Wednesday, 17 November 2010

English & Welsh Diaspora

We've just been booked to play at what looks like is going to be a fascinating conference in April 2011. The English Welsh Diaspora conference, held in Loughborough, will be of interest to folkies, pagans and anyone interested in the perennial themes of Englishness, Welshness, landscape and memory. The ever wonderful Ronald Hutton is one of the key speakers, and other performers include Ceri Matthews, Chris Wood and Hugh Lupton. Miss it if you dare!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Not Playing

Alas we won't now be playing at Cabaret Clandestino this saturday as Andy is ill with shingles. Sorry to disappoint! xxx

Saturday, 9 October 2010


One reason why things have been a bit quiet of late, here at the Hive, is that I've been busy getting married. It was a gorgeous day, all heart, or, as one friend put it, a 'candlepowered wedding.' I wasn't expecting to play but the Bees insisted and so here we are, playing Uncle Tom and Aunt Sally as part of the mini-Catweazle we held in the evening.

With so many musicians present there were spontaneous sessions happening through the day (the observant acid-folk fan will spot old friend, Sharron Kraus).

And gor blimey, if that isn't Rima Staines bashing out a tune on the old squeeze box, with Huff and Puff, and Jackie Singer from Jabberwocky days.

A quick An Dro in the corridor with Jane, Chris, also from Jabberwocky, and Jim of Red Dog Green Dog fame.

And here I am with the misses, the wonderful Nomi, cats that got the cream - a gorgeous happy day.

All photos by Kate Raworth and her team.
Andy xxx

Thursday, 7 October 2010

The Amazing Race

If you look very carefully you can see Andy playing pipes at 3.25. Watermelon's revenge at 6ish. No one in the UK has heard of this show - think reality, international, It's a Knockout. Without Stuart Hall, Eddy Waring or the Joker.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

This is the Kit

A rare chance to see the wonderful This is the Kit here in Oxford, with our very own Josie Webber in support playing with the equally wonderful, mesmeric and mercurial Zoe Bicat. If that's not enough they'll be joined by Duotone, featuring the looped guitar and cello of Mr Barney Morse-Brown.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Sheffield gig

We're going oop north me doocks, for an alternative harvest supper at a pub I used to go to back in my student days. Gonna be a cracker.

Restore Gig

Restore is holding a benefit gig in the Garden Cafe on Wednesday 13th October 2010, 8pm.
Telling the Bees, Mariana Magnavita and Simon Tuke will be playing.

Tickets are £6 (£5 concessions) and will be available at the Garden Cafe beforehand and on the door.
Delicious cafe food will be on sale. For more info go to

Please pass this on to friends. We hope to see you there!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Sold out!

After much rummaging in attics, garage lock-ups, and spare cupboards it seems that we really are out of Untie the Winds. Tempting as it is to limit numbers to the original pressing of 1000 (scarcity breeds demand and all that) and so create a rare acid folk collectable, we ain't that cynical. So we're working on getting a reprint done, and if you're after a copy of our debut album, sit tight, hang in there. It'll be ready soon.

Monday, 13 September 2010


Andy did a guest spot with young folk superstars, Kerfuffle, at the Shrewsbury Folk Festival. You can watch them here:

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Watching you

One of the weird things about being in a band is that outside of gigs you have absolutely no idea who is listening to your music. I mean, we send CDs off around the world, but what happens to them then?

Yesterday I installed a statistics tracker on this blog, really to give us an idea of who, if anyone comes to visit: the blogosphere can feel lonely, like casting bottled messages out into the ocean. As the great Pink Floyd once put it, 'is there anybody out there?'

Now I admit that the amount of info actually tracked is a bit creepy, but it's fascinating to know that in the last 24 hours we've had visits from Milton Keynes, Vienna and California (hello!). It's oddly comforting to know that you are reading this, that our music is getting out there, reaching the people who want to hear it.

So thanks for dropping by. I'll do my best to keep posting.

Andy xxx

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Wheatsheaf Gig 20th September

Monday 20th Sept @ The Wheatsheaf, Oxford

Pindrop Performances Presents:

Eric Chenaux (Constellation Records virtuoso guitarist and song writer)
Telling The Bees (Oxfordian drone folk ensemble)
Dead Rat Orchestra (experimental weird folk)
Braindead Collective (improvised soundscaping, touring new album Smoke & Mirrors)

Ticket link £6 adv (£7 on the door)

Eric Chenaux is one of Toronto's most prolific and respected musical iconoclasts, an experimental guitar virtuoso with over two decades of dedicated and diverse service to an artistic community that encompasses postpunk, lo-fi, folk, multi-media composition and performance (chiefly in collaboration with modern dance) and free and improvised music. Warm Weather With Ryan Driver is Eric's third album for Constellation, which has been the conduit for his primary song-oriented solo work since 2006. Building on his fruitful collaboration with piano/synth/melodica player Ryan Driver – whose key role on the new album is signaled by his inclusion in its very title - the new record is without doubt Chenaux's most accomplished and focused work of forward-looking, contemporary balladry.

Plus weird folk outfit Dead Rat Orchestra, Oxford based drone roots ensemble Telling The Bees and experimental improv band Braindead Collective, touring new album Smoke & Mirrors.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Bee Day at Barracks Lane

Our next gig is coming up soon, a Bee Day at Barracks Lane Community Garden. Should be sweet (arf).

July 10th 2010
After a day of honey tasting, bee keeping workshops and kids activities, (11 am untiil 5) the garden will be hosting what promises to be a delicious evening featuring

What the Bee Knows - suitable for adults and young people aged 10 or over. not suitable for younger chidlren
Well known story teller Eric Maddern with his provocative look at the roots of our current global crisis, threaded around the story of the bee.
8:30pm: our favourite band, Telling the Bees, will perform songs inspired by folklore, Engish landscape and the politics of protest.

£7/£5. Advanced booking advised, email: or call 01865 236 088.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Cellar photos

Some great photos of our Cellar gig, c/o the wonderful Kate Raworth, here.

Meanwhile, Andy and Jos are off to Glastonbury - expect to see them jamming somewhere in a Green Field cafe...

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Radio 4

We're gonna be on the radio next week! The programme is called 'Open Mic Night - No Electrickery Required', about Oxford's legenadry Catweazle Club, and we were interviewed for it as that's where we all met.

Programme goes out on tuesday 15th June at 11pm, Radio 4, and will be available on iPlayer for a week afterwards.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Next gig!

Brickwork Lizards + Telling the Bees + Matt Sage. The Cellar Bar, Oxford, Friday June 18th, 8pm, £5.

Eclectic mix of hip hop, north African and Arabic folk, blues and jazz from Brickwork Lizards, plus dark, psychedelia-tinged English folk from recent Oxford Punt stars Telling The Bees. 60s pop and world sounds from Matt Sage in support. Followed by Fresh Out The Box, with resident DJs playing house, garage and electro.

See you there chaps!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Skep Bees

I spent a very enjoyable day with Chris Parks of Acorn Education last weekend. Chris teaches prehistoric technology and builds Iron Age roundhouses. As you do.

We started with a bit of wattling, then in the afternoon helped him with his bees. He keeps some of them in skeps, as was the old way. The cluster of bees on the outside meant that they were getting ready to swarm. By tapping the old skep we encouraged the swarm to crawl up into their new home.

I risked getting stung and slipped the camera into the new skep. The bees hung together in bridges, selflessly providing their fellow citizens with a way into the new hive. Bees were everywhere, the sound overwhelming and more than a little scary.

I wasn't prepared for the sheer force of the bees. They weren't aggressive, just ferocious. We didn't 'tell' them, but Chris sang to them. It was all rather magical.

Andy xxx

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Oxford Punt

Don't forget the Oxford Punt tonight. We're on at the Malmaison Hotel, 9.15pm. See you down there xxx

Monday, 10 May 2010

Fithfath video

Here we are playing Fithfath at Oxford's legendary Catweazle Club, just before the Folk Festival...

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Website back online

In all the excitement of May I, erm, forgot to renew our web hosting. Yup, we are a fallible cottage industry alright.

Anyway, sorry if you've been trying to find our website. We are now back online.

Andy xxx

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Oxford Folk Festival photos

Here are some photos of our Oxford Folk Festival gig taken by my soon to be sister-in-law, the marvellous Maddy Mcleod. Rather good, are they not?

A Merry May Morning

We were all out in force yesterday morning, celebrating the return of summer on Oxford's streets. We were part of a bigger street band that Andy organises, The Whirly Band, formed just for this occasion, playing on the Bodleian Steps at 6am to the assembled crowds. Rude, rumbustious and revellious. Happy May one and all!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Folk festival review

There's a lovely feature about the Oxford Folk Festival here. We appear at 50mins, with more to come next week.

Gorgeous xxx

Next gig!

An election night special:

Telling the Bees + Faceometer @ Baby Simple, Cowley Road, Oxford. 8pm, £4.

Go on, vote for us!!

Friday, 16 April 2010

Folk Festival

And now, getting ready for the Oxford Folk festival gig tonight. Sorry if you ain't got a ticket - friday main stage is proper sold out. Hope to see you there xxx

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Catweazle tonight

We're pumped and primed and ready to play Catweazle (Oxford) tonight. Maybe see you down there for our Folk Festival warm up.

Luvverly xxxx

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Spiral Earth Interview

A few months ago, those lovely chaps from Spiral Earth came up to Oxford and filmed a video interview with us. You can see the results here, a small insight into how we work together as a band!

And just so everything is clear, the baby ain't mine!

Andy xxx

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Rock and Reel

There's a lovely, half-page feature on us in the latest R2 (Rock and Reel) magzine.

Friday, 15 January 2010

We're on facebook

I've finally got around to setting us up a facebook page - follow the link and become a fan!

And don't forget to vote for us in the Spiral Earth Awards!

Andy xxx

Sunday, 10 January 2010

BBC Session video

Here we ever it took ages to get us set up so we did this in one take - but looks OK, I reckon...

BBC Oxford Telling the Bees

Friday, 8 January 2010

BBC Session

Weather permitting, we're in the studio tomorrow recording a session for BBC Radio Oxford. We're gonna do two tracks plus an interview, which will go out tomorrow evening (Saturday 9th) between 6 and 7pm on the BBC Introducing show. There'll also be a video online.

Meanwhile, I hope you're enjoying the snow. I'm as excited as a six year old xxx