Sunday, 6 October 2013

Spirit of Albion

There's a record/CD/DVD shop down a local alleyway which often has interesting things in it. The last time I was in there, I caught a glimpse of a film called Spirit of Albion, which featured the music of Damh the Bard. I've been following Damh's blog, on the sidebar as The Bardic Blog, for some time, and I like his music a lot. I've also seen a video of him performing his song "The Sons and Daughters of Robin Hood" at the barricades at Balcombe, during the anti-fracking protests.
At first, I thought it would be a music video, but when I got it home I realised it was a film. It's an extremely low budget film (one of the characters wears her own wedding dress as a costume), and it is based on a youth theatre production - which shows in the way some of it is written, but the story is good enough to transcend the slight "staginess". It was performed at Witchfest, too, and was well received there.

Three people with problems meet in a wood, brought there by the Old Gods, who appear and disappear as the story goes on. The actors playing the gods are excellent - Arianrhod (Lucy Brennan) narrates, and Ceridwen, Herne, the Morrigan and Robin Goodfellow also appear (Joy Tinniswood, Sean George, Joanne Marriott and Redvers G Russell). There are also some battle scenes filmed with re-enactors.
The music is excellent, and really complements the action - I particularly liked Grey and Green, the song about Herne. In fact, I liked the music so much that I went online and downloaded the album after I'd watched the film.
What surprised me about finding the film secondhand in the first place is how new it is. It was only released in May 2012, and there weren't a huge number of copies made. So how did it make its way to a small shop on the Borders of Wales so quickly, I wonder? Maybe I was meant to find it!

However, the good news is that they did well enough that they are now working on a new film, Tales of Albion. Sean George will be returning as Herne (with bigger antlers - they joked that they'd been watering him over the winter!). There's a Scottish section to this one, and also a Robin Hood section, and more information can be found on the Facebook page for Spirit of Albion.

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