Tag Archives: Flaming June

Flaming June : The Ballad of Daniel Dawson, single released 18 June 2021

Flaming June releases a new single, ahead of an album called ‘Hope in a Jar’ due in the autumn of 2021. From her lockdown attic songwriter Louise Eatock has carefully crafted a follow-up to her 2018 release ‘The Women’s Battalion’, a timely reminder of the historic struggle to improve the inequalities of the voting system one hundred years ago. Musically it was restless and urgent, with the powerful rhythm guitar duelling with the incisive violin from collaborator Alex Herring. That intensity and music combination carries into this new song; a fast paced likeable folk soundtrack to a very dark tale.

Daniel Dawson was hanged in 1812 in Cambridge (in front of a crowd of 12,000 people as it was market day in the city!?) for poisoning race horses at Newmarket. Louise’s lyrics tell the courtroom story and see Daniel as the scapegoat for unseen powerful figures ‘…just swallow down that bitter pill…I’m just one cheat among many…a little minnow plucked from the shallows…’ and concludes that ‘….he’s a lesson that we can learn from…’, with an undertone of resignation.

Transferring a wider issue into an individual case ‘protest song’ to give extra impact and make an issue more relatable is a little used but very effective song writing tool – Bob Dylan has a few including ‘The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll’ and ‘Hurricane’ – now ‘The Ballad of Daniel Dawson’ joins the list and reminds us that many of these societal injustices and themes just keep repeating…

Flaming June (flamingjunemusic.com)

Flaming June : The Firework Maker’s Daughter, EP released December 2018 | cambridgemusicreviews

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Three Christmas Singles, released December 2020

Elma : Send Love This Christmas

From the introductory guitar footsteps in the snow and sleigh-bell beat there is no mistaking the intention of this gorgeous seasonal offering from Elma. Rhiannon’s pure and natural voice sets the scene ‘….it’s gonna feel strange to celebrate this year…. but I still think we should…’. and we soon get to the perfectly judged hookline ‘….send love this Christmas…it isn’t hard to do….and love will come right on back to you…’. Mark adds layers of ringing guitar lines and backing vocals to an uncluttered, retro and timeless mix. There is a winning middle-eight and by the end the duo have proved once again that their melodic command, vocal delivery and pop song construction is impeccable.

Elma (facebook.com)

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Jo Ash : Paper Cards

Jo Ash has created an atmospheric song drawing on images of lost battlefields, forgotten heroes and lingering memories. In her emotional tale of farewells she uses echoing, repeating piano figures and orchestral synthesisers to generate a tense, dramatic backing to her soaring vocals.

Lyrically and musically evoking a dark season, ‘…..look up to the diamond sky…..a blanket of a million miles….encompassing you and I….’,  but there is still hope ‘….I’ll never be too far from home….’. Finally there is reflection ‘….. I hear the words he said to me as I recall those winter nights…..as we made paper cards around the tree, and sang Silent Night….’.

So ideally sat in front of the fire with mulled wine in hand; slow down, hibernate and listen to this affecting track, contemplating the unchanging rhythms of the winter solstice.

Jo Ash Music

Paper Cards | Jo Ash (bandcamp.com)

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The Eli Lillies : Christmas is the Season of Love

A fun song with a serious message from singer/songwriter Louise Eatock, who usually performs in the indie-folk band Flaming June and now releases this single as a one-off with group The Eli Lillies.

The profits are going to mental health charities and the essence of the lyric is clear in an effort to remove the stigma of necessary treatment ; ‘…..’cause with the right medication…Christmas can be such a fun celebration…’.

Louise can always turn a neat phrase in her compositions and ‘……Christmas can be fun and I will show you how…so take a mood stabilizer for your breakfast….and an anti-anxiety tablet for tea……pop an anti-depressant when you open your presents….’ pulls no punches with a great balance of humour too. Musically it is a real treat, a sort of vigorous folk/punk mix up with crashing noise suddenly giving way to sleigh bells and 60s harmonies. Enjoy the celebratory energy of the video too!

Theelilillies

Christmas is the Season of Love | The Eli Lillies (bandcamp.com)

Flaming June : The Firework Maker’s Daughter, EP released December 2018

The long-awaited new EP from acoustic indie-folk band Flaming June; driven by the compositions of singer/guitarist Louise Eatock. In the spirit of traditional folk themes of protest and comment these four excellent songs champion ‘…female spirits that break the mould…’

1. Firework Maker’s Daughter A mid-tempo rousing track, with the violin interweaving its magic through the acoustic guitar and restrained percussion. Based on a short story by Philip Pullman, Louise delivers an adventurous lyric that on the surface describes the title character aspiring to follow an unconventional career path but spreads into broader imagery of justice and ambition.

2. Oblivion Instantly conjuring up images from Hogarth’s ‘Gin Lane’ and edgier parts of historic novels this brisk music takes the listener into the midst of communities where the downtrodden escape from a difficult real life in the 19th Century. Short instrumental punctuations, an excellent double-tracked vocal, the dense texture of the violin again and especially a chorus of ‘…laudanum lovers love like no other…but they can’t remember how it feels…’ lift the three minutes into something special.

3. Drunken Assassin A lighter and more upbeat atmosphere musically but the words move into dark territory of introspection on loneliness and addiction within a relationship. The lyric pulls no punches ‘…if only you weren’t drinking yourself half to death we could live happily ever after…’

4. Women’s Battalion The pivotal track on the EP, a commemoration of the centenary of the 1918 general election, the first election following the enfranchisement of middle-class women over the age of 30. It was also the first time that working class men, although not working class women, were allowed to vote, so the song includes the continuation of the struggle for equality, extending it as far as the present day. The relentless marching pace of the song and spirited vocal performance push all before it, with fine contributions from cajón and violin.

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Gavin Chappell-Bates : Album Launch, Blue Moon, Cambridge, 24 March 2018

Opening the show at the constantly improving Blue Moon venue room was local singer/songwriter/guitarist Claudia McKenzie, otherwise known as I,Claudia, with a set of uplifting and varied tracks, based on her own experiences and anecdotes. Best of these was the blues of ‘Rain Down Hell’ though she can soon lighten the mood with the start-stop pace of ‘Staying In Tonight’.

Last seen playing outside at a freezing cold Mill Road Winter Fair, Louise Eatock, better known as Flaming June played a short selection of her extensive back catalogue of powerful folk tunes, tonight joined on stage by violin and cajon to add extra pulsing rhythm and soaring melody to her timeless lyrics. ‘Little Love In A Cruel World’ and ‘Wednesdays & Weekends’ sounded as good as ever, with final track ‘The Deviling Kind’ neatly weaving a sinister lyric around an irresistible instrumental backing.

Gavin Chappell-Bates has spent many months crafting the rare treat these days of a ‘concept album’, and tonight he played it in full. It is an ambitious theme; whereas Stevie Wonder’s ‘Songs In The Key Of Life’ attempted to describe the spectrum of all human existence, Gavin details the build up and consequences of the end of the world for an individual who literally becomes ‘The Last One’. It may sound a bit of a grim prospect but the music is generally uplifting and as he explains, the message to take away is that we should appreciate what we have and live in the moment.

The first optimistic songs are full of memories of growing up; the gradual building of musical layers in ‘The Philosopher’, the spirited romp of ‘Lovely Day’, ‘Young Lovers’ with its catchy hookline and a tribute to ‘Mother’. ‘Bad Faith/Good Faith’ sees an edgier tension across the lyric, but with another potent hook. The recorded versions of some of the tracks feature strings and keyboards, but they are not missed tonight; Gavin’s specially assembled band (The Singing Trees) have a life of their own with solid bass, 12-string electric and sparky drumming supporting his own guitars and harmonica.

‘Do What You Like’ is a topical and bitter summary of human disregard for the planet and as a consequence Armageddon arrives in my favourite track on the album ‘The Last One’……after all if the world is going to end it is good to set it to a 70s glam rock shouter, much enjoyed by the audience.
‘Cinematic Memories’ and ‘The Sanctuary Of Stars’ are moving and thoughtful big ballads, then guitar-led rocker ‘This Is It’ brings the album to a close; no triple gatefold concept excesses here, it is all very much to the point.

A quick cover of REM’s ‘It’s The End Of The World As We Know It’ was followed by final encore of Gavin’s older single ‘We Are The Ones’ and left us feeling fine.

Well played Gavin and the band. A triumph!

http://gavinchappellbates.com/
http://loui552.wixsite.com/flamingjuneuk
https://www.iclaudiamusic.com/

Lee Hull, Corner House, Cambridge, 4 June 2017

An album launch for ‘I’ve Been Over Thinking’, a new CD of self-penned songs from Newmarket based performer Lee Hull.

Taking the stage first was the highly-regarded local indie folkster Flaming June, a favourite on this site and tonight with the added bonus of electric violin and occasional backing vocals from Alex Herring. Louise Eatock’s songs draw on folk traditions, modern mores and the underlying tensions of fairy tales, all performed with the rhythmic drive of acoustic guitar, with its insistent lower and mid-range tones duelling (in a good way!) with the gently soaring violin on the top.
The tracks from the ‘In Pursuit of Happiness’ EP still sound fresh and there is some new material being recorded this summer.

Lee Hull opened his set with an extended cover of ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ but it is his original tracks that are the most engaging, a mix of electronica and very personal lyrical ideas. ‘Kiss Me Like You Used To’ and the ‘The Way I Am’ are straightforwardly effective, with a few keyboard surprises to keep us guessing. ‘Thank You’ was mellower and emotionally voiced while ‘The Way I Am’ is a consciousness stream over a funky synth bass line.
Two more covers; ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ (on ukulele?!) and classic Ray Charles number ‘Hit The Road Jack’ somehow seemed entirely appropriate and new non-recorded songs pointed in future directions.
I really enjoyed the set, it must be that winning combination of 80s keyboards, bass guitar and lyrics that make you think….

https://www.facebook.com/leehullmusic1
http://loui552.wixsite.com/flamingjuneuk
https://www.facebook.com/flamingjuneuk/

Flaming June, Corner House, Cambridge, 27 February 2016

Flaming June is the performing name of singer and guitarist Louise Eatock, playing a solo set of her own compositions as a warm-up for her EP official launch show with violin and percussion on March 12. The first two songs were from the new EP ‘In Pursuit Of Happiness’ and both are precautionary tales of trust and wariness, with some traditional folk imagery.

Unrecorded new song ‘Firework Maker’s Daughter’ sounds promising followed by older song ‘Stop The Ride’, with a rhythmic onslaught from the acoustic guitar. Although the songs are rooted in folk her guitar playing has a frequent rockier side and in the next new track ‘You’ve Mended Well’ she also shows some Spanish guitar stylings of rhythm and chord progressions. This feeling continues into the assertive ‘Wednesdays and Weekends’ about an ambiguous part-time relationship, compellingly sung.

‘Little Love In A Cruel World’ (“bored with life’s drudgery…”) lifts into a rousing hook-line then the intriguingly named ‘Dopamine Oxytocin’ reminds us that all these feelings are just chemicals anyway(?!) with another catchy chorus.

Louise has an enviable back-catalogue of fine songs to draw on and this was an excellent selection on show this evening.

http://loui552.wix.com/flamingjuneuk
https://cambridgemusicreviews.net/2016/01/02/flaming-june-in-pursuit-of-happiness-ep-released-december-2015/

Flaming June : In Pursuit Of Happiness EP, released December 2015

As well as a flourishing Indie music scene in Cambridge there are many performers who take that attitude and apply it in a folk setting, one of the most regarded being Flaming June, fronted by singer/guitarist/songwriter Louise Eatock. They have been recording and playing live since 2010; I saw her recently playing a spirited and well-received solo set outdoors at the Mill Road Winter Fair, just after this EP was released.

‘In Pursuit Of Happiness’ is a lively opening track, propelled by tight drumming from Paul Richards (multi-skilled member of many Cambridge bands) and smooth violin by Di Llewellyn giving the authentic folk texture. The lyric of ‘Dopamine Oxytocin’ is about the chemical balance that causes emotional response (I think), over a frenetic acoustic guitar. Then slowing down for the yearning delights of ‘The Sailor Boy’, as so often in traditional folk it doesn’t sound like the story ends well. ‘Freedom’s Fairytale For Girls’ is the new single and pivotal track on this EP, a slow-burning song using imagery from traditional tales. ‘The Devilling Kind’ is another veiled warning, again with atmospheric violin.

Louise Eatock is a charismatic and talented performer and this is a strong set of songs, drawing effectively on folk traditions with added modern twists.

http://loui552.wix.com/flamingjuneuk