The Fallen Leaves

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The Fallen Leaves
Origin London, England, United Kingdom
Genres R&B, rock & roll, blues, rock, garage rock, garage punk, beat music, freakbeat, psychedelic rock
Years active 2004–present
Labels Parliament Records
Website www.thefallenleaves.net
Members
  • Rob Green
  • Rob Symmons
  • Matthew Karas
  • Brett Buddy Ascott
Past members
  • Paul Myers
  • Paul Cook
  • James Bradley
  • Phil King
  • Daniel Strittmatter
  • Paul Messis
  • Gareth Evans
  • Ian O'Sullivan
  • William Lewington

The Fallen Leaves are a British garage rock group that formed in Richmond, London in 2004. The group was formed by Rob Symmons (dustbin guitar) and Rob Green (vocals) with Paul Myers (bass), and for a very short time, Paul Cook (drums). The current line up features drummer,Brett Buddy Ascott ex of Mod/Punk band The Chords, and bassist, Matthew Karas, who plays various instruments for Glassglue.

Prehistory[edit]

Symmons and Myers, along with Vic Goddard, were founding members of the Subway Sect. During the recording of the first Subway Sect album, manager Bernie Rhodes sacked the band except for singer-songwriter Goddard. Myers went on to play bass with Steve Jones and Paul Cook in the Professionals. Symmons, unable to retrieve his guitar from the band lockup, gave up professional music for over twenty years until persuaded out of retirement by old friend, Rob Green. Green had built a reputation singing at Bernie Rhodes' "Club Left" and by performing with Vic Godard's later version of the Subway Sect, notably supporting Siouxsie and the Banshees at the Music Machine in 1980.

Formation of the band and changing line ups[edit]

Green and Symmons had been writing songs together on various occasions and in 2004, spurred on by a shared love of 60's garage, stylish vintage suits, and their long-held belief that a good idea played badly is better than a bad idea played well, got into action. The first incarnation of the Fallen Leaves featured Paul Myers on bass, and for a number of their first rehearsals, Paul Cook on drums. Cook could not commit to the band and for a couple of years drummers and bassists came and went frequently.

The Leaves made their debut at the Stripes Bar at Brentford Football Club on July 9th 2004 - opening for Vic Godard & The Subway Sect. They had "King" James Bradley on drums, and played a five song set - High And Dry/Trouble/Back To You/Repetition/Revenge. They subsequently appeared at the Monk Club in Richmond over the course of the next few months. In August the band ventured out of London to support The 5,6,7,8's in Nottingham.

Pete Townshend offered the band some free studio time at his Eel Pie Studios, near Richmond. The band, with a session drummer, quickly recorded the three tracks that would become the "Trouble" E.P.

Paul Myers left the Fallen Leaves in 2005 as the band was starting to play gigs outside London, which was encroaching on his work as an addictions counsellor[1] He was replaced by Phil King, ex Jesus & Mary Chain/Lush bassist, and later by Gareth Evans.

In 2008, ex-Aardvarks drummer, Ian O'Sullivan joined the group. A year later, when Gareth Evans left, he recruited Matthew Karas, with whom he had played in The Hungry Dog Brand. In 2012, shortly before Cherry Red Records released an anthology of The Aardvarks back-catalogue, O'Sullivan left the group, at which point they recruited Band of Holy Joy drummer, William Lewington. Brett Buddy Ascott recently joined, on drums, to form the current line-up.

2006-present[edit]

In 2006, the "Trouble" EP was released as a four track CD and a 7 inch single on the band's own Parliament Records.

Swiss eccentric Daniel Strittmatter, former drummer for Mike Scott, Ian McNabb, The High Llamas and Koala, began drumming for the band around this time. This line up of the band recorded seven tracks in a session at Gizzard Studio in Bow.

Phil King left the band and was replaced by Paul Messis. Messis played with the group up until March 2007 when he left to go travelling, and Gareth "Mountbatten" Evans, from Koala/The Prellies took over the bass guitarist's position. It was this line up that completed the Fallen Leaves debut album, It's Too Late Now, at Bark Studios, working with producer Brian O'Shaughnessy.

By September 2007, the increasing workload of Strittmatter's other projects, including ex-Adam and The Ants sidemen, The Wolfmen, led to his departure from the group to be replaced by Ian O' Sullivan, formerly of psych pop garage band, The Aardvarks. In February 2008, the Leaves recorded three tracks in the 6Music Hub for Tom Robinson.

In the spring of 2008, The Fallen Leaves released It's Too Late Now on their own Parliament Records. The album was listed as an early album of the year [2] by the Sunday Times, with a 4/5 star review[3][4]

The Fallen Leaves have continued to play shows in the UK, and in September 2008 crossed the Atlantic to play two shows in New York State and record another radio session, this time 14 songs at WFMU for the Evan "The Funk" Davies show,[5] including four songs from their next album.

Gareth Evans left the group in early 2009, to be replaced by Matthew Karas.

Ian O'Sullivan left the group in 2012, to be replaced by Bill Lewington.

2016 update - now on drums the legendary drummer Brett 'Buddy' Ascott from Mod cult band The Chords (also The Rage, The Moment & Speakeasy). First few live dates under their belt with a residency at The Hope & Anchor, Islington on the cards.

Musical styles and influence[edit]

Purveyors of pop played with passion rather than precision, the Fallen Leaves are very much based around Symmons' distinctive discordant, stinging guitar sound as well as Green's vocal style, reminiscent of Italian-American crooners such as Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra. Their preference is to use vintage valve amps & mics, and recording live with no overdubs and minimal technology. The Fallen Leaves hark back to DIY punk days and concentrate on delivering impressive songs and performances. Classic British beat such as The Who, Kinks, and Rolling Stones have been cited as influences, as well as The Pretty Things, The Outsiders and the Downliners Sect.

The Parliament Club[edit]

On 26 November 2004, The Fallen Leaves began hosting the Parliament Club at The Blackhorse, Richmond. The headliners for the first Parliament Club were the reformed Downliners Sect. Each Parliament Club evening features The Fallen Leaves, who have been joined by the likes of Billy Childish and the Buff Medways, The Masonics, John's Children, A Nation Mourns and Eater, to name a few. On 21 November 2006 The Parliament Club relocated to the Inn On The Green, Ladbroke Grove and ran until 2011, when the venue closed down. From then until January 2015, the group had a monthly residency at the 12 Bar Club in Denmark Street.

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

Trouble

  • Side A: Trouble (Part 1)
  • Side B: Trouble (Part 2)

EP[edit]

Trouble EP
Track list:

  • Trouble (edit)
  • Revenge Is Sweet
  • High and Dry
  • Trouble (full length)

Albums[edit]

It's Too Late Now
Track list:

  • All That You Choose
  • Happy Times
  • Wednesdays With You
  • Go Now
  • Seven Years
  • Days of Summer
  • Back To You
  • Repetition
  • Higher And Dryer
  • Shining

Produced at Bark Studios.

That's Right
Track list:

  • Did You See Her
  • My Phantoms
  • Sylvie Says
  • Is She Somewhere
  • Miss Demeanour
  • The International Brigade
  • Charity Girl
  • Vendetta
  • Listen to My Heart
  • When You're Gone

If Only We'd Known

References[edit]

  1. ^ Paul Singleton (25 March 2007). "Paul Myers in Conversation with Phil Singleton". CookandJones. Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  2. ^ Times on line (login required)
  3. ^ Times on line (login required)
  4. ^ Lee, Stewart. The Sunday Times. 25 May 2008
  5. ^ Evan "The Funk" Davies show

External links[edit]