Album Stream, Bert Jansch, Bill Lynn, Burning Moon, Celine Marshall, Circulus, Cover Artwork, David Ellis, Dom Lawson, Fairport Convention, Fotheringay, Four Birds, Galley Beggar, Heathen Hymns, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, Lee Dorrian, Let No Man Steal Your Thyme, Lorelei Moon and Tide, Maria O'Donnell, Mat Fowler, My Return, Nick Drake, Noisey, Paul Dadswell, Pentangle, Pink Floyd, Reformation House, Reginald Scot, Rise Above Records, Salome, Silence & Tears, Steeleye Span, The Discovery of Witchcraft, The Girl I Left Behind Me, The Lake
Hailing from Kent and London, Galley Beggar are a band of six musicians – Paul Dadswell, David Ellis, Mat Fowler, Bill Lynn, Celine Marshall & Maria O’Donnell – that grew up obsessed with an old sound. Influenced by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Nick Drake, Jethro Tull, Fotheringay, Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, Bert Jansch, Circulus and Pentanglehe, the bands’ name derives from an old English ghost, often reported in the North of England and mentioned as far back as 1584, in Reginald Scot’s The Discovery of Witchcraft. This fearsome ghost is described as being almost without flesh and bearing its head under its arm and emitting a deathly scream. The name is derived from the word ‘Gallery’, meaning to terrify. This ghost is likely to be encountered on country roads and deserted lanes.
To reduce Galley Beggar’s allure down to a simple matter of folk rock revivalism would be foolish. With a sound that incorporates all manner of unexpected elements while always celebrating the mischievous spirit of folk music across the centuries, these Kentish chameleons have been steadily earning a formidable reputation since forming back in 2009. Over the course of three acclaimed albums – Reformation House (2010), Galley Beggar (2012) and Silence & Tears (2014), the band’s first for Rise Above Records – Galley Beggar have pulled off the neat trick of simultaneously honouring and upgrading the psychedelic folk rock template, both revelling in the simple magic of acoustic instrumentation and joyfully harnessing the lysergic power of the electric too. And now they are poised to release their fourth and finest album, Heathen Hymns. A dizzying blend of the traditional and the untried, it’s a record full of absorbing musical stories that showcase a newfound lust for experimentation.
Cover Artwork by Burning Moon
Although already firmly established in folk rock circles, Galley Beggar’s greatest achievement to date is arguably their ongoing assimilation into the world of heavy music. Aided by their association with Rise Above, the band are picking up fans from both the metal and the prog worlds, their reliably idiosyncratic flair ensuring that all but the most cynical punters will eventually be drawn towards the GB web. 2016 was a relatively quiet year for Galley Beggar but as Heathen Hymns begins to cast its spell on the psychedelic (and not so psychedelic) hordes, it seems that Maria and her comrades are ready, willing and eager to hit the road and share these new bursts of dazzling sonic light with the masses.
Heathen Hymns was released on April 28 2017 via Rise Above Records. Head over to Noisey to stream the album in its entirety.