Published by Herne on December 9, 2012

Herne: We were absolutely delighted when we received an email from Brocc ask­ing to be played on Wyld­wood Radio, and when the album arrived, we were instantly in love with it. What brought the band together in the begin­ning?

Anwen: Orig­i­nally, Clar and Hallr wrote and recorded ‘Call of the Wild Wood’ and ‘Lyonesse’, then realised that to per­form live, they’d need a bit of help. We were all friends already, so joined forces to cre­ate more songs and tunes: mostly new, some tra­di­tional in new arrange­ments. From the very start, the band drew its inspi­ra­tion from the land, the sea­sons, the myths and leg­ends of the Islands of Britain. Before we knew it, we were play­ing at the Tolkien Fes­ti­val and Three Wishes Faery Fest with masks and cos­tumes and an unfea­si­bly large array of weird and won­der­ful instru­ments!

Herne: Why did you chose the name Brocc?

Anwen: Ah, that came about because of the bad­ger sett next to Clar and Hallr’s house. Bad­gers trun­dle across their gar­den reg­u­larly, and one night they found a baby bad­ger in the liv­ing room. It’d come in through the cat­flap, and the cats were totally freaked, but we’d been look­ing for a band name so we decided we’d been claimed. Brocc in Old Eng­lish and broch in Welsh are ancient names for the bad­ger. So Brocc the bad­ger has been our totem ever since. They’re such won­der­ful beasts; earthy and secre­tive, and under threat in Eng­land (though thank­fully less so now in Wales).

Herne: Your album 13 Moons is quite diverse What was the inspi­ra­tion behind the album?

Anwen: The over­all theme was to be the the land, its myths and leg­ends, and into that mix went lots of dif­fer­ent back­grounds and ideas — songs and instru­ments, new and tra­di­tional mate­r­ial, some from the Celtic lands, some overtly pagan, some less so. For exam­ple, Stone Dance and Lyon­nesse came from Clar’s links with Corn­wall. Mikael brought the tra­di­tional Rey­nar­dine to the band as he’s big on bal­lads and we loved the foxy-​shapeshifting leg­end. Hela’r Dryw and Wren King both cel­e­brate the mid­win­ter King of the Birds but are very dif­fer­ent — one’s an old Welsh cus­tom revamped in folk-​rock style, the other a brand new song, light and beau­ti­ful. In This Moment came about through a con­ver­sa­tion between Mikael and I on rit­ual and his instinc­tive phi­los­o­phy of being aware of life. And Song of Cider’s just about cider!

Herne: What first got you into music?

Anwen: Per­son­ally? I’ve sung all my life, and Brocc gives me the chance to not only sing but drum too, which I love. All of us have dif­fer­ent musi­cal incar­na­tions, instru­men­tal or vocal or both, but Brocc’s mix of hurdy-​gurdy and pipes, drums and strings and har­monies is really special.

Herne: Of course you’re also part of Fan­fare of Strum­pets, a four per­son acapella group, which has an alto­gether dif­fer­ent feel to Brocc. Do you ever find the diver­sity challenging?

Anwen: The diversity’s great! A Fan­fare of Strum­pets is a mil­lion miles away from Brocc but I have great fun with the girls. Brocc’s had more of a direct influ­ence on my duo work with Mike Gul­ston. We’ve been work­ing on lots of sea­sonal songs, singing the year’s round, and these form the core of the new duo album, together with more medi­ae­val mate­r­ial. Already we’ve recorded songs for Beltane and we’re about to start on the autumn and Samhain ones. And of course at Imbolc this year Wyld­wood Radio played Ode To Brid­get, which I was very happy to share.

Herne: Is there any sign of a new album for Brocc on the hori­zon?

Anwen: We’ve all been so busy with other projects for a while that there hasn’t been much time! But as soon as they’re wrapped up we’ll have a chance to look at what next for Brocc. In the mean­while we’re very pleased with 13 Moons and the recep­tion it’s received.

Herne: and finally, our ran­dom ques­tion, Do you pre­fer Choco­late spread, or peanut but­ter?

Anwen: Ye gods! How can one choose? Lots of both. Simul­ta­ne­ously. Prefer­ably with cider!

For more infor­ma­tion on Brocc
Please visit their web­site: https://www​.brocc​.org

And you can buy the album 13 Moons here: https://brocc​.band​camp​.com

For more infor­ma­tion on Mike Gul­ston
Please visit his web­site: https://www​.rowen​gul​ston​.co​.uk

For more infor­ma­tion on A Fan­fare of Strum­pets
Please visit their web­site here: https://www​.fan​fare​of​strum​pets​.co​.uk

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