The Miserable Rich link
plus Strangefruit / I am Harlequinn
Wednesday 27th July – The Macbeth
70 Hoxton St, London N1 6LP
Tickets £8 from link
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 the 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.
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.
“heartbreakingly beautiful” 8/10 NME
“The Miserable Rich’s striking, fully fledged debut immediately sets them apart.” Q
“Breathtaking… Easily the best record of 2008” Americana UK
“gentle brilliance” Bearded
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.
“as if they captured the sun and learned how to play it” 10/10 Outline
“Very likely the best record of 2010.” 10/10 Americana UK
“a perfect accompaniment to those lazy summer nights” High Voltage
“a rich distinctive sound; The Miserable Rich are instrumentally very talented, sound like no one else and have a sense of the old world about them” 9/10 Virgin Online
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.
New single “Anything's Possible” is released on 19th June.
The new album, titled “Miss You In The Days” will be released in October.