Dr Brian Briggs: The Return of the Marsh Warbler and his Secret Identity hidden amongst the Reed Beds

Dr Brian Briggs is a man of two halves; by day he is the Nature Reserve Manager at the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust’s Llanelli reserve, but by night he is the lead singer and songwriter for the Glastonbury-playing, Later-with-Jools-Holland-appearing, Silver-record-selling, “Rural existentialist orni-folk-band”, Stornoway. Reforming after a 10 year hiatus for a new tour and a new album, on a walk around the Llanelli reserve, Brian details how being immersed in nature during the pandemic is what has brought the band (like the Lapwing) back from the brink.

In this interview of two halves, Brian discusses the dynamism of Wetlands; the return of Grebes, Lapwings and Water Voles; the battles of invasive Mink vs. Kingfisher, and of industrious winter-causeway-crossing hungry Hedgehog vs. beautiful rare lapwing egg. But also, Brian opens up about an awakening, through birdsong, to an appreciation of our Sonic world; about a creative excitement of using Nature both as metaphor and instrument; and, why Stornoway’s music ultimately works best outdoors. He also explains, that somehow, despite being a writer of a song about Ash dieback, he isn’t even the biggest geek in the band…!

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