BA (Hons.) TV&Radio, Former Folk presenter/producer/researcher on Shock Radio, writer and photographer for Folk North West Magazine
"Corvus are in a dimension of their own. Their debut album has a wondrous magical feel to it - eery in lyrics, yet comforting in tone and the musicianship is a fantastical mix of Henry VIII melodies performed by Mike Billington and multicultural modernist take on ancient Folk expression written by Bill Pook. This is a truly darkened medieval take on the Horrible History books! 'Heavy Heads' is a controversial telling of an execution in the fifteen hundreds, with a chilling reality in a surreal storytelling setting - Bill's performance could easily be a Jester reciting a sonnet of William Shakespeare to the King and Queen. Overall, the album is a brilliant listen and educational to the musical ear."
Hazel, Sandiway Primary School PTA
Dave Oberle of Gryphon
Brian Gulland of Gryphon
Shelley Rainey of the Bailey Sisters
Joe Beard ex-Purple Gang and currently organiser of "Music Nights at Poynton Legion".
Alison Broady (a fan!)
Corvus at Northwich Folk Club 1st June 2012
The evening was started off with a 25 minute set by Mark Sutcliffe who is a great interpreter of Bob Dylan songs and a very neat guitarist, he did not disappoint.
I have been waiting for some time to see Corvus in a concert setting and truly I was not disappointed, well worth the wait. Mike Billington and Bill Pook are the stars of Corvus and both have been on the folk scene for quite some time now. Mike used to run the folk programme on BBC Radio Manchester some years ago. Bill has been writing his own songs and poems ever since he can remember.
They played to a full house and we were all well entertained. Their material was extremely varied; both songs and tunes. There were songs from the tradition, tunes from Europe and nearer to home and self penned songs from Bill. The variety of instruments was amazing; Spanish and Bulgarian bagpipes, recorders, rauschpfeife, crumhorns, melodeon, guitar, Indian harmonium and djembe to name but a few.
From the moment they got on stage they engaged with the audience and held our attention throughout the set with witty repartee, introductions to the songs and all the instruments, about which they were very knowledgeable.
I was most intrigued to see Billís revival of an old Elizabethan (or maybe even earlier) custom whereby he would come out into the audience and pick on a lady and recite to her a personal poem and then present the lady with the poem on a scroll tied with a ribbon; this he did quite a few times. It went down really well especially with the ladies concerned.
Their range of music covered thirteen centuries, from an eighth century Irish poem A Week in January/Donal Og right through to a twenty first century song from the Decemberists, The Shankill Butchers, via Tom Yates, Leonard Cohen and J. S. Bach. A good number of the songs were penned by Bill and a couple of the tune sets were written by Mike.
All in all, a brilliant evening. If you are looking for something a little different these guys can and do deliver. Well worth booking them for your club or festival.
Iain Bowley (Committee Member and resident, Northwich Folk Club)