Mediaeval Baebes

Musically, the Baebes, are absolutely straight. In the classical industry there's a perception that early music could find a much larger market, if it had a vehicle. My guess that the Baebes is that vehicle. -- Declan Coglan

Mediaeval Baebes, Mirabilis launch, St Mary's, Stoke Newington Mediaeval Baebes, Mirabilis launch, St Mary's, Stoke Newington Mediaeval Baebes, Mirabilis launch, St Mary's, Stoke Newington

Mediaeval Baebes were formed by Katharine Blake as a spin-off from Miranda Sex Garden. More punk than medieval, a funkier version of medieval music.

The main difference between Mediaeval Baebes and Miranda Sex Garden, is that the Baebes perform with their clothes on, or at least when performing music. And Miranda Sex Garden perform Gothic rock.

Miranda Sex Garden are quite happy to perform topless. It may bring in the punters, but is it music?

The Mediaeval Baebes are eight stunning females (once there were twelve) who perform various instruments, sing and dance.

The Mediaeval Baebes repertoire is made up of arrangements of medieval/traditional material and medieval poems set to music composed by the band. The appeal of medieval music lies in its purity and simplicity. The emphasis by Mediaeval Baebes is on creating accessible medieval rock rather than trying to recreate an authentic sound.

Their first album, Salva Nos (1997), shot straight to No 2 in the classical charts, a silver disc. Subsequent albums include Worlds Blysse (which went straight to No 1), Undrentide, The Rose, Mistletoe & Wine. Their latest album Mirabilis (2005), was launched at a concert and party in London, August 2005.

St Mary's Church in Stoke Newington was the venue chosen for the launch of Mirabilis, the latest album from the Mediaeval Baebes. With their performance the Mediaeval Baebes kicked off the N16 Fringe 2005.

The concert was excellent. A mix of early songs and songs from Mirabilis.

In concert, Mediaeval Baebes are different than in the studio, a simpler performance, the eight Baebes backed by two instrumentalists on drums and acoustic guitar.

St Mary's concert was excellent, the acoustics could not have been better, and it is only a pity the concert was not recorded for release as a live album. In concert, the Baebes have more of an 'edge', greater excitement.

A party was held afterwards at Abney Public Hall. Strictly no dancing by order of the tossers at Hackney Council.

Mediaeval Baebes, you either love them or hate them.

N16 Fringe 2005: A weekend of music organised by N16, an excellent quarterly magazine of news, views and events distributed in Stoke Newington. N16 being the postcode for Stoke Newington.

The 'new' church of St Mary's, the venue used to launch N16 Fringe 2005 and the Mediaeval Baebes latest album Mirabilis, was built by Sir George Gilbert Scott in the 1850s. It replaced the 'old' church of St Mary's built in 1563 by Sir William Patten. The 250-foot spire was added in 1890. The Elizabethan church is the only church of its period in London, and one of the few remaining Elizabethan churches in the entire country.

Synchronicity: Mediaeval Baebes came to mind when I was writing of Twelve Girls Band and thought of who they reminded me. I checked out the Mediaeval Baebes website to find that in two days time they were giving a concert in a church in London to launch their latest album Mirabilis, with a party afterwards.

(c) Keith Parkins 2005 -- August 2005 rev 1