Introducing Marthas and Arthurs & Free Download!
aaamusic | On 23, Feb 2011
Apes in Aeroplanes is the beautiful EP from Herefordshire’s very own Marthas & Arthurs.
Brought together by a mutual love of singing harmonies, the voices of Marthas & Arthurs (two girls, two boys) were forged around a campfire in the Herefordshire woods, where two of the Arthurs were living at the time. They spent their first few months tucked away singing and playing by themselves, failing shambolically to sound like the Mamas and the Papas. They then took the plunge into the live arena by playing an assortment of care homes in North London, the advantage being that the audience couldn’t run away.
Emboldened by their ecstatic reception from the frail and elderly, and sharing a boredom of the established gigging circuit, they started playing unplugged at people’s houses and parties, and the Dinner Downloads concept was born: Marthas & Arthurs began to make a name for themselves around London playing in homes in exchange for a meal and a drink or two, a story picked up by the Evening Standard (http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/lifestyle/article-23803271-the-gigs-that-come-to-you.do) and as far away as Brazilian national magazine Jornal Do Brasil.
Enjoyable as this was, they decided it was time to propel themselves into the 21st century and record something. The result is the ‘Apes in Aeroplanes EP’.
“Most of our songs came together in pretty special surroundings out in a wood in Herefordshire” they say. “That probably shows in the EP, which is pretty heartfelt, maybe even innocent. But we’re far from innocent”.
The EP was recorded mostly live and cost next to nothing.
The Marthas plinked away at the piano, prodded the accordion, blew into a flute, strummed the autoharp and hit things, while the Arthurs strummed the guitar and bass, and they all sang joyfully over the top of this racket.
Until recently Marthas & Arthurs haven’t really been on any kind of live circuit, preferring to perform on their own terms with their Dinner Downloads, or playing in off-the-musical-radar venues. However, last summer they appeared at the Green Man Festival and Standon Calling with lots of fine bands on the bill. One such slot was warming up the stage at Standon for The Magic Numbers, a performance that earned them plaudits from the BBC and being asked on the spot to return for 2011’s festival.
“It was a bit of a come-down after that to go busking in Bury St Edmunds and get moved on“.
Marthas & Arthurs residency at the Scolt Head Pub in Dalston, London, starts on February 3rd and continues on the first Thursday of every month in celebration of the release of the ‘Apes in Aeroplanes EP’. They’ll host some special appearances including, among others, a sax quartet, the European Boss Loop Pedal Champion who uses only his voice, and a travelling spoon carver called Barn the Spoon.
Live Dates –
Marthas & Arthurs Presents, at The Scolt Head – February 3rd
Marthas & Arthurs Presents, at The Scolt Head – March 3rd
Marthas & Arthurs Presents, at The Scolt Head – April 7th
Marthas & Arthurs Presents, at The Scolt Head – May 5th
Standon Calling Festival, Hertfordshire, August 12th
Green Man Festival, Brecon Beacons, August 20th