A Northern Fire Solstice


As well as my day job, I am lucky enough to work with the artists of the Northern Fire collective, who specialise in historical Celtic and Nordic artwork and to celebrate the winter solstice in December, we all performed around a fire in a cave in North Wales.

We had originally made some recordings on video of the performance but unfortunately, due to the number of people present, the amount of alcohol and the incredibly sensitive/booming acoustics of the cave, there was too much background noise to save the majority of what we recorded!

Sean singing in the cave along with the incredibly talented Sigurbodi

The idea was wonderful though so we decided to arrange a further visit from our international friends, who were travelling from as far as Iceland and the south of France for the performance. The plan was to go back to the cave with less people and better recording equipment to do justice to some of the music that was being played. Unfortunately, the weather had other ideas…

Florian Baudrain performing live in the cave

We all arrived in Llandudno raring to go, only to be greeted with an epic storm including gale force winds. I don’t think that anyone was put off by the walk up the mountain in such conditions but as the cave faces out towards the sea, the noise of the wind would defeat the object of getting good recordings! So…. Plan B…

We knew of a little church on top of the mountain that is always open day and night so went to investigate if that was somewhere we could play… for the first time in its history, it was locked… So… Plan C…

Performing above the studio with my manager Duncan Reed

Plan C was to perform upstairs above the Sacred Knot tattoo studio! It was a relatively small space but as the upstairs is derelict, the acoustics were actually not so dissimilar to the cave so in less pretty surroundings, I set out to record a series of live gigs…and perform… at the same time!

I  was really proud to be part of this project as it featured traditional folk songs as well as modern takes on ancient music. Alongside my Welsh music, there were songs sung in Icelandic, Norwegian, Mongolian, Estonian, French and Gaelic… And English… but that isn’t quite as exciting 😉


Written by Duncan Reed


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *