This electric folk band was formed in 1994 by students at Cardiff’s Welsh College of Music and Drama. Songwriting partners Liz Prendergast (b. Wales; vocals/fiddle) and Nic Waulker (drums/bodhrán) were joined in the early line-up of the band by Dave Skinner (guitar), Gary Owen (bass) and Emily Grainger (fiddle), completing the Hoofclamped EP. The following year’s Dark Circus and Magicke Roundabout EPs were recorded by Prendergast, Waulker, Grainger, Rob Khoo (b. Cardiff, South Glamorgan, Wales; bass), Dave Salmon (guitar) and Jonathan Shorland (vocals/flute). The latter was replaced by Martyn Standing (b. Cwmbran, Gwent, Wales; guitar) to help complete the recording of the band’s 1997 debut album, with on-off member Salmon making a guest appearance. Cracking Leather Skin And Bone offered a raw-edged take on both folk and rock material, in the process offending many traditional sensibilities. The band’s striking stage presence was captured to great effect on an ensuing album and video release, confirming their reputation as one of the roots scene’s most exciting live acts.
The second studio recording, 1999’s Dragons Milk And Coal, demonstrated a marked progression in the band’s approach to songwriting and performance. The album’s guest fiddler Deborah Peake (b. England) was added to the line-up the same year to replace the departing Grainger. Further line-up change ensued when multi-instrumentalist Neil Browning was brought in to replace Standing in 2001. He arrived in time to help record the excellent Ten Leagues Beyond The Wild Worlds End.
Prendergast and Waulker remained at the helm of the Bluehorses in the early 00s, delighting audiences throughout the world with their breathless live show. They recorded the Skyclad mini-album with Nathan Waulker (bass) and Jakey Graupner (guitar). The latter was replaced on live dates by Jay MacDonald.