Saturday, January 12, 2008

by gonzo #24

"Tiger Moth" 1984
"Howling Moth" 1988

Tiger Moth began just as an all-star recording unit, bringing together musicians who had played
in many notable bands of the 'new wave of English country dance music' in the '70s and early '80s including the Old Swan Band, the New Victory Band, the English Country Blues Band, Cock & Bull, the Albion Band, Jumpleads and Oak. But their first single and debut album caused such a demand that they happily became a gigging entity and for the next five years roared around UK festival ceilidhs, revered or feared for their noisy, no-holds-barred, improvisational approach and influences from everywhere. Their 1988 second album Howling Moth was a mixture of tunes from England, Africa, North America and Southern Europe, and subsequent studio adventures under the name of Orchestre Super Moth included collaborations with Gambian kora masters Dembo Konte & Kausu Kuyateh, Tex-Mex accordeon wizard Flaco Jimenez (heard on New Pony from their The World At Sixes And Sevens EP)
Sierra Leonian guitar king Abdul Tee-Jay and multi-instrumentalist Hijaz Mustapha from the
3 Mustaphas 3. Their influence is still widely heard on the latest wave of e-ceilidh bands.


The first two albums I have are the "Tiger Moth" (eponymous 1984), and "Howling Moth" (1988)
If you can find these, not only do you have some folk dance masterpieces, you also have some
serious works of modern art on the cover sleeves by the ex Rockman, turned graphic artist and
illustrator Rodney Matthews.

Samples of his work at:


Although the original band split up in 1989, they got together again to do a number of gigs
in 2004, appeared at a few festivals like Sidmouth and Womad, marking the 20th anniversary
of their first album.

Their Compilation Album "Moth Balls" was re-issued on CD in 2004 in the UK, having previously
only been available in the US. Current (well almost) lineup is:

Ben Mandelson: baritone bouzouki, electric kabosy
Chris Coe: hammered dulcimer
Danny Stradling: percussion
Fran Wade: fiddle
Ian Anderson: slide guitar
Jon Moore: electric guitars
Maggie Holland: bass
Martin Brinsford: drums
Rod Stradling: melodeons

occasionally Verity Sharp, fiddle
and Gordon Potts: caller

See their MySpace page at:


Blogger Kadek55 said...

Thanks a lot!

12 January, 2008 22:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a Matthews art book, too beautiful, that has reproductions of tiger moth´s covers, really pretty. Every time I saw them, thought: How could be the music of this group? Well, thanks a lot for the chance. Good english folk, too happy and " colouring", but most of the compositions are too similar among them.

15 January, 2008 09:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have both these albums (worth getting for the artwork alone) plus the CD Compilation. Quite good examples of English Folk Dance music and a different take on it, although not among my particular favourites. Maybe it's the hammered dulcimer (possibly my least favourite folk instrument), maybe it's because I don't think they were quite as radical as they thought they were, or maybe because the energy of their live performances didn't quite come over on record (they were supposed to be a cracking band if you were actually dancing to them). Still worth a listen though, even though they hit the usual problem (highlighted in alex b's last comment) that it's hard to produce a record of dance music that's equally as good if you're sitting down listening to it.

16 January, 2008 01:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, I should have added - thanks Gonzo for the rip.

16 January, 2008 01:25  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This looks heavenly ... unfortunately both links have been deleted. Any chance for a re-up? It would be much appreciated.

17 January, 2008 02:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the re-up! Excellent post, Gonzo.

19 January, 2008 07:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for these, I used the other links because these got deleted!!?? I hope what happened to Lost In Thyme is not a continuing trend with other great blogs like yours

19 January, 2008 08:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what an impression - a really great music.

thank you for presenting ist here.

greetings : Bill.Bo

23 December, 2008 09:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Howling Moth -bad link

returns error cannot display page

Howling Moth cover link is bad, returns 403-Forbidden

17 April, 2009 23:57  
Anonymous Gonzo said...

Tiger Moth 1984

Tiger Moth 1988

28 September, 2009 20:24  

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