The self-styled electro-folk storytellers, Harp and a Monkey return to The Queens Head in Belper for an eagerly-awaited gig there on Saturday, September 24.
Formed in 2008, the trio of Martin Purdy, Simon Jones and Andy Smith are clearly not your typical folk band, with material ranging from cuckolded molecatchers, a lone English oak tree growing in Gallipoli to care in the community and medieval pilgrims.
In fact, all of these themes appeared on their last album, appropriately titled All Life is Here. An instant critical success, it was described by one critic as ‘undoubtedly one of the most vital and charismatic things in English folk music’.
However, the band’s originality is not limited solely to its material with their electrical programming supporting arrangements for guitar, banjo, harp, glockenspiel, accordion , viola and keyboards.
As dynamic in a club or festival setting as in The Royal Exchange, Manchester, their sound is as boldly original as it is impossible to stereotype.
Now riding on the release of their latest album War Stories, which drew a four-star review from The Guardian, they make a welcome return to the Belper venue.
Admission is £7. Doors open at 8pm.