Leicestershire born and Hertfordshire based Fay Brotherhood is an English pagan folk singer-songwriter, professional ecologist and fine artist. She's been gigging on the UK Pagan and progressive folk/rock music circuit for a decade and has since 2019 become batter known as the enigmatic lead singer of pagan progressive folk/rock band Spriggan Mist, Her onstage dynamism and defiant vocal delivery have earned her an array of descriptions, from a nightingale on steroids, the ghost of Sandy Denny and tthe lovechild of Kate Bush and Jethro Tull.
Since 2003, Fay has released five home recorded albums and EP’s. A stalwart of the East Midlands acoustic scene from 2011 to 2013, she started out as a solo act. Her first gig was at The Black Rat in Winchester in 2009 (where she was studying for her National Diploma in Countryside Management at Sparsholt College She played a few gigs in Leicestershire before she hit it in earnest in 2010 playing folk clubs around Southwell where she was studying for her degree at the Brackenhurst campus of Notts Trent Uni. She won an open mic competition to open the stage at Southwell Folk Festival and the rest was history as she played all manner of folk festivals and pagan events around the UK and collected an impressive CV of support slots, including Strawbs, Damh The Bard, Dave Swarbrick, The Moulette’s and Lucy Ward.
Fay beginning her life as a serious gigging solo artist, playing at The Dumbles Folk Club in Southwell in 2011
In late 2011 Fay felt she needed some accompaniement to her songs and she formed a duo with fiddle/mandolin player Lee Burns, with whom she recorded 2012 EP Mother Moon
Fay Brotherhood & Lee Burns - Not the Glastonbury Music Festival Nottingham 2012
Still wanting more to the music she added Paul Bowley on bass, Steve Ward on cajon and Dale Tyers on mandolin and accordian to form progressive folk rock band Cernewoda, with whom waves were really starting to be made before she left for a new life in Hertfordshire. Sadly, whilst they started they never finished any recorded output but a collection of live recordings is available here.
Cernewoda at the Musician in Leicester, 2012
In Hertfordshire, she continued building her reputation as a musical force to be reckoned with. In 2015, her ode to the Boudicccan revolt, Blue Spiral Screams was released on Folkstock Records 'The F Spot - Femme Fatales of Folk' compilation to critical acclaim, the album gaining a 4* Review from The Telegraph; inclusion in their Top Folk Albums of 2015; recommendation from The Sunday Times in their Culture section and airplay on BBC Radio 2, Radio 3 and 6 Music, Between 2019 to 2022, Fay performed in circus rock band Papa Shango, contributing backing vocals to their 2022 album "Risk Assessment" as one of their gang of sultry backing singers the Papettes.
Fay with circus rock band Papa Shango
Fay joined her current act Spriggan Mist in December 2019 since which time she has contributed vocals and artwork to live album Ghostly Tales 2021 and 2022 studio album Lair of Isambard , to which she made her first self penned musical contribution Chalk Horses; an old favourite about Avebury stone circle (one of her favourite haunts) from the Cernewoda era.
Fay with Progressive Folk Rock band Spriggan Mist
Fay has home produced four albums, her latest the Drawing Line EP released in January 2020.
For a while Fay has been out of the solo gig game as all her time has been taken up with Spriggan Mist, Papa Shango and her new life as
an ecological consultant (covid got in the way a bit too!) but she is planning a come back and is planning to record her first studio
recorded album in 2022.
Fay at one of her last solo gigs, Colours of the Oak 2019.
Fay is inspired mainly by folk, classic rock and prog rock and her influences include; Jethro Tull Seth Lakeman Tori Amos Smoke Fairies Buffy Sainte-Marie Steeleye Span, Sandy Denny Jack Bruce Sharon Knight Damh The Bard Led Zeppelin Syd Barrett Pentangle Galley Beggar Jefferson Airplane.
Born and raised in Coalville, Leicestershire, Fay was reared on music by a singer mum and bassist dad who played together in function and blues bands throughout her childhood and eagerly encouraged her to sing and play instruments. They took great joy in presenting her with seminal albums from prog/classic rock history and together gave her a most excellent musical education.
Fay started singing pretty much as soon as she could speak and taught herself guitar at age 14, during her music GCSE at which point she started writing her own songs (mainly because she was too much of an idle sod to learn other peoples songs!).
Studying for a GCSE in Music and then going on to a BTEC in performing arts, her musical development was influenced massively by an amazing music teacher who built up her confidence constantly challenged her and being the first to recognize it as a place her voice belonged, pushed her down the folk route. Since then, she has taught herself to play bouzouki, mandolin, tenor guitar and recorder/penny whistle.
(BREAKING NEWS: After reading this Fay's mum said "But Fay, you played recorder at primary school and you were good at it!" Fay has no recollection of playing recorder at primary school, but figures that must be why when she bought a recorder, she discovered that she could play the recorder).
Fay's biggest love is nature (which is how she wound up working as a professional ecologist and botanist, balancing her full time work with her art and music life. This influences the bulk of her artistic output.
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