Well met!


…stage center, a voice of such feral magnetism that Joanna Swan could be proclaiming her guilt at the witch trials, and still the prosecutor would be demanding she be freed.
Dave Thompson, Goldmine magazine April 2015

If I didn’t know otherwise, I could easily believe that Martyred Hearts was a newly-exhumed early-70s psych-folk neglected-classic.
David Kidman, FATEA magazine November 2014

Exceptional and enchanting… set to become a much more well-known name in UK folk, psychedelic circles and amongst those who like their music a touch on the dark side 
Grey Malkin, The Active Listener, 10/9/14

Compelling… Magically complicated, remote keys, themes and emotions.
Lynn News, 20/12/13

Welcome to our website!

The Familiars began life in 2012 as a duo pairing Joanna Swan and Thomas Conway.

Joanna (Jo) Swan (vocals & percussion) has been an actress for many years and found her way to folk singing by playing the part of Polly Garter in Under Milk Wood at Norwich’s historic Dragon Hall in 2011, reciting the lament “Little Willie Wee” to a weeping audience. She performed as part of the ensemble in Crude Apache Theatre Company’s revival of Peter Bellamy’s classic Folk Opera, The Transports, in Spring 2013, a production that met with great acclaim.

Thomas (Tom) Conway (guitar & vocals) is a virtuoso guitarist, who in addition to being a Familiar, performs solo and with the band Echoes in the Well.

Our first album, CunningFolk, is a collection of re-arrangements of traditional works and acid-folk covers. The album has a theme of unearthliness, otherworldliness, and takes inspiration from the pagan affinity with the natural world.  The physical CD of Cunningfolk has sold out however there is also a digital download available, priced £5.

Since CunningFolk was recorded, we have been working on  original material.  Jo writes the lyrics, and Tom the music.

Vincent Maltby joined The Familiars in 2013. Vincent is violinist who adds a fine plangent quality to the songs on our second album, Martyred Hearts, released in September 2014. Martyred Hearts contains 7 original works. Digital downloads of this album cost £6, and there are also limited edition CDs, priced £9 each.

You can pre-listen to both our albums on our “Album” page here on this site, which also links you to Bandcamp, where you can make purchases.

We are one of the acts featured by Dave Thompson in his 2015 anthology “A Seance at Syd’s and Other Stories”; which you can discover at this link. In the book, Dave says “If Herne’s Wild Hunt was led by Queen Boudicca, this is what it would sound like.”

To find out when and where our live performances have taken, and will take place, check out our Gigs”.

We hope you enjoy our site and our music. If you are on Facebook, please visit our Page at this link and “like” us to show your support and see regular updates. Our Twitter handle is @FamiliarsTrio.

Bright Blessings

Jo, Tom and Vincent

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