Bill Pook 


 Mike Billington 

 Poetry & Lyrics 










Joni Stephens
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."

Genevieve Tudor
BBC "Sunday Folk" Radio Shropshire.
"just fabulous.....I love it.....just amazing!"

Hazel, Sandiway Primary School PTA
"Very John Peel".

Dave Oberle of Gryphon
"gloves of the skin of a fish is a brilliant mix of many styles and influences played by two extremely talented instrumentalists. There is darkness and humour and an inventiveness rarely found in this style of music. Well worth a listen."

Brian Gulland of Gryphon
"Absolutely LOVE it!.......this is precisely the kind of application for the bass crumhorn in the 21st C. molto poignant song too". (describing Woof! Woof!)

John Adams
Rolling Round the Ryburn Phoenix FM/Old Swan Band (ex.Red Shift/New Victory Band/Druids.)
"Tradition meets innovation in poetic and musical collision-thought provokingly entertaining!"

Tim Moon
BCB Radio, Bradford, West Yorkshire.
"In an age where too much sounds like everything else, CORVUS shine like a ruby in the mud."

Shelley Rainey of the Bailey Sisters
"Strange but wonderful."

Joe Beard ex-Purple Gang and currently organiser of "Music Nights at Poynton Legion".
We had a most unusual but excellent evening at our Music Nights Club at Poynton Legion last Friday (31st October 2014).The audience was (like myself) wondering what would evolve from two guys with a most unusual array of instruments. Straight away Mike Billington eased us into the Corvus world and it just got better as the (frankly) off the wall repertoire gained momentum. Some of the crowd have written to me saying they had a great night and to re-book them.

Alison Broady (a fan!)
You two really have something. So unusual - been singing Gorilla for you Baby all weekend! I think Bill is an awesome lyricist - you can tell he loves words - even where the words are outwardly nonsensical they are poetic and beautiful. Gorilla for you baby is so macho - and also so pleasing to sing. The live version is better because of the humour the two of you inject into it - and I loved the Lady poems - real ice-breakers. You drew your audience in by involving us all. Michael, your playing has really inspired me to be a little more adventurous with my playing - onwards and upwards.

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 Bill’s 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)