing the Skyline’.
Faustus came together in 2006 as an evolution of the award winning band Dr. Faustus. They made an eponymous debut album in 2008, produced by Stu Hanna and released by Navigator Records, which gained them a nomination for Best Group in the 2009 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Touring saw them headlining at festivals, as well as playing sell-out concerts at arts centers and clubs. After a two year break they returned in 2011 and released the new album Broken Down Gentlemen (Navigator Records) in spring 2013.
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Faustus – October 2016 Tour:
Sun 9th – Lincoln Performing Arts Centre – 01522 837 600 / lpac.co.uk
Mon 10th – Nettlebed Village Club – 01628 636 620 / nettlebedfolkclub.co.uk
Fri 14th – Hull Truck Theatre – 01482 323 638 / hulltruck.co.uk
Sat 15th – Croft Hall, Hungerford – 07590 555 877 / artsforhungerford.com
Sun 16th – Priddy Village Hall – email@example.com
Mon 17th – Yellow Arch, Sheffield – 0114 275 7295 / wegottickets.com/event/364662
Tues 18th – The Oval Tavern, Croydon – 020 8405 3887 / wegottickets.com/theukulele
Wed 19th – Burnett’s Hill Chapel, Martletwy, Pembrokeshire – 01646 621 530 / 01646 651 725 / burnettshill.co.uk
Thur 20th – Festival Drayton Centre, Market Drayton – 01630 654 444 / festivaldraytoncentre.com
Fri 21st – The Victoria Rooms, Milverton, Somerset – 01823 400 416 / milvertonmusic.co.uk
Sat 22nd – Devoran Village Hall, Cornwall – 01872 262 466 / hallforcornwall.co.uk
Fri 28th – Cramphorn Theatre, Chelmsford – 01245 606 505 / chelmsford.gov.uk/theatres
Sat 29th – Gill Nethercott Centre, Whitchurch, Hants – 01256 896270 / wegottickets.com/event/364291
Sun 30th – Lydbrook Village Hall, Gloucestershire – 01594 544321 / wegottickets.com/event/364354
Mon 31st – Colchester Folk Club @ Colchester Arts Centre – 01206 500 900 / colchesterartscentre.com
For more information visit www.faustusband.com / To book see above links