THE GONG FARMERS
The Gong Farmers are principally two musicians, Mark Graham and Andrew Keeling, along with friends and colleagues. Formed in 2018 following a visit to an Irish castle, the band name was suggested by reading about the activities of the medieval gong farmers. Released in 2019 by Spaceward Records, their debut, Ship of Fools, garnered praise from such magazines as RnR who wrote, ‘Scarily impressive. Gong Farmers are heads ahead of most.’
From 2020 – ’21 the band worked on a second album, Guano Junction, continuing both the connective thematic elements and themes of love and loss heard on Ship of Fools yet exploring darker areas of musical and human experience. Featuring David Jackson (Van der Graaf Generator), Alex Che (Modern Eon, Che), Cliff Hewitt (Modern Eon, Apollo 440), Noko 440 (Apollo 440), Martin Walker (Nth Ascension, Thruaglas Darkly), Brian Taylor (This Is Awkward, Thruaglas Darkly) and others, Guano Junction is released by Spaceward Records on November 5th, 2021.
"A beautifully put-together and subtly varied album", Roots & Fusion.
Mark Graham – voice, synthesizers
Andrew Keeling – classical guitars, flute, piano, organ
Alex Che – voices, synthesizers, electric guitars
Cliff Hewitt – drums, percussion
René van Commenée – drums, percussion
David Jackson – saxes
Ricardo Odriozola - violins
Ben Keeling – electric guitar, devices
Martin Walker – electric guitar
Brian Taylor – electric guitar and textures
Noko 440 - viola and string arrangements
Mixed by Mark Graham with additional mixing by Alex Che and Cliff Hewitt
Recorded throughout the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands and Norway
Nylon-string guitars recorded by Dave Cottrell at Studio 410, Ormskirk, UK
Ricardo Odriozola's violin was recorded at the Gunnar Sævigsal in the Grieg Academy, Bergen on April 21st 2021. Engineer, Davide Bertolini.
Produced by the Gong Farmers
Mastered by Steve Penn
Sleeve design by Carl Glover/Aleph Studio
Original artwork by Sue Keeling
Copyright, Spaceward Records, 2021
Ship of Fools
Prolude (Keeling) - Andrew Keeling, organ.
Ship of Fools (Graham) - Mark Graham, singing, guitar, drum programming, keyboards; Andrew Keeling, bass; Billy Gray - drums; David Jackson, saxophones and whistle.
Shamrok (Keeling) - Andrew Keeling, acoustic guitar.
Suz (Graham, Drury) - Mark Graham, singing, guitars, drum programming, keyboards; Andrew Keeling, bass and flute; Billy Gray - drums.
Strangeland (Keeling) - Andrew Keeling, guitars, loops and bass; David Jackson, saxophones; Tommy Foster, drums.
I Love My Radio (Graham) - Mark Graham, singing, guitar and keyboards, drum programming; Andrew Keeling - bass; Billy Gray - drums; Ed Harbud - pedal note/pulse.
Bos (Graham) - Mark Graham, guitars and keyboards; Andrew Keeling, bass and flute; Billy Gray - drums.
Frankfurter (Jackson, Keeling) - David Jackson, flute; Andrew Keeling, flute.
Limoncello Fellow (Graham, Burford) - Mark Graham, singing, guitar and keyboards; Andrew Keeling, bass and flutes.
Versifactor (Keeling) - Andrew Keeling, guitar and loops; Ed Hindmoor, keyboards, programming.
Walk Away (Graham,, Drury) - Mark Graham, singing, guitars and keyboards, drum programming; Andrew Keeling - flute; Billy Gray - drums.
Selling England (Keeling) - Andrew Keeling - guitars, loops, bass and organ; Tommy Foster, drums.
Recorded by Mark Graham except Strangeland and Selling England (Tommy Foster at Lovely Noises, Dublin); Shamrock (Mark O'Connor, Co. Kildare); Versifactor (Ed Hindmoor, Preston, UK and Dave Cottrell, Studio 410, Ormskirk, UK); Frankfurter (David Jackson, Tonewall Studios, UK).
Mixed by Mark Graham, Mark Drury and Fran Ashcroft.
Produced by the Gong Farmers.
Mastering by Fran Ashcroft.
Cover art, ‘Selling England by the Pound’, by Peter Ingram.
Inside sleeve photography - Sue Keeling and Mark Graham. CD on-body and tray photography - Andrew Keeling. Artworked by Carl Glover.
Thank you: Harry J. Jones, Mark Drury, Fran Ashcroft, Dawn Burford and Ed Harbud.