Sweet Billy Pilgrim
|Sweet Billy Pilgrim|
|Genres||Art rock, progressive rock|
|Labels||Luxor Purchase, Samadhi Sound, Wonderland Avenue.|
Sweet Billy Pilgrim are an English experimental rock/art rock band, composed of bassist/banjo player Anthony Bishop, guitarist and singer Jana Carpenter, singer, guitarist and songwriter Tim Elsenburg, and drummer/percussionist Alistair Hamer.
The original three members met while at school. Elsenburg and Bishop are from Wingrave and Hamer from Wendover, both near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. American born Carpenter joined the band in 2010.
After repeated rejections from both major and independent record labels, Elsenburg bought a Power Book, they installed Logic, and the band began to record themselves. Due to financial restraints, the early Sweet Billy Pilgrim recordings up until 2012's "Crown and Treaty" were (apart from the acoustic drums) produced in a garden shed using a laptop and one quite good microphone. The band feel this has had a positive influence on their sound.
Their first release "Experience", was distributed amongst fans and was followed up by the Stars Spill Out of Cups EP. Released on their own label (Luxor Purchase) and featuring hand-stamped artwork, it contains three songs: "Stars Spill Out of Cups", "God In The Details", and "Atlantis". The band also gave away a recording called "Forget to Breathe" as an mp3.
As of 2012[update], they have released three albums.
"We Just Did What Happened and No One Came" was released in 2005 and awarded four stars by Mojo magazine, and The Sunday Times called it "a rather special debut", making the track "Stars Spill Out of Cups" one of their songs of the year.
"Twice Born Men" was released in 2009 and was awarded five stars and made CD of the Week by The Sunday Times; later that year it made The Sunday Times top 100 albums of 2009 list. The album was also awarded four stars by Mojo and Uncut, and was made a Mercury Prize album of the year for 2009.
"Crown and Treaty" was released on 30 April 2012. Critical response was very positive, with all major UK national papers awarding the record four or five stars out of five. It was awarded five stars and Instant Classic by Mojo and four stars by Q magazine. The majority of the recording for this album took place at Elsenburg's cottage, with the exception of the acoustic drums which were recorded at Earth Terminal studios and the choir which was recorded at Grove studios. "Crown and Treaty" was self-released on their own label (Luxor Purchase) much like the early recordings, but distributed through EMI label services.
Besides their work as Sweet Billy Pilgrim, Bishop, Hamer, and Elsenburg have worked together as session musicians, having toured as members of Martin Grech's band during the Open Heart Zoo era, and playing on the Toyah Willcox album Velvet Lined Shell.
Carpenter writes for, sings, and performs with folk band Piefinger.
Due to the complexity and layering of sounds used on the recordings, recreating the songs live requires the members to play many different instruments on stage. Bishop plays electric bass, banjo, and vocals. Carpenter plays acoustic guitar, cymbals, samples, keyboards and vocals. Elsenburg plays guitar, keyboards, harmonica, and vocals. Hamer plays drums (usually a Yamaha Rock Tour Custom), samples, and vocals. They are typically joined live by musician Dan Garland playing piano, keyboards, samples, vocals, and square waves, Barney Muller on electric guitar and backing vocals; and sometimes by Adam Chetwood (I Am Arrows) playing acoustic guitar, electric guitar and banjo.
On 9 July 2010 Sweet Billy Pilgrim appeared as themselves in series four, episode three ("Something Happened") of The IT Crowd.
On 13 July 2010 their song "Future Perfect Tense" was made available as a download for the game Rock Band 2.
In August 2010 they recruited Jana Carpenter and started recording their third studio album.
In March 2014 they began recording their fourth studio album.
- We Just Did What Happened and No One Came - Wonderland Avenue (2005)
- Twice Born Men - Samadhi Sound (2009)
- Crown and Treaty - Luxor Purchase (2012)
- Stars Spill Out Of Cups EP - Luxor Purchase (2004)
- Brugada EP - Spoilt Victorian Child (2005)
- "Experience" - Luxor Purchase (2004)
- "Forget to Breathe" - Luxor Purchase (2005) (Free .mp3 download)
- "Future Perfect Tense b/w Kalypso (featuring Jen from the IT Crowd)" - Samadhi Sound (2010)
- "Exclusives! - SBP's Tim Elsenburg | David Sylvian :: davidsylvian.net :: Expect Everything and Nothing less!". davidsylvian.net. 2009-07-08. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- "Video Sweet Billy Pilgrim estão pela primeira vez em Portugal van MyPortugal - Myspace Video". Vids.myspace.com. 2011-12-08. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- "Sweet Billy Pilgrim : Interview". Pennyblackmusic.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- "From Sunday Times Photos from Sweet Billy Pilgrim (Sweet Billy Pilgrim) on Myspace". Viewmorepics.myspace.com. 2011-12-08. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- "From Sunday Times Songs of the Year 2006 Photos from Sweet Billy Pilgrim (Sweet Billy Pilgrim) on Myspace". Viewmorepics.myspace.com. 2011-12-08. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- Edwards, Mark (2009-03-22). "Sweet Billy Pilgrim Twice born men". The Times (London). Retrieved 2010-05-24.
- "The Sunday Times albums of the Year 2009". Sweetbillypilgrim.com. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- "Mojo". Sweetbillypilgrim.com. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- "Uncut". Sweetbillypilgrim.com. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- "Barclaycard Mercury Prize". Mercuryprize.com. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- "Boy Least Likely To, The - The Law Of The Playground (CD, album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 2009-04-14. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- "James Dean Bradfield - The Great Western (CD, album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 2006-07-24. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- "Radio 3 - Late Junction". BBC. 2009-04-06. Retrieved 2012-02-08.
- "Mojo Magazine Blog.".
- "SVC Artist - Sweet Billy Pilgrim". Svcrecords.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-02-08.