B i o g r a p h y
What a strange time - no live gigs since March 2020 and non on the horizon as yet. Leather'o are still producing lockdown videos which you can find on the Media page and Odin Dragonfly are still working, albeit remotely, on the new album.
Stay safe x
Lots of exciting gigs with Mostly Autumn and Leather'o in the calendar for this year already. In between times I will be doing my... fiddle practise! Yes, I have started what promises to be a long and slow journey but it's an itch I just have to scratch.
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us”
Well 2017 was a busy one! Mostly live, pun intended, but firm plans are in place to get The Dragonflies and Leather'o back in the studio in the spring of 2018.
Enjoying a gigtastic spring with The Heather Findlay Band (even dusting off a few Odin Dragonfly tunes!), still performing with Leather'o, Stout Boots and A Garland of Flutes and come May the Mostlies are back on the road too!
Back in the Mostly Autumn fold for the remainder of the 2015 tour, writing and performing with Leather'o and occasionally squeezing in some Stout Boots shenannigans!
Welcome to the Gordon Family, William “Will” Shakespeare. Adopted from Many Tears Animal Rescue on 31 December 2013
What better way to approach Autumn than with a lovely new musical project. Leather’o have a website here www.leathero.co.uk
This summer has been a folk renaissance beginning with me joining Chris, John and Paddy to form Stout Boots playing lively celtic songs and tunes. Soon followed by the decsion to take up the piano accordion; so far a very rewarding challenge. More recently I have joined with violinist-friend, Elaine Wallace to perform in the more intimate setting of un-plugged pub sessions.
Garland of Flutes gave a charity concert in aid of Jessie’s Fund on 9th March 2012 at Bedern Hall, York raising around £750 for this fantastic charity. For information on A Garland of Flutes please email.
And before that...
Earliest memories include giving tea parties where I would entertain my guests; stuffed and imaginary alike, with recitals on my plastic Aulos recorder, works including Annie’s Song and a medley of Christmas carols, played throughout the year, of course.
At King Edward VI, Retford, flute lessons were considered a natural progression from playing recorders and so I set off on a ‘mostly classical’ route through the grades and attended North Nottinghamshire Music Centre, where over the next 5 years I was lucky enough to play in various ensembles from symphony orchestras to wind quintet. Since these early performances in 1991 I have had unfailing support and encouragement from Mark ‘McKinty’ Gordon, with his never-faltering belief that I could achieve anything I set my heart on, musical and otherwise.
Whilst studying for my A-levels and teaching flute and recorders, (zipping around town and the villages on my purple Yamaha RD250 in all weathers), Particularly inspired by David Munrow and The Early Music Consort of London, I teamed up with organist and guitarist, Michael Cowgill and cellist, Paul Coggles to form the Redforde Early Music Consort. We played and sang music from the court of King Henry VIII and other popular Renaissance and Baroque recorder works, our concerts often in aid of church organ restoration and other local, worthy causes.
Playing for The Broadstone Morrismen introduced me to 'traditional' music, and real ale. All very ‘Songs From The Wood’! There were crazy sessions in the pub after the dancing, where English, Irish and Scottish tunes and songs were shared. It was my first experience of music being passed on by-ear rather than the written dots.
In 1993 at Leeds Met I met Andy Smith and through our event lighting met Bryan Josh and in 1997 my journey with Mostly Autumn began
In May 2000 Bryan, Heather and I toured throughout UK and Europe as support act for Blackmore’s Night. A kind of MA-acoustic, our set included acoustic arrangements of Mostly Autumn songs, traditional folk tunes and a couple of my own pieces; ‘Which Wood?’ and the recorder duet ‘Meridon’s Caravan’.
Working around the increasingly busy Mostly Autumn schedule, I managed a few guest appearances; with The Accidental Tourists in support to my all-time-faves All About Eve; Andi Aitchison’s The Fisherkings; and studio sessions for the extremely talented Julia Jenkins and for multi-instrumental-progger Guy Manning.
By late 2004 I had a desire to re-visit the more formal playing of my school days and joined the York based flute ensemble A Garland of Flutes.
In 2005 Heather and I began to air our ‘dressing-room project’, acoustic duo, Odin Dragonfly. This adventure took us around the UK and to The Netherlands as guests to Fish, (on whose acoustic live album ‘Communion’ the two of us also appear as backing vocalists) and on a successful headline tour around the UK. July 2007 saw the release of the album ‘Offerings’. One of the highlights of this period was the opportunity to spend a day in the studio with Thijs van Leer. Odin Dragonfly had been the opening act for Focus’ York show and we two flute players really hit it off - the results of which can be heard on the Media page.
Performing with the duo gave me the confidence to brave the stage alone with solo performances at the Mostly Autumn Convention in early 2007 and as support act to Fairport Convention among others.
In November 2007 I gave birth to our daughter, Scarlett Lily Joan Gordon and decided to take time off from touring, with Anne-Marie Helder comfortably filling my MA shoes.