Happy Samhain to you! Today, very appropriately, I'll tell you about an unusual Dutch band. Omnia.
The Lewis Caroll quote is apt, because Omnia are definitely a little bonkers, if not entirely so. But they are great Caroll fans themselves, so I'm certain they will forgive me.
The Fairytale This link will take you to a Lewis Caroll poem set to music by Omnia some years ago.
When I first came across their music, I had no idea what kind of a band they were. I heard a song called 'The Well', and it had a folksy, cheerful sound. So I counted myself lucky to be able to visit a performance some months later, and took my old octogenarian Mum along.
Well....She had a bit of a shock when Cornwall-born singer, flutist and performer Steve Sic made his appearance, I can tell you!
He was outlandish looking then (some years ago), and is dressed and looks even more alien these days, turning more and more into a Faun.
Still, I have a soft spot for people who have the guts to be exactly who they want to be.
Another example for you in the next link: a live performance
The band has a large, loyal following amongst Dutch, Belgian and German enthusiasts of the Pagan lore. I have been to quite a few of their concerts, and always meet the same people there. And what strikes me every time is the fun, cheerful atmosphere, with folk participating, and even screaming 'Kill, death, slay' during the Morrigan with huge grins on their faces.
Many of them come in appropriate dress.
But do not think this is just a gimmick. Omnia, to all appearances, live their music. Steve has been known to rant and rave in lengthy posts on the Internet about the environment, politics, legalisation of cannabis and what-have-you, with one of my all-time favourite quotes by him: "Let's put the fun back into fundamentalism". Oh fine, another quote: "What if we started a war, and nobody came?"
And musically, they are sound. The set-up has changed quite a lot over the last few years, with band-members coming and going, but always with Steve and his lovely wife Jenny as the centre around which the entire band revolves. They borrow heavily from poetry, literature, traditional Celtic stuff ('Twa Corbies', ' The Raven' for example) and give it their own twist. But one of my favourite songs is their rendition of a golden oldie, 'Teachers', which they give an intense treatment which makes it almost haunting.
Here is the link: original by Leonard Cohen, of course!
I am lazy today, so I'm not going to provide you with the names of all their albums; you can do some work yourself.
Look them up at Facebook, or http://www.worldofomnia.com, and put the fun back in!
Have a great evening!