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Erland & The Carnival

A Brief History Erland is Erland Cooper, guitarist, singer and former resident of remote Orkney. The Carnival are guitarist Simon Tong (The Verve, Gorillaz, The Good, The Bad, The Queen) and drummer David Nock (Paul McCartney’s The Fireman). Together, as Erland & The Carnival, they make a pastoral, psychedelic sound described by Tong as “Pentangle meets Ennio Morricone meets Love meets 13th Floor Elevators meets Joe Meek.” In other words: folk-tinged, psyched up, fuzzed-out brilliance. Erland grew up on the remote Orkney Islands of Scotland, where passing musicians and troubadours were a common sight. In his early teens, The Verve and Bert Jansch inspired him to swap the fiddle for the guitar. Later, having moved to London, Erland sang at Tong’s What The Folk club night on Portobello Road, where the producer Youth introduced him to the former Verve member. “It wasn’t a regular folk night where people are quiet and stroke their chin,” says Tong. “It was a more raucous affair where the acts – as many as 15 a night – had to quieten a noisy baying audience by being good. Erland definitely got people to shut up and listen.” Resolving to form a band, Nock, Tong and Cooper took their name from Jackson C Frank’s My Name Is Carnival, a cover of which appears on the EP. The band’s progression since has been fairly unorthodox: they’ve played gigs at miniature railway stations and their debut EP was individually re-recorded for each of its limited run, meaning no two copies are the same. All the while, they’ve been developing that bewitching sound. “The Carnival sound developed dramatically over a year of playing and demo-ing,” says Tong. “Originally we were more acoustic but gradually have got darker and more electric and psychedelic. There is a 1930’s book called The Circus of Dr Lao where a wild, fantastical travelling circus comes to a fictional small American mid west town causing social chaos and upsetting the usual way of life of the towns inhabitants, then eventually it leaves and moves on with the town in tatters. I see that as a good metaphor for us as a band to aim for.”

My Artists Sessions

Wednesday, March 16


Thursday, March 17


Friday, March 18