Monday, September 10, 2007

COIR 001: Scarlet's Well + A Smile and a Ribbon

Some inactivity here is explained by a load of time spent on club arrangements. After lots of hard work and finding two co-arrangers, I can finally announce the details for our first night. Exciting! And more than a bit nervous... Scarlet's Well is such a perfect band for the premiere and it's an honour to have them play at our club. A bit of a cult group for those who've been around long enough to remember the heyday of él records (we sure haven't...). Scarlet's Well is the brain-child of Bid, who started out with The Monochrome Set in the late 70s. After many albums, having had an important hand in the dream world of él, plus a ditched solo career, Bid decided to pick up where he had left off as the 90s were coming to a close. Scarlet's Well was a natural progression from The Monochrome Set – a loose configuration featuring accordion, tango rhythms, nautical themes and singers kidnapped from school musicals – definitely right up Mike Alway's street!

Now, almost ten years later the Scarlets have proved as enduring as the Set ever was. With their fifth album released just last year (to undeserved indifference), the group has finally settled for a steady line-up. Bid is not the only legend in the group, he's joined by talented musicians like Pete Momtchiloff (most notably of Heavenly, Would-Be-Goods and Razorcuts) and Kate Dornan (of Fosca and previously Bouquet). Bid played in Sweden three years ago at Mitt Sista Liv under the (Unreal) Scarlet's Well moniker, which was great, but this is their first gig over here as a proper band. And once again, they're only doing one show so we hope you appreciate our effort in bringing them here. Scarlet's Well's latest effort Black Tulip Wings is available from Siesta.

After having been around roughly two years, A Smile and a Ribbon have at long last played their first real gig in their hometown of Malmö in September. For those who missed them, here's your second chance. And finally, after many delays, the album Martin and Rebecca recorded last year has been released and is available NOW from Shelflife. Rebecca is a devoted fan of Scarlet's Well so we couldn't have found a better match! Seeing A Smile and a Ribbon live is quite a different experience from listening to their recordings. Sometimes joined by as many as six instrumentalists ranging from novices to professionals, it is still unclear how many will join the pop orchestra this time. With the album released and no more planned gigs in Sweden, they've already started work on the follow-up and have a few compilation appearances coming up.

Here is some music, to encourage you to buy tickets (available from Kulturcentralen quite soon). Because you really should buy a ticket if you're intending to come. That would give us some relief, at least! Also, if you're in Malmö, look out for the gorgeous posters that will start appearing this week.

The Monochrome Set - Cilla Black (from The Lost Weekend, 1985)
Scarlet's Well - The Ballad of Johnny Freak (from Alice In the Underworld, 2002)
A Smile and a Ribbon - The Boy I Wish I Never Met (from The Boy I Wish I Never Met, 2007)

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