Aces & Eights
156-158 Fortess Rd, London NW5 2HP
£6.00 adv. (STBF)
Thu 7 April 2016
“Ropes is a delight. The album is full of treats including Til It’s Over, Powder House and Turning Pages Over.”
***** (5 stars)
It is rare these days to find a record that is un-categorizable – but, LET’S GET LOW, the third album by DUOTONE is just that. A record that is restlessly inventive and one that sees main song writer, Barney Morse-Brown, take a new direction from that of DUOTONE’s previous two albums, WORK HARDER – which was dedicated to the memory of his late wife and his critically acclaimed second release – ROPES. Written at home on his narrowboat, LET’S GET LOW reveals a songwriter who is unafraid to explore real-life experiences that are often hidden from view. After two years in the making, LET’S GET LOW presents a new perspective on his experiences and explores the meaning of home and his sense of place. He has made a remarkably optimistic collection of songs.
Let’s Get Low was recorded and produced by Richard Evans (Peter Gabriel, Birdy) and features a stellar line up of guest musicians including Ged Lynch (Black Grape, Goldfrapp) on drums, David Rhodes (Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush) on guitar and long-term collaborator Jane Griffiths on violin.
DUOTONE is the name under which Barney Morse-Brown (cellist for multi platinum artist Birdy, the Imagined Village & Chris Wood’s, Handmade Life,) writes and performs his own contemporary acoustic songs. He loops guitars and cellos, percussion and voices to create ethereal sound-scapes for his poignant lyrics to weave in and out of.
Following some hugely successful festival appearances, at End Of The Road Festival and Green Man two name but two – DUOTONE has become a popular live booking through-out the UK – mesmerising audiences all around the country with his very unique shows, breathlessly moving from riotous energy – all the way down to the most delicate and heartfelt moments of beauty and intimacy. Barney possess a unique quality that will one minute have a crowd on their feet, seconds later – the audience will wait, held by the moment – waiting for a pin to drop.
Coming from a musical family of seven children, Barney’s passion for performance was established early on, studying at The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, he was awarded a scholarship to study Baroque cello at The Royal College Of Music. The cello has, to date, played a pivotal role in Barney’s life – starting at the age of six – progressing through school, studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff, receiving a scholarship to study baroque cello at the Royal College of Music, London – to building a career that has already seen him performing around the world with some of the great artists of our time – as already mentioned, Birdy, Chris Wood and Imagined Village – as well as Eliza Carthy and many others. It is this environment that Barney has immersed himself in that has helped him to create a sound that challenges convention, – whilst demonstrating the versatility of the cello by making it the lead instrument in the band.
Forty Elephant Gang
FEG are a rousing and innovative guitar, bass and mandolin wielding four piece from East London. Their songs relay tales of heartbreak, misdeeds and revelry, presented with rich harmonies on a textural musical canvas.
Blending genres from Folk, Acoustic, Americana, Bluegrass, Rock and Pop and tipping the cap to greats like Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Radiohead, Punch Brothers et al, they have been forging their own very unique sound.
Formed in late 2011, the band nurtured this individual style with a desire to collectively push their musical boundaries. Having all come from diverse musical backgrounds they have fused their collective musical experiences and influences to create something original.
2012 saw the band taking their sound to large and varied audiences throughout London. From ad-hoc rooftop parties, Folk/Acoustic nights to Rock bars and back-street boozers, Forty Elephant Gang have received great responses and won friends and admirers from all walks of life.