Their rather bizarre name means "scruffy, unkempt person" -- which may sum up their physical appearance ("we sold our souls to the scarecrows" they joke) but is harsh on one of the most exciting young instrumental folk bands to emerge in England in the 21st century. Brought up in an Essex family steeped in folk music, brothers Jamie (fiddle) and Dave Delarre (guitar) are the driving force, fully conversant with traditional music and consciously reflecting an English style, yet visionary enough to use the rich breadth of modern influences which they've also readily embraced. The Delarre family was involved in running the Moreton Folk Festival in Essex and it was there Dave's friend Danny Crump, who'd only recently started playing bass and was more into heavy metal than folk music, got his first experience on-stage when he was persuaded to play bass with the Delarre family band, the Knapfoot Five, at the Ceilidh Culture Festival Edinburgh. A few weeks later, when Dave was 15 and Jamie was 17, they were booked to play at Dartmoor Folk Festival in 2002 and Crump joined them. It was such a success that other gigs followed and they subsequently added melodeon player Alex Goldsmith. The grandson of John Barber, Southwold Town Bellman and well-known singer and melodeon player, Goldsmith had been playing since he could remember and had long teamed up with Dave Delarre to go out busking on the streets of Southwold. He quickly settled into the new band, which had an immediate impact around folk clubs and festivals.
In 2005, they released a six-track EP which enhanced their reputation further, and although gigging was initially limited by college work, they took time out to record their debut album The Fair Essex at Hertfordshire University, which was released in the summer of 2006 to ecstatic reviews. Jamie Delarre's driving fiddle mixed with Goldsmith's authentic rural style, Dave's fluid, free-form guitar, and Crump's formidable bass sound won approval both from folk music's old guard and the new young audience increasingly interested in British folk. In December 2006, Dave Delarre -- who was studying music technology and composition at Herts Uni -- displayed his versatility and virtuosity at the London final of the BBC Young Folk Award and though he lost out to the band Last Orders, his performance of Eric Roche's percussive masterpiece "Roundabout" was one of the highlights of the night. In 2007, they linked up with the young Devon singer Jim Causley for a tour and festival appearances, also recording an album together.