Here's a recording we've been working on this week. It's called 'Back Door Key' and we kind of gave up on it a couple of months ago. However after some rearranging and production ideas, we started to like it again. See what you think...
Also working on a new song 'Last To Know' which resists all efforts to put it into Boo's key... so Dave has ended up singing it. Here's a rehearsal...
Had a great time at Tudor Folk Club in Chesham tonight - a bit different to 2 years ago at the same place when we had to plough through snow much worse than on this page.
We were surrounded by some excellent guitar players... Bob Templeman (left) and the chap who uses 2 capos at once (right)... (sorry I forgot your name!) See you again sometime we hope. Thanks for having us!
Playing at Acoustic Routes in Cambridge tonight. We're really looking forward to playing live for a change. We've had a month off since the last gig but we've been writing and recording a lot in the meantime. Consequently we've got a lot of new stuff that we can't play yet plus all the old stuff which we can't remember. Should be a good gig!...
This was sent to us this morning by an old friend who must have recorded this from a radio in the early 70's. It's a Dave Ellis performance on In Concert probably around 1974. The quality is awful, but sometimes it's listenable and might interest one or two old Dave Ellis fans.
A couple of new songs have been written lately, just when Dave was starting to think the muse had left him. The first is a kind of homage to Bert Jansch who died about a month ago. It's called 'Me & Angie' and it uses bits and pieces of tunes and lyrics from Bert's first album to tell how this musical discovery affected Dave.
The second tune is written on the tenor guitar and has some very unusual chord movements (more like Steely Dan than folk music!). This one's called 'It's Only Me'. No recordings yet, but watch this space. I think we may have started a new album...
Played at a lovely friendly little club out in Swindon a couple of nights ago where we had a hugely fab time. Thanks to David Garmont from the White Horse Folk Club for the picture.
Thanks to all at Eastbourne last night where we had a great evening despite the terrible news that Bert Jansch had died.
Bert was the reason Dave started taking the guitar seriously when Bert's iconic first album appeared like magic for Christmas one year.
Dave wouldn't be where he is (or isn't!) today if not for that album. Like many other young guitar players at the time he did his best to copy Bert's every note (badly) and it led him to discover his own interest in music.
Thanks Bert. We couldn't have done last night's gig without you!
Did a couple of gigs up north at the weekend. Thanks to all at the Belmont Bull which is turning into a nice little gig with its smart new function room and lovely warm reception.
Here's Lucy Jennings at Leigh Folk on Friday playing just for Dave and Barbara. Thanks for the memory... we won't forget it!
We've been rehearsing some new songs 'Hang Out The Flag' and 'Eye On The Sky' as well as reminding ourselves of some of the tunes from our set that have only been displaced because of new stuff being written.
Old favourites such as 'Open Car', 'Shadow', 'Eye Of The Beholder' and 'It Just Rains' will be making a reappearance at the next set of gigs.
We are still here. Not recording or gigging at the moment as it's happy holiday season and we don't do festivals (although we've been so bored we might do next year!).
Boo's in the south of France and Dave's been staying with his old pal Phil Yorke oop north trying to find some gigs in the Liverpool/ Manchester area (have a look at May next year on the gig page - we've got a little tour developing).
Here are the two old friends showing how much they appreciate being let out for the day. Dave is obviously genuinely happy to be playing floor sets and Phil hasn't long been off the medication.
There's an interview with us in R2 this month. If you'd like to read it click here.
We just received a recording from our last gig at Hitchin (thanks Keiron!) and here we demonstrate our 'technique' for recording the backing vocals on 'Stuff'. Unfortunately you can't use this method live, but amazingly it sort of comes off anyway as you will hear if you click this mp3...
Some amazing photos have turned up of Dave playing in one of the first clubs he visited in London after arriving from Liverpool in 1970.
Brett Marvin and the Thunderbolts used to do a Sunday afternoon club at Studio 51 near Leicester Square and it was Dave's initial point of contact with slide player Sam Mitchell.
The Bretts also had Jona Lewie (Stop the Cavalry) playing piano in the band at the time. Great times brought vividly back to life with Les Astrella's photos of the young Dave Ellis which you can see if you click here.
photo copyright Les Astrella
We finished our Spring tour with our annual Easter visit to Hitchin Folk Club (click here for more pics) on Sunday. We had an absolute ball and we're now faced with a fourmonth unplanned break in the gigs when we most want to do another one!
So if anybody wants to book Dave and Boo over the next few months, you'll get us at a bargain basement price to play in your garden shed if necessary!
This was us last night playing at the Bluetown Heritage Centre in the Isle of Sheppey. The venue used to be an old music hall apparently and we were there to help revive the music tradition there along with Jez Lowe with an evening of folk, fun and merriment.
We really enjoyed ourselves as usual and also especially enjoyed seeing Jez doing a solo gig (we've only seen him with the Bad Pennies before). Very nice bloke and he gets our award for getting packed up and out of the gig in the shortest time ever!
The gig was put on by Sheppey Folk & Blues club which happens every week in Minster. Give it a try if you're ever in the area on a Monday.
A really enjoyable gig last night in Wattisfield in Norfolk. Left is Boo (bad bass playing bitch!) and her new Martin acoustic bass. Thanks to Adrian Black and his team for working so hard to put the gig on.
We were sharing the evening with Liz Simcock who did a brilliant set and we're repeating the whole experience at Hitchin Folk Club on Easter Sunday (24th April) if you can make it. Details on our gig page.
Unearthed... an old collage of Dave and Boo clippings from when they were called the Reactors.
This goes back to the early 80's when we entered a Melody Maker competition with our portastudio recordings and when Jermaine Jackson decided not to come to England to sign us because of nuclear fallout..
Click the image left to read it
We shot loads of footage for the Stuff video. Here is a bit we didn't use that shows us getting on brilliantly as usual... where Boo's getting a bit bored and grumpy but produces her best face yet whilst Dave copes with technology.
We've been experimenting with our recording techniques today after suffering the usual turmoil of the mike stands (right). We actually ended up recording in two separate rooms which turned out to be more successful than you might think... despite not being able to see each other!
We've also been trying to record our acoustic Martin bass which was recorded DI'd, through a speaker, miked acoustically and finally put through a guitar preamp straight into the desk (so far the best sound).
I hate to say it but I think we've started a new album. Well... we've got nothing better to do!
Tunes are springing out of the tenor guitar and giving us loads of lyrics to write and lots of new songs to arrange including 'Back Door Key', 'Any Month of Any Year' and this mp3 of our latest: 'Moonlight Optimist' where we're working on some very hard harmonies.
The words in this one came from Dave opening his mouth and seeing what came out. It's a bit like the Rolf Harris method - 'can you see what it is yet?' - where you start by not having a clue what the song's about - just words - and then little by little it starts to emerge.
Dave just back from his holiday at the top of Everest (lovely views).
We were getting into some writing today and rearranging a couple of completed new songs that just need to be played in public now. Gisagig someone!
Has anyone noticed that we are now trying to network via facebook and youtube? I know Linda and Steve know because we met them at Croydon FC a couple of weeks ago and they wrote on our wall. I don't think networking is supposed to work by actually talking to people, so if you are reading this and you use facebook, do say hello or anything you like. This wall may be demolished soon if no one uses it!
Just got in from having a fab time at Cambridge Folk Club. What a great audience... we really enjoyed ourselves and we suspect you did too. You can buy our new album 'Stuff' on this site you know... I don't know if we mentioned it at the gig!
Earlier this week it was touch and go that we were going to make it to this gig at all, but we're very glad we did. Last Monday Dave's vocal chords could produce a very authentic 'I Was Born Under A Wanderin' Star' about 2 octaves below his usual register and Boo hasn't been able to stop coughing and spluttering for about a fortnight now. God knows what afflictions we can develop for our next gig in Croydon in a fortnight's time!
Did a very enjoyable gig at Dartford Folk Club last night despite Boo nursing a cold and Dave nursing a stiff neck. Funny how the symptoms disappear when you start playing!
Boo's new Martin acoustic bass also made its first public appearance at this gig and sounded warmer but less sustaining than the old electric Steinberger (which had an almost pedal like sustain). It seems to give us a bit more space in our music although we do miss the low growly notes from the missing 5th string occasionally. Overall - a huge hit with us!