August 19, 2017

Lancelot and the Grail maiden - Waywood's first album

LANCELOT AND THE GRAIL MAIDEN - click to hear the new Waywood album.

Hear our Soundcloud hit!

We are Waywood. A voice and a  harp telling stories. Here is our contribution to an ageless tradition. We hope you enjoy the new stories of Norfolk we tell.

Next gigs: Bourne, Lincs, 7 Sep.

Lynn Heritage Day, Hanse House, Lynn,  10 Sep

On 10 September, Waywood will be showcasing their new album of Norfolk stories as part of Heritage Day in Lynn  These stories include homages to the extraordinary number of pioneers Lynn has produced through the ages. Characters like William Sawtrey one time priest of St Margaret's Church (now Lynn Minster) - and in 1401 the first man to be burned for his beliefs in England - and his famous parishioner, Margery Kempe, who combined marriage and fourteen children with a unique visionary life travelling as a pilgrim throughout the Hanseatic world and beyond and also famously wrote the first autobiography in English. Waywood also tell such strange ghost stories of ordinary Norfolk people in history as that of Susan Nobes, who was struck by lightning in Sedgeford Church in 1819 - a ballad that has now had nearly a thousand plays worldwide on Soundcloud - and of Norfolk gentlefolk like the Brown Lady reputed to haunt both Houghton and Raynham Hall.  "The Brown Lady", as the ballad explains, was Dorothy Walpole not just sister of first British Prime Minister (and Lynn MP for 40 years) Sir Robert Walpole but also the wife of 'Turnip' Townshend. The mysterious nature of her death and the assertion that she is the only ghost every to have been photographed (on the stairs of Raynham Hall in 1936!) all add to the crepuscular glamour of this tale. 
Gareth will also rap his "Ballad of Badass King John - As Seen On TV!" for the first time since he did so at the official ceremony unveiling King John's statue in Lynn last October, when the performance was shown on the BBC News. Vanessa will join him for only their second public performance of a ballad commissioned from them by the Borough of West Norfolk and King's Lynn about the other West Norfolk figure honoured last June with a statue - Henry LeStrange, the man who invented New Hunstanton.
Waywood will be introduced by town historian Dr Paul Richards at 1 pm in the Gallery at Hanse House on Heritage Day (Sunday September 10) and will perform for about an hour. The show is free. Audiences are welcome to drop in and stay for a song or two or for the entire concert, whichever they prefer. "We know that visitors have a lot of great things to see and hear in Lynn on that day," commented Gareth.

"It will be worth seeing us just for the costumes!" said Vanessa, who has been busy creating a fetching Robin Hood i' the Greenwood look for the duo's new Hereward material to add to the Lancelot and Grail Maiden chic Waywood enjoyed modelling on their recent album cover. "Not many realised Lancelot was wearing the standard of the Hanseatic League on his tabard for that cover shoot," (see above) Vanessa explained. "But with so much Lynn and Hanseatic material in our repertoire, why wouldn't you?"

Pics below by Bhas Allan, Elaine Bird, David Maile, Joan Wall and Zariah Wood-Davies.

The newly unveiled statue of Henry LeStrange 

Waywood sing his praises

'He carved his vision from carrstone rocks"

"A holiday heaven from his hands"

Lovewood, her work done.

The sculptor and Loveway the poet suffering for their art after the ceremony. 
(This is the easy bit)

No, not REM, Waywood at the album launch.

Lovewood making the harp talk

Lovewood and harp as one

Just to show it wasn't easy making that album cover look easy

Mine's a pint, please, Grail maiden.

The real William Sawtrey, first man to be burned for his beliefs in England

Loveway playing Sawtrey in our Morality Play - "A Nice Guy: The Burning Of William Sawtrey" at the Lynn Fringe in 2015. Lovewood is just out of shot left playing Soul. Bhas Allan ( for once not taking the pics) is the devil telling Sawtrey he's toast.

Waywood harping tall histories (and looking vertically stretched) at the 2016 Heritage day in Lynn

Original press release

Poet Gareth Calway and Harpist Vanessa Wood-Davies, both of Sedgeford,  are releasing a 'craft' album of their Norfolk ballads at the Bury St Edmunds Festival on May 19. All but the title track of these harp-accompanied verse tales commemorate a real character from Norfolk's past - from national figures like William Sawtrey of Lynn, the first man to be burned for his beliefs in England, to unsung ones like Susan Nobes of Sedgeford, killed by lightning in Sedgeford Church in 1819. As Waywood (the artists previously known as Lovehearts and Redwine), the two have written, composed, performed, recorded and produced the album themselves and will be performing them on the opening night of the Festival. Andy Wall and Gareth will close the evening with their Ely Folk Festival commission, Bread or Blood, about the Littleport and Ely Riots of 1816 and singer Sharon Clifton will commemorate Ann Boleyn (executed May 19 1536) and Margery Kempe in song .  

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