WITH Summer Solstice last week, what better time to introduce Dorset band Wikkaman. The quintet is an intriguing menagerie of singers, actors and musicians.

Click here to listen to the song

With a strong emphasis on local storytelling and performance, Wikkaman are on the most original bands you’re likely to see.

The eponymous track Wikkaman from their debut EP is our Daily Echo and O2 Academy Unsigned track of the week, which you can hear at bournemouthecho.co.uk/unsigned.

Wikkaman is in its first year, although members Jasper Brains, Django Goddard, Lou Lou ‘Bang’ Lassy, Eva Grateful and Micky Byron are all seasoned veterans of the Dorset music scene.

“We’ve all been on the scene for 20 years in bands such as The Huckleberries and Yellow Taxi,” says Jasper Brains.

The band’s musical repertoire encompasses vaudeville songs about their native Dorset that cover tales of Portland quarrymen, Bridport noose makers, late night fairs with dubious characters and the romantic idylls of Moonfleet.

“Because we do Dorset based songs, it’s starting to get people excited as there’s no other band doing that. We trying to redefine modern folk and relate it to where we all come from rather than write songs about relationship breakups and the usual kind of thing. We bring something original to the table and we hope that will count for us,” says Jasper.

This love affair with local history and folklore stems from the band’s shared Dorset roots.

“We were brought up on Portland and in Dorchester. We’re really in touch with the history and the landscape and all the little stories. We’re trying to cobble songs from that. People have told us that it’s nice to hear songs about the places they’ve visited.”

With an EP already under their belts, the stage is now set for a debut album, Wessex Tales due this autumn.

“We’re working towards an album called Wessex Tales taken from the Thomas Hardy books. We’re working on it every week and it’ll be songs with strong Dorset influences.”

You can see Wikkaman live this weekend as part of the Folk On The Quay in Poole, then at the Bournemouth Folk Claub at the Beacon Hotel on Tuesday night and then at various local summer festivals such as Grooves On The Green and the Purbeck Folk Festival.

“We’re aiming for the festival market and so we’ll be getting on the bus to tour the country. We’ll be taking the Dorset message to the nation. The songs are universal and audiences can relate to their own special places.”

For more information about Wikkaman please visit www.facebook.com/wikkamaninfo