The Sail Pattern
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The Sail Pattern


Band Folk Rock


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"The Sail Pattern - Random Reviews"

...Then they started playing.


The first few chords were enough to know these guys could play, and the rest of the set just continued to demonstrate this. They managed a huge, full sound, perfect timing, stunning energy, well written songs and you felt they were hugely enjoying themselves and this was seriously infectious. They played a mixture of their own songs and traditional folk songs, with something of a leaning towards shanties! They use the word “raucous” on one web page describing themselves, and this is a well chosen word. We’d been to the Bristol Folk Festival earlier in the year and these guys could easily have been a mainstage act there and held there own.

Fortunately they were selling their album at the gig, so we bought a copy, and have just downloaded an EP they have recorded since. Our youngest reviewer, Jonathan (aged 9) has declared the Sail Pattern to be his favourite band and plays the album at any opportunity. The recording lacks the polish of a professionally recording, but the stunning sound of the band still comes through. So, we would strongly recommend the album, but if you can catch The Sail Pattern live, don’t pass the opportunity up.

Visit The Sail Pattern’s website, facebook page, Soundcloud or Bandcamp page for more info or to have a listen.

Edit 7th July 2012. Just back from a day at Folkstation where we heard The Sail Pattern for the second, and they were fantastic once again. Was also delighted to find this review quoted on their flyer too, I think that’s a first for us! Looking forward to their return to The Island in November. - Random Reviews


Hold Fast - The very first album by The Sail Pattern, featuring the much demanded song Hold Fast. Seeing initial radio play only weeks after the first recording, the song Hold Fast has always been a crowd favourite. Bringing together a powerful traditional subject and modern influences, the title song sets the tone for the rest of the album. The album remains popular amongst local folk radio shows up and down the UK and has seen plays as far afield as Colorado. With songs telling stories from history as well as tales of modern life, the album is an eclectic blend of old-meets-new. Hold Fast was recorded and engineered by The Sail Pattern.

Live at (the studio next to) the Albert Hall - An early live recording of The Sail Pattern, recorded at Imperial College Student Radio by Daniel Fowler and John Prestage, two members of IC Radio staff destined for great things. The brand new EP Desperate Times was produced and engineered by the same duo at Strongroom studio in the East End of London. Featuring songs ranging from shanties to all out upbeat stories, these recordings offer a raw insight into The Sail Pattern at their most stripped back. With only two acoustics, a cajon and bass, it is the power of the songs which shines through.



The Sail Pattern, a four piece folk band from the heart of the Pennines, was formed in the summer of 2010. However, the roots of the band go much deeper than that, back to hours, days and years playing together as teenagers in school. A diverse range of influences, capped off with big, bold, raucous folk music attest to this. Guitarists Joe Alderson and Alex Haydock, along with percussionist James Bentham and bassist Robert Alderson take their inspiration from the folk music of the British Isles, though beneath the surface lie a huge range of other ideas and genres.

The energy and power of The Sail Pattern owes a lot to the boys Canadian heroes, Great Big Sea. Growing up listening to the Newfoundland band had a profound influence on The Sail Pattern's attitude towards folk music. Less traditional influences range from Iron Maiden to Bad Religion and Paul Simon. Four piece harmonies and a strong sense of upbeat melody contribute significantly to the Yorkshire band's sound. Building a strong live reputation has always been something that the boys take pride in, and it was in the pubs and bars of Calderdale, day after day, week after week that The Sail Pattern served their apprenticeship.

With a shared passion for the maritime music of the UK they have gigged relentlessly and won a reputation for energetic and memorable live performances. Praise has come from well known figures in the folk scene such as Mike Harding. With an ever increasing repertoire of home spun melodies and their own arrangements of traditional songs The Sail Pattern are always busy and like to keep it that way. Since their formation, they have released Hold Fast, followed quickly by a live radio EP, and are now well into the process of gathering together songs for their second record.

The Sail Pattern is:

Joe Alderson - Lead vocals, Guitar
Joe was born a man of Kent though has lived in Halifax since he was four. Growing up with the Album "Play" by Canadian band Great Big Sea, Joe was introduced to folk music early on. Although he picked up the guitar at the age of eleven to play metal, his folk roots came to the surface at Durham University where he kept himself entertained with open mic nights in between engineering labs and lectures. He is an electronic engineer by trade and is pretty exacting when it comes to home recording. Joe's influences range from Bad Religion and Rise Against to Paul Simon and Stan Rogers. As well as playing the guitar, Joe plays Bodhran, Bazouki and a bit of Banjo. When he's not wielding an instrument, he usually wields Photoshop and Illustrator.

Bob Alderson - Bass, Vocals
Bob's love is divided squarely down the middle between bass and cars. Born in Canada, Bob does not feel the cold and his favourite cuts of meat are BBQ ribs and bacon. Bob first took up bass because of Steve Harris of Iron Maiden, but developed his technique from listening to Jaco Pastorius, Bakithi Kumalo and Flea. Bob's steadfast rhythm anchors The Sail Pattern.

Alex Haydock - Guitar, Vocals
Born in Huddersfield, Alex grew up in a musical household and tried various instruments when he was young, finally settling on guitar at the age of 12. Alex forged a strong musical bond with Joe, playing in bands together around Halifax whilst still at school. Alex studied Jazz guitar at Birmingham Conservatoire, though he soon developed an intense dislike of Jazz music and returned to Huddersfield to study nursing. Alex's favourite band is The Beatles and he has an unhealthy obsession with Formula One.

James Bentham - Percussion, Vocals
James has an eclectic musical background, growing up with his Dad's Status Quo and ZZ Top records which inspired his sense of rhythm. Although he always wanted to play the drums, he started on the piano before progressing to rhythm. He switches between cajon and drums depending on the size of the venue and keeps the beat solid during The Sail Pattern's more raucous tunes. James has played in several metal bands and this is where he, Joe and Alex first joined musical forces. James works in SEO and is also a DJ with a love of electronic music.