Witches Leap are the quintessential Irish-Australian Folk-Noir trio. Combining the richness of uilleann pipes with wooden Irish flute, prog-folk bouzouki and stompbox among other combinations, Witches Leap filter trad Irish music through a colonial light, tinged with local mythology and swirling like the mist that caress the hanging swamps of their Blue Mountains home.
We like to showcase the Uilleann Pipes, the traditional bagpipe of Ireland: A much gentler and darker instrument than its more famous Scottish counterpart, the Irish pipes evoke both the haunting tones of Ireland and the driving energy of Celtic music. They are also an appropriate voice to convey the contrasts, hardships and the bravery found in spades in early Australian frontier life.
Harking back to Celtic forefathers and inspired by Australia’s landscape and identity, you hear tales of the black heroes of the resistance wars and tunes evoking the winding back-roads of the Blue Mountains. Witches Leap’s originals sing to the heart of Australia’s identity and history: Folk-punk tales of black bushrangers and rum-soaked redcoats give way to convict-gospel sing-alongs and lively Irish/colonial polkas. There’s even a bit of disco and prog rock thrown in for good measure.
Witches Leap are Jade Tinkler Flute, percussion and vocal, Paddy Connor Uilleann pipes, whistles, guitar, percussion, feet and vocals and Leigh Birkett guitar, bouzouki and vocals. It is a line-up whose members perform regularly at major folk festivals across Australia in various guises and whose goal is to build on the traditions of the past by providing new and unique additions to the folk repertoire.