Green Man ζ - Boston St Botolph's

by Temple Music

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The town of Boston is named after the parish church of St Botolph, or Botwulf, being a contraction of ‘Botwulf’s Town’, and yes, it is indeed the original Boston; some of the Pilgrim Fathers were incarcerated here before eventually sailing from Plymoth, and John Cotton, one of the Fathers, was the vicar of St. Botolphs. Boston always struck me as an odd and dangerous place, seeming like something out of HP Lovecraft’s writings; a place where the inhabitants had made a compact with some dreadful elder demons of the oceanic depths and were breeding vast sluglike young behind closed doors and curtains. It was the place of the the last race riots in Britain to date, when Portugal knocked England out of the world cup in 2006 (having previously beaten them, again on penalties, in 2004); it voted overwhelmingly against staying in the E.U., returning UKIP members – all of who were then kicked out at the next election. There were pubs you couldn’t go to, as they were either Portuguese or Polish run; Poles were distilling vodka in industrial units rather inexpertly, leading to methyl alcohol poisoning, and Temple Music performed there regularly. One show resulted in us raising such a wall of tortured noise that the venue pulled the plug and we made one life long fan; another, in the Stump (as St Botolph’s is known) resulted in the Reverend Richard Coles telling us that we had to move to London to make it, as Boston wasn’t quite ready for us; still another resulted in the Divinity & Humanity recording that we later released. These latter performances were at the request of Sarah Maxwell, whose husband was the curator of there and who had recently found hitherto unheard pieces composed for the Stump by William Byrd. The Stump itself is a grand building; the 272 foot high tower can be seen from the far side of The Wash, and over three counties, according to Bostonians, and it is one of the largest parish churches in England – or the largest, depending on which measure you use – making it a truly wonderful venue to play. The whole church, octagonal lantern on the tower and all, was built in less than 150 years, and there are similarly opulent building scattered through the town. Given that Boston is now entirely a rural backwater, where did the largesse for these projects come from? Amazingly, at one time Boston was an extremely important port, part of the Hanseatic League and exporter of most of England’s wool – vast fortunes were made. Timbers for the Guildhall were imported from Scandinavia, and the town was bustling and cosmopolitan until one of the major figures in the League was stabbed to death during a misjudged night out. That, and the slow silting up of the Witham saw the ebbing of Boston’s fortunes from grandiosity in Elizabethan times to the present post-human inhabitants, oozing with slovenly violence. Legends of the Stump itself are violent – I remember hearing as a child that a body was found that had clearly been pushed from the top of the Stump because there were two bloody handprints on the back. There is a Grey Lady, a suicide, who will appear before you if you run three times around the church whilst the midnight bells chime. Another suicide who threw herself from the tower was part time prostitute Sarah Preston who brought the Black Death to the town via a bit of trade with a sailor. This then, is the town in the shadow of St Botolph’s – an ancient fen port that has seen much and forgotten more, and along with the witches’ marks in the tower carries with it a strong sense of pagan heritage. Here also is the Green Man, seemingly more the spirit of roistering revelry and simmering passions than any of the other locations we recorded in.

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released July 17, 2017

Alan Trench - All Bells, All Whistles, All Knobs
Stephen Robinson - The Long Dark Teatime Of The Soul

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Temple Music Lincoln, UK

Temple Music was started in 1995 as an offshoot of the English dark folk band ORCHIS and their interest in ancient Greek modal music, drone, magical trance states and krautrock. The permanent members are Alan Trench and Steve Robinson; creating shifting walls of noise; moments of arctic intensity; unsettling;demanding attention ... rhythm and chaos combined... ... more

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