TYNEDALE troubadours The Brothers Gillespie started their careers as folk singers busking on the streets of Hexham, where they now return to debut their latest album, this time swapping the streets for the stage.

Some of the earliest memories of brothers Sam and James Gillespie are listening to the sounds of Leonard Cohen, Simon and Garfunkel and Jim Morrison – artists who the brothers described as “ having something to say about the world”- on their parents’ vinyl records, which later became the catalyst for the band to put their own thoughts to a melody.

“We’ve written a real variety of songs, covering everything from reconnecting with nature, to the fracking scandal in Yorkshire,” James said. “Our second album The Fell is mostly influenced by the connection we both have to our homeland of Northumberland. Many of the lyrics are inspired by the landscape, whilst the melodies are reminiscent of the traditional folk music that originated there.”

One key influence on the brother’s music has been none other than Hexham war poet Wilfrid Wilson Gibson, whose words they turned into lyrics for two of their songs Devil’s Water, and Northumberland pt 2.

“Like Gibson, we have a connection with Northumberland – Hexham particularly – so his poetry really resonated with us,” Sam said. “It also seemed like a appropriate way to pay tribute to his work.”

The Fell follows the duo’s first album in 2015 called Songs from the Outlands, which was a collection of traditional folk music and covers, as opposed to their own material which features in The Fell.

“The Fell reflects our musical maturity, and the experience we’ve gained over the recent years, but it’s also more of a rebellious album for us,” James said, “because it’s made up of mostly all original songs.”

“It’s our most expressive album to date – and probably our most experimental,” said Sam. “We were guided by recording engineer Tim Lane, who helped us recreate vintage sounds you might find on a vinyl through music technology from the 1970s, such as a reverb.”

Since the band formed eight years ago the duo have travelled across Europe, with their flute, stirring fiddle, guitar and mandolin, where they have performed at countless folk clubs, on the top of a moving barge in Bristol, as a support act for Sam Lee in Leeds and in Paris at the Chapiteau Raj’ Ganawak theatre, which Sam described as a “bohemian circus of dreams.”

“Folk is our ancestral music, so there’s something very natural and resonant about seeing it performed live,” Sam said, “because that’s how music would have been listened to and absorbed in the past. It was something to be enjoyed collectively, and I feel in touch with those origins when I’m on stage.”

Some of the brother’s first live performances were on Hexham’s high street, where they said they felt overjoyed at the support given to them from the public.

Their biggest fans from day one however have been Sam and James’s parents, who attend all the boys local performances.

“They are outrageously supportive,” said Sam.

“They’ve always encouraged us to follow this dream.”

Forming a band with your brother has not always proved successful throughout the music industry, but the Gillespies said they’re (nearly always) on the same page.

“We get along really easy, and have done since we were children where we would create fantastical world together,” said James.

“It’s just like that still really, but we just create music together instead.”

“The only time there’s ever any tension between us is when we’re feeling under pressure,” Sam added. “But I think that’s normal whenever you’re working in such close quarters with someone, whether its your brother or stranger.”

As a independent folk band, The Brother’s Gillespie are their own agents, a process which Sam describes as having been “a huge learning curve for the pair.”

“We’re full-time musicians,” he said. “And it can be challenging to to navigate through the industry with no support or advice from an agent. We have to lean on each other.”

One of the ways the brothers think independent musicians can be better supported is through the grass root movement, where venues open their doors to live performances to help provide a public platform.

The Brothers Gillespie will debut their second album in Hexham this December, performing songs from The Fell at the Queen’s Hall.

“Hexham felt like the right place to release our music off into the world because it has always been our epicentre of support,” said Sam.,

The Brothers Gillespie will perform on Tuesday, December 11 7.30pm at the Queen’s Hall, Hexham.