There’s so much that can be said about last night’s show at The Avenue Theatre. Great turn out, lovely audience, sumblime performances.
But there was one four minute section of the night that has to rank somewhere in the top 3 moments from all the years I’ve been playing in bands.
Last April at The Sweeps Festival in Rochester, Bob Carling from Swale Sings community choir introduced himself after our Castle Gardens performance. He’d picked up on the Kent legend songs we’ve written and said the choir would love to get involved and perhaps do a collaboration with us.
We decided Holly Shore would be the best suited (due to the location of the story) and practiced for a few months at The Avenue Theatre, throwing ideas around with the choir to get the best arrangement for both parties. Two performances in 20111 – one at Artists in The Woods in Oare and another at Maria McCarthy‘s MacMillan Cancer fund raiser/book launch night at The Avenue – both went really well and we thought it would be great to get the choir involved on the Theatre Tour if we could.
With no hesitation at all, Swale Sings promised they would be at The Avenue. And by crikey, did they ever turn up last night! The four minutes of Holly Shore backed by Swale Sings was a beautiful moment.
To have that much power coming from behind you on stage, 25 singers giving their absolute all for one of our songs is just an experience that can’t really be explained.
During the second verse I was getting a bit emotional – which I don’t think has ever happened to me at a gig before…it felt like something clicked. 30 people on stage together, completely wrapped up in the moment.
The reaction from the crowd said it all. A great ending to a great night. All of the choir’s hard work to learn our song, all of the months of preparation summed up by a standing ovation and a couple of minutes of solid cheering and applause. No words really do the feeling justice.
Swale Sings are a brilliant bunch and great singers to match. Their enthusiasm is unlimited and they take great pride in what they are doing. Support those guys if you get the chance.
Tonight was the first leg of our 3 night tour – Sheppey Little Theatre was the venue – a converted church buried in the back street ghettos of Sheerness. But let’s talk about all of that in a minute.
Yesterday I had an e-mail exchange with our insane violin player:
“I will be meandering to the theatre at five o’clock come the ‘morrow. How will you be journeying to our destination?”, said I, in excellent written English.
“A train get right in Sittbor at ‘arf 4 mate, I’ll geddit. Gissa lif boy”, came the rather outdated reply.
Not to be disheartened, or put off by such intollerable speak, I continued:
“Very well. I will appear from my automobile to hail you towards the passenger seat. Then you will enter the vehicle and we shall converse of the days events on our short but pleasant drive to Sheerness.”
Confirming the accompaniment, Hannah replied “Reddot chav maboooey. See yooooz at 16.29 WIVVOUT FAIL! LOL!”
“Fare thee well Hannah.”
“LOL”. Whatever that means.
So. It was all set.
Me and old man G arrive at the station at 16.29 on the dot. Never late. Ever.
G phones Hannah x864.
Time gets round to 16.45.
Train says it’s delayed.
She’s in the car with Vicky, on their way to Sheppey.
In summary, don’t organise anything with Hannah.
She’ll just not bother turning up and won’t tell you about it either.
Unless you’re her friend. Then it will be fine.
Hang on a minute!
We started the night off with a 30 minute set of 6 songs. 30 minutes is a normal set time for this sort of 3 band night…but in my head 6 songs isn’t right. I suppose that’s what you get when you have songs that are 5 minutes long. We are well self indulgent. We played about a 7 out of 10 I reckon. Sold a bunch of CDs and had some good feedback though which was nice.
Next up were The Flowing – Dave started off the set, just him and his guitar. He definitely looked and sounded the part on that stage – curtained backdrops, warm coloured lights, cracked and heartfelt vocals. Something clicked right there. Gradually the other members of the band joined him and the sound grew. First time I’ve seen them as a 5 piece and it was just lovely. The accompaniment to Dave’s vocals and guitar is quite understated but totally draws you in. I like to pick out the subtleties. (That’s what I say to my girlfriend when I pick my nose too. Although that’s not subtle at all. I can get right up to my elbow.) Great band, see them.
Wheels were tonight’s headline band. They get tighter every time I see them and the guitar work between Rew and Neil is truly inspired. They know I love them so I won’t drool too much, although most of the time it can’t be helped. My face is always wet when I wake up in the morning. Spit everywhere. Just nasty. Especially in this weather. Spit gets very cold, you know?
All the acts said they enjoyed playing in a theatre setting, which is good news as we’ve got 2 nights left of the tour. Would have been rubbish if we’d have all hated it.
Thanks to everyone that came along. Thanks to Vicky for clementines. I ate two in quick succession, underneath the stage.
Can’t wait for tomorrow. It’s going to be a good one.
We’re performing our last song with a choir.
We’ve posted an ad for a cello player over at JoinMyBand.co.uk. I won’t repeat it here, as you can probably gather what we are asking for….and if you can’t, see the end of the blog.*
We’ve had a couple of good reviews come in for our latest EP – Incredible Shrinking Man. This is a limited run EP of 150, which have been painstakingly made with our own fair hands (mostly).
The wonderful hard working website Bright Young Folk said “Incredible Shrinking Man combines folk sensibilities with hints of swing and a characteristic flair for the dramatic.” Click here for the full review.
The Medway Broadside is an independent culture and news publication (online and print) for the Medway towns. (We know this to be true because we stole the tagline from their website). They hit the nail on the head when they wrote “Los Salvadores seem determined to do things their own way and on their own terms.” Click here for the full review.
As is becoming the custom recently, we have made another ridiculous video detailing what we get up to ‘behind the scenes’. Well, it’s not behind the scenes really. For the most part we do stupid things in full view of everybody because we have no shame.
So, here is the latest installment of our awful antics – this time in Ipswich. Our stupidity knows no geographical bounds.
NB. You don’t have to be an old man to join our band. Vicky has that role down pat.
We’ve just got back from a couple of really great gigs in Weymouth for their annual folk festival. We spent a couple of nights in a tent, getting woken up by blackbirds, rain and cows. Two cows. Ahem.
One of the organisers had some very kind words to say about our harbour gig. (From the stage we were looking straight out to see. Amazing!)
“Los Salvadores performed at this years Wessex folk festival. They are an impressive and talented band with excellent musicians and a contemporary and fresh sound. You will have to go a long way to hear a band as good as this playing traditionally based music with such variety, depth of tone, harmonies and togetherness. It was a real delight to have them perform on the Small Stage this year”.
This has made us very happy! It’s great that people are accepting us into the folk world!
Then just last night we played with Wheels, some good friends of ours. It makes it even better that they are an excellent band. They are just about to release their album and you should come along to the launch party at The Barge at the end of this month. All details here.
I think you’ll agree that Neil, their guitarist/accordion player, is sexy and has a brilliant hat.
We’re lucky enough to be playing with them again this Friday, at Googies in Folkestone. Click the poster to see more info on the event.
On Saturday we’ll be spending far too much time in each others company again as we head off to Ipswich to play Ipswich Riverside Folk Weekend at The Steamboat Tavern. We haven’t been to Ipswich for a while but we are always astounded by the great hospitality shown by people from up that way.
In other news, we are still hard at work getting our EP together. The inlay nears completion, so we should have it ready for the end of this month. Phew!
Los Salvadores’ new 5 track EP, ’Stuck Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’ is an accomplished piece of work. The band have a new line up including Vicky Price on French horn and the resulting sound places this EP firmly at the folk end of the folk-punk spectrum that the band have previously explored.
Clever lyrics and complex harmonies work together to create an upbeat and slightly theatrical sound that is consistently entertaining.
The material is largely inspired by local legends and stories from the Kent region and surroundings. Naval warfare features in ’Bartholomew’s Day’, while ’Smuggler’s Leap’ evokes the age old conflict between smugglers and customs men and ’Holly Shore’ tells the story of the ghost of a Dutch sailor in a local drinking establishment.
The punk theme is strongest on the opening ’ Old Diesel Engine’ that also has a fine whirl of Romany-styled fiddle. In a strong finish, ’These Trees’ has some beguiling fiddle and a very catchy chorus.
’Stuck Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea’ is a top notch release that packs an awful lot into the EP format.