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Friday, 29 March 2013

From Censored To Satsumas...

As promised, here is a potted history of the evolution of Satsuma Elephants from my view as a fan and a friend.

Censored were a rather brilliant three-piece band from Nottingham who first caught my attention about 5 years ago (God, is it really that long ago!) with a catchy little number called Lonesome Town. It was a lyrically superb song, all about growing up in a small town in the Midlands and how financial climate/home circumstances can affect how that pans out. I LOVED it, and had to find out more about these boys. So I gave some more of their stuff a listen, falling more and more in love with the music, and discovered that the guitarist/singer was a fearsome lyricist who could also write a mean tune. I had to see them live...just had to. And so my monthly jaunts to the Midlands began...and continued until the demise of the band. Shortly before, they had signed to a record label and released their first single, called Play The Game. It was a good song, a catchy one, and attracted attention from some quite big names in the media, but sadly it was to come to nothing. ( I still have my signed cd from the launch party, and will treasure it always!)

Should you wish to listen to some Censored ( and I heartily recommend that you do) search for them on Last.FM...or you could of course just Google :) There's a link here to the video of Play The Game and a little interview with the guys...watch out for the reference to making satsuma elephants by Matt! http://t.co/18mAje8Qp0

There is also an early pic of them here, in Ilkeston marketplace, with a satsuma! http://www.matthenshaw.com/_images/censoredorange.jpg

Matt had a break from music for a couple of years, off to univeristy to do his degree; Chris teaching drums and becoming a financial advisor...then Matt got the music bug again, collabortaing with the Midland's answer to Dizzy Rascal, Reggiimental. This collaboration came to be known as B-Boy Soul, and was embraced with enthusiasm by the music press...read the reviews from such luminaries as The Guardian and NME on Matt's own website (address above) or his Facebook page. Within months, Matt had been picked as one to watch by the NME, and was booked (with Reggiimental) to open London's Lovebox Festival, opening the main stage for none other than Dizzy Rascal himself. There are a few vids on YouTube of this, go watch and enjoy. (A new album from these two, called Coming Around, will be released on May 1st) Some very very good stuff happened as a result of this collaboration, some extremely good sounds...my faves being The Deepest Cellar, When I Close My Eyes, and the ultimate summer feel-good song, Can't Hold Back. They're all on YouTube, go find 'em!

Anyway, Matt told me at the beginning of this year that he was putting a band together, but never did I imagine it would be him and Chris ( a thoroughly lovely bloke with a penchant for Lego !) back together again. They were being all mysterious about it, only saying 'Satsuma Elephants' !!! In due course, a message hit me with three words - "you've got mail" which had me whooping with joy and anticipation, so I checked my inbox and found said communication. Attached were five mp3's... '707'  'Always In The Way' 'Creep Into The Night' 'I Went On Holiday' & 'Yeah Yeah Yeah'  By the time I'd listened to the first three tracks I knew I was hooked once more. They were back indeed - with a vengance! My current favourites are 'Always In The Way' which I can't stop singing and reminds me of  'She's Leaving Home' by The Beatles, and 'Yeah Yeah Yeah' which I can't wait to see live and makes me want to bounce around the room singing loudly! I actually have these on a loop playing now...which makes me smile rather a lot. They do that, Satsuma Elephants...they make me happy. I challenge you not to get at least one earworm out of those five songs, and here's a vid of them all, played live in Derby earlier this month. Enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80xQ_cNIfNk

So there you have it in rather a rambling nutshell...

I'm now off the bounce around the room!

Les
x

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Hello you lovely lot :)

Just a quickie to let you know I'm currently composing the next bit of this diary - the story of how Satsuma Elephants evolved, and the DNA of that evolution. It may take a few hous to write, so should be up at some point in the next 24hrs, give or take.

So I'll go back to writing it, then.... :)

Les
x

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Well now...where to begin....hmmm...Okay.

Here goes...

I'm probably not your average young music devotee. For a start, I'm not young. Not even remotely (except in my head...) but I am passionate about good music, always have been. I love the under-the-radar stuff; bands on their way up, doing their own songs, lyrically astute and intelligent. In short, point me to a musically proficient dedicated lot with their own songs and meaningful lyrics, and I'm sold.

There are quite a few good bands out there, hiding in plain sight, and a few years back, one of them caught me in a helluva big way, so much so that I began travelling to Nottingham at least once a month to catch them live, making a lot of friends along the way. That band was Censored., and became my favourite band at that time (still are, come to that). The members of that band, Matt Henshaw, Chris Goring and Chris Owens became friends of mine, and I ended up running their MySpace fanpage for them. Sadly, life got in the way and the band split, ending my little jaunts to the Midlands, but the songs still lived on and were regularly played.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, Mr Henshaw and Mr Goring are back doing what they do best...
Satsuma Elephants is all I play these days, the five songs Matt e-mailed me with are now known off by heart, gig dates are a-coming and jaunts are now being planned to see them live. The young men I knew four or five years ago have matured very nicely, honed their skills and are now playing better than I've ever heard them. The songs are total earworms, bouncing around inside my skull all day...and I love it. Again.

Spread the word...spread the love...get in at the beginning of something wonderful and give these guys a listen. You honestly won't regret it, and you'll probably find yourself singing the words or humming/whistling the tunes. The link below is to the video on YouTube of their first live performance in Derby earlier this month (thanks to Mr Paul Bednall)...other dates will be appearing soon and I'll be off to at least one of them, I think. They're also on Facebook (Satsuma Elephants) Twitter (@satsumaelephants) and other social networks...just Google them. They're nice guys, you speak, they'll answer!

So here's the link to the video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80xQ_cNIfNk  - hopefully I'll have seen them live ( and possibly interviewed them!) by my next post.

Go forth and Spread The Satsuma Love!

Lesley x