We have news. Far From The Tree has been sent to the printers!

Mixing, mastering, artwork, design and manufacture; these are not regular staples of our folk music diet, and by jove have we had an education. Of course, we don’t claim to be seasoned self-releasing professionals, but we do care about the music, which may explain why we’ve taken so much time to ensure the final product is as fully-formed and beautiful as possible.

Final Design of CD Cover


Here’s a little rundown of our movings and shakings over the last three months.

For the artwork we envisaged a photo of a Cornish lantern marooned someplace in the thick of our home city, London. For this we invited artist Billy Wynter to create a sculpture. His sycamore seed fashioned from whithies and papier-mâché finally made the trip up the A30 to London at the end of March. Once there we took it very far from the tree indeed, on a whistle stop tour of all the backstreets which held resonance to our band.

Over several nights we crept around parking lots, canal towpaths, abandoned railway lines, across heaths and under motorways. Our troop with its illuminated seed, dangling wires, heavy coats and photography equipment, resembled something halfway between a pagan procession and a hipster fashion shoot.

Getting the Right Angle


Good old chemical film photography was employed using the mother of all clunky cameras, a Hasselblad. What you see is what you get with these hunks of metal. Looking into its square viewfinder we immediately had the album cover in our sights.

Good Old Film


In response to our album cover, Dominic’s brother Sebastian Henderson created an artwork that echoed our lantern’s golden glow. Sebastian's method, reducing his subject to painted squares, beautifully captured some of our love for simplicity. Here's a preview of his piece.

Sebastian Henderson's Squares

These works and the photography of several others was then assimilated by our wizard designer. Dan Biddulph stepped up to the plate and provided us with a sense of reason to our ramblings. So finally to press!

So finally to press! It’s been emotional and we know the journey has only just begun. It feels like an age since Far From The Tree was funded, and what a different world we seem to exist in now. Though politics of fear seem to have won today, the world still sounds with the voices of many fine people making beautiful things. Hopefully we can all contribute to that.

See you on the road!

Much love J, D & T x


In atypically bad news for TEYR, we announce that Tommie has broken his right hand in a cycling accident. Luckily the fracture was only minor and the NHS is simply incredible. Sadly this means of course that playing accordion is decidedly impossible. Apologies if you were hoping to see us play at any of the festivals in July including Henley Festival, Rollright Fayre, Sea Salts & Sail or elsewhere. With luck and good physiotherapy we’ll be up and squeezing again by August, fingers crossed! (Pun intended)

Tommie's fetching new cast


A final round of credit to our national health service must be made also. Their endless work saving lives and livelihoods is a priceless blessing to this island. What's more, Tommie's treatment could have gone quite differently without the help of our neighbours; his nurse was Portuguese, the consultant surgeons Italian and Belgian, and his treatment coordinator German. If there's a lesson to be learnt, then it's to help one another regardless of nationality, and to help save the NHS. To join one such campaign you can click here.

So, all bone healing progressing as predicted, our next gig will now be Cambridge Folk Festival. See you soon folks!
Cornish artist Billy Wynter is creating a sycamore seed for our album cover. Constructed out of withies and paper, it closely follows the design of the many lanterns that can been seen at west Cornwall solstice festivals such as Golowan and Montol. Once complete, we shall be taking the wing-like sculpture very far from from the tree indeed. Here are some photos of the work in progress.

Initial Sketches

Cross Sections and Spirals
With Billy Wynter in his Studio





2016 beckons and we've a debut album lurking in post-production! In November and December last year we finally committed the last two years of our existence to tape. 'Far From The Tree' is our statement as TEYR, a journey through our collective pasts and a snapshot of our music in motion. It's going to be immense.

Now we need your help! To finish the album we need another £4000 for mastering, manufacture and publicity. We've just launched a Kickstarter campaign raise the funds with 12 awesome rewards up for grabs. So follow the link and get involved, there's only 30 days to hit our target!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/124466887/1013021535?token=fadd82d5


About The Album

Working with star producer Gerry Diver at his wonderful studio in South London we have been quietly slaving away. Gerry is a master musician in his own right and has a tremendous back-catalogue of innovative folk music. Using all our pennies earned from a glorious summer of touring across the UK and Ireland we asked Gerry to give us several weeks of his time, recording and producing an hour of the finest folk.

There's ten tracks of painstakingly crafted original tunes, reimagined folk songs, a couple of nods to our largest influences, and a clutch of lyrics from some of the greatest wordsmiths we know. It's the proudest moment for all of us. 'Far From The Tree' was a collaboration in every sense of the word; every track a mediation between three musicians meeting at least once a week over the last goodness-knows-how-many months.

The whittled down collection of ballads and tunes is a condensation of all we've created over the last two years since we formed. It's an incredible moment, to see all these concerts, jams, composing sessions and rehearsals suddenly coalesce into a single listening experience, and we want you to be a part of it.

To hear us talking about the album in more detail, click here.

But now that the recording is done, the journey has only really just begun. Next up we need to:


  • Master the album so that it sounds absolutely fantastic wherever you are.
  • Commission the beautiful artwork which will adorn the cover.
  • Manufacture the blooming thing!
  • Pay for the publicity which will launch the album across the lands.


The money raised here will not completely cover these tasks, but will give us the funds we need to make sure the album arrives on your doorstep. Anything above will help push the album into the stratosphere, sonically and logistically.It's going to be immense, a listening journey between three minds, across several continents and through a gamut of sounds. Thank you to those who've joined us thus far, and welcome to those we've just met. The next few months are going to be our most exciting yet. Go go go!





Risks and Challenges

As with any album project there are a myriad of hurdles to cross. With the recording now paid for and complete, the creative wrangling, sweat and toil is over. But much remains - now to the task of shaping those sounds onto something physical.

We'll be relying upon the skills and availability of several key characters. The mixing talents of our producer (he's a very busy man), a mastering engineer, an artist to create the cover, a passionate publicist and of course our own selves, pushing and organising the whole operation and the upcoming album launch tour.

Even with the tracks on tape, we've set ourselves the conservative deadline of releasing the album in Spring 2016. With so many pieces to the puzzle, we're being careful not to rush. That way we can be sure to have the most beautiful sonic package possible ready to deliver to the world when that day comes.
Over a year ago we rambled cross the South West with Jez Hellard & The Djukella Orchestra, getting lost in the cider belt and blasting a musical path through some windswept atlantic villages. That tour, the Gales and Tall Tales, sowed the seeds for the following year of musical collaboration, and here is where some of those plants took root.

Jez Hellard's new album 'Heavy Wood'

Jez Hellard returns with his new album 'Heavy Wood' featuring Nye Parsons on double bass, Alastair Caplin on fiddle, Ewan Bleach on clarinet and James Hegarty along with the honoured members of TEYR. Recorded with the help of Sam Welbourne and his incredible portable studio, the album wraps around your ears and transports you to a world of fiery words and melodies. If folk is your tipple then please do click here to pre-order your copy of the album which has been entirely self funded, and produced. An incredible amount of work goes into any good album, and this is no exception. Go on, grab one!

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/jez-hellard-the-djukella-orchestra-new-album#/

Plus here are some glowing words from the nice people at Folk Radio UK.

http://www.folkradio.co.uk/2016/02/jez-hellard-the-djukella-orchestra-heavy-wood-album-review/
It was with some kind of hellfire that our summer touring got underway. Ireland beckoned in the week beyond but standing in the way was an almighty weekend of tearing round England like blue-arsed flies. Our biggest consolation leaving London? We had delicious nest of boiled-eggs had prepared by Dominic for packed-lunch, and an ashtray load of playlist-laden iPods, primed and ready for the journey ahead.

Backseat Skiver

That Friday evening at Cambridge Folk Festival we had our first booking in the cosy Den Stage thanks to The Nest Collective. Whilst the grandstanding of the stadium-folk acts thundered on in the background we found our corner amongst the soft-furnishings and twee decorations of Cambridge's "space for younger audiences". (Although quite what set it apart as a junior area remains a mystery to me, I certainly wasn't overcome with the urge to suddenly lunge into a school disco knee slide.)  The crowd were lovely and incredibly understanding as the sound-check failed spectacularly to live up to its name. Battling with noise gremlins in the speakers throughout it was nonetheless a thrill to come to one of the major homelands of British folk music and share the bill with some old friends alike.

Elsewhere in the festival we caught up with troubadours Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith who'd been living it up since the night before with some spectacular results up at the camp site, apparently. Meanwhile old favourites of Tommie, The Amsterdam Klezmer Band showed off their wizardry. Sadly life caught up with and threw us far away from Cambridge before we could see many of the other incredible acts that weekend.

Tommie jetted 300 miles to Cornwall for a Penwithian wedding and Port Elliot Festival, James got lost somewhere on the Isle of Purbeck (not really an island but anyway), and Dominic fell prey to the rock-folk of Treacherous Orchestra and Shooglenifty whilst trying to remember how the hell to play Maggie's Pancakes.

We all reunited again Sunday night for a gloriously last minute gig at Standon Calling, our second year in a row with Alaistar and the Autumn Shift crew. They create a uplifting vibe with their handcrafted stage and a host of handpicked acts, with The Rad Orchestra, Bloom Twins and Grace Petrie as absolute highlights. Elsewhere in the festival some peerless programming placed Basement Jaxx and Giles Petersen back-to-back.

But alas! Just a few hours after our performance we climbed back into the hatchback and sped to Holyhead on the northwestern tip of Wales. Ireland and Monday lay just over that horizon. It's those moments at 3am when you're changing driver on the hard-shoulder somewhere on the outskirts of Coventry that you realise how much you want to be a musician. Cue a surreal espresso at a service station on the M6 at dawn which charged the mental batteries momentarily, as did the sight of a moonlit duck pond just beyond the costa coffee counter. The mind is the weirdest curator of pictures. The sky which had until then risen bedecked with stars before us, now ripped open on the Welsh border in a deluge flooding, in an instant, the cascades which run off the hills above Powys. Then skipping past the northern shores of Snowdonia to the sound of Martin Hayes we rounded the corner into the ferry terminal and into a thicket of Irish number plates, the ferry was delayed.

Pulling into the Liffey

James had slept on the floor. Tommie had slept in a stranger's tent. Dominic, who knows. Of certainty though was our bedraggled state. Beijing public toilets are blacklisted if more than two flies are found hovering about. We surely would have failed the Maoist challenge several times over. All in our filthy attire, we were expecting another marathon drive on the Irish side. Then came an excited call. Tommie's father, by some holy or unholy means, had secured us rooms at the plushest hotel in Dublin, The Westbury. We were staying in Dublin that night.

The old, the new and the odd next to The Cobblestone

A few soapy encounters later we emerged fly-less and fancy free, reborn into the Dublin air with our instruments. With a hop across town that night, we found a spot in the corner seat at The Cobblestone, Smithfield's home of song and tune. This fine pub hosts a session every night of the week, twice on Sunday. It was a baptism by fire but we earned our Guinness, which, by the way, does taste better in Ireland.

TEYR business meeting at The Cobblestone

A michelin-starred Irish breakfast in our bellies we hit the road the following morning. Cartoon chaos ran in the streets, a freak gust of atlantic air had ripped a giant Minion inflatable from its moorings. Dublin was gridlocked, or so we heard. We missed the "Despicable" jam by an hour or so as we struck out northwest toward the border and beyond.

The Muldoon Range and our Stage

In Fermanagh, the northern county of lakes (and lots of rain), we holed up with some distant relations of the Gavins, the McGandys and Muldoons. With endless hospitality, and booze, they provided the magical setting for our "Hooley in the Kitchen" house concert. In front Maggie and Harpo's old kitchen range we played acoustic to a raggle-taggle rip-roaring crowd of the local clans with a bonfire blazing beyond the windows. There was none too little fire in peoples eyes, or tongues for that matter, as any quiet gap in the proceedings was immediately filled with chatter and gossip. But once the notes and words got flowing the atmosphere was electric.

Captain Maco

We then had a couple of days of rambling on our hands. Our first rainy afternoon - one of those days where locals might say that Fermanagh was "in the lake" and not the other way around - we spent exploring the isle of Devenish by boat. With Maco as our faithful captain we moored up on the small spit of land and wandered around the monastic ruins and its 12th century round tower, built to supposedly keep the marauding vikings from stealing church treasure. The weird and wonderful engravings scattered about the arches and gravestones held rich blends of christian and pagan imagery. With boots rapidly filling with water and the horizon reduced to just a few hundred yards by the weight of rain and cloud, it felt like the end of the earth.

Damp Devenish

Across to Derry we wandered about the old town the following day. With Aoife our guide we ran the ramparts of the old city, seeing for ourselves the proximity of two politically opposed communities. It was at that time the lead up to the season of bonfires and the Eleventh Night and towering over the Fountain area was a still growing mountain of wooden pallets and tires adorned with flags and slogans. Some hopeful tales were told though, last year's Fleadh Cheoil, the first to ever take place in Northern Ireland, coincided with its year as UK City of Culture. "That was a party" said Aoife.

A Derry Mural in Bogside

Leaving Derry and the Foyle basin, passing through Limavady to the east, we rose up the side of Mount Keady where the McGandy's have a Clachan; an old bundle of stone buildings set around a small green. From here on a good day (which is never guaranteed, even in August) you can gaze over the patchwork of fields and small hidden valleys and see in the distance the mountains of Donegal rising beyond the ribbon of the Foyle on one side, the beginnings of the Atlantic to the North, and the shoulders of the Sperrin Mountains stretching either side behind you. At the centre of the Clachan is a barn set aside for nothing but merriment, complete with a bar, a fire, instruments, teapots and a shedload of irishmen. Every night for the following few days a session sparked up at some point between 1pm and 6am and we were the Keady Clachan’s faithful servants in such affairs.

Across Limavady to the Foyle and Donegal

Stendhal Festival of Art, a relatively new, brilliantly crafted farm festival, had brought us there to Keady with the generous help of the Joan Mikey. The scale of the festival was odd, slightly out of kilter even. A main stage at the entrance gave way to a wide open valley and a few smaller venues. And that appeared to be it. But then you wandered further, across a network of small purpose built wooden bridges, each one leading to another bizarre world and dancefloor. A tree house set in a copse of trees covered by woolen crocheting served as an elevated DJ booth. Or you could walk through Alice’s wonderland and tea party paraphernalia. We played their Saturday night slot down in the depths of the woods alongside all the other vaguely folky acts with a roaring posse of friends arranged on the log toadstools and boat benches. A rock band pumping out baselines in the neighbouring tent challenged us to a shouting match towards the end of our set, the fools! There was an element of avant garde blending of resultant sounds and time signatures. We invite feedback on whether that’s something to celebrate or not.

TEYR on the Mark Patterson Show

BBC Radio Foyle caught us between the action and held us to account for a couple of songs. There’s something reassuring about broadcasting with muddy feet.  We were one of the few acts who’d come from beyond the sea for the occasion. It was intriguing to hear the phrase “London-based band” being bounded around with emphasis. Mark Patterson had half of the festival scheduled to pass through the salubrious BBC tent over the following days so it was an honour to open proceedings for the crew.

Session Time at the Keady Clachan

Further sessions at the Clachan ensued with star turns from Teknopeasant, Dylan Walshe and Terry Craig of The Bijoux Toots. Falling asleep in the corner of a session is one thing, falling asleep on top of your guitar is another entirely.

Back to Dublin on Sunday via the obligatory stops at Giant’s Causeway and Bushmills, we crammed in one last session at The Cobblestone before the ferry, this time with a fine fiddler with some lovely Tommy Peoples grooves and uilleann piper who went to town with his regulator work. His pipes were more shiny than Dominic’s, awkward.

The Causeway?

The Causeway.

Passing back into Wales in the wee hours the sky opened yet again. Immensely sleep deprived and wired on caffeine Dominic pushed on towards the Brecons in a dreamscape of watery taillights and half-seen looming mountains. One by one we departed the hatchback. Dominic in Wales, James in Highgate, Tommie in Hackney. All fell back into place as if nothing had occurred whatsoever. Thank the world for music however. Several songs and tunes were born that whirlwind week and will refuse to let such journeys disappear from memory.

Team Keady, it was a blast!

A thousand thank-yous to Harpo, Maggie, Joan, Mickey, Tinker, Phill, Ross, Vincent Alastair, John, Helen, Terry and all the other troubadours and vagabonds we met along the highroad. Till next year!
Out west lies possibly one of the best small festivals in the world, if you like folk music. Set in the Mendip Hills where the water disappears into the earth and mist runs thicker than water is a little village called Priddy. We’d played there as a last minute addition to the Djukella Orchestra of Jez Hellard last year, but this time round we were back to play a full set as TEYR in the long tent. Much like Sidmouth or the Fleadh, Priddy Folk Festival is a musicians festival through and through, the local pub providing the bum-space for an almost constant bubble of sessioning; English Morrismen by the fire, Irish rebels in the corner, old time thumpers and brawlers outside beneath the awnings.



TEYR on the Priddy Long Stage


We hit a big, wonderfully engage crowd; knees up kids on one side, beards and brollies on the other and were sandwiched by another two great bands … The camera doesn’t lie! This was probably our most uplifting large gig to date and full credit to the superb tech-men.


The Roaring Trowmen © Duncan Simey


Leveret © Alan Cole

Elsewhere onsite a roast chicken was magicked out of thin air by Rowan, Roaring Trowmen kept the lids from winking round the fire well into the morning, and Jez held court over a rabble of musos in spectacular style. Leveret were stars of the show, giving both a performance in the beautifully vertiginous Priddy church and one on the main stage. James was sent to sleep by their sounds (add that to the list alongside car backseats and cold floors). The three musicians who make up Leveret are each individually masters of melody. Consequently their arrangements, or lack thereof, are a total celebration of musical playfulness, each bouncing off one another in mesmerising volleys of tune. Saltfishforty, a duo from Orkney, were equally memorable tunesmiths. The appeared in equal comfort whether blasting through Scottish reels or swinging their way through jazz manouch covers. Lastly a wry and ever poignant Dick Gaughan planted his effortlessly pithy words in everyone's minds. James remembered him particularly as an icon from childhood, someone dad would listen to with zeal. Putting on Dick's political spectacles for just an hour was spellbinding.


Session nap opposite the Queen Victoria

We’d come back every year we’re invited. Thank you to Rachel, Rowan, Jez and all the organisers for a magical weekend in the Somerset. The sesh ain't finished till it's finished!
Powered by Blogger.