SeaFall is a three-piece acoustic folk band based in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales which has grown in popularity and influence during 2012–13, especially in the south Wales area. The band comprises Davy Cartwright (guitar, vocals and keyboard), Moira Jayne Morgan (vocals, guitar and percussion) and Xenia Porteous (violin and vocals), and owed its formation to their initial collaboration on Cartwright’s 2012 album i didn’t get where i am today. Their musical influences are varied, from classical music to folk, jazz, rock, pop and blues. During spring and summer 2013 they have been much in demand at music festivals and folk music events in Wales and Southwest England.
Davy Cartwright, b. 1951 (guitar, vocals, keyboard), formerly a countryside ranger, began his public music career in 2004 with folk duo Steinbeck’s Old Brown Boot and Paul Duggan. There followed a couple more bands, Ivy Salad with Lisa Matthews; and Rum Daisy with Ruth Marie Murphy) and from 2010 a spell as a solo performer, during which he released three solo albums, before forming SeaFall with Moira Morgan in 2012.
Described by folk music magazine Taplas as having “a soft luscious voice, and curious thoughtful material,” Ian Burgess from Friends of Fairport Convention wrote, “Davy is very much a one-off, with influences far and wide, songs of gentle thoughtfulness that both relax you, yet stir the brain into thinking. All he needs is a bit of recognition.”
Music journalist Tim Carroll commented “Davy’s songs have acid-sharp, finely expressive lyrics that deliver their stories with precise enlightenment, keenly felt expression and mischievous humour. This is music with a folk essence that engages from the first with an easy-going style. Delve more deeply and there’s poignancy to his words embellished by perfectly placed accents of fiddle, guitar and delicate harmonies that are simply entrancing.” “Self-deprecating to the point of invisibility” Peter D. Cox, Radio Glamorgan.
Moira Jayne Morgan, b. 1955 (vocal, guitar, percussion and keyboard), a singer/songwriter, began singing and playing in public at the age of nine, coming through Eisteddfodai and folk clubs. After playing for some time in Hot Trigger, in the late 70s she founded a punk band ‘Moira and the Mice’, described by John Peel as “four square up my boulevard”. After that she worked with Dave Dearnaly in Wow & Flutter, then co-founded Design for Living.
Moira moved on to working in the theatre, touring Europe with Pip Simmonds’ Theatre Company and Vocal Muscle Dance Productions; she sang on the Alternative Cabaret scene with Chris Jordan as ‘’Man or Mouse’’, going on to sing Heartbreak Hotel in Welsh in the film Boy Soldier, before moving on to the jazz circuit; Rod Liddle said of her, “Moira sings with passion, love and warmth”.
Her performing took back seat to a career as coach and therapist, becoming a leading light in rolling out a programme of Mindfulness-based therapy programme across the public sector in Wales. In the late 2000s she started to sing again at Rumney Folk club, where she met the other members of SeaFall, and her songwriting and singing have since blossomed.
Xenia Porteous, b. 1982 (fiddle, harmony vocals), a violin virtuoso, equally at home with rock and classical music as with folk and jazz, began playing at an early age and was originally classically trained, playing with the National Youth Orchestra of Wales and leading the Three Counties Youth Orchestra of north Wales. Constantly in demand because of her exuberant talent, she has played on Paul Duggan’s One Gentle Moment for an ITV network feature and on Barlow Cree’s folk album Holystone, and in July 2013 she joined folk stalwarts Mabon. Between all this, she teaches violin and Argentine tango. Music journalist Iain Campbell wrote of her “such sensitive fiddle playing”.
SeaFall have been described by Mabon’s Derek Smith as a “superb trio” with “a great repertoire, showcasing their musicianship and gorgeous harmonies.” The band has picked up a wide range of support, including from TV actor and playwright Boyd Clack.
- 2004 “Long Time Comin'...”, Steinbeck’s Old Brown Boot, with Paul Duggan
- 2008 “Brittle”, with Paul Duggan, Sam Osborne, Lisa Matthews, Peter Cronin and Tony Cresci
- 2010 “More Like the Sea”, with Sam Osborne, Quince, Chris Williams, and Talgarth (Elaine Morgan, Xenia Porteous, Derek Morgan, John Turner and Lesley Gibian)
- 2012 “i didn’t get where i am today”, with Moira Jayne Morgan, Xenia Porteous, Sam Osborne, Lynise Esprit, Elaine Morgan, Paul Duggan, Derek Morgan, Chris Williams, Rachel Redwood and John Turner
Moira Jayne Morgan
- 1980 “Sight and Sound”, Moira and the Mice (with Mike Southern, Rob Brazier, Andy Gibbon, Brenda Davis and Hilary Wyman)
- 1981 “Hysterical Outbursts”, Moira and the Mice
- 1984 “Hold Me Closer/The Girl Who Knew Too Much”, Design for Living (with Peter Morgan, Lynise Esprit, Greg Havers, Greg Bond, Hilary Wyman, Glen Thompson, and Judith
- 2013 “September Weather”
- 2013 “First Wave”