“This Is Bardcore” – an interview with The Story Beast on his Prog Rock Folk Horror Comedy Show

Folk Horror Revival recently got wind of a new show being performed in London this Saturday the 15th in London. We spoke to the creator about the piece and his inspirations.

So, if you can first tell us a bit about yourself?
In my day to day life I am mere actor/writer John Henry Falle but onstage I am the mortal vessel for cosmic bullshit merchant, The Story Beast. He’s an immortal wizard whose seemingly self-appointed duty seems to be to tell the Old Tales a-new and the New Tales a-old. He’s basically a crap, slightly pissed up version of Doctor Who.

What’s This Is Bardcore about then?
It’s a Prog Rock Folk Horror Comedy Show or #ProRoFolkHoCoSho…I’m sure that’ll get trending soon. This is my second show as The Story Beast. The first got nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Newcomer (formerly the Perrier) and This Is Bardcore finds him arriving in our dimension accompanied by his best mate – a sentient Tree rooted to the Centre of your Reality. He’s entirely convinced that the world is coming to a very swift end. I take the audience on a folkloric trip through our collective unconscious via Blue Peter, an epic poetry rendering of Die Hard and the geological history of the Earth told through the medium of Rock & Roll. I’m hoping this is how I get on Live At The Apollo.

Where does your interest in folk horror stem from?
I grew up in the countryside on the island of Jersey surrounded by cows and a lot of those terrors felt quite close to the surface, I suppose. We lived in an old farmhouse where my Dad had grown up. The house was on a hill above a Mental Hospital where my Great-Grandad had spent the last third of his life. We found an actual stillborn child in the walls of the house once.

Sorry, what?
The plumbing in the house went to shit and flooded out my parent’s bedroom. Just this hideous black dripping as the water flowed through years of dust and horse-hair plaster. The whole room had to be ripped apart and on the inside of the walls we found this bricked up little alcove. A window where a window shouldn’t be. So we opened it up and on the inside we found some pages torn out of The Book Of Common Prayer, a shoe and the dusty, leathery protuberance of a stillborn child.

Isn’t that the plot to Nigel Kneale’s “Baby“?
Pretty much! And we never found out why, either! It must have been someone over a century ago who were giving their baby a decent burial. But Jersey is a full of that sort of folkloric strangeness. There’s an active coven of witches on the island! Down the road was the Barn where the people of the Parish would make the float for the island’s annual Battle Of Flowers. I remember when I first saw The Wicker Man when I was 14 and thinking “This is all a bit familiar.” I live in South London now and I think one of the reasons I love Folk Horror so much is just basic Nostalgia.

Why do you think Folk Horror has caught the public mood right now?
I’m not the first to say this but it feels like a perfect metaphor for what’s going on in this country right now, doesn’t it? That dangerous nostalgia. The desire to go back to— what? The 70s? The 30s? The Past in general despite the dreadful things we left there? This show is slightly more political than my first one as it’s the first I’ve done since the BrexiTrump happened and I’m one of those tedious, explosive Remoaners who can’t stop talking about the State of this Country once he gets going. One of my opening songs is a Pink Floyd-y rock number called “Whatever Happened To The Country That You Once Knew?“ where I sing about that nostalgia and how it constantly blooms into violence, madness and bestiality.

Do you think there is something peculiarly British about it?
Well we may have the Unholy Trilogy but Children Of The Corn seems as prescient a version of Trump’s America. What seems particularly British is how susceptible we are to a certain stripe of Fantasy. We invented the genre and if you look at a lot of the Tolkiens and Lewises they have this Romantic with a Capital R belief that if we only get the Good King back on his throne then everything will be alright again. Horror from Mary Shelley onwards is more equivocal and clear eyed about how fragile society can be and the dreadful things we’re capable of as a species. Folk Horror looks at our violence head on. It tells us that if your only concern is to purify society this will inevitably lead to burning the Outsider or the Witch. 52% of the country told the Eastern European seasonal workers to Fuck Off and now our Summer Fruit crop rots on the vine. Jersey’s little different. The island couldn’t vote in a UK Referendum but the motivation is there. The Jersey Royal crop was disappointing this year because there no one there to pick the bloody potatoes! The island’s farming has always depended on outside seasonal workers to pick the potatoes be it Bretons or Irish or Portuguese or Polish people. The local paper had the temerity to blame the weather this year. Apparently the Romanians were leaving because it was too rainy. What really happened is that when they went into a pub they’d be made to feel unwelcome by a load of thick proto-fascists. These people don’t have to come to Britain. They’re bright people who know the value of their labour and they’ll go somewhere else if they feel they’re not wanted. Sorry – got carried away there.

With all that Doom and Gloom do you think Folk Horror and Comedy can coexist?
I think they go hand in hand! The one thing that doesn’t seem to get said about The Wicker Man in all the articles about The 78 Greatest Horror Films That’ll Make You Shit Yourself is that it’s really, really funny. I was 10 when that first episode of The League Of Gentleman came on. Far too young. My Mum only turned it off when Tubbs started breastfeeding the Pig. It was the most shocking thing I’d ever seen but it also had silly people doing funny voices and that’s what lured me in. My brother and I still quote “And in the cupboard beneath the stair / You’ll find the towel for pubic hair.” You gotta laugh, don’t you?

Who should see this show?

Well your readers obviously. If you like 70s rock, classic Doctor Who, Horror and can’t get tickets to the League Of Gentlemen reunion then this is the Comedy Show for you! Also you get to see a hairy man sweating through a whole trench coat in an hour so there is honestly something for everyone.

The Story Beast: This Is Bardcore is on 9pm This Saturday at 2Northdown in London’s Kings Cross
https://www.tickettext.co.uk/2-northdown/thisisbardcore/



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Into the Woods: folk horror film season at the Barbican

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Cigarette Burns Cinema  presents INTO THE WOODS at the Barbican, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS and it kicks off Wednesday 3rd May at 8.45pm with The Company of Wolves.

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Next week is the nightmarish Lemora, followed by the little seen Eyes of Fire and finally classic Soviet horror Viy.

https://www.facebook.com/events/602114073311476/?ti=as

 

Death and the Lady: The Genius of Shirley Collins

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On October 16th at the British Museum Folk Horror Revival: Otherworldly event, we were proud and delighted to present to the public a viewing of the video of Death and the Lady, a new recording by the folk legend Shirley Collins. Furthermore we were fortunate enough to hear the great lady speak of her work and inspirations, and to experience her wit and wisdom as part of the folk horror finale panel.

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Just don’t mention sheep … spectral sheep that is …

The video for the track is a film by Nick Abrahams captured at the ossuary of St Leonard’s Church in Hythe, Kent.

Born in Hastings in 1935, Shirley was fascinated by folk songs as she was growing up, songs she heard on the radio or sung by her grandparents.

hires-Oct 16 2016 63.jpgShe left home for London to immerse herself in the burgeoning folk scene; at a party held by Ewan MacColl she met Alan Lomax, and in 1959 she joined him in the USA on the renowned field trip ‘Southern Journey’, recording American folk songs and blues.

On her return to England, Shirley cemented her role at the forefront of the Folk Revival, recording over a dozen albums including the influential Folk Roots, New Routes with avant-garde guitarist Davy Graham, and No Roses, from which The Albion Country Band was formed. In the 1980s, Shirley lost her singing voice – a form of dysphonia — and withdrew from performing live. It was only in 2014, after coaxing from David Tibet (Current 93), that Shirley sang in public for the first time since 1982.

Though Shirley Collins (MBE) has been absent from the music scene for many years, her impact has not diminished, the likes of Graham Coxon, Jonny Greenwood, Stewart Lee and Angel Olsen laud her, and a documentary The Ballad of Shirley Collins is currently in progress. Shirley released her first memoir, America Over the Water, in 2004 and is currently working on her second book.

Her new Album Lodestar is released on 4th November 2016

Folk Horor Revival

Photos: © Graeme Cunningham

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Otherworldly: Through the Eyes of Jason Atomic

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Chris Lambert Singing

Jason Atomic is an artist inspired by a love of underground cultures, scenes and fashion tribes, he investigates and documents them in his sketchbooks as quick, clean line drawings.

This love of fashion has led to collaborations with labels Charles of London, Yes!Future! & Milkboy Tokyo.

His speedy drawing style led to the development of live portrait sketching performances in galleries, clubs and at events around the world, during these he makes life-size, full-length sketches of his willing victims in marker pen on long rolls of paper. In  2008 he set an un-official world land/speed record for portraiture at The National Portrait Gallery, London.

He has curated various art shows on occult & comic book themes, Including Hail To The King (a tribute to Jack Kirby), Iconography Of Mask, Image Duplicator (a response to Roy Lichtenstein) & Magick Eye.

More recently, upon discovering that an anagram of his name is ‘Satanic Mojo’, he has embarked on a multi-platform collaborative project of that title. Inspired by cults, conspiracy theories and the counter culture.

This has spawned ‘Satanic Mojo Comix’, an annual ‘Festival Of Dark Arts’ and seasonal ‘Satanic Flea Market’

 

The Satanic Mojo Manifesto

https://vimeo.com/91959688

www.jasonatomic.co.uk

www.satanicmojo.com

On October 16th Jason ventured into the hallowed halls of the British Museum to observe and capture the Folk Horror Revival: Otherworldly event … this is what he saw …
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Lee Gerrard-Barlow

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Shirley Collins
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Jim Peters & Sharron Kraus

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Reece Shearsmith
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Andy Paciorek & Darren Charles
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Adam Scovell
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James Riley  & Gary Lachman

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Gary Parsons

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Shirley Collins & Reece Shearsmith

All Images © Jason Atomic

An Otherworldly Thank You

 

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poster © Becca Thorne

I would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to Everyone who made the Folk Horror Revival British Museum weekend truly Otherworldly.

Firstly Immense gratitude goes to Jim Peters whose hard work on this event was incredible and immaculate. Thanks also to the fabulous work by our compere Chris Lambert, the administration work undertaken by all our team, those present at London and those who kept the group running in our absence. Thanks to the British Museum staff, Treadwell’s Books, The Atlantis Bookshop,and The Last Tuesday Society & The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities for their great support and kindness. To our incredible speakers and guests and to all Revivalists that came along. We hope you enjoyed yourself.

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Photos © Jason D. Brawn

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Photos © Marc Beattie

Thank You Very Much to Shirley Collins, Reece Shearsmith, Iain Sinclair, Gary Lachman, Adam Scovell, Bob Beagrie and his great musical support to Leasungspell, Michael Somerset and the Consumptives, James Riley, Lee Gerrard- Barlow, Sharron Kraus,Gary Parsons, Darren Charles, Eamon Byers, John Pilgrim, Katherine Sherry Beem, Matthelos Peachyoza, Phil Rose, Stuart Silver, Dr John Callow, Rich Blackett, Cobweb Mehers, Peter Lagan, John Chadwick, Dan Hunt, Scott Lyall, Graeme Cunningham, Richard Hing, Carmit Kordov, Andy Sharp, Bob Fischer, Andrew McGuigan, Andri Anna, Becca Thorne, Stephen Canner, Harri Pitkäniemi, Jackie Taylor, Säde Säjké, Grey Malkin, Erin Christina Sorrey Jonas Halsall at Tyrant Design and Print, all the contributors to our books and music mixes and Status Quo, and if I have forgotten anyone a thousand apologies, blame the absinthe

All the support we have been shown and given has been phenomenal and very deeply appreciated.

Thank You
Andy Paciorek

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Photo © Candia McCormack

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Merchandise by Jonas Halsall at Tyrant Design and Print

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http://www.theatlantisbookshop.com/

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https://www.treadwells-london.com/

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http://www.thelasttuesdaysociety.org/museum-curiosities/

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More images and further information about the event to come over time …

Folk Horror Revival at the British Museum – SOLD OUT

The Folk Horror Revival: Otherworldly event at the British Museum, London on 16th October 2016 – has now Sold Out.

Thank You Very Much to everybody who bought a ticket – Enjoy 🙂

The event will feature –

Gary Lachman

Iain Sinclair

Bob Beagrie  ~ Leagunspell

Michael Somerset & The Consumptives

Eamon Byers

Adam Scovell

Gary Parsons

Yvonne Salmon

Andy Paciorek

James Riley 

 Darren Charles

Lee Gerrard-Butler

+ Very special Guests

Your compere for the day (if the Black Meadow mist allows him to escape) is Chris Lambert.

The event has been brought together by the hard work and  tireless efforts of Jim Peters with help from the FHR administration cabal.
Thanks everyone 🙂

Folk Horror Revival: British Museum Otherworldly (Third Reveal)

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The first Folk Horror Revival event will be taking place at the British Museum, London on  October 16th 2016, featuring talks, lectures, short films, poetry readings, museum tours and other wyrd and intriguing happenings.

Cult television programmes and films of the 1960s and 70s are inspiring a new generation of poets, writers, artists and musicians with their atmospheric themes of contemporary individuals interacting with a uniquely British world of ancient mythology and magic, often uncanny and unsettling.

This special event will feature lectures, film screenings, performances and gallery tours of featured objects in the Museum’s collection to explore themes of cultural rituals, earth mysteries, psychogeography and folklore. Come along and prepare to be scared!

Ticket details to be announced very shortly.

We are proud to reveal other additions to the line up – see also

Folk Horror Revival: British Museum Otherworldly (First Reveal)

Folk Horror Revival: British Museum Otherworldly (Second Reveal)

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We have already announced filmmaker Adam Scovell as one of the wonderful guest speakers at the FHR event on 16th October so now it is time to reveal our second filmmaker to be screening and speaking about his work – Gary Parsons

Gary is an MA film graduate from Goldsmiths College London who specialises in short films. Utilizing both, elements of the surrealist genre and images of the occult, these films are both beautiful and at times disturbing.

We are very excited that Gary has chosen the event at the British Museum to premier his latest film – ‘Conjuration’. It is a film about magick being a neutral energy and it’s residue from ancient times that is there for people to draw on and includes a re-enactment of an Alex Sanders ritual.

thelemafilms.com

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Revealing the Master of Ceremonies.

To make sure the day proceeds as has been planned by the FHR cabal Chris Lambert will be taking on the role of Master of Puppets for the day – introducing each speaker as well as welcoming you all to the event and summing up at the end of the day. Please allow me to introduce Chris Lambert – Storyteller – Teacher – Traveller of Mist – Mythogeographer – Demiurge – Liar

Chris is the curator of the Black Meadow and its associated phenomena. He works closely with Kev Oyston as part of “The Soulless Party” to uncover the mysteries hidden within its dense mist.
He writes far too much. As well as the critically lauded Tales from the Black Meadow and Songs from the Black Meadow he has also had short stories published in The Ghastling, The Dead Files and Tales of the Damned. He has had four plays published and over 20 performed professionally including: The Simple Process of Alchemy, Loving Chopin and Ship of Fools. He occasionally dabbles with music too.
He is currently working with Folk Horror emperor Andy Paciorek on a new collection of short stories entitled Wyrd Kalendar and Christmas on the Black Meadow.
Starburst Magazine has this to say about Tales from the Black Meadow: “The stand out entries include “Beyond the Moor” a poem about a maiden accosted by a bandit who remains unafraid due to having been to the “beyond” of the title and returned. Also of note are “Children of the Black Meadow” where a bereaved mother resurrects her deceased kids as blackberry bramble homunculi; cyclical damnation tale “The Coal Man and the Creature” and the paranoia-inducing sucker punch “The Watcher From the Village” … this is a collection that strongly invites a second reading…”

blackmeadowtales.blogspot.co.uk

More speakers and ticket details to be revealed soon. Follow us on Facebook

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Folk Horror Revival: British Museum Otherworldly (Second Reveal)

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The first Folk Horror Revival event will be taking place at the British Museum, London on  October 16th 2016, featuring talks, lectures, short films, poetry readings, museum tours and other wyrd and intriguing happenings.

Cult television programmes and films of the 1960s and 70s are inspiring a new generation of poets, writers, artists and musicians with their atmospheric themes of contemporary individuals interacting with a uniquely British world of ancient mythology and magic, often uncanny and unsettling.

This special event will feature lectures, film screenings, performances and gallery tours of featured objects in the Museum’s collection to explore themes of cultural rituals, earth mysteries, psychogeography and folklore. Come along and prepare to be scared!

Ticket details to be announced very shortly.

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We are proud to reveal other additions to the line up – see also

Folk Horror Revival: British Museum Otherworldly (First Reveal)

Eamon Byers completed his PhD at Queen’s University Belfast in 2014. His thesis explored the interaction between medievalism and folk music in English culture from the eighteenth century to the present day. Also in 2014, he co-organised ‘A Fiend in the Furrows: Perspectives on ‘Folk Horror’ in Literature, Film & Music’, the first conference dedicated to the academic study of folk horror.
He currently teaches English at Marymount International School London and continues to research and publish on the interactions between folk culture and medievalism in music, literature and politics.

The title of Eamon’s talk is: ‘The Ghost of Song: Folkmusic in the 21st Century’ where he will be looking at the influence of folk horror on contemporary folk, breaking down some hauntological examples and discussing sampling and the theoretical aspects of tradition and ancestry that goes along with modern folk.

Follow him on Twitter at – https://twitter.com/folkoff

 

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In addition to speakers and other live performers we will also be screening some short films by talnted film makers. The first of the filmmakers to be revealed is Adam Scovell.

Adam is a writer and filmmaker currently based between Liverpool and London He has produced film and art criticism for over twenty publications including The Times and The Guardian, runs the Celluloid Wicker Man website and has had work screened at FACT, The Everyman Playhouse, Hackney Picturehouse and Manchester Art Gallery.
Adam is the creator of the intriguing and impressive blog Celluloid Wicker Man

The title of Adam’s talk is Analogue Hauntings – The Ghost In The Grain
Why do ghosts manifest so effectively through analogue technology? Whether through tapes made of stone, through signal mechanisms on old Dickensian railway stations or through alchemically enhanced binoculars, ghosts have a tendency to achieve corporeality most powerfully in fictional media through pre-digital technologies. In this mixture of presentation and screenings, this phenomena will be examined within the contexts of hauntology, Nigel Kneale, M.R. James and filmic practice on super-8 celluloid.

Screenings :
• Salthouse Marshes (2015) (7:16) – Super-8 ghost stories inspired by Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows.

• No Diggin’ Here (2016) (3:07) – Super-8 essay film looking at Aldeburgh in the context of M.R. James’ A Warning To The Curious with a specially composed score by Laura Cannell. (Preview screening)

 

More speakers and ticket details to be revealed soon. Follow us on Facebook

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Folk Horror Revival: British Museum Otherworldly (First Reveal)

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The first Folk Horror Revival event will be taking place at the British Museum, London on  October 16th 2016, featuring talks, lectures, short films, poetry readings, museum tours and other wyrd and intriguing happenings.

Cult television programmes and films of the 1960s and 70s are inspiring a new generation of poets, writers, artists and musicians with their atmospheric themes of contemporary individuals interacting with a uniquely British world of ancient mythology and magic, often uncanny and unsettling.

This special event will feature lectures, film screenings, performances and gallery tours of featured objects in the Museum’s collection to explore themes of cultural rituals, earth mysteries, psychogeography and folklore. Come along and prepare to be scared!

Ticket details to be announced very shortly.

We can proudly announce that one of the guest speakers will be Gary Lachman.

Gary is an American writer and musician. he is best known to readers of mysticism and the occult from the numerous articles and books he has published – Turn Off Your Mind: The Mystic Sixties and The Dark Side Of The Age of Aquarius (2002), The Dedalus Book of the Occult: A Dark Muse (2004), The Quest For Hermes Trismegistus From Ancient Egypt to the Modern World (2011), Revolutionaries of the Soul: Reflections on Magicians, Philosophers, and Occultists (2014) – He is additionally known to music fans as Gary Valentine one of the founders, and bassist of alternative rock/new wave band Blondie.

Gary will be presenting on Colin Wilson and the Angry Young Outsiders.

Before bursting on the London literary scene with the overnight success of his first book The Outsider in 1956, Colin Wilson spent some months sleeping rough on Hampstead Heath while writing his first no0gvel, Ritual in the Dark by day in the old Reading Room of the British Museum. Wilson was caught up in the media craze around the Angry Young Men, and he suffered from it, when the critics turned on the Angries and Wilson in particular. With a few exceptions, like his 1971 ‘comeback’ book The Occult, for most of his long career, Wilson remained an Outsider, ignored by the cultural establishment, while writing book after book. He died in 2013 at the age of 82. Gary’s talk will be based on his biography of Wilson, Beyond the Robot: The Life and Work of Colin Wilson, which, like a new edition of The Outsider to which he has contributed a new foreword, is published to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of The Outsider’s first publication.

A tribute to Colin Wilson and An Interview with Gary Lachman features in the book        Folk Horror Revival: Field Studies


Also appearing will be Michael Somerset and his new ensemble The Consumptives. Michael is a former member of Clock DVA, has collaborated with Was (Not Was) and I Monster.

He is currently a freelance writer published by BMG and has written a series of short stories and poems accompanied by music and read by Reece Shearsmith, Bat For Lashes, Barry Adamson and numerous other impressive souls.

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FHR are proud to announce that The Consumptives (Michael Somerset’s new Gothic Orchestra) will be gracing us with their presence on the 16th. Performing macabre tales set to music (suitable for children and adults), Sylwia D Kittyfly,  Jules Lawrence,  Ozlem Simsek and Michael Somerset will guide us through a labyrinth of supernatural tales accompanied by singing and classic horror soundtrack instruments including theremin and saw.

A selection of Michael’s poetry features in the book Folk Horror Revival: Corpse Roads

More speakers and ticket details to be revealed soon. Follow us on Facebook

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