We have a bit of a quiet week this week, with just our regular acoustic show at the Roaring donkey tonight, and the amazing Buswell & Nyberg Orchestra Challenge on Thursday.
Wednesday 8th June – Ells & The Southern Wild – Unplugged @ The Roaring Donkey
Regular visitors to SoP over the last couple of years, Ells & The Southern Wild were formed by singer-songwriter, Ells Ponting, in late 2013 as part of a recording project with Cheltenham based producer Dave Saunders. The band blend melodious acoustic folk and rock sensibilities, with elements of pop, all defined by Ells’ strong song-writing style and vocal presence.
As a solo artist, Ells has been described as “a dark horse with the voice of an angel” (Tanya Kelly, Priory Inn), her songs are accessible yet moving, tinged with emotion, and ranging in style from dark-edged piano pop to acoustic guitar based melodies with elements of folk-punk. The addition of Tom Long on drums and percussion has brought a harder edge to Ells’ already accomplished portfolio. Their live performances are honest, heart-felt and direct.
Thursday 9th June – Buswell & Nyberg’s 10 Day Orchestra Challenge @ Swindon Arts Centre
Swindon musical trailblazer Shaun Buswell is a long-time friend to Song’s of Praise, both as a performer and as a supporter of our efforts. It has always been a pleasure for us to host the Swindon leg of whatever tour he is on, or to put on ad hoc and random shows for whatever musical guise he is adopting at the time. We describe him as a trailblazer, for Shaun doesn’t like to do things the way normal people would, he prefers to issue himself a challenge, ensure there are a strict set of rules to govern the venture, then attempt to overcome his own hurdles.
Shaun & his musical buddy Erik Nyberg have been taking their latest musical challenge on tour in 10 different locations across England & Scotland. Having completed challenges to create pop-up orchestras at Glastonbury Festival, Edinburgh Festival, for Decca records and even formed a 70-piece orchestra from musicians met on the London Underground. This time round they are attempting to create pop-up orchestras from random strangers around the UK, getting them to play a mix of popular TV/movie themes & original music, as well as performing with local special guests & bands. To complete the challenge they have to play with 150 different musicians over the 10 days.
We host the Swindon leg of the tour at the Art’s Centre in Old Town on June 9th, a show with a rather impressive supporting line up including Gaz Brookfield, AJ and spinning some vinyl the legend that is Bobby The Persuader.
Each show will see Shaun deliver a hilarious and heartbreaking interactive presentation about the kindness of strangers, that’s a mix between a comedy talk and a motivational speech, followed by a live musical performance from a local special guest. The night culminates with the results of their hard work – a special pop-up orchestra concert at the end of each show, from various musicians they’ve gathered from the local area. In true interactive style, members of the audience choose the songs performed by spinning a wheel at random, making each night truly unique. The finale is the special guest joining the orchestra for an exclusive orchestral rendition of one of their songs.
Now not only are we after an audience as per normal (tickets are £8.00 adv with £2 off for groups 10+, NHS & Emergency Services from http://tinyurl.com/swindon10day) it is not too late for any musicians who want to play. Any sight reading orchestral musicians out there wanting to get involved with this fantastic night, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to get your name down.