Biographical Information

Dramatis Personae


Cantrip formed itself rather organically from the rich, fallow ground of the Edinburgh traditional music scene. Edinburgh at the time was like unto a fertile field requiring only that seed be spilled thereon to bear forth fruit. The nucleation point for this was a Thursday-night session in one of the Royal-Mile’s highest pubs where Jon, Cam, Dan, and occasionally Gav, began playing together on a regular basis, variously under the names ‘The Spare Tools’, ‘The Cracksmen’ or ‘ An Talamh Bàn’.

The name Cantrip was finally decided upon about the time the band’s first Ep, ‘ An Oidhche a Bha na Gobhar Againn’, was recorded (it was later called ‘Bothy Days Previsited’ for reasons which no one can fathom). Though the full prowess of this CD was only ever unleashed on France it gave the band a new sense of itself and from this musical base camp Cantrip began playing locally, nationally and then internationally.

Gavin was fully initiated into the sacred order of Cantrip in 2001 after a wild four days at the Orkney Folk Festival and soon thereafter Cantrip released its first “real” album, Silver, on the Footstompin’ label.  In 2005 the long awaited second album Boneshaker issued forth on the Mischief label.

Since its inception Cantrip has performed at festivals, clubs, bars, weddings, funerals, stonings and various other events and venues in Breizh, the People’s Republic of Vermont, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the State of Maine, the Territory of Tennessee, the Dutchy of New York, the Pricipality of Massachusettes, The Kingdom of the Angle, the Land of the Franc, Poblacht na hÉireann and, of course, Alba bheadarach (Scotland).

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