Harp and a monkey

Electro-Folk Storytellers


War Stories album reviews…

Mark Radcliffe BBC Radio 2 Folk Show: “Brilliant.”/  Mike Harding Folk Show: “Legendary act… steeped in the folk tradition but always doing something new with it.”/Clare Balding BBC Radio 2 (Good Morning Sunday): “Fantastic stuff – sensational!” / The Observer: “Bold and brilliant”/ The Guardian: “Another excellent set”/ Mojo: “Inventive”/ Folking: “War Stories should be up there as one of the albums of the year…” / fRoots: “More than just an exceptional work of storytelling, this is Harp And A Monkey’s most musically accomplished recording.”/ FolkRadioUK: “Truly individual… courageous, often demanding and ultimately satisfying.”/ Folkwords: “As fine a piece of individualistic song-writing as you are likely to find. Harp and a Monkey just get better and better.” /Fatea: “Highly recommended.” / Songlines: “Their songs resonate with a strong sense of history coupled with a sharp eye for tales of lives less ordinary.” R2: “There have been all manner of commemorations of the First World War, musical and otherwise, but this is one of the most captivating.” RootsWorld (USA): “An extraordinary album, one filled not only with musical innovation, but also a gamut of human emotion… a unique and unmissable sonic monument to the First World War.”  AltCountry (Germany): “The most beautiful songs ever made on this theme.” Folkall: “Insightful… thoughtful and thought provoking.” Bright Young Folk: “This wonderfully crafted album is an affirmation of the human capability for survival.” Acoustic Magazine: “A fine, heartfelt tribute.” Folk North West: “A record of distinction.”

All Life Is Here album reviews…

Mark Radcliffe BBC Radio 2 Folk Show: “Charming, impossible not to like.”/  Mike Harding Folk Show Top 20 Album of Year: “I have a huge amount of time for this band…a really fresh and engaging approach. They are deeply seeped in the folk traditions of the North West and yet have created a whole new genre of songs of their own.”/ fRoots Magazine: “Undoubtedly one of the most vital and charismatic things happening in English folk music right now.”/ Folkall: “All Life is Here is a perfect title for this album – the only thing to be added is that all human emotion is here too. This is one of those albums that anyone who likes folk should be embarrassed about if it’s not in their collection.” / Folk Radio UK Album of Year: “One band that you cannot accuse of ploughing the same old furrow – incredibly talented.” / Nick Luscombe BBC Radio 3: “One of the best folk albums to be released this year.” /Songlines: “Thought provoking archival rummaging has resulted in lively, inventive folk delivered in a down-to-earth manner.” / The Daily Telegraph: “Rousing music and droll Lancashire humour.” /R2 Magazine: “A cornucopia of original compositions, the disc oozes atmosphere like syrup. Confident, controlled and compelling, this is a very impressive album.” / Uncut Magazine: “Its charms are low-key but persistent…” /Folkwords: “Whenever the despair of dull music oppresses there is always Harp and a Monkey as they move through their intricate world with different and singular steps.” /Americana UK: “They interpret old songs and poems with musical invention and they write new ones to capture contemporary experience, it’s very analogue in a digital age and all the more valuable for being so.” / Shire Folk Magazine: “Ageless, slightly music hall, beguiling, complex and honest” / Now Then Magazine: “Words, names and stories dominate this record… this lot are George Orwell’s boys.” /Subba-cultcha.com: “Harp and a Monkey are everything I love about music, crafting songs beautifully while educating you at the same time. This optimistic folktronica is nothing if not inclusive, it really touches the heart. Go see them live. They’ll bring a tear to your eye. All life IS here.”

Harp and a Monkey (debut) album reviews…

Steve Lamacq Radio 2 Tips For The Top: “A rising talent, Manchester electro-folk-storytellers Harp and a Monkey… as shiny as a new button.” / Mike Harding BBC Radio 2 Folk Show: “Absolutely top stuff… very, very interesting and unusual songwriting. An Incredible String Band for the 21st Century.” / Folkwords: “Haunting and surreal. A realm populated by strange sounds, mordant observations, ghostly images, caustic serenity and pitiless parable… their brand of folk is not a little different, it’s a lot different. Inspired musical imaginations, restless melodic storytelling and expansive horizons.” /Manchester Music: “There’s something very true about this trio’s approach to acoustically-fuelled traditional music with a contemporary twist. Beautiful stuff. Could this be the best folk/low key album of the year? Few have got it this right.” / Bright Young Folk: “The songs are delivered with a simplicity that is childlike without being childish. This CD stands up to be played over and over again…” /R2 Magazine: “This album smells of pear drops and old cardboard…. everything is shabbily picture perfect until you notice the knife in the teddy bear’s back. Excellent.” /Americana UK: “A slice of dark whimsy… a cobweb covered jewellery box… a haunting trip.” /Sounds SXP: “The quality of the storytelling combined with the delicate arrangements and the embracing of modern sounds with traditional acoustic instruments come together to make a compelling album with depth and originality. When the Mercury panel are picking the obligatory folk album for next year’s shortlist they should consider this, it might even have the crossover appeal to win it.” / The Daily Frail: “A mix of musical ideas that is almost impossible to describe because it manages to be both deeply traditional and incredibly modern at the same time. It really is that good.”

Live reviews…

Fatea Magazine: “Before tonight, I was not familiar with the music of Harp and a Monkey but, after this performance, I realised that I had been missing something rather wonderful. In fact, I was totally enthralled…” / Manchester Evening News: “Somehow they produce rousing, heart-warming performances from their odd collection of material, underpinned by fine musicianship. A glockenspiel, mouth organ, banjo, viola and, of course, a harp feature throughout their compelling performances. Catch Harp and a Monkey.” / Lancashire Evening Telegraph: “Harp and a Monkey… very talented and very entertaining.” /Manchester Music: “Bright, dry witty tunes are satisfyingly baroque yet rustic, the acoustics mingling into a hypnotic tonic of fun and tradition. Their sanguine songwriting is just magic.” / The Afterword: “The trio produce a sound reminiscent of Bjork inspiring the Fleet Foxes to re-imagine The Houghton Weavers, a kind of nostalgic throwback infused with modernity. Simply let the lovingly crafted melodies wash over you, enjoy the intricacy of the multiple instrumentation or take on board the unusual tales recounted by the wonderfully emotive vocals.”