When: 7.30pm on Thursday 3 November 2011
Where: St Philip with St Stephen Church, Encombe Place, Salford, M3 6FJ
We’re delighted to present this haunting evening of storytelling and song, featuring The Miserable Rich and performance poet Alabaster Deplume.
The Miserable Rich‘s story began in Brighton in 2007. Will Calderbank (cello), Mike Siddell (violin) and James de Malplaquet (vocals) met each other when playing in the much-loved alt-folk band Shoreline. James had a collection of songs of his own, and he and Will had started to work on these, playing with various electronica ideas (perhaps influenced by James’s time touring with Bonobo) and performing as a band under the name The Grape Authority.
It was James’ idea to bring Mike in and to revisit some of the songs with the idea of using cello and violin to play all the lead parts, much like a baroque chamber ensemble. They gathered at James’s flat, where he played them Colin Blunstone‘s 1970 classic Say You Don’t Mind and Kronos Quartet‘s Kraftwerk covers album. The initial concept was born, and this is what really separates The Miserable Rich from the plethora of bands currently employing strings in their lineup: where other bands use cello and violin to augment the standard indie set up of guitar, bass and drums, The Miserable Rich set out deliberately to turn that notion on its head, the strings becoming the feature in the arrangements, with guitar and bass providing the rhythm and harmonic backing.
They started recording, and over the summer of 2007 (mostly in James’s flat in Hove) they put together twelve songs with a little help from their friends, now more widely known as The Willkommen Collective. Rhys Lovell (double bass) and Ricky Pritchard (guitar/piano) joined later to add fresh blood, build their acclaimed live shows, and make up the numbers in the essential card games that keep the band together. The first single, Boat Song, was iTunes Single Of The Week, and has become a long-term favourite of Marc Riley and Guy Garvey on 6Music. The debut album, Twelve Ways To Count, was 6Music Album of The Day in November 2008, with Americana UK calling it ‘easily the best record of 2008’.
Sophomore album Of Flight & Fury saw the band extend their reach, with sessions on Radio 4’s Loose Ends and Mark Lamarr’s Radio 2 show, God’s Own Jukebox. Two videos (for Somerhill and Hungover) were filmed with Wasp Video, leading to the band to being invited to score the short film The Girl Is Mime for the 48hr Film Project. The film stars Martin Freeman (The Office, Sherlock), and as well as winning the top awards in the International 48hr Film Project competition, is showing at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
Two critically lauded albums and three years of touring later, the band decided to change things round a little. They holed themselves up in a stately home in Norwich to write and record their third album, bringing in a recording engineer and a drummer. Blickling Hall, the haunted ancestral home of the Boleyn family, provided the setting, and they spent February 2011 putting together the tracks for the follow up to 2010’s Of Flight & Fury. The new album, titled Miss You In The Days, will be released at Halloween 2011.
As their new album is a collection of songs inspired by ghosts, poltergeists and other spooky goings-on, The Miserable Rich are making a series of suitably haunted live appearances. They will be joined by performance poet Alabaster Deplume, who will be introducing the evening with a set of spine-chilling tales based on the album’s songs. The band have also set up their own shop to sell tickets for the shows, where fans can choose from a range of bundles including access to some of those special previews.
Golden Fable, formerly part of Tim and Sam’s Tim and the Sam Band with Tim and Sam, also supports.
This unusual event takes place at St Philip with St Stephen in Salford. St Philip’s is one of Greater Manchester’s finest Georgian buildings, dating back to 1825. The building’s Greek style is unique in Salford. It has a bar featuring exciting ales served by members of the church’s congregation.