Signed to Peter Gabriel’s Real World label, Spiro, who appear at Presteigne Assembly Rooms on Saturday, February 16, blend classical training with raw punk energy, embracing the darker side of folk.This instrumental musical group first came together through Bristolʼs folk sessions scene in 1993.

"When I first listened to the music of Spiro, I thought it was really different," said Peter Gabriel. "The sounds that hit you first are sounds that you are familiar with; they sound folky, but once you start listening to the music and how it's composed you hear elements of systems music - people like Steve Reich, Philip Glass, dance music. All sorts of musical influences are woven into this very contemporary music. I think this is soulful music, passionate music and I love it."

The individual backgrounds of Spiro are wide-ranging. Jane Harbour studied classical violin in Japan under the legendary Shinichi Suzuki. Accordionist Jason Sparkes began his own classical training during his pre-school years before taking up folk at the start of his teens. Alex Vann was the drummer in a punk band before taking up the electric guitar and then graduating to the mandolin. Jon Hunt has also done his time in punk bands, someone who took an unusual route from pop to folk to punk to post-punk/new wave but emerged with “this preserved love and fascination for traditional English music”.

Guitarist Jon Hunt: “We’ve got more to do with minimalist classical and dance music than we have with folk. Even though we use folk tunes, they’re raw materials that the rest of the sound is built around.”

"Genuinely unlike anything else. Exciting, rewarding and gorgeous in equal measure."– Ian Kearey, fRoots

Tickets, £12, available from The Workhouse Gallery (cash only please) or online at