ONE of the Lake District’s most innovative groups, The Witch And The Robot, are The Westmorland Gazette’s Band of the Month for September.

The Ambleside-based acid-folk outfit takes inspiration from its surroundings, with eccentricity flavouring everything they do.

The duo is made up of Sam Hunt and Andrew Tomlinson, who met at Ambleside Junior School and have established themselves as a favourite with the national music press.

They have been hailed by music bible NME as an ‘alchemical brew of natural beauty and crushing boredom encourages oddball brilliance’.

Their debut album, On Safari, received four out of five from monthly magazine Uncut, which said the band added ‘something piquant and properly odd to the psyche-folk pot’, while Drowned In Sound said it was ‘seriously, SOOO good’.

They are proud of their Cumbrian roots and are keen to point out how important the region has been to them.

Often supporting Natland heroes British Sea Power, they were invited to open their first festival, Se Ye To The Hillside at Tan Hill Inn last year.

And having wowed crowds with their eclectic show at Kendal Calling last month, they are launching the first of three concept albums, Fear of Mountains.

The band say: “It follows in the tradition of all great concept albums where the idea is not exactly clear, but there are a number of loosely connected characters, all with links to the Lake District.”

The record is a homage to their local surroundings and even opens with a recording of Ambleside rushbearing, on Back! Back Baby!

It was recorded in their home studio in Ambleside, and is available from the Hide & Horn.