Hailing from Bristol, Heg & The Wolf Chorus has been born out of Heg Brignall's story-inspired songwriting. They create theatrical, original folk which draws inspiration from fairy tales and the twisted roots of Heg's family tree, taking the listener on a journey from Grimm’s fantastical forests, across the stormy Atlantic to the black, dangerous coal mines of Illinois and far beyond.
November 2016 marked the release of their debut concept album Raising The Fires. The album, which was described in fRoots Magazine as being "Highly accomplished and idiosyncratic", intertwines imaginative stories with traditional myths and legends. The story is set at the end of the world as we know it, brought to it’s demise by a white witch who was wrongfully burnt at the stake. As the world burns, the witch's spell conjures the return of all the mythological creatures to claim their land. The band perform the songs from the album with theatrical narrative, taking the audience on a journey through each twist of the story. The album was recorded and co-produced by Gareth James Bailey who has received praise for his work on the album and previous releases with the band.
2016 saw the band promote the new album on a successful UK headline tour which included showcases at Folk Expo, Cambridge Folk Festival as well as a unique sell-out concert at Bristol's St George's hosted by fRoots Magazine celebrating 50 years since the opening of Bristol's notorious 60's folk club The Troubadour.
In previous years the band have been nominated for various awards including Bristol Folk Festival's Isambard Folk Award. Their trilogy of EP's (produced by Gareth James Bailey) received critical acclaim, putting the band firmly on the folk map. The title track from the first EP Giant was nominated for 'Song of the Year' in the Fatea Magazine Awards 2014. The sea-themed EP A Tale of Sailors, the second release, followed triumphantly in Giant's footsteps and was awarded 'Single of the Year' by BBC Merseyside's Folkscene show.
Photo by Andy Teo
The final release, Rain, which completed the trilogy came out in 2015 and was heralded by fRoots Magazine as "inventive piano and string arrangements and exquisite vocal harmonies."
During this time the band supported Moulettes, Nizlopi (including sell-out show at London's Union Chapel), The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, The Lucy Ward Band, Bridie Jackson & The Arbour and BBC Folk Award nominees Gilmore & Roberts. The band also had a successful season of UK festivals climaxing in a showcase performance with fRoots Magazine at Sidmouth Folk Week. The song Three Sailors was included on the highly regarded fRoots magazine summer compilation.
2018 saw the band teamed up with Cirque Bijou for a one-off, epic performance over the Wear River in Sunderland as part of the Tall Ships Races Sunderland which was featured on BBC Four. The music is entirely original and purpose written for this performance by Heg, and was performed by the band and a 50+ strong choir whilst two high wire artists (The Bullzini Family and Johanne Humblett) crossed a 200 meter long, 30 meter high wire walk with no safety net.
The band begin touring again this year and have been developing a second album which is due for release in 2019. The development of this new album has been part funded by EFDSS with their Creative Seed Bursary.
The Heg & The Wolf Chorus line-up changes with each release. The band currently includes:
Heg Brignall - Keyboard and vocals
Vince Martin - Violin and vocals
Joseph Kelly - Double Bass and vocals
Julu Irvine - Flute and vocals