Samson & Delilah

Samson & Delilah


Samson & Delilah are an alt folk band from Manchester. Partners in life as well as in song Sam Lench & Anna Zweck lead the 5 piece Samson & Delilah in dynamic arrangements of traditional inspired songs of transcendental drone-folk, room-silencing acapella and uplifting songs of love across distance.


Samson & Delilah are a half English, half Australian original alt. folk band currently based in Manchester, UK. Over the last two years husband and wife Sam Lench and Anna Zweck have written and recorded the debut Samson & Delilah album, which was released throughout the UK in October 2009 on Little Red Rabbit Records. Performing live as a full 5 piece band with instrumentation including flutes, guitar, mandolin, accordion, piano, double bass and percussion Samson & Delilah have played extensively throughout the UK, including appearances at several festivals last summer. They also completed their first full UK tour in the autumn, which included several BBC Radio sessions, to coincide with the launch of their self-titled album. This led to critical acclaim from the likes of Bearded Magazine, Boomkat, Channel 4 Planet Sound, God Is In The TV, Drowned In Sound and Manchester Evening News amongst many others. They have also received their first award nomination for Best Debut Album from the widely read folk music website Support slots have included A Hawk & A Hacksaw, 3 Daft Monkeys, Mick Turner (Dirty Three), Horse Feathers and Circulus.

Interview from CityLife magazine, Oct 2009:

SEATED in a Salford gig venue, CityLife is undergoing a rather strange career switch – from music correspondent to, erm, marriage counsellor.

The subject of our marital concern is Samson & Delilah – the beatific Manchester folk duo, who, incidentally, are also a husband and wife team, Sam Lench and Anna Zweck.

Over an hour long conversation, we have carefully examined the five years of their relationship: from how they first met, to their marriage and, most critically, how they manage the tricky act of juggling their musical life and their personal life.

And it’s a juggling act where those balls have come close to falling down on occasion.

“It’s a very strange arrangement... being married and making music together,” explains Anna, who hails originally from Australia, but has now adopted Manchester as her new home city.

“There are lots of sacrifices. Being separated from our families... in order to make the relationship and the music work. But it’s all been worthwhile. Things are quite chaotic now because we’re right in the middle of the storm. But I’m sure we’ll look back in ten years’ time and say ‘wow, didn’t we have fun, trying to juggle about a million things at once’.”

CityLife is a little taken aback by the duo’s candour – but then again, if you’re a Samson & Delilah fan, you’ve probably come to expect such cheery openness.

'No great masterplan'

Invest in Samson & Delilah’s eponymous debut album, released last week, and you’re cordially invited into the couple’s cosy musical abode: a snug, warm blanket of a record, it weaves sumptuous folk arrangements with bucolic country-pop, stretching the nu-folk template in exciting and dynamic ways on a par with contemporaries like Sufjan Stevens and Bon Iver.

The perfect record to take comfort on these cold winter nights, it’s made all the more homely by Sam and Anna’s personal investment: the album was recorded as a backdrop to their early courtship – and thus becomes a cute scrapbook of romantic reminiscence.

“It was never really the plan to make an album together,” says Anna. “There was no great masterplan. We were just writing songs together and living our lives, still working out our feelings for each other. The music we were writing was basically trying to make sense of everything – finding a sense of home.”

Finding a sense of home is a recurring theme in the story of Samson & Delilah.

Hailing from Adelaide, Southern Australia, Anna first came to Manchester five years ago – the intended next stop on a round-the-world back-packing trip.

She responded to an advert on website Gumtree, which specified: “Music-loving Manchester household seeks new housemate.”

Upon arriving in Manchester, that house certainly lived up to its billing. Located on a quiet street in Fallowfield, Anna’s new home resembled more of a bohemian arts commune: filled with songwriters and musicians who would write, collaborate and gig around Manchester, and naming themselves The Waverton Collective, after Waverton Road in Fallowfield where they lived.

Scrapbook of memories

“I had never seen anything like it,” recalls Anna. “I’m sure many people would have hated living in that house. All those musicians playing instruments all day and night. It was like something from the sixties. I loved it ‘cos music was one of the main reasons I came to Manchester.”

For Anna, good things arrived in threes – alongside her new home and musical pursuits, she also found romance in the shape of housemate Sam Lench, an up-coming songwriter on the Manchester nu-folk scene.

As Sam and Anna’s relationship grew – an “immediate, very natural romance”, they were married within two years of meeting – so did their musical co-dependence.

They didn’t know it


'Samson & Delilah' - Debut Album released on Little Red Rabbit Records Oct 2009.

Set List

A set can be anything up to an hour or so and might include some of the following songs:

And When The Rose
Swimming Against The Tide
Begone Dull Care (traditional)
Dreams Of Yesterday
Starlight In Your Afternoon
Black Dog
Gravity Is Merciless
Angels Said
Silently Around Me
Big Yellow Fish
Place To Be