The Magpie Arc is a cross-Border band out of Sheffield and Edinburgh featuring the multi-award-winning talents and wide musical influences of Nancy Kerr, Martin Simpson, Findlay Napier, Tom A Wright (The Albion Band) and Alex Hunter.
Formed out of an idea to bring together a group of musicians and friends who would mix and match their influences, songwriting styles and musicianship in an electric band setting, whilst giving a passing nod to the golden age of 60’s and 70’s British folk/rock, the musical possibilities of The Magpie Arc being something special and unique in today’s folk scene became obvious very quickly.
And “a band” it is! It’s not a project, there’s not a theme and it’s not a commission. It’s five musicians in a room making an enthusiastic noise. Often pretty loudly!
There will be lots of new songs, and there will also be some great, unusual and thought-provoking covers, plus there may be some reworked traditional songs. There will be folk, and definitely rock. A bit of country, there may even be some blues. Whatever happens, it is already proving to be a musical mix of everything you could expect from such a line-up, with great songs, lush harmonies and intricate electric guitars to gorgeous fiddle lines and rock solid bass and drums.
Initially featuring Scots singer/songwriter Adam Holmes, the band released two live video singles filmed and recorded in June 2019 at the Silk Mill Studios in Staffordshire, and the tracks of these, Autumn leaves and Darling Charms, received airplay on national BBC Radio 2 and on both local BBC and independent radio stations throughout the UK, stoking the new and growing buzz amongst those in the know that has surrounded the band since they formed.
Writing and demoing new material over the latter part of 2019, they moved into Yellow Arch Studios in Sheffield in February 2020 and recorded twelve new tracks, which were finished off as lockdown eased over the summer, with a preview video for the Nancy Kerr written song, Greenswell, being released in June.
These were released as three separate four track EP’s during the course of 2021 on the bands own record label, Collective/Perspective, and are available to buy here.
Now joined by superb Scottish singer/songwriter Findlay Napier, the band have been playing gigs and festivals round the UK over this summer, including a prestigious slot on the main stage at Cambridge Folk Festival, and they hosted their own “Indoor Festival of Folk” at Cecil Sharp House in September.
Their first full length album, Glamour In The Grey, was released on the 4th of November 2022 and reached number 9 in the UK Official Folk Chart and plans are in the pipeline for more gigs and festivals in 2023.
Sign-up on the band homepage for email updates on the new album and to keep tabs on live gigs near you.