Darren and Emma used to be in the worst two named bands in the history of UK indie. Darren met Emma in Sheffield and told her he was suspicious of a band who all wore hats. Then her band all put hats on and went on stage. They started a friendship based on short scale basses. Darren started writing a song and thought the melody in the chorus sounded like something Emma might write and sing. To avoid legal action he asked her to sing on it. During the recording session they aspired to make the record sound as much like Bryan Adams and Sporty Spice as possible. If it doesn’t sound like that, then they’ve failed. That was their only objective. Emma told Darren it was the best guitar playing she had ever heard in her entire life. Ever. Bar none.
A Little Orchestra are, well a small (but perfectly formed) orchestra – though with a interesting twist as the ten-piece ensemble have enlisted a host of indie musicians of their acquaintance to join with them on their debut full-length release Clocks, the album features collaborations with Model Village, Darren Hayman, Simon Love, Haiku Salut, Emma Winston, Lisa Bouvier, Apple Eyes and Gordon McIntyre with the tracks interspersed by a series of instrumental tracks – Clocks which you can read about in detail on The Quietus.
The orchestra was formed in 2010 by Bobby Barry of The Pipettes who currently serves in the dual capacity of conductor and percussionist for the orchestra, the full line-up consists of Alex Billig – Bassoon, Catherine Carr – Flute, Clair Hadidjenar – Violin ,Helen Short – Cello ,Jill Faure – Viola, Matthew Walker – Violin, Natalie Hudson – Violin, Nicola Burnett Smith – Bass clarinet and B Flat clarinet and Rosie French – Violin.
The collaborations work really well and the whole album is a refreshing and engaging listening from start-to-end, the collaborations start with the delightful summery Josefina (with Model Village) that features on the orchestra’s EP which is available on a limited edition vinyl release here, you can listen and buy (and I recommend you do) the original Model Village version here, a Beat Surrender favourite Darren Heyman adds his not inconsiderable talents to another highlight on the album The Permanent Way.
Came across this via a tweet from Darren Heyman, help the cause and get some great tunes in return.
REGAL VS STEAMBOAT” is a slightly lengthy digital compilation from Audio Antihero Records: Specialists in Commercial Suicide, created to support the essential charity work of Rape Crisis England & Wales and Rape Crisis Scotland. This compilation is available for a minimum donation of £3.99 so hopefully everyone who wants it can afford it, those of you who can give a little more are certainly encouraged to dig a little deeper. There’s more information below the track listing. *Click on each track for links and info on individual artists. ALSO I’ve given them all a wrestling equivalent…some are quite tenuous*