Tag Archives: elliot Falla

BBC Introducing in Guernsey: August 2017 – Le Quesne, Alderney Week and Festival Previews

Le Quesne, aka Tyler Edmonds, on BBC Introducing Guernsey

Le Quesne, aka Tyler Edmonds, on BBC Introducing Guernsey

Click here to listen to the show

For the August 2017 edition of BBC Introducing in Guernsey I welcomed into the studio an artist who we’ve featured since the shows inception who is taking things in a new direction.

I also heard from two of the bands who headed to our northern most outpost for Alderney Week and having a look ahead to the final festivals of the season.

I first featured Tyler Edmonds music in the show’s early days when he was (as he still is) leader of Last of the Light Brigade (previously known as No Ambition and Stratosfear) but now he has released his first solo record under the name of Le Quesne – he joined me this month for an interview and a live session.

Also on the show we heard from Robert J. Hunter and The Recks who, along with others, performed earlier in the month as part of Alderney Week.

And I took ahead to the Vale Earth Fair and Sark Roots Festival which round off this years festival season which now stretches right into September.

You can listen to the show by clicking here

Tracklist

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School of Popular Music and Guernsey Gigs Summer Show – The Fermain Tavern – 04/08/17

The Lemmings

The Lemmings

For the last few years Guernsey’s School of Popular Music (SOPM) have held a week-long summer school where they put youngsters together in ‘bands’ and, with the help of the school’s teachers, put a set together to busk in town on the Thursday before performing for friends, family and well wishers at The Fermain Tavern on the Friday evening.

As with last year the event then continued with a group of more experienced bands organised by Guernsey Gigs.

Once again the bands pulled together by SOPM were very impressive given their ages and mixed experiences with each one of the eight having at least one highlight moment.

Avocado Geff

Avocado Geff

The Lemmings started the night off with some pop punk before what looked like the youngest band of the night, Thee Unloaders, delivered the a truly unique version of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit.

Clash of the Bloosers and the improbably named Squidward On A Chair both went down well with the crowd before Avocado Geff (featuring The Violet Diversion’s Kiya) delivered some grunge-tinged acoustic songs with Kiya continuing to stake her claim as a true up and coming front woman.

Purple Paradox and World On Fire featured some of the best moments, particularly on the latter band’s version of Sweet Child O’ Mine before Lady And The Tramps closed the first part of the event with some semi-acoustic songs.

The second part of the night when, unfortunately, due to the awkwardness of Guernsey’s licensing laws anyone under 18 had to leave, began with relative newcomers, The Buried Kings.

The Buried Kings

The Buried Kings

Made up of Elliot, Harvey and Steve Falla they are something of a family band, but, I’m pleased to say, that while that sounds like a rather naff concept that isn’t what they were.

Taking Elliot’s style of blues and adding in a nice dose of modern folk, with the inclusion of Harvey’s mandolin and Steve’s double bass, made for a broad and deep sound with all three providing vocals as well.

More lighthearted than Elliot’s solo material many of the songs contain Guernsey and Sark references including Bec Du Nez (the cider rather than the place) which sounded like something of a family favourite tipple.

While they had a few technical issues with the upright bass it wasn’t enough to entirely detract from the overall performance which was a fine way to start the evening, even if the crowd was woefully small.

Lifejacket

Lifejacket

Its been quite a while since Lifejacket have graced a stage and it showed during their first few songs as they seemed to struggle to find their usual intensity.

By the time they got to the celebrity baiting Meanwhile In Hollywood though they hit their stride and the last half of their set was heading back to their past form.

A few new songs showed that, while they sticking to the same formula of powerfully hard indie rock, strongly inspired by the likes of Mclusky, they are developing it in their own ways with different rhythms slipping in behind the barked vocals.

While this wasn’t their most slick outing, with a set at the Vale Earth Fair coming up I hope we get to see more of them and hear more new material soon.

Gay Army

Gay Army

Another band who haven’t been seen in a while are, Gay Army. Despite this they were as darkly intense as ever as frontman Rolls prowled the Tav’s dance floor while Jo, Ian and Jay owned the stage with the swirling wall of dark disco noise that has become their trademark.

Rolls once again showed that he is genuinely one of the island’s most charismatic frontmen whether playing to 5 or 500 people (I’ll let you guess which number tonight’s audience was closer to) and with tracks like Cracked Amerika sounding enormous Gay Army proved they’ve lost none of their power over the years.

Blasting into a set with a raft of songs from their early days Thee Jenerators seemed reinvigorated playing the back to basics trashy garage songs that made their name. As the set went on newer songs came too with the same energy driving them.

Thee Jenerators

Thee Jenerators

While it was one of their more physically restrained sets until the very end, possibly down to the sadly small audience, the band were more relaxed than I’ve seen them in a while.

Mark Le Gallez lead them in a non-stop garage rock blast highlighted by the best rendition I remember hearing of I Hate You So Much along with classics like Mystery Man and Burn Down The House to close the night on an energetic, if disappointingly barely witnessed, high.

You can see more of my photos from the show on the BBC Introducing Guernsey Facebook page

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BBC Introducing Guernsey: April 2017 – Elliot Falla in session and Vorlon

Elliot Falla and Vorlon Daz Carre

Elliot Falla and Vorlon

Click here to listen to the show

On the April 2017 edition of BBC Introducing Guernsey I featured a pair of guests spanning the range of guitar music in Guernsey.

Elliot Falla was in session with his brand of folk influence indie-blues including tracks from his recent Throne EP and brand new songs. He also told us not only about the making of the EP but also how its been expanding his gigging away from the island following regular shows in Brighton and London over the last few months.

Vorlon on the other hand is a project from long-standing heavy metal musician Daz Carre. He told us about his new album, intense extreme metal project False Sense of Security, as well as his time playing music in the islands which began in the mid-90s and has taken in bands such as Crunchy Frog, Earthcorpse, Darker Shores, Mechanical Lobster, Nemesis and more primarily as drummer but also playing bass and guitar.

You can listen to the show for the next 30 days through the BBC iPlayer Radio App or by clicking here.

I also announced that BBC Introducing Guernsey will again be going live as part of Arts Sunday, you can find out more about that here.

Tracklist

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BBC Introducing Guernsey: January 2017 – Nessi Gomes and Robert J. Hunter

Nessi Gomes on BBC Introducing Guernsey

Nessi Gomes on BBC Introducing Guernsey

Click here to listen to the show

As BBC Introducing enters its tenth year I started off 2017 with a special live session from Nessi Gomes, a look at Robert J. Hunter‘s new album and a selection of brand new music from around the islands.

Following the release of her debut album, Diamonds & Demons, last autumn Nessi Gomes returned to Guernsey in January 2017 for a show at The Fermain Tavern, while she was in the island she joined me in the studio to record a solo acoustic session featuring tracks from the album and two brand new songs.

Having released three albums in the past two years I caught up with Robert J. Hunter and spoke to him about his latest release, Where I’m From, and what its been like making his mark on the blues scene in the UK since he left the islands.

As well as this there was new music from WaterColour MatchboxBurning At Both EndsElliot Falla and more.

You can listen to the show on the BBC iPlayer by clicking here or with the BBC iPlayer Radio App.

Tracklist

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BBC Introducing Guernsey: September 2016 – Citizen-X in session, Vale Earth Fair recap and autumn preview

Citizen-X on BBC Introducing Guernsey

Citizen-X in the studio

Click here to listen to the show

After a summer packed with festivals (I made it to four but there were plenty more) the September 2016 edition of BBC Introducing Guernsey looked back at the Vale Earth Fair’s 40th anniversary event while looking ahead to new music coming up as we move in autumn.

As well as that Citizen-X joined me for a live session and interview telling us about his unique approach to making music as well as playing this year’s Jersey Live festival along with The Peace Tent at Chaos and other events over the summer.

The show is available to listen to for 30 days through the BBC iPlayer Radio App or by clicking here.

Tracklist

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BBC Introducing Guernsey: August 2016 – Clameur De Haro and Vale Earth Fair Preview

Clameur De Haro in the BBC Introducing Guernsey studio

Clameur De Haro in the BBC Introducing Guernsey studio

Click here to listen to the show

Summer festival season continues in full swing with this month’s BBC Introducing Guernsey radio show as I welcomed a band who’ve played all the big ones so far and I take a look ahead to the Vale Earth Fair’s 40th Anniversary.

Clameur de Haro have already played Chaos, Sark Folk Festival and The Gathering (amongst a lot of other gigs) this summer and still have Smaashfest and more to come. They joined me in the studio to have a chat and record a session of three of their own songs and one a pop-rock classic given their own unique ‘bluegrass’ treatment.

With the Vale Earth Fair marking its 40th birthday I looked ahead to the festival on Sunday 28th August with tracks for the likes of TeaspoonriverneckBuffalo HuddlestonFlexagon and more.

You can listen to the show by clicking here for 30 days after the first broadcast.

Tracklist

 

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School of Popular Music Summer Party – The Fermain Tavern – 05/08/16

A Box

A Box

Over the last few years a few new music schools have emerged in Guernsey giving youngsters a chance to learn music away from the more formal and classical training offered by the School’s Music Service.

One such is the School of Popular Music who operate regular classes across a range of disciplines and encourage their students to play the music they like in bands as well as solo.

For their 2016 summer project they got a group of young musicians together and gave them a week to form bands, practice and prepare for a show at Guernsey’s premier music venue, The Fermain Tavern.

With ages ranging from 8 to 15 the first half of the evening, showcasing these young musicians, was certainly a mixed affair but the thing that struck most throughout was the level of enthusiasm, fun and commitment all these players showed.

Rainbow Pugs

Rainbow Pugs

First band on, known somewhat cryptically as ‘A Box’, delivered, like all the young bands, a set of reasonably well-known covers.

Featuring Toby and Jamie of Cosmic Fish gave them a bit of a head start and they played a competent set that showed all four have a lot of potential.

Rainbow Pugs (the bands all chose their all names and, no I don’t know what their inspiration was) were the youngest band of the night and were joined on stage by SOPM’s Alex Wilson who helped guide them through the short set that was well delivered despite the understandable nerves in front of a big audience.

I Blame The Parents probably had the best name of the evening (and the best I’ve heard in a while) and were highlighted by a few guitar players and a drummer who certainly brought the right attitude and swagger to the stage and showed that with time they could bring a complete package.

Clear Vision

Clear Vision

Next up were Lanterns who swapped instruments around mid set, showing a few members have skill in multiple disciplines which is always impressive for someone who just about muddles through on one. Once again another group with some obvious musical talent and plenty of potential.

I’m not sure if they do but Clear Vision came across as a group with a bit more playing experience than the previous bands and rocked their way through their set admirably.

Special mention has to go to their lead guitarist who managed to successfully combine the riffs of Queen’s We Will Rock You and AC/DC’s Back in Black all with a foot planted firmly in the monitor in a classic rock ’n’ roll pose.

Sorry Imogen rounded off the young bands with a set highlighted by a selection of impressive harmonies and a generally relaxed vibe.

They closed their set on a reworked take of Bon Jovi classic Living On A Prayer rounding off the first half of the evening with a real sense that live music in Guernsey is in safe hands, even if they could do with a few more bass players.

Sorry Imogen

Sorry Imogen

After a bit of break as, disappointingly the youngsters couldn’t stay on in the venue, Elliot Falla opened the later part of the show with his brother Harvey in tow on mandolin.

As always Elliot’s take on acoustic indie blues sounded very good and the addition of the mandolin and second vocals added a nice folky side to the sound, along with some harmonies that tempered Elliot’s voice.

That said, his voice has come on impressively even in the few months since I’d last seen him play and with a batch of new songs its clear Elliot is really coming into his own.

If Elliot Falla’s performance was well delivered if a little low-key for a party, Clameur De Haro soon changed that launching into their bluegrass inspired set with their usual sense of fun.

Clameur De Haro

Clameur De Haro

Unfortunately a broken string soon stalled proceedings for a few minutes, though the band took it admirably in their stride joking with both one another and the audience while fiddle player Josh De Kooker took the chance to play a quick jig that got a few dancing.

After that brief break the band were back on it, building on the already good atmosphere in the venue highlighted by their ode to Guernsey’s most famous politician, Dear John and even getting a smile out of cajon player Shifty.

The good atmosphere continued as the small but enthusiastic audience headed onto the dance floor as Honest Crooks took to the stage. The ska-punk trio really felt as if they were on home turf here and entirely playing to their fans and friends making for one of the most relaxed and fun sets I’ve seen from them.

Joined on kazoo by To The Woods’ Bobby Battle for a fair bit of the set, this was one of those gigs where the lines between band and audience were well and truly blurred in the best of ways.

Honest Crooks

Honest Crooks

With covers by Sublime, Reel Big Fish, Gentlemen’s Dub Club and others receiving some of the most instantly positive reactions it is to the credit of the band that their original songs stand alongside these classics of the genre and, I would suggest, that if I didn’t know which were covers and which were originals there would be no difference.

Rounding off with that song by Sublime closed the night on a high that showcased not just some of the current best musicians playing ‘popular music’ in Guernsey but made it clear that there is a lot more good stuff to come.

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BBC Introducing Guernsey: June 2016 – Arts Sunday look back and festival preview

Honest Crooks

Honest Crooks

Click here to listen to the show

For the June 2016 edition of BBC Introducing Guernsey I had an even more packed two hours of music from the islands than usual.

Following on from the live stage on Arts Sunday I presented highlights of the acts of that played including Gregory HarrisonThe Rectory Hill Skillet LickersHONEST CROOKSStatic Alice and The Elliot Falla Trio.

As well as that I had a look at some of the bands playing the Sark Folk Festival and new festival, The Gathering, both of which take place over the next few weeks.

On top of that there’s music from BruntJoe Corbin, a brand new one from The Space Pirates of Rocquaine and lots more.

Click here to listen to the show

Tracklist

There was also one track I couldn’t feature on the show but wanted to share, so here it is, this is Movements by Glitched, a Brighton based band featuring Guernsey musician Ollie Denton:

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BBC Introducing Guernsey at Arts Sunday 2016

Honest Crooks

Honest Crooks

For the second year in a row BBC Introducing Guernsey headed down to the St Peter Port seafront to showcase a range of bands from the islands as part of the Guernsey Arts Commission’s Art Sunday event.

As I was ‘stage managing’ (I use the term loosely), taking photos and generally fretting about organising things, this may not be a full review but hopefully gives a bit of insight into the event.

With the seafront already busy as 100 stalls were set up selling and showcasing art of all kinds, along with a dance stage, two music school stages, the Vale Earth Fair and two dedicated music stages (including ours) the street was already busy as Gregory Harrison started the music at 11am.

Gregory Harrison

Gregory Harrison

As he has become known for Harrison delivered a set of his soulful, bluesy, acoustic songs mixing tracks from his debut EP with brand new songs that will appear on his second release that he said he hopes to record and release before the end of the year.

Being on Town’s main thoroughfare there were plenty of people passing with quite a number stopping for at least a few songs to take in Harrison’s sounds before continuing to explore the rest of the event, but every song was greeted warmly by those who chose to stop.

The energy certainly jumped a few notches as The Rectory Hill Skillet Lickers hit the stage with their unique rag-time, skiffle, busking, stomp. Familiar to many for their impromptu Saturday morning performances around Town seeing and hearing the band on stage and amplified really helped to bring out their lo-fi, raucous, but above all fun musicality and performance.

The Rectory Hill Skillet Lickers

The Rectory Hill Skillet Lickers

All seven members had their chance to shine over their 40 minute set but lead trio of Tinshack, Gemma and Clem were certainly the focus and, with the street all but blocked by those who’d stopped to listen, The Rectory Hill Skillet Lickers certainly provided one of the day’s highlights.

The upbeat sounds continued with Honest Crooks who, even if two-thirds of them were feeling a little worse for wear after the previous night’s gig, delivered a supremely skank-worthy set that perfectly suited the increasingly sunny afternoon.

While their songs (for the most part) have a bit of a socially and politically aware edge, it never gets in the way of a good tune and the trio even got a few dancing and gently skanking along while their version of Meghan Trainor’s All About The Bass went down a storm with a slightly different edge to the original performer’s version at Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Exeter last week.

Static Alice

Static Alice

Having stormed the most recent Sound Guernsey show for under 18s Static Alice certainly brought in a crowd spanning all ages and delivered a vibrant, energetic 40 minutes of music from their debut album and follow-up EP.

Dom Ogier once again headed out into the audience and drew them into the performance while the rest of the band delivered their pop-rockers in as slick and tight a fashion as always all of which left the crowd, who’d packed the road in front of the stage, calling for more.

After such high energy things got a little more relaxed with the smooth, blues-y, rock of The Elliot Falla Trio. Once again as the set went on a crowd gathered and, while the music was a bit lighter Falla’s impassioned howl cut through and added an extra edge.

Elliot Falla

Elliot Falla

Other than a cover of the seemingly obligatory Valerie and traditional folk tune Wagon Wheel (suitably blues’d up) the rest of the set drew on Falla’s own writing including tracks from his debut EP and Nebula Eyes that he announced as having been written when he was only 13!

As the event drew to a close, and the crowds began to thin, it seemed Arts Sunday as a whole had been one of the most popular yet and with every act on the BBC Introducing Guernsey stage drawing a crowd it was great to be part of an event showcasing so much of what Guernsey has to offer in the way of the arts and particularly new music.

You can see more of my photos from the day on the BBC Introducing Guernsey Facebook page

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The EF Trio, The OK and Ramblin’ Nick Mann – The Fermain Tavern – 28/05/16

The late May bank holiday weekend last year was one that saw Leeds band Eureka Machines play to a small crowd at The Fermain Tavern and, unfortunately, this year saw another small audience for three Guernsey acts, in this case based (loosely) around blues.

Ramblin' Nick Mann

Ramblin’ Nick Mann

Ramblin’ Nick Mann started things off in his usual lo-fi, DIY blues kind of way. Balancing the sound of his homemade guitar is often a challenge and it was clear the soundman was having a bit of trouble with that here, but that didn’t really spoil things as the Ramblin’ one’s performance is as much about the complete product as the individual songs.

Added to his repertoire tonight was some fuzz noises which lifted some passages of the music adding a nice extra variety (though not helping with the sound balance) and a few new songs including a nicely sparse and atmospheric one a bout a ship wreck.

With one audience member describing the sounds as something like a country Frank Zappa the set went down well with the small audience.

After a number of years together The OK continued to be the island’s primary self-reviewing band by living up their name. While their performance still feels a bit stilted and frontman Joe comes across as surprisingly uncomfortable on stage despite many shows its clear all four are having a good time, as were their small crop of fans.

The OK

The OK

Their choice of songs remains a bit hit and miss – I don’t think I’m ever going to warm to The OK’s take on Electric Six’s Gay Bar – but they had a few highlight moments with Free’s Wishing Well and Andrew WK’s Party Hard which is always good fun and seems up to sum up the energy the band are after, even if they didn’t quite get there tonight.

With a few more arriving (seemingly having recovered from the previous night’s end of school prom) The Elliot Falla Trio (often oddly abbreviated to The EF Trio) took to the stage and proceeded to groove their way through a set of loosely bluesy rock.

Falla himself comes across something like Robert J. Hunter did a few years ago, but with a slightly less intense vibe to his mannerisms and more of a pop sensibility to the music, though he’s still got somewhere to go on the stagecraft side of things as the quiet bits between the songs showed. He was accompanied by a rhythm section (Elizabeth Beacom on drums and Ben Roussel on bass) who bring a nice swing to the sound adding a jazzy element to the bluesy sounds, but more than capable of rocking when necessary.

The EF Trio (Elliot Falla)

The EF Trio

Along with a selection of original songs that have a real strength to them, particularly coming from such a young writer (not wishing to be patronising), some of which were showcased on Falla’s EP of last year, the trio also included a selection of covers to which they’d added their own twist. Notable among them were versions of TLC’s No Scrubs, Busted’s Year 3000 and a smoothly jazzy Valerie.

With set closer, and probably Falla’s best original to date, You’re All Gone, getting a few dancing in the shadows an encore was called for and delivered in the form of reprise of folk number Wagon Wheel all of which went down very well and rounded the slightly musically all over the place night well, marking The EF Trio as ones to watch going forward, though I have a feeling university commitments may see the band dissolve at the end of the summer.

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