EASTER weekend sees Somerset band The Model Folk climb back in the saddle to play in Swindon, performing tracks from their new album, Houses For Little Horses.

Conjuring up soundscapes of werewolves, folk tales, trapeze artists and railways is just a normal night for these musical magicians. The guys enjoy throwing all their preferred genres of alt rock, reggae, ska, and folk into the melting pot, but they are best known for the Balkan theme which runs through their songs.

Jerry, better known as Jesmond, on guitar, mandolin and vocals, saysthat the Balkan influence began in the original line-up which had a violinist as centre stage, but today it is James, aka Ray Mears, Stallwood on clarinet who takes the ‘melodic helm.’ the band got together in 2009 in a pub in Clevedon, North Somerset. The main songwriters are Jerry, Rob aka Badger on mandolin, ukulele and vocals, and drummer Mike, also known as Miggle.

Jerry said the three of them get down the essence of a song and then take it to the rest of the band who are: Alex P on bass/accordion/vocals, Alex A on trombone/bass, Tom playing trumpet/vocals and James, Ray Mears, Stallwood.

Jerry said: ‘’Between their sharp ears and our songwriting spark we’re quite a collaborative force. Personally, I look for a phrase or two to get started and then see where it takes me.’’

Inspirational tales and comedy make up the underlying force of The Model Folk, who have built up a strong following in Swindon. Playing live the guys like to make their audience feel part of the family and that same warmth creeps in to their own songs. Houses for Little Horses was recorded last year at The White House studios in Kewstoke and is set for release on March 29.

Jerry said: ‘’There isn’t really a single theme to the album, aside the serious shortage of Houses for Little Horses in this country currently. We worked hard this time on developing new recording styles and and techniques that we hadn’t tried before, and I think it definitely shows in the quality of the new album.’’

This will be the third studio project from the guys following the success of their EP, Travelling At The Speed, and their debut album The Great Pedants Revolt.

Jerry said: ‘’In real life, Badger designs the engines on paper airplanes, and Stallwood installs printers, which is why he’s mostly magenta. Little Aspy Alex tells people how to play with their computers, and I build the water for waterparks. Alex is a lecturer in Plug history and has a pub quiz team called “Socket and See”, Brave Sir Thomas makes sure people on the TV sound like they know what they’re talking about, and Miggle controls all electricity, rather like Thor but in stripes.’’

The Model Folk will be at the Beehive, Prospect Hill, Old Town, Swindon on Good Friday, March 30 from 8.30pm. For more details about the gig call 01793 523187 or visit http://bee-hive.co.uk/ or details about the band https://themodelfolk.com/ - Flicky Harrison