Back in the day I was a fan of the Rotring pen and spent many happy hours of my life drawing cartoons, illustrating letters and producing fabulous covers for the precious mixtapes I bestowed on friends, family and would-be girlfriends. These days, after more than a quarter century of bondage to the computer, I can barely hold a pen. It’s a shame because if I could, and if I had the time, I would like to draw a Pete Frame style Family Tree for all the Herefordshire musicians and bands that have come into the WHC’s orbit. The Kilpecks for instance are a direct descendant of Lonesome Stampede.
According to legend, or at least their press blurb, The Kilpecks were born in a storm. Last March, as Storm Freya lashed the windows of the Kilpeck Inn, this new four-piece whipped up a storm of their own. They sing fresh upbeat folk, with songs full of love and loss, revenge and revelry.
Their debut Haunted Man, is an ancient tale of revenge but was penned in the wake of #MeToo. Whilst their second single, Dead Drovers, tells the story of two drovers, whose father dies and so they tie his body to their bull, earning them their infamous name; the ‘Dead Drovers’. Whilst Sky & Wood, recorded at Letton Church in West Herefordshire, is a positive song, of hope and togetherness, a space and place where skylarks (remember them?) sing. Fellow folk singer Jim Chorley called the song ‘truly magical, it brought a tear to the eye and joy to the heart’ and the group has been well received following broadcasts on BBC Introducing, Radio Wigwam and Readifolk.
Summer 2019 saw The Kilpecks perform at HowTheLightGetsIn, Wessex Folk, Folk on the Quay and Beer on the Wye; sharing the bill with Donovan (who long ago I dismissed as too fey but who also wrote Season of the Witch), Trials of Cato, Wildwood Kin and Roberts & Lakeman. Also performing at various venues, including the truly unique Square & Compass in Dorset.
It won’t surprise you that two of The Kilpecks dwell not far from the incredible Kilpeck Church, full of its Romanesque carvings, which have to be seen to be believed. The other members live within in the warm embrace of the Celtic World of Wales and Cornwall. Collectively, The Kilpecks are ready to explore the sound and stories of the folk and roots music that make up this verdant land, the one we all know and love, the country so brilliantly celebrated in Detectorists.