The Witches of Elswick

The Witches of Elswick

The Witches of Elswick are an English A cappella folk quartet. They are: Becky Stockwell, Gillian Tolfrey, Bryony Griffith and Fay Hield. Much of their material comes from traditional music of the British Isles, including Two Sisters, Lord Randall, and "Daddy Fox". They also perform more comtemporary folk material, such as "Once Lived In Service" (Peter Bellamy), "Soldier, Soldier" (Peter Bellany, based on the poem by Rudyard Kipling, "Bring Us A Barrel" (Keith Marsden). The Witches take their name from Elswick, Tyne and Wear, where they shared a flat, and is a play on The Witches of Eastwick.

Gillian (from Jarrow) and Becky became "drinking buddies", when Becky moved to Newcastle from Broadstairsin Kent. Bryony (from Huddersfield) became friends with the two of them when she moved to the area, to be with her boyfriend, a dancer in a traditional dance team, who practised at the local pub. They then started living in a flat together. When Fay (from Keighley) starting a degree course (a BMus in Folk and Traditional Music) in 2001, at Newcastle University, she moved into the flat, and the group formed later that year.

The group form part of WitchNotes, a seven-part a capella group, with folk musicians "Grace Notes". Bryony Griffith also sings and plays fiddle in folk group The Demon Barbers, which also includes her brother Ben Griffith on drums.


*"Out of Bed" (2003)
*"Hell's Belles" (2005)

External links

* [ Official The Witches of Elswick webpage]
* [ An interview with the group on Woman's Hour]
* [ BBC - Radio 3 World on Your Street - Musicians' Stories: Fay Hield]

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