How the Howl harked back to Wolfstone

As I described a couple of posts ago, I recently updated my mobile phone to one that was born in the 21st Century. All very exciting and meaning I no longer needed to use the diesel engine for smoke signals……….

One of the joys of having an element of ‘geek’ in one’s personality is testing out the new ringtones and audible alerts that come with a new manufacturer’s handset.

Having skimmed down the list of the ‘alerts’ I discovered one which was called ‘Howl’. Sure enough, the sound was of a wolf howling.

(It’s great when what’s in the tin corresponds to what was on the label.)

This tickled me a lot as during Fright Run at NT Lyme Park at the end of October, my ghoulish face-painted monster did a lot of howling. Mostly because I hadn’t any idea what else to do and it seemed to scare the particpants rather a lot. Possibly as it was something akin to an apparition in the form of Alice Cooper doing a very bad Jimmy Somerville impression. But either way, it worked well aside from the fact that I had no voice for the next 3 days.

Whilst doing something (probably not very useful) on the computer yesterday my phone ‘Howled’ at me – probably to remind me to send off my utility meter readings or something equally dull and it triggered a memory of a band I used to listen a lot to whilst at university in the early 1990s.

The band was called ‘Wolfstone’ and was to all intents and purposes a rock band with a highland twist of pipes and fiddle on top. I only saw Wolfstone live once, and that was supporting Oysterband at their annual Christmas bash at the Forum in Kentish Town. Wolfstone played a mixture of traditional sets as well as their own songs which were in a similar vein. I say traditional in a loose way, I don’t think metal-sounding guitars were originally part of the tradition, but they certainly worked. The energy they generated was something spectacular and I seem to remember feeling like my body wasn’t going to make the main Oysterband concert at one point in their show due to the amount of fervent dancing (or at least pogo-ing around) that I partook in with the rest of the audience.

As with most music, there’s plenty of things on youtube and I discovered some great live stuff from a gig they did in Aberdeen in 1992, I think to coincide with the release of their second album ‘The Chase’.

YouTube player

I think it must have been 1994 when I saw them live as they were touring the next album ‘Year of the Dog’ at the time.

The band were very productive in their first 6 or so years although there was a little fluidity of members. For me, by the time they recorded their 4th album ‘The Half Tail’ they had reached the point where the band was in it’s classic ‘7 piece’ state. Unfortunately following the album, a couple of the key longstanding members left the band and, for me at least, it was never quite the same again.

I would certainly recommend a listen to their first 4 albums (the three above plus ‘Unleashed’) and certainly searching out a few of the live performances that have been uploaded to YouTube is to be recommended.

I’ll finish with a favourite track, ‘The Prophet’

YouTube player


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