The Miserable Rich

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The Miserable Rich
The Miserable Rich Rail smash crop.jpg
Background information
Origin Brighton, England
Years active 2007–2012 (hiatus)
Labels Hazelwood Vinyl Plastics
Humble Soul
Associated acts Shoreline, Hope of the States, Lightspeed Champion
Website The Miserable Rich
Members William Calderbank
James de Malplaquet
Mike Siddell
Ricky Pritchard
Rhys Lovell
Jim Briffett
Martin Deering

The Miserable Rich are a chamber pop[citation needed] band, formed in 2007 and based in Brighton, England. The band is known for its distinctive chamber orchestra sound, created using cello and violin as the primary lead instruments, augmented by double bass, acoustic guitar and occasionally piano. They have released three albums: Twelve Ways to Count (2008), Of Flight & Fury (2010) and Miss You in the Days (2011); and a live album, Live in Frankfurt (2014).

The band's name came from an experience Will Calderbank and James de Malplaquet had at the wedding of two rich aristocrats.[1]


In 2006, Will Calderbank (cello) joined James de Malplaquet (vocals) to form the band Grape Authority, a live band playing the songs de Malplaquet had written under the pseudonym James Grape. The pair were playing in Brighton folk band Shoreline, and the more traditional instrumentation used in this band was taken on board, with inspiration derived from the ex-Zombie Colin Blunstone's "Say You Don't Mind" and The Balanescu Quartet's Kraftwerk covers.[citation needed] Together with Mike Siddell (formerly Hope of the States) on violin, Ricky Pritchard on guitar and Rhys Lovell playing double bass, they created The Miserable Rich.

They recorded their debut album, Twelve Ways to Count, at de Malplaquet's house in Hove during the summer of 2007. The debut single from the album received positive reviews, including Leftfield Single of the Month in DJ Magazine[2] and widespread airplay, with the band championed in particular by BBC 6 Music's Marc Riley, for whom they have recorded two live sessions. The album itself has received widespread critical acclaim, both in Germany and the UK.[3][4]

They have toured extensively in Europe, both as headliners and as support for Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan.[5]

In November 2009 they released an EP of cover versions,[6] featuring four reworked 1980s songs: "Golden Brown" by The Stranglers, "Gigantic" by Pixies, "Shades" by Iggy Pop and "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" by Eurythmics.

The Miserable Rich self-recorded and produced their second album, Of Flight & Fury, which was mixed by Al Scott (The Levellers, Eliza Carthy, Asian Dub Foundation), and released in June 2010.[1]

The third Miserable Rich album, "Miss You in the Days", released in November 2011, is lyrically based on ghost stories. It was recorded on location at various buildings around the UK that are reputedly haunted, primarily Blickling Hall in Norfolk.[7]

In late 2012 The Miserable Rich announced their final concerts in London and Brighton, pending a creative break during which time members of the band will concentrate on other projects.[8][9] However, they released a Christmas single in 2013 titled Everything You Wanted. In November 2014, their live album Live in Frankfurt was released featuring music from their gig at the city on 9 February 2012.[10]



  1. ^ a b "Interview: The Miserable Rich | For Folk's Sake". Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  2. ^ "The Miserable Rich – Pisshead/Boat Song (Humble Soul) – Leftfield Single of the Month". DJ Mag. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  3. ^ Paul Villiers (27 October 2008). "The Miserable Rich – Twelve Ways To Count (Humble Soul)". reviews. Americana UK. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  4. ^ Peter Clark (13 November 2008). "The Miserable Rich – Twelve Ways to Count (Humble Soul)". reviews. Bearded. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  5. ^ Valerio Berdini. "The Miserable Rich – live at Union Chapel, London". TheLineOfBestFit. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  6. ^ "The Miserable Rich – Covers EP". Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  7. ^ BBC Norfolk (16 September 2011). "The Miserable Rich – BBC INTRODUCING IN NORFOLK". reviews. BBC. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  8. ^ The Miserable Rich. "The Miserable Rich's London Finale at Kings Place". Retrieved 27 November 2012. t'Rich will be taking a well-earned break for a while. We may well return, should the desire and demand combine, but in what form, we cannot say. 
  9. ^ "SOURCE New Music Special with The Miserable Rich". Brighton Dome. Retrieved 27 November 2012. The Miserable Rich, six of Brighton's favourite musical sons, are taking a well-deserved sabbatical – and coming to the Brighton Dome Studio Theatre for a sweet sayonara 'for now'. 
  10. ^

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