Good writing has a transcendent quality and possesses power to transport through time and mindset. Even if it is done purely for sake of entertainment, good writing enables us to see and experience life from vantage points much different than our own. Steve Andrews (aka The Bard of Ely) offers a complex and varied array of songs that are in short "good writing".
The Bard of Ely carries listeners through various paradigms that range from earthy and humorous musings of "You're A Liar, Nicky Wire" and bravado spoof "Superhero" to "other- worldly" expositions like "For Peter & for Paul" and "Priest of Venusians".
Perhaps true heart, soul and conscience of The Bard Of Ely find clearest expression in "commentary" songs like "The Hundredth Monkey v The Beast" and "Insect Inside" or philosophical proclamation "Sound of One".
As you read Steve's responses to CreatorsWeb Interview questions below you will see that he sites influences of songwriters like Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens and Neil Young. You will recognize their musical and spiritual presence in The Bard of Ely tracks as you listen.
Check it out for free at: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/2/bardofelymusic.htm
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Music Style And Audience
How do you classify your music? I don't! If asked I say I write songs. I am always fascinated finding out what other people make of my songs but for me I feel that a song is basically a set of words, lyrics, and a tune. I write my words first and then find a tune on guitar and that is basic song but how it turns out later is another matter. All songs are open to being arranged differently and can be given different production. They all start out as words and music and in my own creative process I write lyrics first, so in beginning was word! Do you target a specific audience? If so, who?
Not really, I just sing my songs and if people like them then I consider that to that degree I have been successful as an artist. I do find I get a better reaction from rock fans rather than 'folkies' though. What performance venues are you currently exploring? Mainly festivals. I have been compere for Avalon Stage at Glastonbury Festival for last 2 years, as well as playing there, and followed this with doing same at It's Jo and Danny's Green Man Festival in Brecon. Musical Instruments - Recording - Computer Hardware - Software
What musical instruments do you play? Guitar and harmonica, keyboards, penny whistle and Jew's harp enough to have used them on recordings. Kazoo too but that is so simple it doesn't really count as 'playing.' I regard my vocals as an instrument as well.
Do you record in a home studio?
I haven't got one, only Cool Edit and a microphone but I have used home-studios of friends.
What equipment and software do you use?
Various. It all depends on what is available. I have various guitars but I mainly use a semi-acoustic Fleetwood jumbo for practice and gigging. The only computer music software I have used myself is Cool Edit. I must confess that I don't know much about creating digital music and am much happier with a guitar and mic. This doesn't stop me collaborating with other musicians online who are skilled with this new technology, and in fact I have a song called 'Electric Bard,' which is a 3-way collaboration between myself and EXLectiX from America and Catherine Duc from Australia. I wrote words and did vocals and my collaborators created music and produced it. Also, highly talented musician, Ed Drury, has added his music and arrangements to a series of my poems. This sort of thing, to my mind, is one of wonderful things about world of music available online.
Musical Background -Influences
How did you get started playing music?
I would have been aged about 12 and I was listening to pop and some rock bands and also soul and Tamla and this would have been when I was first thinking about it. This was time of 'Mersey sound.' Then psychedelic '60s arrived and folk protest movement and as a teenager I was inspired by Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Cat Stevens, Neil Young and many other singer/songwriters, as well as whole idea of an alternative society. I would say that I fancied myself as following in these singer/songwriters' footsteps if I could. By age of 16 I was going to festivals and gigs and I made my own start at playing guitar and writing songs and poetry. Initially it was an effort to impress girls because I was painfully shy. I had decided that I wasn't that impressed by Beatles, although John Lennon is one of my 'heroes,' and The Stones were far more my sort of rock band. Neil Young was my favorite guitarist then and still is. Other acts that I really liked and still do are Hendrix, David Bowie, Roy Harper, Kate Bush, Van Morrison, Dory Previn, Jefferson Airplane, Nico, Lou Reed, Donovan, Jethro Tull, Bob Marley, Neil Diamond, Incredible String Band, Syd Barrett, Joni Mitchell, Bridget St John, Tyrannosaurus and T. Rex, Roxy Music and many many more. Then in mid '70s Punk and New Wave happened and a lot of energy of movement I found inspiring. I saw a lot of bands then like The Clash, Boomtown Rats, Stranglers, Patti Smith and others.