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Comus/Shirley Collins/Stephanie Hladowski & Chris Joynes (live at Islington Assembly Rooms)

London 21 September 2013

It is a mild, early autumn Saturday night and Upper Street is the very picture of modern urban revelry. Outside the doorways of fashionable bars and clubs, the pavements are clotted with thick knots of drinkers and smokers, the ‘dun-tsch, dun-tsch, dun-tsch’ beat of anonymous dance music bleeding out from their dimly-lit interiors into the warm evening air.

There is scarcely a free chair around the outside tables of the chi-chi restaurants, every surface groaning under cornucopia of plenty: pan seared scallops, herb roasted pork tenderloin and quinoa-crusted plaice, chilled Chablis and Blue Mountain double espresso. Everywhere stand men with casually unbuttoned striped shirts and hair thick with extra-hold gel, whilst women with glowing blonde hair and micro-skirts totter atop their high heels. An enormous shocking pink stretch Hummer glides past, one of its darkened rear windows lowered as a girl clutching a precarious flute of

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Comus – Out of the Coma

Rise Above (12″)/Coptic Cat (CD)

It was 1974 when Comus, after two truly blood-curdling albums (1971’s First Utterance and 1974’s To Keep From Crying), retreated to his woodland bower, lay down in a mossy hollow and went to sleep. Those recordings had been barely understood at the time, their power and strange attraction undeniable, yet somehow they remained too demonic, too priapic, to be embraced by those frightened of the twisted, leering face and the danse macabre melodies. The time of Comus had not yet come.

Before the decade was out, though, the landscape around the forest had changed beyond all recognition, whether through the angry thunderhead of Punk ripping apart Rock’s progressive trajectory, or the emergence of Chaos Magick leading away from the old

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Comus/Fusion Orchestra 2/Purson (live at The Borderline)

The Borderline, London 29 April 2012

It had been raining solid for 24 hours. The streets of London were filled with a babbling brook of water that the sodden masses had to navigate to stop them from getting drenched further and all the while more fell from the sky to dampen peoples Saturday night.

As I entered The Borderline the place was already beginning to fill out early. The word was out that Purson were hot and people gathered to see what the fuss was about. I had already heard them as I had managed to find a copy of their limited single on Rise Above and was looking forward to finally seeing the band live, and they didn’t disappoint.

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Comus – East Of Sweden

Gnostic Dirt

Comus - East of SwedenEven in this age of Tunng, Espers and countless assorted other groovy out-there New Folk outfits who are busy fusing ancient melodies and instrumentation with samples, beats and all the trappings of hip urban coolness as fast as their little hands can programme, for most people the word ‘Folk’ still brings to mind images of worthy acoustic sing-a-longs, beards and real ale as relentlessly as driving rain on a Bank Holiday dowsing trip to Wessex. Let’s face facts, ‘Folk’ still too often struggles to shed the ‘hey nonny nonny’ and ‘all around my hat’ fuckery of its rather tiresome mid 20th Century incarnation. Don’t get me wrong, I love ‘Folk’ music, and its quiet but considerable influence in ‘Rock’ is often cruelly overlooked in favour of the more gritty and credible

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