If Justin Vernon of Bon Iver were a character in a novel, his deep winter retreat into the Wisconsin woods to recover from glandular fever in his father's remote cabin, only to record a hit album - for which he wrote, performed and produced all aspects - would seem an unlikely fairy tale.
But in 2007, this is what Vernon did when seeking a 'cold place' to recuperate from a serious bout of 'mono'. Derived from 'bon hiver', French for 'good winter', the bleak midwinter surroundings even inspired his band's name. The resulting album, 'For Emma, Forever Ago', was picked up by an indie label and released around the world.
The harmonies and overdubs Vernon had improvised and recorded needed a band for live performances, and he recruited Sean Carey, Matthew McCaughan and Michael Noyce, the latter Vernon's former guitar student.
A second album - perhaps to be untitled or named simply 'Bon Iver' - is due for release in summer 2011 and Bon Iver's live line-up has a handful of UK dates to negotiate. The short tour kicks off on Wednesday 19th October at Manchester's drunken aunt of a venue, the glorious Apollo, before dates in Dublin (20th), Edinburgh (21st), the Hammersmith Apollo (24th). They then scoot across the channel for dates in Europe, before returning to the UK in Birmingham on 9th November, then Leeds (10th) and finally Bristol's Colston Hall on 11th November.
Tickets are on sale Friday 20th May at 9AM, starting at £17.50 for Manchester, £23.50 for Hammersmith and £20 elsewhere (34 for Dublin).