On 21st October in the Yorkshire town of Whitby, The MusicPort Festival hosted an amazing array of artists and I had the pleasure to see and catch up with this group of deeply talented young musicians. Don’t Feed The Peacocks is an optimistic, endearing, well-crafted and gifted set of musicians that will go far.  You can hear the rigorous hours of training they will have had to get to be so effortless in their delivery.  It’s clear they love what they do and excel in the mastery of musicianship.

How did you come up with your band name?

The real story is one of our friends has a little sign outside his kitchen that says, ‘Don’t Feed The Peacocks’ and his family is called The Peacocks.  So, that’s where it started.

And, another story, we were at this train station, and there is this man giving all this bread to the birds. An old lady came past and said, ‘I’m terribly sorry, could you not feed the pigeons?’ And, he just ignored her and kept feeding the pigeons.  So, she came up again and said, ‘Can you please stop feeding the pigeons?’ He just ignored her again.  She came back again and this time she said, ‘Can you please stop feeding the peacocks?!’ He just stopped then and just looked really vacant.  And, that was that.

When did you first start playing together and how did you come together as a group?

Corrie: We were all involved in the National Youth Folk Ensemble and just went for a jam session at Owen’s and it started from there.  There happened to be a gig in my cowshed, and I was like to you guys want to come and be the support act and we got some tunes together for that and everyone liked it.  So, we decided to put something together after that.

How would you describe your sound and do you see yourselves playing in this genre always?

We will definitely spread out.  We are already trying new things.  We like to take traditional tunes and bring them to a more contemporary setting and make them more relevant to today. To make them a little more exciting as well, appeal to all ages.

What type of other music or musicians inspire you?

In terms of traditional music, we listen a lot to Leveret.  We are also quite influenced by jazz and even a bit of reggae.  Although, we don’t play a lot of reggae!

Are you planning on recording any time soon?

Maybe in the next year, we are making a list of things we might like to put together.

What’s coming up next for you guys?

We are doing a couple festivals next year and will see what we can do.


‘Don’t Feed The Peacocks‘ are:

James Haigh on guitar, Martin Parker on accordion, Owen Spafford and Alex Lord on fiddles, Cori Smith on viola and Phoebe Harty on cello.

For booking enquiries contact dontfeedthepeacocks@gmail.com


Photos by ©PremiumPhotographic