The Mellstock Band, consists of Charles Spicer, Tim Hill, Phil Humphries and Dave Townsend (director)
THE MELLSTOCK BAND take their name from the works of Thomas Hardy, who gave this fictional title to the singers and musicians of the parish of Stinsford, where his father and grandfather were prominent in leading the dancing, carolling, merrymaking and church singing, and where the young Thomas Hardy played his fiddle for weddings and parties.
With their authentic instruments and songs they have performed all over England, and taken their music to Europe, Africa and America. They have also appeared in productions for film, television, radio and theatre, most notably in the BBCs adaptations of Pride and Prejudice and Tess of the dUrbervilles.
The fiddle and concertina are both known to have been played by Hardy himself. He often mentions clarinet, flute and oboe, and The Mellstock Band play the versions of these instruments that would have been current in Hardys time. The Band also includes the rich, deep note of the serpent, a baffling hybrid of brass and woodwind, easily recognised by its snake-like shape. The unique blend of these tones, combined with the forceful singing of the band, creates afresh the vigour, richness and excitement of English village band music.