After crossing paths in the northern city of Newcastle Upon Tyne, six young musicians immediately began to swap tunes, eventually forming the powerhouse of progressive instrumental folk that is Pons Aelius. Motivated by a collective enthusiasm and desire to share their distinctive style of music, the band have extensively toured the UK and Europe, bringing their much loved live energy to stages such as Celtic Connections, Towersey Festival and Priddy Folk Festival to name but a few. During this time, they have recorded an EP and a studio album- ‘Captain Glen’s Comfort,’ which was released to critical acclaim in 2017 and featured on radio shows around the world, including the BBC Radio 2 Folk show with Mark Radcliffe.
Driven by a dynamic frontline of bagpipes and whistles (Jordan Aikin), flute (Sam Partridge), tenor banjo and mandolin (Tom Kimber), the band are a melodic force to be reckoned with. In the stompbox and octave pedal era, Pons Aelius are proud to feature one of the scene’s leading all-human rhythm sections, comprising Callum Younger (bodhrán kit innovator), Alasdair Paul (guitar/bouzouki) and Bevan Morris (double bass). With these powerful tools at their disposal, they are masters of both subtlety and intensity, exploring the capabilities of these acoustic instruments and producing a formidable sound.
Fire Under the Bridge, the band’s second full length offering, represents a culmination of five years of road-earned experience. They have finally captured the essence of their live sound, and assembled a crack-team of production wizards to help them bottle it. At the helm was the inimitable Josh Clark (Flook, Kate Rusby), whose attention to detail and musical ear left no stone unturned. After a week of tracking at J&J Studios in Bristol, the recordings were mixed at Josh’s home studio before being sent to Gran’s House studio on the banks of the Clyde, where they were given their finishing touches by mastering engineer extraordinaire Chris Waite. Finally, the band commissioned local artist Dan Underwood to give the CD a fittingly dynamic sleeve. This cornucopia of bold arrangements and original tunes wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the band’s loyal fans, whom they’d like to thank for their generous crowdfunder contributions.
What can you expect from Fire Under the Bridge? There’s only one way to know for sure. Get a copy, hit play, and take the first step down the road to enlightenment.