Awards eh? Funny old things really, how do you decide this was better than that? An appreciation of music is inevitably a personal and subjective thing. Awards infer some level of objectivity to an inevitably uneven playing field. Despite running our...more
I wrote a piece about a year ago on the revival in popularity of the vinyl record, worldwide sales of the format are increasing by about 70% to 80% a year which is pretty mindboggling for a format that was supposed to be dead and buried. I've been sp...more
East Anglia doesn't exactly have a very full hand when it comes to folk festivals, especially the further east you go. In 2012 however a new festival arrived way over in Suffolk, Folk East, this is a festival that harks back to a tradition of East An...more
Once upon a time folk music was the voice of the people, specifically it gave a voice to protest. The folk revival of the 1950s and 60s in England was as rooted in the function of getting a message, often political, across as it was in making good mu...more
Rejoice, UK record industry in first quarter of growth for a decade - Not because more people are buying CD's mind you, it's all down to downloads and streaming. Physical sales actually carried on their decline, but in the first quarter of 2012 digit...more
This seems really nuts, but vinyl is back and selling more now than in the past decade. That mouldering format that we were told was ancient history with all it's inherent limitations of playing length and problems with getting scratched and knackere...more
Bristol Folk Festival has got our festival season off to a fine start this year. In its second year they have cemented their excellent programming and obviously listened to feedback from the first year. Free entertainment in the foyer and a much larg...more
We've been agonising for some time trying to find a way we can involve the public in the site more, existing ways of doing it are frustrating - forums end up being dominated by a handful of regulars, comment boxes at the end of every story are a have...more
There, that title got you reading didn't it? Well, this weeks subject is Controversy, we all secretly love a bit of it, opposing opinions brought out for battle and the chance to get worked up and hot under the collar. The music business is a perfect...more
It's awards season again, as I write this Mike Harding is running through the nominations for the BBC's awards. The Scots Trad awards have been nominated and the public are voting on them, we have our nominations in the pipeline for the Spirals. It d...more
Iain started Spiral Earth in 2005 as a reaction against the apathy with which the mainstream media dealt with roots music in the UK.
Since then he has overseen its growth and watched it develop into one of the UK's most comprehensive and popular sources for all things folk and roots, with a constantly increasing readership.