TWICKENHAM RECORD SHOP STARTS LABEL
11 February 2019
Twickenham record shop, Eel Pie Records, is embarking on a new venture with Eel Pie Records: the label. The first Eel Pie Records release, Buffalo Blood, comes out on Friday 15 February. The release will be celebrated with a launch event in store at Eel Pie Records on Saturday 16 February.
"At a time when it seems division reigns, these messages are more important than ever.”
Eel Pie Records co-owners Phil Penman and Kevin Jones first began working together to promote live events in Twickenham for artists on Penman’s former label Drumfire Records. Putting on live music together was a key stage on their road to opening a record shop. Both being Twickenham residents, they are dedicated to keeping the town’s historic spirit as a hive of music alive. From the beating heart of London’s 60s rock scene to the home of the Bella Union label in the noughties, Twickenham holds an important place in music history. With its home-grown record shop becoming a label, Twickenham retains this place on the worldwide musical map.
Buffalo Blood is the collaboration of former Drumfire artist Dean Owens – “Scotland’s most engaging and haunting singer-songwriter” (Irvine Welsh) – and US musicians Neilson Hubbard, Joshua Britt and Audrey Spillman – “an Americana supergroup for 2019” (BBC’s Paul Sexton). Owens performed several times in Twickenham at venues such as the Cabbage Patch while on Drumfire and was eager to work with Penman again with this latest project. At the UK Americana Awards 2019, Owens picked up Song of the Year for the title track of his solo album, Southern Wind. Neilson Hubbard, who produced Southern Wind, also produced for two other award winners – Ben Glover (UK Album of the Year) and Mary Gauthier (International Artist of the Year).
Buffalo Blood, (release 15 February), has been described as “an album that will entrance you, engage you and enrage you… a classic, carrying a very potent message through the medium of haunting melodies and flawless performances”. Recording took place in the heart of the New Mexico desert and is a response to those surroundings and their history, to the violent displacement of Native Americans, and a testament to the power of optimism, determination and, fundamentally, the power of the human spirit. £1 from every sale will be donated to Redhawk Native American Arts Council. At a time when it seems division reigns, these messages are more important than ever.
On Saturday 16 February, Eel Pie Records is hosting a free event in the shop on Church Street to celebrate Buffalo Blood’s release. Attendees will get to see an exclusive video presentation, including interviews with Buffalo Blood band members and live footage of their recordings made in the heart of the New Mexico desert. The evening will continue with a full playback of the album on vinyl on a top quality sound system.
Watch video for Buffalo Blood single I’m Alive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1L_Oh0DanjM
Listen to Buffalo Blood on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/scary-biscuit/sets/buffalo-blood/s-41smS
Pre-order the album: http://www.eelpierecords.com/
Words: Holly Jones
The Exchange, Twickenham
14 September 2018
Eel Pie Records has quickly established itself as the mecca for music enthusiasts in South West London.
Since opening in 2017, owners Kevin Jones and Phil Penman have promoted gigs at local venues like The Exchange and Patchworks, keeping community values at the heart of the Eel Pie ethos.
Stocking a vibrant selection of new and high quality second-hand vinyl, the shop hosts a melting pot of new music nights and talks including British DJ and film director Don Letts and ‘The Modern World’ fanzine founder, Gary Crowley.
A peach-soaked sun begins to fade over grimy slates of suburbia. A friday-night hum builds inside The Exchange, in growing anticipation of Ana Silvera.
This gig is one of six to promote her sophomore release, Oracles. Signed by Gearbox Records earlier in 2018, the BASCA nominated album has attracted wide-sweeping praise for both composition and lyrical complexity.
It’s clear from the outset that Oracles is a personal project. The album follows a folkloric structure of a ‘quest’ and involves the search for symbolic meaning before a triumphant return home.
For Silvera, the song-cycle is a chronicle of loss and coming to terms with the sudden passing of her brother, Daniel. Eclectic in sound, Oracles combines elements of folk storytelling with classical piano and touches of jazz, alongside vocals equal in tone and resonance to Kate Bush.
“I packed my passport to travel to this side of the river” jests the Camden native, after her first song Red Balloon.
Silvera is joined on tour by multi-instrumentalist Josephine Stephenson (Radiohead and Nils Frahm). Throughout, the pair collaborate with ease across keys and string, alternating melodically to create a sound fused by narrative and emotion. Equally, Stephenson is flawless in harmony and blend to Silvera’s ethereal tones.
The first set comprises songs from Oracles alongside other original works such as ‘Love Deeper’, a composition inspired by the words of Hungarian poet George Szirtes. An acapella version of ‘Circle of Chalk’ kicks off the second, explosively rhythmic and warmly received by the crowd.
Written for a full-scale choir and band, Oracles has been adapted and re-worked for intimate performances such as these. ‘Catherine Wheels’ makes for the penultimate performance of the evening. This final song from Oracles tells the symbolic tale of a firework, graceful acceptance and musical catharsis.
What’s next for Silvera? Catch her final performance at Cafe #9 in Sheffield on 8th November or head to Eel Pie Records to pick up a copy of Oracles on CD or LP now.
Words: Katherine Docherty