A Potted History
Merlin's Keep was formed in 2006 when five friends decided they liked making music together. Between 2007 and 2016 they wrote, performed and recorded a plethora of songs and tunes and were regular performers around the region.
Around 2009, it became apparent that Merlin's Keep was more suited to festivals and folk clubs, but there was a demand for an offshoot band to cater for the pub and party crowd - and Shindig was born.
Bow Jester was formed in 2015 by Sime Naylor and Tracey Smith at a time when a creative outlet was needed for new songs and tunes which were quite different to the usual Merlin's Keep style. The venture resulted in an album of original music - The Hanging Tree - and enough material for a second album. Sue Naylor was often around at rehearsal time and could be heard humming along and adding harmonies.
Eventually the duo became a trio.
In 2016 Merlin's Keep had a change of line-up and Amy Naylor became their permanent percussionist. At the same time she joined Shindig, along with Sue Naylor. Needless to say, the two bands were somewhat interchangeable. We soon found that Bow Jester as a creative outlet was no longer needed. Many of the songs that were originally Bow Jester offerings were being taken and reworked by "The Keep", so Bow Jester was retired in 2017.
These days Amy is performing and teaching around the world. The travel bug has truly taken hold, and she is currently having great adventures, creating memories and making lifelong friends.
So in 2020 Merlin's Keep become a 3-piece. At the same time, for various reasons, we take the decision to put Shindig to bed. Whilst we've loved the energy and vibe of Shindig, and have some incredible memories, we all agree that it's the creative process of writing our own songs and tunes that really puts the fire in our bellies.
We hope to be able to share these with you, possibly as recordings, or maybe at some intimate gigs in different and perhaps unusual settings.