The Magpie Arc
Sun 11 Feb 2024
An Evening with The Magpie Arc
The Magpie Arc is a cross-Border band out of Sheffield, Arran and Scotland featuring the multi-award-winning talents and wide musical influences of Nancy Kerr, Findlay Napier, Tom Wright, Alex Hunter and UK folk legend, guitarist Martin Simpson.
Formed from the idea of bringing together a group of established folk musicians who would mix their song-writing styles and musicianship in a full-on electric band to create exciting new music and update the classic 60s and 70s British folk/rock sound, the possibilities of The Magpie Arc being something special and unique on today’s folk scene became obvious very quickly.
Having three strong writers the focus has naturally been on new material, however they’ve also tackled some great covers plus their own re-workings of traditional songs. There’s folk and rock, a bit of country and even some prog elements, but whatever the genre the band are their own musical mix of everything you could expect from such a line-up, with excellent songs, lush harmonies, scything electric guitars, gorgeous fiddle lines and rock solid bass and drums.
The buzz about seeing the band live and the anticipation among those in the know all became clear as they hit festival stages during the summer of 2022, where only their fifth gig was the Main Stage at the Cambridge Folk Festival, and 2023 kicked off in style with a live session on Mark Radcliffe’s 10th Anniversary BBC Radio 2 Folkshow, followed by a trip to the Costa del Folk Festival on Ibiza and summer festival appearances which included main stage slots at the Sidmouth Festival and Friday headliners at FolkEast.
Their first full length album, Glamour In The Grey, was released in November 2022 and has enjoyed an unbroken run of ten months in the UK Official Folk Chart where it debuted at number 9 and was punningly compared by Mojo magazine to the first ever album of the folk/rock genre in 1969 from Fairport Convention as being “Liege and Lief affirming” and also “an elemental racket”.
“…the possibilities Magpie Arc offer are very enticing indeed. You owe it to yourself to catch this band as soon as you can. Capability, flair and originality rarely come so well wrapped.” – Spiral Earth
“Everyone in the band brings their own talents but the synergy makes them much more than the sum of their parts. It takes “folk-rock” to a new and exciting level.” – Fatea Magazine
“Folk/rock with Led Zeppelin vibes” – Mark Radcliffe, BBC Radio 2
“Just the right amount of Black Sabbath for folk/rock” – Rock Slam Podcast