Hailing from Bristol, Heg & The Wolf Chorus was born out of Heg's story-inspired songwriting and love for theatre. With a strong folk influence under-pinning the sound, the band performed with eccentric, dramatic flair, often incorporating narration, costumes, orchestral-inspired arrangements using a variety of instruments and always with multiple voices layering in rich harmony. The band was active from 2010 - 2019 and during that time they had morphing musical line up which included viola, double bass, violin, accordion, flute, trumpet, floor toms played with giant beaters, orchestral drums and at one point a choir.
Together with Heg, the wolf chorus created theatrical, original folk which drew 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.
In November 2016 they released their debut and only full length studio album Raising The Fires. This critically acclaimed concept album 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 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.
The band promoted the 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 were nominated for various awards including Bristol Folk Festival's Isambard Folk Award. The band also received the EFDSS Creative Seed Bursary to develop new music.
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. 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.
Previous Heg & The Wolf Chorus members include:
Joe Kelly - Double bass
Vince Martin - Violin
Julu Irvine - Flute
Chez Dunford - Accordion, trumpet
Richie Dobson - Drums
Steph Taylor - Drums
Anita Chute - Viola
Natalie Farr - Vocals
Harriet Riley - Orchestral drum
Jade Stewart-Tribe - Vocals