“An album of brotherly bardic beauty.”
“Warning to all folk fest and club orgs. book these lads while you still can because I have a feeling that they aren't going to be short of work. At the moment the buzz is mainly around the North and the borders. But - watch this space”
— Mike Harding
Brothers James and Sam Gillespie grew up in the Northumbrian village of Wall and sing finely crafted original and traditional songs. Rich with lyrical intensity and the sounds of soaring sibling harmony, guitars, flute, fiddle and mandolin, their second album ‘The Fell’ has been described as ‘a classic in the making’ (Northern Sky) and as showing ‘British acoustic music in its best possible light’ (Folk Radio UK) .
As well as the folk traditions of Britain and Ireland they are deeply inspired by the folk revival artists of the 60’s and 70’s including Bert Jansch, Nick Drake, John Martyn, Sandy Denny, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and the American roots folk and blues traditions.
The brothers have travelled widely since 2015, singing everywhere from concert halls to campfires, folk festivals and Parisian circuses. Their performances are often intimate and personal, animated by a rare energy that is both earthy and ethereal, romantic and radical.
‘Imagine the guitar work of the early Nic Jones, the close harmony work of the Dransfields and the commitment and honesty of Bob Davenport rolled into two brothers and you'll get some idea. Their new album The Fell is totally brilliant’. Mike Harding
Described by Folk Radio UK as ‘weaving an especially compelling magic’, and 'showing off British acoustic music in its best possible light', Northumbrian duo The Brothers Gillespie sing traditional and original songs with lyrical and visionary intensity, rich with sounds of soaring sibling harmony, guitars, flute, fiddle and mandolin . Drawing inspiration from powerful lineages of poetic songwriting, the folk revivial of the 60s and 70s and older source traditions they make music that is deep-rooted and speaks to the present moment. Their songs and performances are animated by a rare energy, both earthy and ethereal, romantic and radical.
Brothers James and Sam Gillespie grew up in the small village of Wall on the old Roman frontier bounded on one side by a faery hill and on the other by the wise old river they call the North Tyne. It was in this valley that music took hold of them. They found a world that was still alive, that breathed magic and which became the inspiration for their song. Theirs is a music of borderlands, of the thresholds between worlds. The brothers have travelled widely and sung their songs at campfires, concert halls, Parisian circuses, folk clubs and a range of UK festivals including Cambridge Folk Fest. They have also opened concerts for Sam Lee and Lankum.
The Fell is the duo’s newly released second album, recorded during the Summer of 2018 by Tim Lane at Stable Project Studio in East Lothian. The window was open, the light was dancing, you can hear the birds calling. The tone is rich and warm with a vintage feeling, the sound centered around guitar and fiddle with the brothers' voices singing in ‘the glorious tones of their blood harmony’ (Sam Lee). Highland clàrsach player Siannie Moodie adds some beautiful and sensitive harp to two of the tracks whilst Tim Lane also makes a guest appearance on percussion. The poetic songs have strong currents of the romantic and the mystical, complimented by and informing an urgent sense of political radicalism.
The Brothers Gillespie say of ‘The Fell’
‘The album is inspired by the still wild soul of the land in which we live, a land alive with presences, not owned by anyone. It is an album about seeing with the eye of the heart and recovering our imaginations. It is about finding home, belonging and each other in a world which is singing to us as we sing to it’.
The Fell was released on the 11th December at a sell-out launch show at the Queen’s Hall in Hexham and is now available to buy from www.thebrothersgillespie.com
“Every song on this album brings a separate and pertinent story which burns brighter with every listen. A definite musos album, 'The Fell' could be lost treasure from the British Folk Revival or a modern day contemporary Folk classic. An album of visceral beauty, striking for the heart and as part of the earth, land and landscape as the title suggests. Highly recommended”
“The stars of the show were The Brother's Gillespie - more than an hour of fantastic musicianship. Imagine the guitar work of the early Nic Jones, the close harmony work of the Dransfields and the commitment and honesty of Bob Davenport rolled into two brothers and you'll get some idea. Their new album The Fell is totally brilliant.”
— Mike Harding
“The Fell taps into themes and tunes that I feel I have known all my life (but haven’t because they’ve only just been written) and, like all updates to the tradition, are simultaneously part of the music of past centuries and also entirely new and relevant”