1. A mischievous spirit of Old English folklore - described as mostly devoid of flesh, appearing out of darkness, and frightening people while removing, carrying or searching for its own head. Said to emit a chilling scream.
2. A six-piece band described as “Acid Folk”, appearing out of the Kentish suburbs, and frightening folk fans by pulling out electric instruments and drums alongside their acoustic guitars and violin. Said to emit anything from a gentle whisper in three-part harmony to an hallucinogenic roar.
Actually, in the second case, “enlightening” might be a better word than “frightening”, judging by the reactions of Galley Beggar’s reviewers and fans to their first two self-produced albums - and their dynamic performances in pubs, clubs, festivals and folk radio shows throughout the UK since 2009.
Bringing diverse musical tastes to the band, all six members converge on the folk fusion of the late 1960s and early 1970s - Fairport Convention, Pentangle, Steeleye Span, Trees, and many lesser known groups whose musicianship was largely overlooked in a rapidly changing music scene.
What goes around, it seems, comes around. At the time of writing, Galley Beggar’s Facebook page shows over 10,000 “likes” from fans across the world as testament to the band’s crossover appeal at home and abroad. By exploring and expanding the acid folk genre, they continue to win music fans of all ages - an approach exemplified by a memorable performance at the end of 2013 alongside Trembling Bells and the Incredible String Band’s Mike Heron.
Among these fans is psych rock aficionado and doom metal veteran Lee Dorrian, who signed Galley Beggar to his label Rise Above Records in 2014 - and put them together with analogue recording wizard Liam Watson (best known for his work on the White Stripes’ 2003 album “Elephant”).
The result? Unmistakeably the scion of their 2010 debut album “Reformation House” and 2012’s harder-edged “Galley Beggar”, while revealing a band that draws on deep roots to send its tendrils ever outwards into new sonic spaces... Galley Beggar’s third album “Silence and Tears” will be growing on you this spring.
Paul Dadswell - Drums, Percussion, Vocals
David Ellis - Guitars, Mandolin
Mat Fowler - Guitars, Mandolin, Vocals
Bill Lynn - Bass
Celine Marshall - Violin
Maria O'Donnell - Vocals
"They are tight and dynamic and there isn’t a folk festival in the country that wouldn’t benefit from having them on the bill." Dai Jeffries
"This band are incredibly powerful, even when playing acoustically." Peter Cowley - Fatea Records
"The themes and textures of Galley Beggar's music all combine together to form a well produced selection of songs that bring a bygone age - or bygone ages - into the twenty-first century. It's a gorgeous, gorgeous sound that demands repeated listens." Stephen Morris, BBC Introducing
"This septet ticks every folk rock box you can think of, from big harmonies to stately, thumping rhythms to diddly and, indeed, diddly" Rock N Reel Magazine
“For any fans of the traditional Folk Rock genre, the addition of Reformation House to your record collection can only be a good thing.” Bright Young Folk
“Producing work likes this will establish Galley Beggar among the folk rock favourites. Even if that means they steal fans from more illustrious bands” Folk Words
“The British folk music scene is healthier than ever with bands like Mumford and Sons and Stornoway. Galley Beggar deserve to be up there too.” The Gig Guide