Martin Welham started out as part of the influential 1960’s acid folk trio Forest, an English psychedelic-folk / acid-folk trio who formed in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, in 1966. The band were pioneers of the nascent 1960s underground acoustic-psychedelic/acid-folk scene writing unconventionally crafted songs evoking Britain’s ancient groves using a variety of acoustic instruments.
In the early 2000s, thirty years after Forest disbanded, he formed Somerset based band The Story with his son Tom and returned to recording music. The duo’s sound has echoes of Martin’s earlier work with authentic psychedelic songwriting at its core.
The band’s first release was a 2005 vinyl split album, The Dawn Is Crowned, with Californian freak folk band Whysp on Good Village Records. The Story’s side features five broadly acoustic tracks that blend esoteric, dark imagery with powerful vocal harmonies resulting in an un-attributable psychedelic air.
In 2006 the band released their first full-length album Tale Spin on Sunbeam Records – the first contemporary artists released by the label. This psychedelic folk pop album features acoustic guitars, keyboards and light percussion combined with airy harmony vocals and wistful melodies.
Follow-up album Arcane Rising was released in 2007. A stream of consciousness conceptual song cycle, the album is made up of improvised melodies and acoustic guitar backings augmented by flutes, melody harp, harmonica and hand percussion. Lyrically the album celebrates life and nature through the changing seasons whilst questioning religious doctrines and humankind’s ecological footprint. Also in 2007, The Story’s sinister track “The Wicker Man” featured on the dark folk compilation album John Barleycorn Reborn on Cold Spring Records.
The band’s acclaimed third full-length album Joy Ride on Memory Lane was released in 2011 on Rainbow Quartz Records under the band name The Story UK. This confident, hook-laden psych album has a rockier sound than previous releases whilst continuing to incorporate the duo’s warm harmonies and highly melodic aesthetic.
In 2011, Martin and Tom looked to begin a new folk project and joined up with vocalist Cherry De Portela E Prado to augment their sound. Under the moniker The TimeLarks, the trio performed around the South-West of England, culminating in their performance at the 2012 International Pop Overthrow festival in Liverpool’s Cavern Club. The same year saw the release of the 5 track E.P. Cinnamon Swirl, featuring the band’s cover of The Famous Jug Band’s ‘A Leaf Must Fall’.
For the next few years the trio wrote and recorded their opus two-album collection Wheel of Stone and Grain of Light, which were released in Spring and Winter 2016. The artwork was designed and painted by folk songwriter Robin Williamson as a reflection of their quintessential sound.