The Electric Swing Circus
|Electric Swing Circus|
|Origin||Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom|
Tom Hyland |
The Electric Swing Circus are a six piece electro swing band based in Birmingham, UK. The line up features Vicki Olivia and Fe Salomon (vocals), Chandra Walker (drums and keyboard), Tom Hyland (guitar), Rashad Gregory (samples, MPC & synths) and Patrick Wreford (electric double bass and bass synth). The Electric Swing Circus formed in June 2011. The band’s preview EP, Penniless Optimist, was released in September 2011, and their debut album "Electric Swing Circus" in May 2013 and release their second album "It Flew By" in January 2017.
The Electric Swing Circus had their first live performance at the Book Club on 17 September 2011. The band also recorded the video for ‘’Penniless Optimist’’, which was filmed in Boxxed by Realm Pictures. The video was uploaded onto Youtube on 6 September 2011 and has since received over 210,000 views.
During October 2011 Penniless Optimist was remixed by C@ in the H@ and Sam Redmore. Penniless Optimist received airplay on BBC Radio 6 on The Craig Charles Funk and Soul Show. The video for Penniless Optimist was also shown on BBC Big Screens nationwide.
At the ElectroSwing People’s Favourite Awards, The Electric Swing Circus won Best Live Act award in December 2011.
Electric Swing Circus has a residency at Hot Club de Swing, a club night at the Hare and Hounds, Birmingham. Hot Club de Swing hosts a 1920s theme and performers include cabaret, burlesque and electro-swing acts. The band also have a residency at Electric Swing Club, which has many venues across the UK.
The Electric Swing Circus played many festivals during 2012, including Bestival, Secret Garden Party, Nozstock, BoomTown Fair, Beat-Herder, Fieldview and WOMAD. The band also performed as headline act on the Main Stage of Vale Festival 2012. The relentless touring at as many of the U.K. festivals as possible, helped to earn them a quick reputation of being a hard working band to have a party to.
2013 - Debut Album "Electric Swing Circus" Released
The Electric Swing Circus filmed the video for the single Valentine in March 2013. It was filmed in Birmingham Municipal Bank and premièred at Swingamajig Festival in May that year.
On 9 May 2013, the band released their self-titled debut album. Attempting to capture their explosive live show on record they took to the studio to record everything that they had been touring, using an unusual mixture of live instrumentation and programmed/ sampled music, using the signature vocal harmonies to tie it all together. This was funded by their CrowdFunder campaign that began in July 2012. Electric Swing Circus are a cooperative and have been featured in both cooperative events and press. The album was well received by the electro-swing community, one blogger Jack the Cad said of it: "They worked hard making this album innovative and varied, and it has paid off".
Over the European summer, the band played several big name festivals, including their biggest show to date on the Spirit of 71' / Glade stage Glastonbury Festival, Shambala (where they brought their own tent, the Swingamajig Speakeasy to the festival) and Fusion Festival. These shows helped to establish the band as firm festival favourites, with a growing reputation. They were listed in the Glastonbury guide as "one of the highlights of Glastonbury"
The band's track, "Valentine" has been featured in the semi-finals of New Zealand's Got Talent, as a backing track for dance-duo Silhouette, who went on to be Runners Up in the 2013 Grand Final. When the band toured in New Zealand in 2014, they performed this track with the dance duo at a number of shows.
Off the back of the success of the debut album, Electric Swing Circus carried on touring, now a mainstay at all UK festivals and starting to branch further out to play all of Europe. The band also played Edinburgh festival for the first time, having a residency with the Assembly group, whilst also performing on the BBC stage, who described them as "Electro-swing at it's best". They established the Swingamajig Speakeasy tent at Shambala festival and after a successful summer the band played in the Seychelles and then toured Australia and New Zealand in the winter.
The band started work on their as yet untitled second album. They started the year by returning to New Zealand to play the legendary Cuba Dupa festival in Wellington and then returned to the U.K. to play their very own Swingamajig festival in Birmingham which was now in its 3rd year and bigger than ever. They headlined the legendary Avalon Stage on the last night of Glastonbury festival to a rapturous response, again giving them a landmark show at one of the worlds biggest festivals. Towards the end of 2015 they began to record their second album at Middle Farm studios, and were reacquainted with long term collaborator and producer James Bragg. The band embarked on a tour with of Italy with Rumba de Bodas in December.
2016 - Recording and European Tour
The band recorded their second album mostly at the beginning of 2016. The band ran another successful crowdfunded campaign to help fund the new album and recorded at Middle Farm and Giant Wafer studios.
Following completing much of the main sessions for the album recording, the band played Swingamajig festival, where they put out their first release since the their first album. This was the "Empires EP (Swingamajig Edition)" and included the tracks "Empires" and "Hit&Run" which were the first tracks recorded for the new album. This was only released on 12 inch Vinyl and on a limited run. The band went onto play in Bahrain for the first time. Following Bahrain, ESC played a huge number of European shows in France, Germany. Switzerland, Croatia, Czech Republic and Ireland. They played festival like Spancirfest, Colours of Ostrava and Townlands.
The band returned to the studio to complete their second album which was titled "It Flew By". They recorded a video for the lead single "Empires" which was released and received significant attention on Reddit.
In the Winter the band took up a residency in the Half Note Jazz Club in Athens where they played their first shows in Greece.
2017 and "It Flew By"
2017 marked the release of their second album "It Flew By", release through their own label Ragtime Records. The songwriting and production was a big step up from their eponymous first album and it is a landmark album in the Electro Swing genre. The Soul of a Clown blog said "Electric Swing Circus are quite rightly regarded as one of the leading lights in the electro swing scene. Unlike others they have not settled for covers or to being restricted by that style. This album shows them continuing to grow and develop their sound. It steps away from the clichés to allow them to have a far wider appeal"
The band marked the release of the album with another new video, this time for "Mama Cita", a track and video which show the bands live experience, which was edited by the bands very own Tom Hyland.
The album features artwork from prominent Birmingham modernist artist "Brumhaus" who was selected by the band as they due to love of their home city of Birmingham.
In May 2013, the band hosted a 1-day festival in Digbeth, Birmingham, which was the first of its kind in the UK. Headline acts included The Correspondents, Dutty Moonshine, Odjbox and Pierre, DJ Switch and C@ in the H@. The festival sold out.
In May 2014, the second Swingamajig Festival took place in Digbeth, with many well-reputed acts including Molotov Jukebox, featuring Natalie Tena.
The third festival in 2015 featured Chinese man, and the fourth in 2016 featured Balkan Beat Box as headliners.
This is the Electric Swing Circus's very own festival which they co headline every year and is now one of the key Electro Swing/ Vintage Remix events in the world.
- Vicki Olivia – Vocals
- Fe Salomon – Vocals
- Chandra Walker – Drums/Keys
- Tom Hyland – Guitar & Vocals
- Rashad Gregory – Samples, MPC & Synths
- Patrick Wreford – Bass Guitar/Double Bass & Bass Synth
- Bridge Williams – Sound
Former band members
- Laura Owen-Wright - Vocals
- Miss Bridget Walsh - Vocals
- Eleanor Rose - Vocals
- Penniless Optimist (2011)
- Penniless Optimist Premix EP (2011)
- The Electric Swing Circus (2013)
- Empires EP (Swingamajig Edition) (2016)
- It Flew By (2017)
- Hyland, Tom. "The Electric Swing Circus". Retrieved 2 August 2012.
- "Electric Swing Circus plug in to co-operation". Co-operative Futures. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
- "Electric Swing Circus". Beat-Herder. Retrieved 2 August 2012.
- "Hot Club De Swing". Retrieved 2 August 2012.
- "The Electric Swing Circus Debut Album". Retrieved 2 August 2012.