Root Seed Thorn & Flower
Anne has been writing songs ever since she can remember, and performing in UK folk clubs ever since she was first able to persuade a barman to serve her with orange juice. She was born a Londoner, but the family moved several times before settling in Cardiff, South Wales when Anne was ten years old. She was given her first guitar when she was thirteen, and taught herself to ploy - much more portable than the piano! She was an active member of the Cardiff and Newport folk club circuit for many years, until she went to the University of Warwick to study French. At Warwick she specialised in medieval French and Occitan literature - mostly the stories of King Arthur and the poetry of the troubadours, and stayed on to complete an MA in medieval studies. She lived in Lyon, France for two years teaching English at the Universite Lyon II, and this was where she wrote Icarus and gradually realised that her songs were beginning to travel without her back in England. So she came back, did a teaching course and worked as Reviews Editor for Karl Dallas's Acoustic Music magazine. Nic Jones came across Anne and her songs at this time, and from then on her reputation spread slowly but steadily through the folk circuit. In 1984 there was a historic meeting of Anne, Martin Simpson (who had already started singing Icarus through the modern version of the folk process) and Mary McLaughlin, which led in due course to the formation of the duo Anonyma (pictured right) and all manner of other musical alliances. Anonyma toured widely in the UK and the US for five years and then parted amicably to allow both Anne and Mary to continue their separate musical projects. Anne now works mostly solo, now based back home in Wales. Her current career includes storytelling, workshops on voice (for those who think they can't sing), creativity and storytelling (for those who lack confidence) and songwriting as well as concerts. She tours in the UK and the US whenever possible, as well as mainland Europe. The singing, storytelling and workshops have taken her to an enormous variety of venues and audiences, from small intimate folk clubs and house concerts to much bigger events at folk festivals and larger concert halls, and to France, Italy, Greece and Spain as well as the US. For the next few years Anne is working with two UK charities, running storytelling workshops in prisons so that parents can keep in touch with their children. Anne's work always attracts attention - songs which take myths and legends and weave them into a new relevance. Songs which pack a surprising emotional punch through the ancient tales. A simple, direct approach to performance, laced with liberal doses of humour and a close rapport with the audience. Entertaining and informative, with a careful blend of traditional and contemporary references. Celtic, Saxon, Norman and European plaited into one variegated braid - not a bad heritage!