Three Fires Launch Party review

On Sunday 27 February at The Barn Theatre in Kemberton we decided to throw a party to celebrate the launch of our album 'Three Fires' and set the ball rolling for our 'Three Fires Tour' which starts at Quatt Village Hall on March 6th. The venue was an apt choice as the recording sessions for the CD took place there in the Summer of 2010, thanks to a generous offer from the Kaleidoscope Theatre Company who own and run the place.

Whalebone Launch Party

The launch was attended by many of our friends and supporters, some of whom have been following us from the start - some 6 years ago. After a moving introductory speech from Kaleidoscope’s Carolyne Revell we played a few tracks, including a playful rendition of ‘Wenlock Hare’, a haunting version of ‘Wait’,  'Herman the Carpenter', the title track 'Three Fires' and ended with ‘Stairway to Heaven’. It was great to be playing live together again - if quite emotional at times being surrounded by so many lovely people that had given up their Sunday afternoons to attend. Following the performance we set up the recording equipment to demonstrate how the album was made, and talked in depth about the joy of mixing and EQ settings! All accompanied by wine and much home-made cake, a Whalebone trademark! We got an email after from a chap who's daughter asked him - 'Why did Steve want Sarah to play like a Rubber Plant?' - she was referring to an explanation of Stairway to Heaven where we asking Sarah to play like Robert Plant sings in the recording sessions, which amused us greatly!

Whalebone Launch Party

We need a Haunted House!

We’re on the hunt for a haunted venue! Along with our mate and all round wonderfully talented person Beck Siàn we’re looking for a spooky setting for two concerts around Halloween time this year.

We’ve performed at Halloween with Beck before and her haunting, atmospheric songs are perfect for a dark autumn evening, so we thought it would be fun to find a suitable setting for two concerts we’d like to perform this year on October 28th/29th. We need to plan well ahead, so if anyone has a haunted house or a village hall with a reputation for unexplained goings on and would be interested in having us perform there we’d love to hear from them! 

If you can help, please email us on

Scooby scooby doooooooooooo!

Getting back to normal and a Taplas review

Last week we (after what seems like an age) got back to playing and rehearsing together - for the first time since early December. Sarah bought the new arrival Charlie along who seems to take life in his stride and seems very relaxed when we're playing. He hasn't got his fingers in his ears, it's just the camera angle!


At the moment we're mostly preparing for the start of the tour, taking posters and leaflets around for each venue, with the first date being March 5th at Quatt Village Hall, just outside Bridgnorth. It's great to organise and plan a new setlist and we're really looking forward to getting out and playing again.

We've had another review for 'Three Fires', this time from Taplas Magazine,  - the review suggests that the CD 'pays tribute to ritual behaviour during the midsummer madness', and as midsummer madness sums up how we felt during the recording of the album we're pleased with the review and the kind words it contained!

Runner up in Instrumental Album of the Year / 2010 Round up and a new video

Looking back briefly, 2010 saw the release of our new CD ‘Three Fires’, recorded at The Barn Theatre at Kemberton. We’re really pleased with how it turned out, and the album ended the year by being voted into the ‘Top ten folk releases of 2010’ by Andy Donnelly's The Celtic Show on CKUA Radio in Canada and runner up ‘Instrumental album of the year 2010’ by FATEA magazine...not bad for an album that was recorded on a tight (i.e. non-existent!) budget in Shropshire.

Other random highs and lows include playing with Spiers and Boden of Bellowhead on the one hand, and the memory of half-dragging a very pregnant fiddle player across Coventry city centre to get to a live radio interview on the other... and talking of pregnant fiddlers, the first highlight of 2011 has been the birth of Sarah’s second son, Charlie! Both are doing very well.

On the Whalebone playlist last year was Among the Oak and Ash, (a great American roots band), Kris Drever, Thea Gilmore, Harper Simon (Paul’s son) and Robert Plant and the Band of Joy, the latter also won our (well Char’s) gig of the year award.

2010 also saw us play some great shows with both the Kaleidoscope Theatre Company and Bridgnorth Players, the latter featuring Char’s acting a small naughty boy called George... We’re looking forward to performing with both companies again in the coming year. We also visited some great new venues and returned to some old favourites and are very much looking forward to getting back to performing in March. We must miss the heckling... There are some new dates in the Gigs/Tickets section of the website along with all the details of the venues and how to book.

We’ve been thinking for a while about capturing on film all of the excitement, dubious lead guitarist shapes and terrible jokes that make up a Whalebone gig, and at last we’ve done it! Well... sort of, as we’ve used some rather dashing looking stand-ins for the filming. We’ve also paid homage to some of our favourite artists in the video. There are seven in there somewhere and you can view the video on Youtube at or on this website under the 'Videos' tab.

Three Fires goes Top Ten, Reviews and some Free Podcasts featuring Hooty Mullock...

Andy Donnelly, who presents the ‘Celtic Show’ on The CKUA Radio Network, has voted ‘Three Fires’ as one of his top ten albums of 2010. This is a huge honour for us and we are keeping fantastic company with the likes of Kris Drever (Lau), Michael McGoldrick and Altan also listed in his selection and one of only two independent artists to make the chart. CKUA is a highly respected radio station that broadcasts all over Canada – and the world now with the internet. We first heard about his show from chatting to a nice guy at Clun Green Man Festival at the start of the year and if you can catch the programme you are guaranteed to hear a great selection of music. 

'Hooty Mullock', one of the tracks on the new album has been featured in a couple of podcasts this month, both feature a great range of music and are a great way of listening to and discovering new artists and releases. FolkCast is published monthly in the UK and features the best in folk, folk-rock, singer-songwriter and roots-based music hosted by Phil Widdows and Ken Nicol. CD Baby is our American distributor and their free folk podcast is available from iTunes on the link below:

FolkCast Download link

CD Baby Folk Podcast link

We’ve come to the end of our live performances this year with four Theatrical Winterval shows with the Bridgnorth Players. It really felt festive with the weather at the moment! The last performance at Chelmarsh was magical and extremely funny at times! We had a really great time working with the Players and hope to do something similar with them in the future. Talking of wintry weather... here is what it looks like outside our window at Whalebone HQ at the moment...brrrrr....


Whalebone view from window Dec 2010

And here is one down the lane to the River Severn....


Whalebone view lane Dec 2010

The new album has also received some good reviews from various sources, including FATEA Magazine and Shropshire Review which you can read all about on the 'Press Pack' page of this website.

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