Watch this video about my Album Launch at Theatr Clwyd, Mold.
“Like a Flower on a Cactus Grows”
Welsh Album Launch, Illustration Workshops and Exhibition
Multi-talented songwriter, musician and artist Elfin Bow prepares to release her highly anticipated self-titled debut album with a special launch event at Mold’s
Theatr Clwyd on Friday 4th August, in association with the Folk and Roots Club.
A truly 21st Century folk artist, Elfin is a storyteller of the finest kind and brings her pastoral psych-folk sound to audiences at the Mold venue, featuring exclusive performances of tracks from her album as well as a variety of special guest performers.
The new album of original songs which was released on 10th March is a result of her determination to pursue her creative dreams and blends her twin passions of music and art. Her songs and stage presence exude colour, charisma and a gentle charm.
Audiences will be mesmerised with dreamy songs including The First Red Leaf of Autumn and Daffadilly Down whilst the pulsing Grimshaw and the Fingerclaw and whistful Edith’s Song play out the story of ‘The Witch of Melling,’ a character inspired by Elfin’s childhood.
A rising star, Elfin has recently supported the likes of Robin Williamson, The Sam Kelly Trio, Harp and a Monkey, James Findlay and Tom Kitching and was selected to play the Main Stage at Liverpool’s 2016 Folk on the Dock Festival.
Elfin Bow will be performing with her band and special guest acts on the night will include The Trials of Cato and Sam Lyon.
Elfin Bow will be inviting young people to submit illustrations based on her character, Edith Grimshaw, as part of the North Wales Open Arts event, as well as working with Arts in the Armchair and a public workshop, to create images that will be integrated into the performance. She is also working with local artist, June McHenry to create a one night only art installation in the foyer of the Clwyd room. On the night a special dance will be performed by Karen and Zoey Campbell.
Speaking on the upcoming launch, Elfin Bow says: “How lucky am I to be able to launch my album in two countries? My first album launch was in my hometown of Liverpool was truly wonderful but since moving to Ruthin, North Wales, I have been overwhelmed at the warm welcome I have received. To create two very distinct events that explore and deepen people’s experiences of my songs is a real privilege. I know that this night will be entertaining, intriguing and uplifting in equal measure for everyone. I can’t wait!”
It promises to be an evening of exceptional entertainment and deliver a visual and musical feast that will inspire and delight.
Elfin Bow’s self-titled debut album was released on-line on 10 March and is available on all major internet channels, News from Nowhere Radical Bookshop, Liverpool and VOD Music shop, Mold.
Elfin Bow Album Launch
Date: Friday 4th August
Tickets: £7/£8 on the door
Theatr Clwyd, Raikes Lane, Mold, Flintshire, CH7 1YA
HOW TO BOOK
Online from www.theatrclwyd.com or from the box office at the venue.
Or call 01352 701521 for workshop reservations.
How you can get involved!
1. Come and see the show
Get tickets to the show here!
2. Come to a workshop
When? 4-5.30pm, 4th August. The workshop is 90 minutes long. No experience is necessary and all ages can take part, so bring the family!
Where? The workshop room at Theatr Clwyd. Please pre book by calling 01352 701529 and sign in at the box office on the day.
What's Involved? You will be inspired by a performance of my songs about Edith Grimshaw, a character in two of my songs. Listen here. I will also have a selection of special objects that belonged to Edith, which we will use to make some quick sketches of, using mixed media.
3. Under 16? Submit a 2D piece of artwork inspired by Edith Grimshaw to the Welsh Open Arts Exhibition.
Make a piece of work inspired by Edith Grimshaw (aka The Witch of Melling/ Grimshaw and the Fingerclaw.)
Listen to the songs and make a picture of what she looks like, where she lives, or the objects she might own. Listen to the songs here.
All submissions will be projected as part of the performance at the album launch and will be exhibited in the Gallery at Theatr Clwyd.
All pieces must be no bigger than A4. They can be in any medium, including paint, pencil, mixed media or photography. Please label your work clearly on the back with your name, age and contact details.
Please send all work to Nathan Stewart, Theatr Clwyd, Raikes Lane, Mold, CH7 1YA
Deadline: Thursday 3rd August
Who is Edith Grimshaw? Browse the gallery for inspiring pictures and read my character profile to help inspire your drawings...
Edith Grimshaw has become known as ‘The Witch of Melling’ or even more cruelly as ‘Grimshaw and the Fingerclaw,’ due to her witch-like appearance and rude, yet mysterious manner. She grew up as the only child, cared for by her eccentric father, after her mother died when Edith was very young.
Her few, hazy memories of her soft and gentle mother, are marred by a life of hardship. She remembered that once her father used to call her, ‘My beautiful Edith,’ but since the death of her mother, her father’s heart was hardened and he only found her company to be irritating.
An awkward child, she was uncomfortably tall and self-conscious and tried to reduce herself at every opportunity, blending into the background, skulking alone, except for when she was approached or challenged, when she would suddenly snap and speak rudely, only making herself seem even more prickly and misunderstood. Inside, however, she longed for love, to belong, to be held gently.
The one friend who showed her kindness and compassion was a boy, also an outsider. They found solace in each other’s company until eventually, at the tender age of eighteen, he asked for her hand in marriage. Her father, only too glad to be rid of the responsibility, agreed to the union.
What happened next, we will never know.
Only that Edith never found her much desired wedded bliss. We don’t know if she ever wore her bridal gown, or said her vows, if her betrothed left her, or was killed in mysterious circumstances. What we do know is that now she is an old spinster, older than her real years, and still trying to reduce herself and live as invisibly as possible.
She resides on the edge of town, in a lonely little cottage, where she only receives occasional, mostly unwelcome, visitors. Once a week she walks to the train station but no one knows where she goes. Only that she can be seen, still awkwardly tall, wearing dark clothes and a shawl, her long hair trailing in the wind and walking with a stick.
Children mutter, ‘There goes the Witch of Melling,’ and whisper stories of secrets, strange things hidden in furniture, claws instead of fingernails and of a woman whose wooden heart has made her turn her back on love and friendship.
If you were brave enough to knock on Edith’s door and lucky enough to be invited into her strange little abode, you would find that she has found comfort in little things like finepoint needlework, tenderly growing plants for her garden and reading. Her books are her real escape. She loves stories and lives vicariously through the lives of young princesses, flower girls, magical animals and mythical beasts.
If, with a gentle presence, you managed to convince her that you were no threat, she might even open up to you and tell you a little about her book collection. And once she knew you were genuine in your interest, she might even tell you a story.
It would only be then that you would begin to see her face soften, her eyes light up, her painful memories fade and her voice grow strong as she is carried away with the lives of the characters she knows so well, who have become her friends.
She would become animated, filling the space around her with her gestures and rising simultaneously with the story’s crescendo, confidently proclaiming the wisdom told herein.
But when the tale was done, she would suddenly remember, like a painful stab in a broken heart, and she would turn, her prickles reappearing, as she told you that that was enough and that you must go away.
If, on your way down her garden path, you hid behind a tree and looked back, you might catch her, staring wistfully into space, the happier memories of her parents and her young love, entwining with a deep, deep desire to break free of the knarled vines she has twisted around herself and sing her song to the skies.
Did you know?
Edith Grimshaw, and the songs I wrote about her, were inspired by three characters I encountered as a child; an old lady who looked like a witch that used to walk past our house every day, an old-fashioned gypsy that came to the house and would threaten to curse it if my mum didn't bring her things she asked for, and a mean dinner lady in my school who had a claw instead of a fingernail on her little finger.
I was thinking about how there have always been outsiders in society, people who are misunderstood or ignored.
Grimshaw is one of these people. My song 'Grimshaw and the Fingerclaw' is all the rumours about her and 'Edith's Song' is from her point of view.
You can listen to the songs on Spotify, Apple Music, buy a digital album on Amazon or iTunes or buy a CD here.
"A most amazing, eclectic, creative, magical, fairytale, theatrical and musical evening last night at the Epstein Theatre, Liverpool, with the hugely talented and mesmerising Elfin Bow. The standing ovation was very much deserved." Leonie Hallam, Aardvarker.