Author Archives: Eleanor Marsh

Summer Giggidyness

FFSea Programme 29.06.13_front

It’s been a good start to the summery gigness. It started with the Furthest From the Sea festival on Sat 29th Jun. Playing in the Market Place on a Saturday is definitely a new experience for me and one which I really enjoyed. I hardly had time to think between sets, as was on with the Rock & Pop Choir straight after that. You can read a review of the festival by Geraldine Curtis here.

Still not sure how well my songs translate to a wider space, think they may be more suited to a more intimate style of performance.

My current favourite is “Full of the Blue” which I’ve yet to record properly. I think because it’s a simple theme, “so many things to do, so why am I wasting time” – about those days when there seems to be so much blue sky & all you want to do is drive to the coast, or countryside and forget work & everything that DEMANDS attention and just relax & enjoy the warmth.

My next gig is with the talented Jamie Beau, I will be playing a few songs for his EP launch on the 19th July. You can watch & listen to his video The Mill here.

I will then be playing OSFEST, at the Ostrich Inn, Longford in Derbyshire on the 28th July. Woop!

OSFEST FINAL -1Followed by the Bookcafe Acoustic Nights on the 3rd August, at the Bookcafe in Derby. Always a pleasure, it’s really good as a musician to know of a venue that’s holds regular music nights & you’re always assured of a crowd. I play a mixture of covers & originals, and I find that learning covers impacts well on my own song-writing as you discover new ways of playing and really have to get a grasp of the song & how it was written to be able to perform it well.

So, just a smattering of gigs for now, hope to see some of you folks there.

Meet me by the Ram – BBC Radio Derby

My first tweet! Just been practising ‘The Border’ & ‘Bright Spark’ in the garden to hear how they sound in the open. ‘Meet me by the Ram’ is Sally Pepper’s morning show & I’ll be singing by the Ram in Derby tomorrow around 12.45-1pm…

Bite-sized teaching + RockSchool workshops

Seaugull SignAfter a very enjoyable & busy Easter break (travelling to Looe in Cornwall was one of the many highlights) I’m ready for work tomorrow! I’m looking forward to getting involved with some new projects that are happening this term: band & songwriting with Fleet Arts, performances with the Rock & Pop choir, Furthest From the Sea festival and collaborating on some new pop hits with some friends in Nottingham!

Rock & Pop Choir

I’m busy putting the final touches to an arrangement of With or Without You which we started on a few weeks ago. It’s making my head spin, so I’m not sure what the choir will make of it! I’ll have to be very clear communication wise I think, one new idea at a time. That’s the trouble when you’re excited about something & have been working on it for a while, you just want to say “here it is, let’s get on with it!” whereas actually people need time to digest new ideas. This is something I’m still working on as a teacher! Here’s the choir performing at Sadlergates Open Mic, we’ve been asked to go back which is great. Not sure when as we’re already doing a couple of performances in the not too distant future…

Fleet Arts

I’m also looking forward to another band/ song-writing project with Fleet Arts. I was an assistant leader on the *AVIT Rock School workshops last term at Eckington School. The level of skill in song-writing was very high, and we had a performance at Heritage High School which was great fun! Here’s one of the bands I worked with performing on the night: Summer of 98: Butterflies.

*Avit Rock School is a Fleet Arts – Turn it Up project funded by Youth Music with contributions from; Derbyshire City and County Music Partnership, schools and participants.

I think that’s about all for today, still got a few bits of planning to do before tomorrow. Ciao me ducks.


The Intros Round

ImageFirst impressions are important, so I’ve just been practising my intros before my gig on Friday next week. See if you can guess some of the covers I may play at the Bookcafe (sorry, way too much rhyming there): Intros Round on SoundCloud

I’ve thrown in a few of my own songs too. If you don’t know them but you like them then why not come along on Fri 19th April at the Bookcafe in Derby.

Of course I’m always telling my students they shouldn’t just practise from the start of a song, but start in different places to be really sure they know the song inside out. Which I will of course do next, a whole gig with just intros would be silly…. or would it?

NEW SoundCloud tracks for Derby Rock & Pop Choir


Link to SoundCloud

As requested, I’ve uploaded parts for ‘Lean On Me’ and ‘Falling Slowly’. The latter is very slow, as I was using a piano part from a previous recording (am not at home currently you see) but it’s a rough version to be getting on with! If you’re part of the choir, enjoy. Or if you run your own choir & feel inspired to use these arrangements.. enjoy!

January 2013

Snow jan 2013

It feels very strange writing ‘Spring Term 2013’ in all my admin, but what else do you call it?

The above photo is from my drive back from work at Alderwasley, towards Belper. The snow is making the drive particularly beautiful at the moment.

Spring Update:

Teaching wise I’m still doing peripatetic lessons at Alderwasley & Murray Park. Sadly the singing group for Murray Park Adult Ed. has finished due to dwindling numbers. However, the Rock & Pop Choir continues to grow and we have been packed in to the Archers Gallery at the VoiceBox for the past two weeks (not continuously obviously, our voices wouldn’t last out for a start!).

I’m also doing some AVIT Rockschool (not the film or the exam board, confusingly) workshops with Fleet Arts. These guys are based in Belper but have been running a variety of activities across Derbyshire for years. And further afield! We’ve been driving to sunny Eckington on Tuesdays for an after school session. We have 3 bands and the aim is for them to write at least 1 original song to be performed at a concert together with Heritage School. So far the feedback has been great, the students are very much enjoying it!

Gigwise, well this weekend I’ll be playing at the Bookcafe, Saturday night. It’s becoming one of my favourite venues, and I’ll be playing alongside Neil White & Sue Millichap. Then Sadlergates on the 25th, with another gig at the Brewery Tap on the 16th Feb. So lots to look forward to!

I’ve been writing some new stuff recently, so will be bringing this out in to daylight very soon. Gigs are of course a great opportunity to do this, but I’m also enjoying being part of a new Derby singer/songwriters group.. the furthest point from the SEA and sharing songs with like-minded souls. So far we’ve had one meet-up, with another scheduled for this evening. It’s a good opportunity to get some feedback & encouragement, and we’ll be playing some gigs during 2013.

Training/ Learning

Well, that’s the major events/ work going on so far. Of course I’m always keen to learn new stuff, I’m still on the lookout for relevant training. This weekend I’ll be going to an Education Day, with the Association of British Choral Directors, to brush up on my conducting skills.

The Music Education Expo looks very interesting, there are quite a few workshops I’d like to attend. However, the worry is I’ll have to choose which ones are the best! I’ll have to carefully consider which are relevant NOW, rather than the sort of work I might like to do in 5-10yrs time. Hmm..

After doing my ABRSM Grade 5 (Distinction, thank you very much) I’m now aware I need to get my music theory skills up to date. Having played & performed for years, mainly learning by ear, it’s a different route for me but the classical training is really helping my overall playing ability. I’m also back to singing lessons tomorrow, so best get on & do some practise for that! Looking forward to getting back to these, again mostly in the classical style.

After singing Fauré though, anything else seems like a doddle!

This is quickly becoming a short thesis, so I will sign off for now. Hope this year is starting as you’d hoped, and if you’d like to contact me on any aspect of my work/ self-employment/ choir leading please do. I’d be happy to answer any questions & help out with my experience to date!

Derby Rock & Pop Choir setlist available on SoundCloud

The choir is in full swing, we’ve been working hard and are hoping to perform locally before Christmas. So I thought I’d better record some of the vocal parts for folk to practise at home to! So far ‘Viva La Vida’ and ‘Used to Love You’ have been uploaded to the SoundCloud setlist, with more coming soon. You can find them by following the link: Derby Rock & Pop Choir setlist

I’ve also started working on a blog just for the choir, but with lots of other gigs and performances going on that’s going to take a few weeks I think!

Introducing Derby’s Rock & Pop Choir: Hatch’d Magazine

Seeing as how I’m quite enjoying this new choir venture, I thought I would shout about it a bit. So I went and had a chat with Tom John from Hatch’d magazine to tell him what we’re about, so that he can tell other people what we’re about and hopefully build the choir even more. Read the full article here:

I think this captures the essence of what we’re about, particularly the fun element (!), and also what we’re looking to do in the future. I’d definitely like the choir to do some performances, hopefully a few of us will be venturing out to an open mic before Christmas to showcase what they’ve learnt so far.

EP/ Demo Recording

Just to prove that I actually have been doing some recording recently. This is from this summer, recording ‘The Border’. It’s an Indian harmonium, really adds some warmth to the guitar & vocals. Funny how once you begin the recording process, the songs take on a character of their own and perhaps not exactly as you’d thought they’d be. The Border definitely gets my vote for ‘most surprisingly altered arrangement’.


The Thrill Of Waiting Up For The End Of The World

Thanks to Samantha Gallagher Photography for these pics.

The Thrill of Waiting Up For The End Of The World was an event organised by Kirsty Fox to launch the self-publication of her book, Dogtooth Chronicles. Read her article in LeftLion (follow the link) for her take on the book itself. As the creator of “Bees Make Honey“, a creative cooperative designed to help all sorts of creative types flourish & have a voice, Kirsty wanted the event to have a buzz (no pun intended) and feature work from across the artforms. Which is where I came in! The evening also featured the music of The Distillery Blues Band and Grey Hairs. I think it’s fair to say we all gave the audience something completely different! I enjoyed the whole evening, but I must say a highlight was listening to the Distillery Blues Band effortlessly work their way throughsome classic & new blues tunes. Not that I’m any kind of expert! But I’m a sucker for a low mean growly blues voice. Kirsty seemed suitably chuffed with the whole evening, and I have a signed copy of Dogtooth Chronicals to read. For my part, I enjoyed playing a new instrumental song, new to the public’s ears anyway. It’s one of the tunes I’ve recorded with Rob Bullock, so I’m hoping to get that uploaded to SoundCloud soon. The demo tracks are still at the mixing stage, so when we both get a couple of days free…..