PerKelt is a Pagan Speed Folk band based in London, UK. Their poetry and strong message of freedom and joy merges together with crazily fast, powerful rhythms and joyful melodies. The music of PerKelt blends together the upbeat “engine” of drums and guitars, their trademark unrivalled duels of fiddle and recorders, haunting pagan vocals and the deep tribal vibes of didgeridoo. Somewhat elusively beyond the usual physical limits, PerKelt reaches deep inside our soul and make us dance, laugh and love…
Each member of the band plays the instrument of a long history in their country of origin. Paya Lehane, a prodigy recorder player from the Czech Republic, started performing when she was 4 years old; Stepan Honc won the Czech national classical guitar competition Guitarreando in 2002; Duncan Menzies, the crazy hobbit from Scotland, is a shiny example of the famous Scottish fiddling style; we discovered our drummer Kaya La Bonte-Hurst in the London underground music scene, and Ruben Yon’Ton, a sound healer from Mexico, wraps the sound with his didgeridoo.
They met in the mystical underworld of London, and touring the world they invite their audience to enjoy their free spirit, joy of life and love for music. Drawing inspiration from paganism of all kinds, their songs often tell stories from the realm of magic, nature and the beautiful human hearts. Often praised for the energetic authenticity of their performance and the spiritual depth of the journey they take their audience on, PerKelt once made a promise to never stop playing together. A promise to a young child who came to them with tears in her eyes and a big smile on her face….
Keeping up to their promise PerKelt released four critically acclaimed albums, received various awards from the music industry, performed hundreds of shows all over Europe, and thanks to the magic of the internet gathered countless dedicated fans all across the big mummy Earth.
Guitars / Vocals
Founding member of the band PerKelt, born in the Czech Republic, Stepan graduated from The Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Bratislava, Slovakia and graduated with honours at The Conservatory Pardubice, Czech Republic in Classical guitar playing and history of music. In 2002, Stepan won the Guitarreando classical guitar competition. Since 2008 Stepan has been putting all his time and effort into the PerKelt world as the composer, guitarist, singer, producer and the leading dreamer.
Recorder / Vocals / Harp
Founding member and a lead composer of the band PerKelt, born in the Czech Republic, Paya was considered to be child prodigy recorder player since she was 4 years old. She has won many recorder competitions, following a methods of her teacher Jan Milde and graduated at the Academy of Music in Brno and the Conservatory Pardubice, Czech Republic in wind instruments and history of music. Previously, Paya has played with many Early Music ensembles and had attended the International Summer School of Early Music in Valtice regularly. Also, she is a multitalented well of crativity and a shiningly bautiful centerpoint of the stage presence …
FIDDLE / VOCALS
One could say that Duncan is technically just a cheaper and more funny version of a jukebox on random birthday parties. Another could say he is a savage beast from the country up in the cold North, where the natives still play bagpipes and eat frozen babies. Yet another would admit that he’s obtained PhD and he’s just been interviewed for BBC about his electro-bagpipes projects, so he can’t be a bad person… They all would be absolutely right! But YOU get to know him as the laughing fiddle player, the only musician out there who matches the PerKelt craziness, speed and Paya’s height at the same time, and therefore he is allowed to play with us standing all the way up!
And we haven’t mentioned yet that he uses the INTENSITY pedal on stage to make his performance … yep, more INTENSE!!! One gets to love this guy in the way that bears no measure, no comparison and no publicity …
DIDGERIDOO / PERCUSSION
Born in Mexico City to the native tribe of Nahua, the sound healer and ritual artist Ruben Yon’Ton travelled far and wide across the World before he met PerKelt in London. Just like everyone who meets him, the band fell in love with his spontaneity, playfulness, talent and seemingly limitless craziness. And just like many things that come to his life he said ‘yes’ to the offer of joining our stage without much hesitation. Now bringing the healing power of didgeridoo, various drums and obscure native wind instruments, embracing the chaos of improvisation with his magical chants, we combine forces to give our audience a truly unique, powerful healing super-experience.
Kaya Le Bonte-Hurst
Born in London, Kaya started drumming like crazy when she was 9 years old, kept drumming like crazy with various rock bands through her teenage years, and now is drumming like crazy with PerKelt. Given her raw energy, sensitive feeling for music and creativity, she was a natural choice and perfect fit for the band (with our twisted love for strange rhythms that knock your socks off).
Also she’s really cool! 🙂
Reviews and References …
Recalling the Czech-ered Past
— Darren Hirst (Twilight Dawning, UK) CCA622
— Darren Hirst (Twilight Dawning, UK)
Interview with PerKelt 1/2
Interview with PerKelt 2/2
Review of Dowry of a Troll Woman
— Joshua Burnell
Review of Air and Fire – CeltCast radio (Netherlands)
Review of Air and Fire – Celtic Radio (Canada)