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|Friday, June 12th, 2015|
In preparation for my first live Steeleye Span concert in nearly two decades next month, I've finished listening through the band's albums from the intervening period, some of which I hadn't paid much attention to and the most recent two of which I hadn't even picked up until now. I'd been a close and devoted follower of all this electric-folk band's earlier work, with the epically memorable classic period of 1972-77 and the sizzling Silver Age of 1990-97 being particularly dear to my heart, but when beloved lead singer Maddy Prior left the band (temporarily, as it turned out), I kind of lost heart. Not that I had anything against the remaining female vocalist, Gay Woods, but it wasn't Steeleye for me without Maddy.
Too bad I took that attitude, because Horkstow Grange
(1998), the first of two albums from this period, is a pretty good one. Very quiet and subdued by Steeleye standards, it has some lovely songs on it. However, Bedlam Born
(2000), the follow-up, I don't care for at all. It's far too unbridledly noisy, especially in those songs where bassist Tim Harries takes over the electric guitars: the new melodies are dull (a problem that would continue) and the arrangements uncontrolled and tasteless.
This period ended in a complete meltdown - at one point Steeleye consisted of nothing other than fiddler Peter Knight managing a lone website - but a reunion band containing some returning old members, including Maddy Prior, got together to re-make the old favorite Steeleye numbers that had won a readers' poll on that website. This was called Present
(2002). A studio re-make of songs we already had in their classic original versions was kind of superfluous, but these are good performances, plus the album has the stark acappella "Lyke Wake Dirge", a concert favorite they'd never recorded before.
And then they carried on. The next new album, They Called Her Babylon
(2004), has two songs I really like: a long ballad called "Heir of Linne" and the title song, the only tolerable one of new guitarist Ken Nicol's wordy historical songs. The rest I find forgettable. It was followed by Winter
(2004), a Christmas carol album, much better overall mostly because the folk material is so sturdy and the new songs in their spirit, and with some clever arrangements, like the light pop/swing version of "Hark the Herald Angels".
That was the high point. Bloody Men
(2006) seems rather lacking in appeal, with only one really good song this time, the ballad "Lord Gregory", and even that isn't truly up to Steeleye's best. Its successor, Cogs, Wheels and Lovers
(2009), has nothing really outstanding, but it's altogether more agreeable all around, with some clever steampunk-mechanistic arrangements.
That leaves the two newest albums. Now We Are Six Again
(2011) is a track-for-track re-make of one of the classic-period albums (and not one of the best of those, either): a great idea for a concert, which this was taken from, but entirely superfluous as an album.* (There's a second disc of other miscellaneous concert performances.) Terry Pratchett's entirely un-folky lyrics for Wintersmith
(2013) generate a stupendously mediocre rock album of the kind by famous rock bands that my college friends in the 70s entirely failed to convince me were masterpieces. By abandoning its folk roots entirely here, Steeleye has lost any reason I ever had to listen to them.
Let's hope they bring some of it back to the concert.*This is the second time I've used that word, so let me add that I don't always consider remake albums of previously-recorded material to be superfluous, not if they bring a verve and immediacy to the music beyond the original's. By that standard, by far the best Steeleye live album is something with the confusing title The Collection Steeleye Span in Concert (1994, from the Silver Age).
|Thursday, January 3rd, 2013|
Steeleye Span spring 2013 tour dates
8th March / Theatre Royal / Winchester
9th March / Hertford Theatre / Hertford
10th March / Swan Theatre / Worcester
12th March / Roses Theatre / Tewkesbury
13th March / The Haymarket / Basingstoke
14th March / Lighthouse Arts Centre / Poole
16th March / Assembly Rooms / Derby
17th March / The Lowry / Salford Quays
18th March / City Varieties Music Hall / Leeds
20th March / West Cliff Theatre / Clacton-On-Sea
21st March / Town Hall / Loughborough
22nd March / The Castle / Wellingborough
23rd March / The Cromer Pier And Pavilion Theatre / Cromer
24th March / The Marina Theatre / Lowestoft
25th March / Corn Exchange / Cambridge
27th March / The Stables / Milton Keynes
28th March / Farnham Maltings / Farnham
29th March / New Theatre / Oxford
30th March / Beck Theatre / Hayes
31st March / Assembly Hall Theatre / Tunbridge Wells
|Tuesday, December 20th, 2011|
I've met Maddy Prior! I can't believe it!
My dad is a big fan, & he played 'All Around My Hat' so much that the tape broke. I grew up in a village so what the songs were about made a lot of sense. With nobody my age around me I was quite happy listening. When I got a bit older I tried to make myself not like them but old-fashioned words/syntax would creep out occasionally. I was really creative but stopped because people my age didn't seem to do that.
Gave in when I got 'All Around my Hat' on cd.
Recently saw them live, & when I heard 'Drink Down The Moon' I got this ache in my chest from trying not to cry. I enjoyed their concert more than others I'd been to. I was really surprised; I knew I liked
them, but I thought I'd be more enthusiastic about other bands. I got a cd signed too. I made dad a Steeleye-themed Xmas card & put the chorus of 'Gaudete' in it.
When I got home the title of this entry was all you could hear from me.
|Monday, December 28th, 2009|
|Saturday, November 15th, 2008|
On Friday 21st. November BBC4 will be showing a repeat of Maddy Prior at the Electric Proms at 10.00pm. followed by an episode from Steeleye Span's Electric Folk series. This one from Penshurt Place in Kent.
As far as I know this Electric Folk show hasn't been shown since first broadcast in the 1970's.
|Monday, November 10th, 2008|
As fans of Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention, we know that the medieval canon is filled with folk songs about daughters of noblemen marrying kitchen boys. Sometimes everyone realizes that the boy must have been noble all along, so they make him a Lord first and then let him marry her. Other times it's to everyone's shame and they end up killing the boy and giving his heart to the young Lady. I sure miss the old traditions of marriage.
|Tuesday, August 19th, 2008|
|Wednesday, May 7th, 2008|
26th. July SPANFEST, Stanford Hall, Leicestershire
Ticket Prices are as follows:
Adult Ticket - £29.00 before 1st June
Children 13 to 16 years old - £14.50
Children under 12 - 10 pence
Confirmed acts so far:
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain
More special guests to be announced soon...
Gates Open at 2.00pm
Main Stage Event begins at £4.00pmBooking from Park Records Web Site Current Mood: busy
|Tuesday, December 18th, 2007|
Steeleye on the radio!
Information provided by ricardohollisio
PHOENIX RADIO 96.7 FM
'To Set the Beacon Alight with the Sound of Radio'
Jonathan Taylor & Nigel Patterson, every second Sunday 10am - 12pm
'Now't So Queer As Folk'
Local Radio in Calderdale, West Yorkshire
A 2 hour STEELEYE SPAN Special broadcast on Sunday 23rd DecemberDon't worry if you aren't in the catchment area you can listen to it NOW at:-
It includes a very rare
radio play by Steeleye from BBC Radio 1! Current Mood: excited
|Tuesday, July 24th, 2007|
have a download only single! Lord Elgin Album Mix
and Lord Elgin Live mix
taken from the December 06 tour out 30th July you can pre order this from the Park Digital site. www.parkrecords.com
Also the acoustic stage line up for Spanfest is now on the Spanfest Web Site!www.spanfest.com Current Mood: busy
|Thursday, April 19th, 2007|
Anyone else lurking here planning on going to SpanFest,
or been there before and have memories to share? I'm going to be in England for six weeks this summer and am really excited for a chance to go to this event!
Cheers~~ Current Mood: ecstatic
|Monday, March 26th, 2007|
|Friday, December 15th, 2006|
|Tuesday, November 28th, 2006|
I have a spare ticket for the Steeleye concert in Bristol (UK) on Saturday.
If so email me heraldis "at" gmail.com
|Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006|
The new Steeleye album 'Bloody Men' will now be released as a double album.
1.Bonny Black Hare
2.The Story of the Scullion King
3.The Dreamer and the Widow
5.The 3 Sisters
6.The 1st House in Connaught
7.Cold Haily Windy Night
9.Demon of the Well
1. Ned Ludd Part 1 (Inclosure)
2.Ned Ludd Part 2 (Rural Retreat)
3.Ned Ludd Part 3 (Ned Ludd)
4.Ned Ludd Part 4 (Prelude to Peterloo)
5.Ned Ludd Part 5 (Peterloo the Day) Current Mood: tired
|Sunday, November 5th, 2006|
NEW STEELEYE SPAN ALBUM
Released 20th. Nov. 2006
1.Bonny Black Hare
3.Cold Haily Windy Night
4.Demon Of The Well
5.The Three Sisters
7.The First House In Connaught/The Lady Of The House
8.Story Of The Scullion King
9.Ned Ludd Pt. 1
10.Ned Ludd Pt. 2
11.Ned Ludd Pt. 3
12.Ned Ludd Pt. 4
13.Ned Ludd Pt. 5
15.Whimmel Bore Current Mood: accomplished
|Saturday, October 14th, 2006|
With the first date of the Maddy Prior & Friends ‘The Quest’
upon us, the Grail Legend website has started to receive contributions from all over the world, with web watchers in locations as far flung as California and Cornwall offering their own personal interpretations of the nature of questing. Their submissions have come in many forms, from paintings to poems, and all have seen their creators entered into the draw to win their personal grail, to be drawn on the final night of the tour in the magnificent Rosslyn Chapel.
As well as the viewers’ offerings, the site is featuring a succession of web streams looking at the build up to the tour, from Maddy’s own video diaries to exclusive footage of her rehearsing with musicians Nick Holland and Troy Donnockley.
It is the the former that have been the most startling, with Maddy not only revealing her thoughts on a range of artistic topics but also a moving account of her ongoing treatment for skin cancer. When we leave Maddy, she is about to go to hospital for her operation. It is a brutally honest, emotional insight into the very private life of someone we think we know well.
As all the stories connected with this project develop over the coming weeks, this is set to be the one with perhaps the most resonance. There is still time for everybody to get involved in this unique project. Send in your stories, poems, pictures or whatever else inspires you and let the world know about your individual quests. Likewise schools, colleges and other groups are encouraged to join us with their own contributions. Keep logging on for new footage, new developments and most important of all, new quests. This is only the start of the journey for everyone involved, where it will take us is the biggest mystery of all.www.graillegend.com Current Mood: contemplative
|Saturday, September 16th, 2006|
Maddy Prior Web TV
The Myth Of Web TV Becomes A Reality
This Autumn will see the worlds of reality TV and internet technology combine with those of folk music and mythical history in a unique experience. Folk fans around the world will be invited to join Maddy Prior on her latest solo tour through a series of web streams, including behind the scenes footage and exclusive live performances. Given that the tour will visit such historical locations as Glastonbury, Tintagel and culminates with a show at Rosslyn Chapel, the spectre of the Holy Grail will loom large over proceedings. A series of experts will be on hand to provide answers to viewers' questions on all aspects of this fascinating phenomenon, Arthur and questing in general; a chance for the public to discover the truth behind the Hollywood gloss. Viewers will also be invited to make their own contributions to the experience by representing their own personal quests through words and visuals. All contributors displayed on the web will have their names entered into a cauldron, from which a winner will be drawn on the last night of the tour, receiving a specially goblet - their own personal grail. Join us for this incredible meeting of the past, present and future at:_www.graillegend.com Current Mood: lethargic
|Saturday, August 26th, 2006|