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Trembling Bells

Tuesday 12th April 2016

Katherine Priddy


Doors 7:30 pm

Price £10 + booking fee / £12

Melting Vinyl and Terrace Cred presents…

Glaswegian’s free-floating psychedelic folk meets post rock collective project headed by drummer Alex Neilson, return with their latest album ‘The Sovereign Self’

Glasgow’s eclectic Trembling Bells were founded in early 2008 by drummer Alex Neilson, an improviser who has played with Jandek, Bonnie Prince Billy, and Current 93, among others. Neilson formed the group in order to explore more structured, song-based music, and recruited vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Lavinia Blackwall (who worked with Neilson in the group Directing Hand), bassist/vocalist Simon Shaw (also of Lucky Luke), and guitarist/harmonica player Ben Reynolds (who played with Neilson in Motor Ghost and is also a solo artist).

This version of the group released its debut album, Carbeth, in April 2009 on Honest Jon’s Records; Blackwall’s clear soprano and the group’s acoustic leanings drew acclaim and comparisons to Pentangle, Fairport Convention, the Incredible String Band, and other British folk luminaries of the ’60s and ’70s — so much so that the band participated in an Incredible String Band tribute concert at London’s Barbican a couple of months after Carbeth’s release.

Trembling Bells’ live show is just as eclectic as their albums, with brass and accordion players, a dance troupe, and films all playing a part in their concerts. For their second album, 2010’s Abandoned Love, they added guitarist/vocalist Mike Hastings to the fold and incorporated medieval, country, and classic rock influences into their sound.

They remained prolific and stylistically restless in 2011, releasing the more psychedelic The Constant Pageant and Marble Downs, a set of duets between Blackwall and Will Oldham that arrived in April 2012. Following a 2013 side project called the Crying Lion that saw both Neilson and Blackwall collaborating with the a cappella group Muldoon’s Picnic on a set of choral tunes, Trembling Bells returned with their fifth album, 2015’s The Sovereign Self.

Trembling Bells show no signs of slowing down. Already, work is being done on solo records from three members, and there are plans for an album of reworked traditional folk songs with vocals from comedian Stewart Lee. This is quite simply a group of people with music pouring out of them.

“A prayer of a record, despair turned into poetry”.- The Quietus ****

“On The Sovereign Self, they combine to remarkable effect. This is not an easy record, but it needs to be heard. Again and again.” – Line of Best Fit 9/10

Support comes from:
Katherine Priddy

‘Katherine Priddy is a dream weaver, a hypnotic storyteller and fragile performer who encapsulates the rich and often solemn side of artists gone by such as Nick Drake and John Martyn, delivering each word with a genuine warmth and charm.’