Dead Rat Orchestra – Combe Gibbet

Dear Rat Orchestra, Summer 2015

Back in the summer I could be found on several occasions at different points along the Kennet and Avon Canal, following the Floating Cinema as it wound it’s way from London to Bristol. On a beautiful summers evening in June, one such event took place at Crofton Beam Engine in Wiltshire, filming a magical even of machines, steam, music and film. The delightful Dead Rat Orchestra performed songs from their recent Cut tour, about the waterways, and also live scored fascinating archive footage of the Beam Engine.

It was one of those atmospheric evenings, of sunsets, stars and locally brewed beer that found me on an impromptu exploration of the Wiltshire countryside the next day, climbing up windmills and having tea in bee filled gardens. Dead Rats were in the middle of their Tyburnia tour, where they live soundtrack a film from James Holcombe exploring the history of 600 years of public executions. We weren’t far from Combe Gibbet, and so wound our way there where I filmed a live performance of Nathan and Daniel in front of a replica of the gibbet. A bizarre monument to our past cruelty.

The film has now been released ahead of a newly realised performance of the Tyburnia show for the SPILL Festival, Tyburnia – Rehung, November 7th. For tickets and more information see

With thanks to Simon at PopEstates Photos who made the exploring possible, for sacrificing his car window and for capturing the last outing of my leather jacket, cruelly snatched from the Combe Gibbet car park – beware the car park thieves!

Photos in gallery above courtesy of Simon at PopEstates Photos

Summer 2015

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