Articles written by MGoesLive!

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MGoesLive! has written about the following acts:


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Recent articles

David Ellis

Feature

Dave has a very distinctive sound of his own. A very accomplished musician and producer. Dave lives in Leamington Spa and is a sound engineer for a local games company. 

He started playing guitar in his late teens "a late bloomer" he says. But he wrote and sang songs before he could play them. He is a fan of The Beatles, Neil Young, Elliott Smith and Radiohead. 

He is with Greg Freeman, Anthony Freeman and Steve Cartwright in a band called Blurtones, plus he is in Crime:Seen and formerly 8 ball. He has previously released 2 singles plus a 10 track album called The boy who cried wolf , he is on Facebook and Instagram.

On this album The boy who cried wolf, there is a track called "wake up smiling" which Dave composed and produced at his home studio and this song was picked to go on a CD of artists who sounded Paul McCartney- esque. This CD was given free on an issue of Mojo magazine dedicated to Macca and the comments on David Ellis was 'one to watch'; this was in 2013 .

EP 5 tracks The Return of the tide written produced and recorded by David Ellis at his home.

Track 1. The Return of the tide
This track flows like the tide and your drawn in to it as to the moon, crashing waves, stormy nights all in the lyrics . Very haunting melody and harmonies.


Track 2. Don't touch the fire
Keep the flame burning , don't touch the fire burning inside her but don't put her fire out. Lovely guitar solo's in between fine lyrics  including embers an inferno and sparks. And smooth vocals


Track 3. On the side
it's a tale of change and being on the side of the angels. A Ballad about life being easier how it was.


Track 4. Tube song
A quick start straight into a great bass riff that plays throughout and a more uptempo song . Great lyrics , keep on travelling Southbound , as long as we stay on the ground. Dave is as comfortable with acoustic as he is with a full rock out number like this one which is my personal favourite


Track 5.These Monsters
Superb guitar, drums and piano in the solo parts between lyrics , a tale of a heavy heart and monsters under the bed , very gentle smooth vocals

As you can see I am not a musician but love music and David Ellis has a very distinctive voice and writes awesome lyrics and songs you can connect with alongside his great talent as a guitarist and producer .

This Digipak CD by David Ellis with Photography by Pete Ochoa and Firewings is available on Bandcamp and all usual streaming services as from now. A collection of songs that all started out as a challenge for a songwriting group he's sometimes part of. He dusted them off during Covid lockdown and they have evolved into this, quoted from David Ellis .


Just an added note that Dave can sing any covers of songs as well as his own and appears at some open mics either solo or joining in with other musicians. He also does annual gigs in Croatia.

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Venues in Lockdown and before: THE BUCK AND BELL AT LONG ITCHINGTON

Feature

BEFORE LOCKDOWN:

Owners of this pub are Mr Peter Evans and Mrs Cheryl Evans

Pete is from the Southam area attended Wolston High School. This year it will in November be four years since they opened this pub. Long Itchington is a picturesque village with a lovely duck pond close to The Buck and Bell. Numerous other pubs are in this area too. Pete and Cheryl used to run a large campsite but find they haven't time now but they do rent out rooms to local contractors working in the area.


Before Lockdown this very community based pub were holding a monthly open mic hosted by Will Ball which attracted a lot of musicians and their followers. Outside a company set up an oven where they served to order stone baked pizzas and you could bring them inside to eat and Pete himself would buy one or two and cut them up and leave out for the customers and musicians to help themselves later in the evening. These open mics ran till quite late and always well attended.


Sunday's Pete held "Lazy Sunday" afternoon sessions where a solo artist, duet or band play from 4-30pm till 7-30 pm ish! The ish being if the band were willing to play longer and customers agreed they would carry on. A very popular afternoon with great musicians performing every week. Freshly cooked lunches served 12-30 till 6pm.


A very welcoming venue always a smile and hello when you go in and they have log burners in each room to keep it cosy even a mirror over the fire place that turns into a TV! There's a room upstairs for private parties or to play snooker or extra space for eating or somewhere just to sit and chat. Snooker tables, dart board and fruit machines and a slide in the outside area for kids and an area of seating too. Pete even let a band film a Christmas music video in the pub, they got the Christmas decorations out set it all up and brought his snow machine out too!

They had started very recently doing freshly cooked breakfast, light lunches, pastries and hot drinks from 9am till 2 pm weekdays. Plus some evenings serving fresh meals.  They do allow dogs in the pub and Barney, Pete and Cheryl's dog big fluffy friendly dog who likes to check on everyone especially if he is given his own packet of mini cheddars to eat!

Before the Lockdown they held charity events and their staff also did the Wolfruns too. Always events on at Bank holidays. When there's events on Pete can be seen videoing sometimes himself :-) but usually his customers enjoying themselves and you can hear his laughter anywhere in the pub.


DURING LOCKDOWN

Like all venues they have been hit hard and so have opened up Thursdays to Sundays for people to order meals freshly cooked and collect, making sure they have social distancing set up with hand sanitizer too.


Prior to Lockdown Pete had started doing alterations inside the pub, altering the bar area so people could see from the far end where the musicians are playing. Altering upstairs and still working hard on that now. Doing most of it himself, building plastering etc.

Whilst decorating  and selling take away food Pete and Cheryl set up a mini float with sponsors and drove round the village, asking locals to ring and ask if they wanted their street visited and they raised £300 for local charities who Pete thought were missing out with this pandemic on and he says to cheer the village up. He and Cheryl took food round to the local residential home too. They had a Social distancing BBQ on the same day. So they work hard in the community. Hopefully all venues will survive as a lot are selling and delivering home cooked meals to help make ends meet.

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Christopher Sidwell of Crokodile Tears and The Trees

Interview

HOI POLLOI

Christopher Sidwell of Crokodile Tears and The Trees
Lyricist, musician and Artist

What a very talented performer Christopher Sidwell is. Both with his quirky lyrics and tap along tunes that can always bring a smile to my face."Summer Daze" has been released as a taster to a new EP "Village Folk" I personally love this song and  "Melanie Moon" too. Not only is he a songwriter, singer and musician but also an artist doing a variety of acrylic paintings which at the end of this article are two websites one is for his music and one for his paintings. If you haven't seen him play live your missing a treat, so go look him up .

He also has 2 songs in Hillzfm 98.6 chart . This chart has 50 local artists in and they can be voted for daily on hillzfm's website and the top ten are played on Fridays. Crokodile Tears single in this chart is " Anorak" , with Christopher in the Croks are Alf Hardy and Jerry Richards . The Trees are Chris and Keith Fabrique and their song " Mister Woodenface" is in the chart currently. 

Question  1: Have you come from a musical background?
Answer: My Grandparents, parents and sister all played the piano - I tried to learn some basics in my teens . So basically yes but I never thought that I was from a "musical family" because everyone played music back then !


Question 2 : When did you start singing and playing guitar?
Answer: I learned to play guitar in my early 20's starting with classical , which I didn't really get on with , then moving to pop/folk. I only really wanted to play guitar to be able to write my songs which I'd had in my head since my teens .


Question 3: Your musical influences?
Answer: Yes, a lot of 60's obviously so Beatles,Floyd/Syd Barrett, Bonzo DoG Doo Dah Band, Beachboys but The Kinks we're my favourite in a lot of ways because of their words. I also like people like Jake Thackeray and folk music for the characters, issues and storytelling.


Question 4:Bands you have played in?
Answer: My first Official band was The Digital Dinosaurs in the late 70's - that dovetailed into my solo project Crokodile Tears which began in the early 1980's . Since then there has been side projects such as The Singing Sock and most recently The Trees with the " Here come the Trees' album recorded with Keith Fabrique .

Question 5: Have you always written your own lyrics/ music
Answer: Well the cost was having to  learn "Oh Boy". Yes, the aim was always to write and play my own songs. I was writing songs from the age of about 14 then experimenting with Phillips tape recorders doing early sound on sound recording.

Question 6: Had you played solo first?
Answer: No solo playing is something that I have only relatively recently had the confidence to do in the last 5 years. It actually helped  my songwriting because it has allowed me to try out songs before recording them. I have also met some interesting characters ( such as Suzanna') to write songs about at places like The Temperance in Leamington Spa. " Suzanna" is featured on the  Crokodile Tears new album ‘ Hoi Polloi‘ which will be released later in the year .
A new Cros e.p ‘Village folk' will be released shortly as a taster. New track ‘ Summer Daze ‘ is available for download through Keith Fabrique's Lipshock Bandcamp Page.

Question 7: Have you always been an artist to?
Answer: Well I always painted at infant school like everyone else did but then of course some people stop.The answer though is yes but I did give up oil painting in the 1980's and properly took up painting again when I started working acrylics in 2010. This coincided with me going down to part-time working as a teacher. I found oil paints frustrating and would probably not have given up if I'd had acrylics then. I always drew throughout and  some of these were ideas for paintings.


www.mychristopher.net
www.reverbnation.com/crokodiletears

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Keeping the beat - Drum fanatic

Interview

Steve is a very accomplished drummer having been in a lot of of bands playing different genres of music .
His wide experience shows in his playing as well as the unusual quirky bits he can add to any tune.
He is known as the 5th member of DABB4  a 60's covers  band whose 2 vocalists are known for there great harmonies plus they play their own material to and whilst there regular drummer Bob Brannan is on his annual golfing holiday in sunny Florida Steve has been doing an excellent job in his place bringing his own talents to the band and fitting in like a glove.

Question: what age did you start drumming?
Answer: My dad , from Cork Eire, used for a beer, the famous Holly Walk Irish Club in Leamington when he was alive ...and came home one Sunday afternoon with a snare drum!! Announcing to my Mother that a drum kit was also ready to be picked up for free - the drummer from the club had passed away!!  That day convinced me...it was drums forever!!  I was eleven years old. The kit was old Olympic version of cheap Premier drums -every ones choice at that time.

Question: what influenced you to start?
Answer: After playing this collection of drums and learning simple drum stuff for a couple of years I teamed up with some Leam College School mates, which were Nick Dee and Terry Bigley -we loved the style of The Edgar Broughton band from Warwick -Steve Broughton , the drummer was amazing. Nick Dee RIP became an amazing guitarist with local bands Cheeky - Concrete Parachute etc, both great bands.

Question: Which was the first band you played in?
Answer: I joined Leamington band Yampy with my bro in law as the vocalist and my friends Clive Hardwick on guitar and Steve Orley on bass and we gigged a lot locally at the time - then drifted apart.

Question: a little about bands you were in
Answer: My next music action was in Jersey CI where my pal Tom Morrison and I moved to - we worked all over the island doing anything to pay the bills ( and beer tab) and I joined a band in St Helier doing rock covers . The big music "up" change was my return to the UK mainland and having had a music gap of a few years I was asked to join the amazing Chilled Ice from the Cotswolds - we gigged everywhere down there and great times were had most weekends . The lead singer sadly passed away and we called it a day .

More recently ...after doing a Number of stand in "depping" drum jobs for a couple of years, I joined Henry's Rhythm and Blues Band ... a bunch of talented local musicians, we gigged a lot and tried for music perfection , but egos took over and it sadly came to an end. I played with brill guitarist Rob Reynolds- now Room 17 .. we were a rock covers band Black Fleck ...with Jack , Robs dad ( as the brilliant gig getting manager)it was very rock and roll!!!

Question: Music you like to listen to ?
Answer: My main music interest has always been the American soft rockers... Doobie Bros ... my fav all time band ever... plus Santana and Steely Dan plus Hall and Oates - seen them many times - they are awesome.
I guess the Doobie Bros- Steppenwolf-Alabama Shakes- Hall and Oates -Average White Band - Kenny Loggins and brilliant Gospel type drummers will always be my listen and learn.

Question: Do you practice a lot?
Answer: I never practice drums unless I am with a band situation - but sadly I love Ludwig the drum brand and sound of these drums...so I started collecting them - can't use them all on stage , but still collect them. I spend lots of time ensuring that the drums I use on stage sound as good as possible with tuning and latest technology for sound quality , even studio quality if poss.

FINAL addition by Steve
My unbelievable recent opportunity of playing with DABB4 has been exceptional in as much as the band is amazingly talented and has that rare ingredient of having band members that all get along enjoying each other's company - really hope they continue to ask me to stand in when the brilliant Bob B does his jollies!!!'

Sent from my iPhone

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The Man behind the mask. Paul Sanders DJ, Presenter, tour guide actor and wordsmith 

Interview

Just before I put the answers I submitted to Paul for this article I would like to express thanks on behalf of everyone for all the hard work he does to promote, encourage tirelessly week-in week-out to help bring artists of all types, all ages, all genres of music to the public eye. He does 3 radio shows 2 for HillzFM 98.6 and one for Radio Abbey.

Covering all sorts of topics, music and quizzes and a half hour that an artist takes over on his Radio Abbey show. He also is now regularly hosting his own open mics. I don't think he has time to sleep! The City of Culture is happening next year so this actor who could grace any West End stage with his presence, wordsmith who rolls comments like honey of his tongue deserves some recognition for himself. Make it happen Powers that be, let him host on a main stage at Godiva Festival in the front of the artists as one himself.

Now the questions I set and answers from Paul

Q.How did you get into presenting and any presenters that inspired you? 

A: One day 5 years ago my friend went to the Watch Centre which is a work based recruitment company which is downstairs from Hillz FM. I heard a DJ on the radio and did not know who it was. I was told that the station was above and I asked how you go ahead joining? Several weeks later I did my first radio show 30 mins long and with no training at that time I was thrust into the world that is radio. I always liked Steve Wright and later Chris Moyles on BBC Radio 1

Q: Is HillzFM the only station you present on? Plus is there a particular station you would really love to present on?

A: As of writing I am now presenting on both Hillz FM in Coventry and Radio Abbey in Kenilworth, I would love to have a paid job as a Radio DJ but no one has come calling as per

Q:What festivals would you really like to present at given the opportunity? 


A: I am not one of these people who aims to present at Glastonbury or Reading. I would love to present at Godiva Festival on the main stages. But that goes down to the Free Radio gang. 


Q: Are you planning to do more festivals of your own this year/charity events/open mics or actual gigs you are already booked to do?


A: Currently I don't have anything booked up. But I am free currently for the year ahead. I have a few little things in the works and further down the line I am in talks with City of Culture for a Big Festival Based in the city joining Radio together. 

Q:How did you get to being a guide and have you had any funny or unusual happenings whilst doing this? 


A: As a tour guide I bring my comedic elements to the tours, I always say you never really grow up and to make people giggle or laugh and say wow is a remarkable thing to do during a tour about history. Unusual happenings was a special guest appearance by a ghost who rattled a door handle mid tour when the door doesn't exist anymore. 

Q: Did you do a stagecraft course before starting your acting career?


A: No. My Auntie passed away in 2010 and told me to follow my dreams so I did. I stepped into The Priory Theatre in Kenilworth and asked to try for a part in panto which I got and my first show was Dick Whittington in 2011.

Q:Any particular person inspire you to go into acting as in Rik Mayall for example?


A: Well Rik Mayall was always my kind of comedy and the zaniness of Lee Evans. I was a huge fan of Bill Murray for his ad-libbing and loved Whose Line is it Anyway? A show about Ad-Libbing. People think I was inspired by Billy Connelly but I love his incredible documentaries on his journeys not his comedy or acting .

Q: Do you find it easy to remember your roles/lines with your other busy jobs as well? 


A: Hmmm! Since my small heart attack/Stroke my memory has been a problem and I at times have as I like to call them brain farts. I don't have many onstage but they do occur and can be incredibly embarrassing especially in non-panto shows. I do remember lines very well but find lyrics to songs very difficult indeed. 

Q: Do you prefer comedy roles or like to try any? 


A: I do prefer comedic roles as it's easy in my eyes to make someone laugh. Although I have been put down as a comedic performer I do love a Drama. I am waiting to play the murderer. 

Q: Have you written any scripts if so what type? Pantomimes?


A: Yes I have written several. 4 pantos including Aladdin, Mother Goose and two brand new ones Cinders: The Story After Cinderella and The Greatest Showdame. I have also written Sapphire's Secret a dramatic piece a musical called The Letter and currently writing a horror Flight 357. 

Q: Would directing be the route you would relish in the future or full time actor? 


A: I would like to continue as an actor as I love the atmosphere of being onstage small or big productions and I am hoping to Direct this year or next. 

Q: Have you written any poetry and if so is it accessible to anyone to read? 


A: Yea I have written a lot of poetry some controversial some not. I wrote a poem based on a short horror story about a child battling a sprite in his bedroom with a twist in the tale. That was eventually released in a book about poetry. 

Q: So, future ambitions? 


A: Personally to be a paid actor and DJ . To present at Festivals or Gigs and try to make a name for myself and be taken a bit more seriously. Admittedly I'm new to all this so it takes time . That's about me. For others to get the Coventry music scene out to the world and get one if not two of these acts known in the modern world. We surely have another Specials and Enemy in our midst's?

Q: What choice of music do you like to listen to?


A: To be honest it differs from all styles depending on my mood. Have you not heard my radio shows😉

Q: Do you have any time for hobbies? 


A: Acting, Radio, Live Music they are my hobbies. I do more voluntary work than actual paid work. I want to do more for charity but it's getting time to sort it all out 2019 was my busiest year and fatigue has set in even during three pantos over this winter. But we move forward and need to try and keep the music scene the acting scene and my own future prospects surviving. 

My finest personal achievement last year was Putting on a Festival and a one night gig. But also promoting a small child's charity in Paddy's Plea. Myself and two esteemed musicians spent a day thanks to a lot of wonderful locations who helped us put this awareness together and that was performing a song at each location in a day we did in the end 24 locations and 28 songs. Well done to both Taylor-Louise and Matt Cattell. 

One final mention goes to the Local Charts. Originally I went to a few open mics and asked questions if they had a chart which the answer was no. So I decided to put a chart together with help eventually from Hillz FM who these days have really taken a lot of pressure from my shoulders and do a lot behind the scenes that many people do not realise.  Nadia in particular. But what I never expected is that the chart would ignite a passion from local music in all areas of genre and they all listen to one another's music. This networking has helped produce collaborations and awareness of different styles of music within the Warwickshire area. Some do not like the voting process and that is fine. But it has taken away something that at times has looked sadly dying and given it that little spark that I hope explodes into producing a star. Might I add Brody Swain on the BBC CWR does an incredible job.

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Interview with David Page singer/songwriter with DABB4

Interview

Question : When did you begin writing ?
Answer : At 16y ears I began writing lyrics to songs then music . First song called "At the weekend" which I sent to a company advertising for songs to submit to artists to play. But when hearing the cover of this I withdrew it not liking the version .

Question : Had you played in any other band?
Answer : Yes , briefly in a Leamington band called Brother John 

Question : Did you continue to write?
Answer : Later in life yes plus started going to open mics around 2012. While on Jury service I met Noel Willis and he introduced me to the Guitar group who were at The Red House, then New Inn and now reside at The Oak House , Holly Walk Leamington Spa , Monday nights run by Bert West. I also went to The Coventry singer/Songwriters group at Christ the king hall a monthly get together introduced to this by Graham Weston. John Harrington runs this group who each submit a topic to be voted on, the winning topic they have to write a song about , changing every month. I found this hard to keep doing due to heavy work commitments and family.

Question : How did you get to being in Just-Us and DABB4 ?
Answer : At the guitar group one Monday as I was singing The Hollies song " Sorry Susanne " someone started harmonising with me and it was guitarist Alan Kitchen and from there we started practising and going to open mics. We went as Just-Us 

Question : When did you become DABB4?
Answer: Alan and I decided 2017 to advertise for a bass player and drummer and Bob Brannan and Bob Sage joined us. We then started rehearsing at The band Factory in Leamington and going to open mics. We were at a Matty Coles Open mic and met Gemma Leahy Waddell and from then rehearsed at 14 Records run by Gemma and Matthew Waddell.

Question : Have you recorded any songs? 
Answer : Yes, Bob our drummer had on his bucket list the wish to record a cd , so with 5 of Dave's songs and musical help from Alan we made a cd at 14 records called One off the Bucket List. A year ago I sent one of these songs called " Missing" to Paul Sanders who established the chart show on Coventry HillzFM 98.6 radio station There are 50 artists in this chart you can vote for weekly and Missing went in at number 6. DABB4 currently have the fifth song "Call Me" at number one in this chart and their Christmas Day song was number one over Christmas and New Year 

Question: Where was your first gig with DABB4 
Answer: The Oak House, Holly Walk Leamington 2018. 

They're currently rehearsing more 60's covers plus a couple more of the many tracks Dave's written . There known for the harmonies they do so well and at ages 69 to 73 they're thoroughly enjoying being retired 

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From the back catalogue