Leicestershire born and Hertfordshire based Fay Brotherhood (born June 14th, 1984) is an English pagan folk singer-songwriter, professional ecologist and fine artist making waves on the UK Pagan music scene, both for her solo work and her vibrant performances as the lead singer of pagan prog folk band Spriggan Mist, whom she joined in 2019. Fay is also an artist and professional ecologist. Since December 2019 she has performed as the lead singer in pagan prog folk band Spriggan Mist and dons sparkly hotpants and whipped cream as a "Papette" in circus rock lunatics Papa Shango. Her skilled, defiantly emotive vocal performances and on stage dynamism have earned her a colourful array of descriptions. Some have called her a nightingale on steroids, others have wondered if they were hearing the ghost of Sandy Denny and a fair few people are convinced she's the lovechild of Kate Bush and Jethro Tull.
Since 2003, Fay has released five home recorded albums and EP’s and played all manner of folk festivals and pagan events around the UK. She was a stalwart of the acoustic scene in Leicester from 2010 to 2013, where she played solo, as part of the Fay Brotherhood and Lee Burns duo and with folk rock band Cernewoda. She has an impressive CV of support slots, including Strawbs, Damh The Bard, Dave Swarbrick, The Moulette’s and Lucy Ward. After her band Cernewoda disbanded in 2013, Fay moved to Hertfordshire where she quickly built up a reputation as a musical force to be reckoned with. In 2015, her ode to the Boudicccan revolt, Blue Spiral Screams (available here) was released on Folkstock Records 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 BBC 6 Music,
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 has music in her blood. Her mum a singer and her dad a bassist, they played together in blues and function bands throughout her childhood. Following in their footsteps, she has been singing since she could speak. She wrote her first song when she was 10 but didn’t start writing in earnest until the age of 14.
Studying for her music GCSE, and frustrated with the need to find accompaniment every time she wanted to perform, she dragged out a battered old classical guitar from under her parent’s bed. A guitar bought a year ago for her sister who wanted to learn but quickly grew bored. Her Dad kept it, knowing that someday soon Fay would pick it up. And as Dad’s so often are, he was right.
In teaching herself to play guitar, not only did she find the freedom of being able to accompany herself, but she found a whole new way of expressing herself and that chasm of angst that dwells in every teenager. She continued to develop this skill throughout her sixth form studies in performing arts, encouraged and coached by an incredible music teacher who was the first to identify her “folk voice” and constantly pushed her to improve. Since then, she has taught herself to play bouzouki, mandolin, tenor guitar and recorder/penny whistle.
(Apparently, so her mum says she could play recorder at primary school. Fay has no recollection of this whatsoever but figures that must be why she can play the recorder).
After sixth form and ever spurred on by a feverish love of learning, Fay went on to study a range of ecological subjects. From 2005 to 2017, she gained a National Diploma in Countryside Management, a Degree in Wildlife Conservation and finally a Masters in Environmental Management, her academic journey eventually leading to work as an ecological consultant, which she now balances with the music and art sides of her life.. Her studies in ecology form a background theme running all the way through her work, Fay finding natural lore and ecological theory a fertile pool of metaphors and analogies that have coloured her work ever since.
Since 2009 Fay has performed at folk, fairy and pagan festivals across the UK and has an impressive CV of support slots, including Strawbs, Damh The Bard, Billie Mitchell (Lindisfarne), Dave Swarbrick, Carolyn Hillier, The Moulette’s, The Dolmen and Lucy Ward. She has mainly performed solo, but between 2012 and 2013, when she moved to Hertfordshire also performed as a duo with fiddle/mandolin player Lee Burns and five piece folk band Cernewoda. In 2015, her ode to the Boudiccan revolt, Blue Spiral Screams (available here) was released on Folkstock Records 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 BBC 6 Music,
Since 2019 Fay has performed as lead singer in Pagan folk rock behemoth Spriggan Mist and as a backing singer in circus rock band Papa Shango.
Fay has home produced four albums, her latest the Drawing Line EP released in January 2020 and is planning her first studio recorded
album for release in late 2021.
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