‘SONGS FROM BEHIND BARS’
Label: Gypsy Chicken Box Records
Release date: April 13th 2018
Prosecco Socialist, the new project from The Beautiful South’s David Rotheray, Irish singer songwriter Eleanor McEvoy and Hull living legend Mike Greaves, are to release their debut album ‘Songs From Behind Bars’ on April 13th 2018.
Losing the drive to compose, 2013s ‘Answer Ballads’ promised to be David Rotheray’s final foray into music, as he announced his retirement. As the years went by, David chose to make a lifelong dream come true, and he opened The Peoples Republic pub in his home town of Hull.
Surprisingly to David, songs started to take shape in his mind as the patrons of The Peoples Republic began divulging fantastical stories of their lives. David had placed himself in the listeners corner, as he explains, “Everybody has met the resident delusional storyteller in their local pub. When you’re the barman it’s different though – you get a more intense version with extra chapters. I don’t know whether it’s because they think you’re an idiot, or because they figure you’re getting paid to stand and listen.”
Energised once more, David picked up the guitar, and after throwing the idea out of getting a group together with his long-time friends Eleanor McEvoy and Mike Greaves, they concluded that the best way to output his newfound creativity was to illustrate the bounty of stories being told to him from behind the bar.
Musically, the style of the album is close to what David describes as Country and Western, a style heavily influenced by the playing of Mike Greaves. Mike is a bit of a local celebrity in his hometown of Hull and is described by David as, “a wonderful singer and writer in the country idiom, loved across Hull for decades but mostly unknown anywhere else. This is my first time working with Mike. His voice is wonderfully lived in, it has a gravelly texture to it and is compellingly louche.”
Whilst he was a first choice for David, Mike was not without his apprehensions, as he explains, “My only concern was keeping it within my style if I was to sing on the record, but the melodies
came fast when the words spoke to me. The chance to sing them as duets with Eleanor was irresistible and it proved to be a lot of fun and very rewarding. Occasionally challenging when I found I wasn’t as good as I thought I was.”
David and Eleanor had been a long-time collaborator, having penned songs and performing together for many years. Her appearance on the album felt natural, as David is a self-professed fan and great admirer. Luckily Eleanor felt the same way, “I’ve been working with Dave on many songs and projects over the years. The experience (and it’s always an experience) has each time been a most fruitful creative surprise whether quirky, unusual, different, late night and/or all of the above. I’ve been a solo one girl stage show for a good while now, in fact, it’s a good while since I’ve been in a band or in a position where I can be fired.”
1. The Man Who Faked His Own Life
2. This Dog’s Just For Christmas (Not For Life)
3. Fowers On The Stream
4. Tijuana Nights
5. That’s Just For The Tourists
6. The Night May Still Be Young (But I Am Not)
7. City Of Culture
8. Silver Pennies
9. Queen Of The Afternoon
10. When You’re Lonesome Too
“One of the few artists who can do no wrong whatsoever.” – BBC Radio 2
Ireland’s internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Eleanor McEvoy announces her new album ‘The Thomas Moore Project’, released July 28 th 2017. The album marks a significant first step in Eleanor’s lifelong journey discovering the wonderful songs and extraordinary life of Thomas Moore. Produced and arranged by Eleanor, who is best known for her songs ‘Sophie’ and the Irish standard ‘Only A Woman’s Heart’, which this year celebrates its 25 th anniversary, the album more than pays homage to one of the Georgian era’s most beloved writers and entertainers. The Thomas Moore Project celebrates and revitalises some of the lesser and indeed well known material by the said luminary such as Oft In The Stilly Night, The Minstrel Boy and The Harp That Once Through Tara’s Halls.
Says Eleanor of the album: “I hope you will enjoy this and join me. My approach is intentionally different. I needed to go further than just pay homage so my arrangements for this choice of 11 songs are of this century”. I’m not sure when I began my intriguing quest but I do remember singing Thomas Moore songs in a choir when I was around nine years of age. My fascination is not just with his music but also with his own place in history in a fantastic artistic period with contrasting social and political upheaval in Europe and Ireland. My journey continues.
Eleanor performs vocals, guitars, strings and keyboards on the album and recruited Damon Butcher from The Beautiful South on keyboards, Eamonn Nolan from The RTE Concert Orchestra on flugelhorn, Eoghan O ‘Neill from Moving Hearts, Chris Rea and Riverdance on bass and Guy Rickerby from Riverdance, Duke Special and The RTE Concert Orchestra on drums and percussion. The musicianship on the album echoes throughout every verse and chorus along with McEvoy’s rich, lilting voice and beautiful playing.
Now based in Wexford, Dublin-born McEvoy’s career originally started as a session musician, which included a long stint with The Irish National Symphony Orchestra and with The Mary Black Band McEvoy decided to develop her own career, and quickly had the title track on The Woman’s Heart compilation And a US record deal with Geffen Records.
McEvoy was soon touring the world to promote her eponymous debut album for Geffen, which went on to sell 250,000 copies. At the same time, ‘A Woman’s Heart’ entered the Irish charts, selling over 750,000 copies – and remains one of Ireland’s biggest selling albums of all-time. These successes established McEvoy as one of Ireland’s biggest stars, launching a career that has since seen her release twelve studio albums and tour the world.
She has been on the road for 2 years with her show Naked…Live and this year has gone from being a long time Board member of IMRO to being its Chairman July 29 th in The Theatre Royal, Waterford. (Performing songs from Naked Music Tour & album)
I am totally devastated by the news that my friend and fellow artist Chris Gollon has passed away. My first thoughts are for his wife Anne, his children Lawrence and Alice and for David Tregunna, his friend and manager for over twenty years.
As everybody knows we have been creative companions for the last couple of years beginning with my Naked Music album, when he gave focus and twenty four paintings to my solo music project. A painting for nearly every song and more…
When I played at the opening of his “Naked Music” exhibition in London, I surprised him by singing a song I had written inspired by a painting from the exhibition, that was, in turn, inspired by a song on Naked Music.
The song was called “Gimme Some Wine”. This song gave inspiration to a whole exhibition on the theme of “Gimme Some Wine”. I was lucky enough to play at the opening of that exhibition in IAP fine art gallery Monmouth, Wales last month.
I am so very sad today and when I go onto the next leg of the ‘Naked Live..’ tour in Britain next week, I will be dedicating the whole tour to the memory of Chris.