This week sees the first get-together of the musicians for the live outfit of Ramshackle Crow. Very exciting times! It’s going to be:

Steve Jones
Lead vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, synths
Jez Wiles
Drums, percussion, backing vocals, mbira and cavaquinho
Lee Ellis
Bass, backing vocals, synths and generally being cool

Jez Wiles

Jez Wiles - drums and percussion for Ramshackle CrowI’ve done loads of stuff with Jez in the past – more on him here – and am very pleased to have such a laid back yet brilliant musician as part of this band. His energy and positivity towards it has been wonderful throughout the “making of” process, and it feels right to be taking it out live together. He’s got a wide vocabulary – slinky drums, great Brazilian percussion chops, any kind of percussion vibe you can even dream up, and his recent forays into learning the cavaquinho are going to be put to good use.

Lee Ellis

Lee Ellis - bass player for Ramshackle CrowLee and I go way back, but not musically. He contributed a brilliant bassline to Day To Remember but in the end didn’t play it due to the quirks of the SH-101 going slightly wrong and meaning only I could handle it, but aside from that, I haven’t ever actually heard him play bass or do anything. Why would one be so insane as to go with that? Well, I just know he’s “got it”. We’ve worked beside each other doing design work for about 5 years now, listening to loads of Steely Dan – to which he sings along with scary accuracy – and our music tastes overlap quite a bit. Besides, he’s heard more of the Ramshackle Crow tracks since day one than probably any one else as I inflicted various rough mixes and ideas on him during quiet Tuesday mornings in our design studio in Crystal Palace.

I’m sad that Maurice can’t be a part of this, but I suppose that’s the inevitable down side of living so far apart. He will be there in spirit, and I’m hoping that in time we will have the chance to play together in some gig or other down the line.

Maurice says:

Yes, sorry I can’t get involved in the band; it’s a bit awkward to get from the shores of Strangford Lough in County Down to London for a quick gig!

I look forward to hearing the result though; I think some of these songs could be very interesting played live, especially with some of the exotic instruments that appear to be in the plan.

Cavaquinho? I admit I had to look that one up! The Mbire I’m more familiar with, and I’m pleased to see it making an appearance, as I’ve made music with a Zimbabwean musician named Wilson Magwere for many years now. A lovely instrument. Look forward to hearing the results of this multi-continent mix.