GentleFolk: Into the Greenwood review – consciously quaint but equally charming


Trees, woods and forests play a major role in folklore and folk song, where paeans to oak, ash, thorn and holly are commonplace. Here, south London bard Nigel Hoyle reasserts the tradition with a set of original numbers promising “a journey through the old woods of England”; among them Brighton’s elms, Kent’s service trees and Dartmoor’s oaks. Guitar, fiddle, cello, flute and shruti box (a hand-held harmonium) provide a slightly rickety, drone-heavy backdrop for the vocals of Hoyle and Sarah Lloyd. It’s a consciously quaint sound, but also charming and at times mesmeric, redolent of the “weird folk” of Tunng and the Incredible String Band, with tree magic, Green Man and faerie folk in the narrative.


Neil Spencer

The GuardianTramp

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