Sunday 11 February 2024 at 7:30 pm£22
Please note this gig is standing room only.
One of the UK’s best loved bands, Stornoway, are returning.
Perhaps more connected to the natural world than any other British band, they have a very personal understanding of the urgency of the climate and biodiversity crisis facing us. Their new album was written by night in a wind-battered shed on a coastal hilltop – whilst by day lead singer/songwriter Brian Briggs manages a wetland nature reserve where he has seen migratory wetland bird numbers declining year on year. As traffic died away in 2020, the crescendo of bird song sparked the rediscovery of an almost child-like joy in creativity and expression, and in the strange sense of isolation and togetherness the band reconnected. Many bands write about nature – Stornoway ‘live’ nature, and we need Stornoway more than ever before.
The new album follows the huge success of their debut gold-selling album ‘Beachcombers Windowsill’, released on 4AD, and hailed from the rooftops for its melodic magnificence and imaginative arrangements. It reached Top-15 in the UK Charts, leading to tours of Europe, Australia, America, numerous memorable festival appearances, and a sold-out show at London’s Somerset House. Then followed the acclaimed albums ‘Tales From Terra Firma’ (2013) “a triumphantly expansive album” The Guardian *****, and ‘Bonxie’ (2015) “Stornoway’s best work yet, which deserves the largest stage” The Guardian ***** , with the band’s live career growing fast and continuing to sell out headline tours. Each of Stornoway’s albums has been championed by BBC 6Music and Radio 2 since their first UK tours in 2009.
The forthcoming record is Stornoway’s best and most effortless album of their career, firmly cementing the band’s vital position on the wild edges of the contemporary musical landscape. A briny pop album as textured, surprising and unique as the British countryside, with a fresh but unmistakeable sound.
‘…we are out in the wild west with New Zealand flax, torn sileage wrap, Portuguese man of war…’
Self-produced by the band and mixed by Mercury Music Prize-winning Mike Lindsay (Hannah Peel, Laura Marling, Tunng), the new album features award-winning Chinese singer songwriter Yijia Tu, fellow bird man Fyfe Dangerfield, environmentalist Sam Lee, and a collaboration with acclaimed poet Paul Henry from the Black Mountains, the album closing with an elegy to a giant ash tree lost to ash dieback.
‘…your crown is broken and glitters in the frost, and you’re more than silence lost…’
Playing with instrumentation and melody, words and texture, the songs are bouyant and windswept, rich in colour and natural light, but with an undertow of longing borne of grief for our disappearing nature.
‘…it was the sound of the rooks in the sycamore, caribbean thunderstorm, lost lambs in the night. It was the sight of the plastic on the tide, frayed rope and fishing line…’,
The band strive to keep the environmental impacts of touring to an absolute minimum and they actively engage people with nature through their much-loved live shows. Stornoway have developed an extraordinary ability to connect deeply with their audiences – they create a powerful and uplifting force onstage, and it’s this force that has brought them back together again, reinvigorated and excited to play live again.
Feel the outside world flood into your soul, as Stornoway break down the walls between you and the land that made you…
Stornoway’s fourth album will be out on Cooking Vinyl in Autumn 2023