“Better late than never”. Sometimes false, sometimes true; when applied to the reviews that sporadically hobble onto this site from my laptop, it’s a moot point. When applied to a launch gig for Ratatosk’s captivating 2010 album C’est La Via Tragique, though, it’s a big fat thumbs up. We reviewed it back in August, and its ornate, impressionistic tableaux still trigger new shivers with each listen. Matt Elliott’s post-Third Eye Foundation work is a regular touchstone and a fully-admitted inspiration, but there’s touches of the soundtrack work of Tiersen and Preisner and the dark drone-folk (if not the er, lyrical preoccupations) of early Coil too. It’s bewitching to observe live, layer upon layer of treated guitar, wordless vocals, saw and anything else within reach forming huge, looping crescendos behind Viney’s terrible tales of desperation and loneliness.  At least one new song will be heard (a second album is promised soon), and a few CLVT songs will get a first live outing.

In support are Evening Chorus, Cardiff’s go-to guys for a more broadly expansive, sing-it-out form of folk music. No gig too small or too far, they’ve played tea shops, undefinably sinister West Country hotels and artists’ studios in recent months, and everywhere else in between. Heart-tugging songs from bashful talents, there’s proof at their Bandcamp (link below) and on a forthcoming double A-side release.  Also featured is Dewi Griffiths, rated by promoters Six Glass Fingers as “stunning Bert Jansch style acoustic folk”. Take up thy pint of Cairngorm Ale (plastic beakers, please) and enjoy.

Six Glass Fingers presents:

RATATOSK – A mischievous squirrel from Norse mythology and/or Rhodri Viney who plays a melancholic, zen-like repetition of guitar, vocal, piano, musical saw and pedal steel. A wonderment to watch and hear live.

EVENING CHORUS – A raw and simplistic folk band that write beautifully constructed, poignant songs from the heart.

DEWI GRIFFITHS – Exquisite technical, impassioned classic folk played with genuine beauty.

Chapter Theatre
8pm Friday 14th January
£4 on the door