The Bard Of Ely
Good writing has a
transcendent quality and possesses the power to transport through time and
mindset. Even if it is done purely for the 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
Bard of Ely carries listeners through various paradigms that range from
the earthy and humorous musings of "You're A Liar, Nicky Wire"
and the bravado spoof "Superhero" to "other- worldly"
expositions like "For Peter & for Paul" and "Priest
of the Venusians".
the 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 the philosophical
proclamation "Sound of One".
you read Steve's responses to the CreatorsWeb Interview questions below
you will see that he sites the 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
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, the lyrics, and a tune. I write my
words first and then find a tune on the guitar and that is the 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 the lyrics first, so in the
beginning was the 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 the compere for the Avalon
Stage at Glastonbury Festival for the last 2 years, as well as playing there,
and followed this with doing the same at It's Jo and Danny's Green Man
Festival in Brecon.
Musical Instruments - Recording - Computer Hardware -
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 the home-studios of friends.
What equipment and software do
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 the words and
did the vocals and my collaborators created the music and produced it. Also, the
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 the wonderful
things about the 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 the time of the 'Mersey sound.' Then
the psychedelic '60s arrived and the 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 the whole idea of an alternative society. I
would say that I fancied myself as following in these singer/songwriters'
footsteps if I could. By the 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 the 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, the Incredible String Band, Syd Barrett, Joni
Mitchell, Bridget St John, Tyrannosaurus and T. Rex, Roxy Music and many many
more. Then in the mid '70s Punk and New Wave happened and a lot of the energy
of the movement I found inspiring. I saw a lot of the bands then like The
Clash, Boomtown Rats, the Stranglers, Patti Smith and others.
What has influenced your music the most?
All those acts I have mentioned above, along with many more
modern ones and genres of music like the Blues, Soul, R&B, Folk, Rock 'n'
Roll, Jazz, Experimental and anything else that I've spent time listening
too. My inspiration for songs though is very varied and just reflects my life
Music And Internet Marketing
How has the Internet effected you as a
In a big way: I used to be heavily involved in music
networking via the snail mail with all the fanzines and small press and the
casssette culture which gave way to CDs, but I seem to have phased most of
that out because the Internet is a lot easier, cheaper and faster to use.
Also, I have made very many good friends, whom I have met
via OMDs and at bbs, and discovered so much excellent music. As well as these
things it has given me a means of collaborating with people all over the
When did you start marketing your music
on the Internet?
In about 1997 when I first began to understand IT and to
have access to computers.
What has been the most effective way to
market your music on the Internet?
Via OMDs and Bulletin Boards. My favorite OMD was mp3.com
and I haven't seen any other site which has offered so much. The stations it
gave acts the option of creating was a great way to promote your music and that
of other acts you enjoyed, as well as finding new music.
Musicians And The Future
What does the future hold for you?
More collaborations, more festivals...but as to where my
music will take me I really don't know! I have just written my first
song in Spanish and am learning the language, so who knows where my path will
Finally, is there anything else you want
to say about yourself?
I prefer to hear what others think of me and my work so
I'll let my good friends Laura
J Bollé and Chris Kalessin have
Words can barely describe the amazing, multi-talented,
multi-faceted and multi-media phenomenon that is the Bard of Ely!!! Part
eco-warrior, poet, Arthurian Druid, master of herblore, techno-folk fusion
pioneer, MC, songwriter, singer, actor, writer and performer, the Bard has
assumed cult status and is featured in many counter-culture books and
articles ... a genuinely iconic figure!
His solo work, many
collaborations (most recently with Funender stalwart Ed Drury) and remixes
represent a wonderfully eclectic body of writing and performance, work that
that does justice to the traditions of acoustic music, yet with modernity,
political relevance, and some great melodies! :)
And something else that distinguishes this talented artist is his
enthusiastic and positive support for music and musicians, and his friendly,
universally-respected presence across the online music community. We are
proud to know him and highly recommend his music to all - Steve, the Bard of
Check him out TODAY!!! http://www.bardofely.com
Top Of Page