Stick in the Wheel – Common Ground
Formats: Digital / 7″ Vinyl
Label: Static Caravan Recordings
Release Date: 23rd February 2015
Stick in the Wheel are a raw and uncompromising London folk band. This Spring, they release a limited custom-sleeved 7″ and download in collaboration with Static Caravan Recordings. Headed by Nicola Kearey (vocals) and Ian Carter (dobro and production), they have recruited seasoned folk singer Fran Kempster (harmony vocals), Si Foote (percussion), and Joolie Wood (fiddle) to create a record that is utterly real, a large and intentional step away from overblown folk floweriness, back to the fundamental essence of storytelling through song, by the people for the people.
Brought up in the thriving culture of working class London and cutting their teeth heading the forefront of the early grime/dubstep scene (Ian has produced beats/music for artists such as GhostPoet, Wiley and Context, and previously collaborated with Nicola in the early days of Various Production), they now bring those influences and attitudes to their traditional music.
Common Ground is hard and rhythmical, driven by Ian’s cyclical guitar and underpinned by Si’s relentless beat. Nicola’s lead vocal and Fran’s harmony tell the story of the gradual enclosure of our common land, the constant erosion of people’s rights, and how we are complicit in our own suppression. It was recorded, arranged and produced by the band’s Ian Carter, in a Basildon warehouse amongst palettes and cardboard boxes in a stolen night in October 2014.
Hasp is a song about a horse. This sparse and deliberate track describes the horse’s seemingly endless work-bound tethered existence “we’re bred for work that’s never done”; a metaphor for a life that sees liberty as a fleeting notion that must be grasped at the first opportunity. It was recorded live at dusk in the Tudor oak-paneled dining room of Sutton House in Homerton, shortly before a concert.
With live sessions on BBC6Music (Tom Robinson), Xfm (John Kennedy), national/regional airplay, plus festivals and gigs packing out 2014 and 2015, Stick in the Wheel speak plainly and with purpose, as much at home in the underground music scene as with the trad folk scene.