2015 Celtic Connections Danny Kyle Award Winners, Pons Aelius are an ambitious young instrumental sextet exploring the traditional and contemporary folk musics of Britain and beyond. With bold arrangements and an arsenal of instruments, the band melds age-old traditions with a fresh and innovative attitude.
Since winning their Danny Kyle Award, Pons Aelius have spent the last two years tirelessly honing their sound on stages both at home and abroad, quickly earning themselves a reputation as one of the most exciting new names on the circuit. In September 2017, they released their much awaited debut album Captain Glen’s Comfort, to rave reviews. The record showcases the sextet’s expansive sound and unique approach to the traditional music of Britain and beyond; from fiery bagpipe jigs to tender mandolin fronted soundscapes, and everything in between.
“Our number one priority when we were making the album was to try and record as much of the energy of our live performances as we could”, says flautist Sam Partridge. Recognising that this would be no small task, the band assembled a crack team to help them capture their enormous sound: acclaimed Piper/multi-instrumentalist Calum MacCrimmon (Breabach/Man’s Ruin/Tryst) was pivotal in the pre-production phase, whilst veteran audio-wizards Mattie Foulds and Stuart Hamilton were tasked with the mixing and mastering respectively. The result is a colossal sound-world, drawing influences from far and wide, yet managing to unite them under one roof. The band’s double bass, guitar and bodhrán rhythm section provides a solid yet vibrant foundation for ambitious flute, whistle, bagpipe, mandolin and banjo lines.
Pons Aelius, who met on the Newcastle folk scene, have since been touring in the UK and Europe to support the album’s release leaving nothing but stunned audiences behind.
“a sound that is voluptuous, absolutely spirited and so cascading that it surges out of the blocks quicker than a traffic warden noticing a row of meters are about to expire.” Ian D. Hall, Liverpool Sound and Vision
“Newcastle-based, Scots-infused sextet Pons Aelius have made quite a name for themselves on the live circuit over the past couple of years, so the question with their debut album was always going to be whether they could bottle the magic for domestic consumption. The good news is… this does the job just fine.” Oz Hardwick, RnR Magazine
“Aside from being a fort and Roman settlement on Hadrian’s Wall, the name Pons Aelius also belongs to a band that is taking tradition to places it never thought to go, and in the process making invention and innovation bywords for their music.” Tim Carroll, Folkwords
“While there’s no shortage of individual talent on display, the strength of Captain Glen’s Comfort lies in the sound Pons Aelius make as a band.” Nick Hart, Bright Young Folk