Ivor and Kevan grew up in Hampshire and there is a strong local theme to many of theirsongs, which range from the humorous to the historical. Our sound is mainly acoustic – featuring: mandola, guitars, mandolin, harp, recorder, pipes, percussion, harmonica and harmonies - our music can reasonably be described as contemporary and original English Folk Roots.They write most of our own material, some more contemporary and some more traditional in style. They are interested in exploring English identity.
Their first album, ‘Secret Lives’, was released in 2001; the second, ‘Stood on the Shore’ in 2006, and the third, ‘Far as far’ in 2010 – you can listen to tracks from all three albums via their web site. They have played in local folk clubs and festivals, often play for charity, and are regular performers at the Alton Music and Poetry Club.
Their influences include: the Incredible String Band, Robin Williamson, Hymns Ancient and Modern, the Bible and the canon of English literature. They are still exploring where all these influences might take them and hope you will listen to and enjoy where they’ve got to so far.
Far as Far (2010)
Their previous album Stood on the Shore (2006) was an excellent album of English folk music, and this follow-up is a logical evolution of their sound. They mine a rich seam of traditional material such as the wonderful opener Gypsy Davey, while their own material is written in a folk style which sits nicely alongside the songs by Anon. In particular, The Stranger is brilliant (and is co-written with long-term collaborator Paul Gateshill, whose fine lead guitar playing weaves in and out of this album), while Langollen Canal is beautifully evocative. The brothers are accomplished musicians, singers and songwriters, and their collaborations with family and friends are delightful accompaniment to the well-crafted songs on this record. © James R. Turner
Stood on the Shore (2006)
Although they have been playing live for many years it took them twenty five years to release their debut album ‘Secret Lives’ in 2001. After a mere six years we are therefore pleased to bring here their second album. As before it’s an album rooted in factual observation with each song exploring a particular theme. The song writing is once again very strong, providing bright melodic settings for each performance. It’s easy on the ear and diverse in sound with flute, whistle, mandola, electric guitar and drums broadening out the sound.
They manage easily to reconcile traditional folk with contemporary styles, seeming to make it a redundant issue. By giving traditional styled songs the same warm production, songs like ‘Hanging Tree’ written in the traditional style suddenly seem modern. Without being sentimental, they look fondly back at England’s past on songs like ‘English Green’ and sing of the seasonal cycle on ‘There’s A Thread Runs Through’.
Songs such as ‘Slip Away’ and ‘It’s Not Dark Yet’ show the brothers exploring new areas in their music such as acoustic pop and acoustic folk rock. The album ends with ‘Thief In The Night’ which considers the unseen coming of death with a folk-rock epic combining pounding drums and flute.
One of the notable songs is 'Mr Mitchell's Angel' about the spitfire plane and its creator R.J. Mitchell. This plane has an enduring affection from people in the UK due to its pivotal role in defending the country during world war II.
This is a highly accomplished album that builds upon and expands from the brother’s first album. Don’t be deceived by the easy on the ear songs, there’s real depth to the album. Anyone with an interest in traditional or modern folk should check it out.
Fanciful musings put to music are all very well but there’s a special fascination about folksongs based on fact.
Take, for instance, the story of Peter Cluer, who lies buried in Droxford churchyard, having met a violent end nearly 300 hundred years ago. In a case of mistaken identity, he was set upon by two brothers and shot by an accomplice at a spot near Waltham Chase known to this day as Clewers Hill. His killers were tried at the Assizes and hanged.
When songwriter, Ivor Bundell, from Colden Common, came across the tale in a local history, it captured his imagination, moving him to put pen to paper. Clewers Hill is one of the tracks on “Secret Lives”, an album that he and brother, Kevan, from Botley, have just released. It keeps a foot in both camps - traditional and contemporary - with songs that span a wide variety of subjects and influences. There’s passion and patriotism and, yes, history, throughout, with points of reference ranging from the Roman Invasion, the rise and fall of the Royal Navy and the price of war to a real life tragedy at sea and the discovery of a perfectly-preserved 2000-year-old corpse beneath an Alpine glacier.
For Ivor and Kevan, the CD represents something of a comeback. Although they are well known in Hampshire for their charity performances, it’s 25 years since, with friends, they last made an album. Both multi-instrumentalists, they will be at the Winchester Folk Festival this weekend and at the city’s Hat Fair in July.