Multi-award winning group Spiral Dance, based in Adelaide, has been playing rousing, high-energy music to enthusiastic audiences throughout Australia and beyond for over a decade. With a combination of haunting vocals, evocative fiddle, intoxicating guitar riffs and groovy accordion lines, underpinned with potent bass and dynamic percussion, the band presents an eclectic blend of traditional folk-rock with powerful self-penned songs and tunes. Enchanting melodies intertwine with mythical tales that are sure to captivate your soul, tease your mind and steal your heart, casting your spirit into the realms of magic and the mists of ancient time.
The band consists of: Adrienne Piggott - vocals Hayley Purcell - fiddle David Bentley - bass Nick Carter - guitar Paul Gooding - diatonic button accordion Rick Kearsley - drums The band has produced six albums to much critical acclaim, their latest release "Worts 'n' All" being a Live album of tracks recorded on a mini Australian Tour in 2007.
Their most recent studio album "The Quickening" won Most Outstanding Album at the 2006 South Australian Folk Awards, a year that saw Adrienne take the Most Outstanding Vocalist award and the band itself win Most Outstanding Act. Success was repeated in 2009 where Spiral Dance won Most Outstanding Act, Adrienne again won Most Outstanding Vocalist and Paul Gooding received the Most Outstanding instrumentalist award for his button accordion skills.
Spiral Dance are veterans of multiple appearances throughout Australia, are well known on the festival circuit and have toured the USA twice. Another USA tour is planned for 2010, to include the launch of their seventh album that is currently is due to be recorded at the end of 2009.
Since its inception, Spiral Dance has been consistently in demand, performing regularly at many major festivals and headline gigs including:
- ACT - The National Folk Festival
- QLD - Woodford Music Festival
- VIC - National Celtic Festival; Maldon Folk Festival; Port Fairy Folk Festival
- SA - Victor Harbor Folk Festival; Port Celtica; Mediaeval Fayre
- Governor Hindmarsh, Wheatsheaf Hotel, SA Folk Centre, Singing Gallery and residencies at Brecknock Hotel and Director’s Hotel in Adelaide
- Melbourne’s Dan O’Connell, Espy, Spanish Club and Great Hall at Monsalvat
- Sydney and Melbourne Town Hall
- Brisbane’s Southbank Arts Centre and The Healer
- Magick Happens’ Expos throughout Australia
Spiral Dance also proudly supported such international acts as The Battlefield Band (Scotland), Sharon King (Scotland), Shooglenifty (Scotland), The Watersons (England), Inkubus Sukkubus (England) and shared gigs with Australian artists including Colcannon, The Fiddle Chicks, Claymore, Dandelion Wine, Wendy Rule, Lizzy Rose, Mortal Rose and Vince Brophy.
The band was formed in 1992 as a project to explore some of the more mystical elements in life and has drawn its energy from the song-writing and vocal skills of Adrienne Piggott. Adrienne’s haunting lyrics are supported by Nick’s driving guitar work, Hayley’s vibrant fiddle playing and Paul’s innovative accordion lines. The whole sound is underpinned by David’s solid bass lines and Rick’s textured percussion, all carefully arranged to blend acoustic folk-rock with lush Celtic harmony, creating an almost tangible musical aura that envelopes the audience.
The band played their first gig at the 1993 South Australian Folk Festival (then in Goolwa) to high expectations from the sizable crowd. Adrienne became more prolific with her song-writing and after several years developing their craft at local venues and festivals, the band created their first CD in 1996 entitled “Woman of the Earth”.
This mini-album containing eight tracks helped establish Spiral Dance in Australia and received favourable reviews in Europe and the United States. The band continued to perform at clubs and festivals and also accepted offers to perform on radio and television shows.
In 1997, the band recorded a song cycle based on the tales of the legendary characters from the Irish Mythology – the oldest surviving prose in western literature. Called “Over the Nine Waves”, the album alternates between narration (beautifully delivered by Vince Brophy) and songs and had a very Irish folk-roots style.
The band waited until 1999 to record and release their third CD “Magick” to rave reviews. With much more of a rock-inspired texture, the album sold well in Australia and overseas, prompting invitations to tour in the USA. Unable to find enough financial support to make the trip, more gigs around Australia were planned,
culminating with a sold out concert at Melbourne’s Esplanade Hotel in St. Kilda. Under increasing pressure to produce their fourth album, the band members returned to the studio in 2002 to record material that they had been played live for over a year.
The result was “Notes of Being”, the title based on a Pythagorean concept that all objects in the universe pulse to form a perfect celestial harmony. The CD launch was held in October 2002, on the tenth anniversary of the bands first ever concert. 2003 saw Spiral Dance finally take their talents overseas, touring throughout the South-Eastern United States, from America’s self-acclaimed music capitol of Austin, Texas, through Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida and Georgia, performing at several large Festivals and Gatherings as well as club gigs and concerts for their American CD distributors in Florida.
The band used 2004 to refresh, regroup and write new material and this paid off in 2005, which saw a joint concert with Britain’s premier pagan rock band Inkubus Sukkubus, an invitation to play alongside Inkubus Sukkubus in Europe and to tour America again in 2006, as well as appearances at several major festivals around
The fifth album was also recorded during 2005, with mixing and post-production falling into 2006. After the success of “Notes of Being” the band used many of the same ingredients to produce the recording; David Lokan at Big Sound Studios in Adelaide engineered it, Adrian Cowell again did the artwork and though the whole
band had a hand in production, it was Nick Carter that was responsible for sculpting
the sound of the entire project. The album itself features 14 tracks, the first eight forming a song cycle of the sabbats that make up the Wheel of the Year in the Celtic calendar. The song for the festival of Imbolc called “The Quickening” became the title track for the album as it conveyed a positive energy associated with fertility and
the spark of new life that reveals the coming of Spring.
In 2006 the band received the great honour of winning three prizes at the South Australian Folk Awards:
· Most Outstanding Group/Artist · Most Outstanding CD Release for “The Quickening” · Adrienne was named Most Outstanding Vocalist
The band wishes to express its gratitude to all those people that voted for us, support our concerts and believe in our music. We thank Arts SA for helping to fund our latest recording project, “The Quickening” and the Folk Federation of South Australia for tirelessly promoting and investing in folk, roots and traditional music.
“The Quickening” was also included in Three D Radio’s Top 101 for new releases in 2006 based on airplay and the band was featured live in the studio on Australia Day during the chart countdown.
Such had been the demand for their live performances in recent years, the band decided to embark on a short Australian tour in February 2007 (to coincide with the Southern Hemisphere’s Lughnasadh) and to record all the concerts with an aim to producing a ‘Spiral Dance Live’ album. Each concert was recorded live in its entirety
by Geoff Allen and this material was mixed and mastered by Nick Carter at his own Red Dog Sound studio. The album contains a mixture of previously unreleased tracks plus favourites that make up the core of a Live Spiral Dance gig.
Despite the obvious temptations, Nick refused to be drawn into using the original live soundtrack merely as a bed for overdubbing, so the resulting album captures the vibrant energy of a Spiral Dance concert and is a true reflection of a band responding to the enthusiasm and passion of their fans with little or no editing and studio trickery. As a result the most apt title for this, their sixth album, seemed to be “Worts ‘n’ All”. The CD also features special bonus Multimedia content compiled by Rick Kearsley and Paul Gooding that can be viewed on a suitably equipped PC. The album was officially launched in Adelaide in October 2007 and toured throughout Australia.
The band also had a busy schedule between recording and releasing “Worts ‘n’ All” including several major festival appearances in South Australia and Victoria (Wooden Boat Festival; The English Ale; May Moon Madness; National Celtic Festival; Stinky Creek Folk Festival; Australian Wiccan Conference) and plenty of pub and club gigs in and around Adelaide throughout 2007.
Spiral Dance again journeyed to America in 2008 for their hugely enjoyable and rewarding five week “Swapping Sabbats” USA tour in April/May, taking in large music gatherings in Texas, New Mexico, Kansas and Florida. They also continued to fulfil monthly residencies at the Brecknock Hotel and Director’s Hotel in Adelaide throughout the year and headlined the Australian Wiccan Conference in Queensland and Port Celtica Festival in South Australia.
The beginning of 2009 saw the development of new material ready for production of a new studio album that will be launched at the beginning of 2010 in Australia and then a special overseas launch during their “Tyranny of Distance” USA tour scheduled for April/May 2010.
In mid-2009 the band was yet again nominated for, and won, three prizes at the South Australian Folk Awards:
- Most Outstanding Group/Artist
- Adrienne was named Most Outstanding Vocalist
- Paul was voted Most Outstanding Instrumentalist
The band members were honoured to be recognised, and especially grateful to those people locally, nationally and internationally that took the time and trouble to vote for them and who continue to support the band and believe in the music. We are also grateful to the Folk Federation of South Australia for hosting the awards and
continuing to promote folk music in our state.
The band played in Perth (WA), Sydney (NSW), Melbourne (VIC) and Brisbane (QLD) during 2009, plus gigs at the usual local Adelaide venues, including a special fundraising gig organised by the band at the SA Folk Centre that raised over $2000 to support the organisations caring for the wildlife casualties of the ‘Black Saturday’
Bushfires that devastated parts of Victoria.