Its getting near to my 1000 gig and here’s a picture taken by Ralph Stephenson at the 100 cub on February 26th at the Elephant Shelf New Album Launch. It was great to see a lot of familiar faces in attendance too on a cold Tuesday in Winter.
Elephant Shelf at Blues at The Farm January 2012 doing a couple of very well known tunes.
I have just about got over Christmas. We were back in the studio in Burnham on Crouch yesterday and I put some accordion on one of the more rootsy tracks, which seemed to work OK.So I shall be doing a bit more of that in future though Phil Cunningham will have nothing to fear from my occasional squeezing and wheezing, mind you Allie Bain has not much to fear from my fiddling either. Due to the ongoing back and ribs problem I can only do a limited amount of playing so my skills are not going to improve that quickly on it. We have about 15 tracks of which about 10 will end on the album I think. The cold is slowly relinquishing its grasp though I felt very tired last night.
We have two gigs this Saturday, one in Billericay in the afternoon at a club called Blues at the Farm as Elephant Shelf. Not the most flattering photo on the website but hey we are quite hale though rather aged and crusty I had never heard of Billericay before that Mr Drury mentioned in one of esteemed songs.
Then one in the evening in our Delta ladies incarnation in the wilds of Barnet at the pub where Elephant Shelf had one of its very first outings (before I joined believe it or not) called the Lord Nelson.
I have it on good authority that at some point this year we will hit the 1000 gigs mark as we have averaged around 140 gigs a year in our various incarnations (Elephant Shelf Jessie Pies Cleavage of Death and the Delta ladies) which I suppose is not bad going really.
Pre-final mix track from the new Elephant Shelf Album recorded at Saint FM studios produced by Pete Crisp who produced the recent Hokie Joint album – the song and the album demonstrates the band’s move to retro style and sound
3 gigs this weekend one on Thursday at Cafe Rouge in Highgate that was mellow but good fun and we have been invited back in January if all go’s well. One up near Baldock which didn’t go quite so well as they normally have 80’s cover bands so a very retro duo was not quite up their street.
On Saturday night we were at one of our favorites, the Belle Vue in High Wycombe with full band. It was a very lively night and good fun.
The live sound of the band has mellowed somewhat though its actually more energetic, and we had some very complimentary comments from the punters who are mad enough to comeback each time we are there, and so must be real gluttons for punishment. It was pretty much a party atmosphere as everyones really getting into the mood for Christmas and the band was in a somewhat joccular mood too
I record most gigs on a small pocket recorder to get a real ldea of what we sound like, thats very revealing too, sometimes when you listen back its good news and sometimes its awfull! Last nights was mostly pretty good. We put audio clips from the live stuff on the website now. We used to do a lot of video, but its impractical in a lot of places, though we should really get some new stuff done for publicity purposes.
I haven’t been working on writing solo stuffÂ though as I have been doing a lot of studying and practice and I have felt rather uninspired. Some stuff just never seems to sink in. Also I am not a big fan of Christmas though as a child I really enjoyed it a lot. New Years Eve is always a good feeling though and I try to look back at the good things that have happened though the year.
Its nearly September and the year has flown by. My Ancient chariot needs to get an MOT (15 years old but only done just over 100k) and I think so do I as I have had a lot of aches and pains post gig recently. A trip to the docs is indicated me thinks. So far so good as we had a really good gig at the Cambridge Rock festival recently that should have upped our cred a bit. We also have a local london festival appearence tommorow at Abbey Fest at the Colour House Theatre on Bank Holiday Monday. We were up in Nottingham at the Trent Navigation as our duo which went well to a mixed crowd of the local blues club folks and rugby supporters so we will be back there in the not too distant future we hope. We also had recent gigs in Lincoln and a few other places. We have one more festival gig in September which is the Plumpton Beer and Blues Festival near Lewes in Sussex which could be good for us apart from the normal ongoing stuff. We are still waiting on the the rough mixes of the new Elephant Shelf Album to come through,as we we will be down in the studio again to do a bit of over dubbing as soon. We have also started recording a Delta Ladies Album and have a couple of rough tracks down for that which sound promising. I have also still got a rather iritating cough which has now eased of enough for me to get my full voice back on gigs but which nearly left me mute for the Cambridge Rock festival but I got me mojo working sufficiently for that thank goodness.