Thank you and good night

Banjaxeld Hunstanton Aug 2013

Jaimie, Vinny, Jeff & Sack …Banjaxeld. Hunstanton August 2013

Bump start to oblivion

Over the last year or so I’ve started writing about half a dozen blog posts, abandoned them …revised them …abandoned them again …wondered what the hell I was on about, and generally banged my confused mind against the inside of my cranium in a vain attempt to communicate, what I eventually realised was the futility of reality!

Since my last blogging Banjaxeld have again gone through many changes, not that that has stopped us working, either live or writing & playing.  Life being what it is, it seems each one of us has encountered our particular personal difficulties and challenges, some of which are documented in the lyrics of some of our newer material …sorry not telling, you’ll just have to listen for yourself!

As ever time rolls on, leaving behind friends who’ve departed, and memories that will be forever etched into unknown futures, like glimpses of fleeting ghosts caught momentarily in the corner of the eye that freeze into the consciousness of one’s own fragile mortality.  Often I find the only healing is to add a groove …life rides easier with a groove, even an old groove!

 

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Jeff at ‘The Big Gig’ in Halesworth 2015

Brand-jaxeld

Since last I blogged we’ve ground our groove in many new places.  We managed to pull in a couple of festivals last summer, Paintopia Body Art Festival in Norwich, The Big Gig in Halesworth, The Horsey Beer Festival, Ferryfest in Reedham, and Prickwillow Ploughing Festival, to name but a few.  Other highlights included supporting Ron Sayer at The Waterfront in Norwich …a live broadcast set on West Norfolk Radio …supporting Buster James at the Brickmakers in Norwich.  We also had the pleasure of playing the Northcote in Leytonstone with Millie Manders.

Aside to this we succeeded in delivering a whole bunch of Purple HippopotaMusic events with some great acts at some wonderful venues.  Apologies for not mentioning all, but mainstays have been Addison’s Uncle, One Too Many, Junk Shop Poets, Millie Manders, Kolin Durier, as well as Mr Tony Brook all the way from Alabama, Little Red Kings, Jamie Roe band, Morganway, Mojo Preachers, Outathablues, and many others …all of which have been a real pleasure to work with, and have given audiences both sensitive and electric performances.

So far this year, as well as the usual great pubs and venues that have been our regular bread and butter, we’ve done another support for Boogleg Boss at the Brickmakers, done another Paintopia in Norwich, played a couple of new venues at the Cromer Folk Festival Fringe, and for our final gig we headlined the Friday evening at the St Georges Theatre for the Great Yarmouth Beer Festival.

 

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MC Gangsta Vinsta McVinface at ‘Paintopia Body Art Festival’ May 2016

 

Bond-jaxeld

We’ve also had some great Jams, with some fantastically talented musicians… notably Mr Jamie Roe, who has filled in admirably for Matt Graver who had to step back from the band last autumn.  Additionally we also conspired to bring into the fold for a couple of gigs in the guitar spot messers; Kolin Durier, and Aaron Bennett.  We were also graced with the harmonica skills of Mike Flower, and we’ve even managed lately to procure a performance or two from our previously very own Matt Graver!

But not content with adding, we also managed to do some subtraction by essentially reverting back to the basic Banjaxeld ‘Power Trio’ format of Jeff, Sack and Vinny for a few gigs as well.  We’ve been careful to pick the right gigs for this, mostly semi-acoustic or Sunday afternoon gigs that are kinda laid-back.  Obviously not having the electric guitar element does alter our sound a bit but most people have been surprised that it doesn’t alter the fundamental style that has been the root core of this band since its inception, well we did start out as a three piece!

And so it’s kinda reached a full circle for us, or maybe it’s just a cycle?  Banjaxeld are effectively calling it a day …at least as a live working unit.

 

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Jeff, Vinny & Sack …The Banjaxeld ‘Power trio’ Live 2015

La Grande Finale

There are (as we anticipated) a number of speculative conclusions already floating about the ether, and a liberal quantity of misinterpreted assumptions pertaining to the cessation of Banjaxeld activities… well now the truth can be told… yes we have been visited by the personal circumstances fairies on more than the individual occasion over these last nine or ten months, and needless to say in the end their gate-crashing bad news buddies the four-to-the-floor gangsta beach donkeys of the apocalypse snuck along and did their usual job of buggering up a damn good thing!

So, taking further inspiration from the bullshit fairies, let’s just say that an end is as subjective as an excuse, or a reason, and it’s only an end by necessity of definition.  As some would say; an imaginary friend is still a friend, even if it is only a friend in your imagination.

And hey! Looking on the up-side …I’ll have a bit more time for blogging!!!

 

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Gary Frost recording Banjaxeld August 2015

Let’s make a positive memories pie!

We’ve been gigging out there in glamorous rock ‘n’ roll land for the last three and a half years, although the original ‘Power Trio’ core of the band has been together just short of four years.  Consisting of the three founder members; Jeff, Sack & Vinny, this unit has been the nucleus around which all else has materialised and flourished.  With the addition of mainstay guitarists Jamie Roe and Matt Graver in various combinations over the last three years or so, Banjaxeld has thrived as a creative band, and as a live performing unit, able to adapt our individual style while retaining the basic ethos of our musical approach.

As previously eluded to, there has been a catalogue of obstacles that we have had to overcome and so won’t dwell on them here, but the pleasure we’ve had from playing with some of the many talented musicians, and wonderful people we’ve encountered along the way has more than compensated.  We had hoped to achieve more output in terms of material other than our debut album ‘Feels Good to Feel Good’ but despite several attempts it just hasn’t happened.

Nevertheless, in the meantime we’ve continued playing and developing some of our new material in our live shows, but unfortunately we never quite got around to getting back in the studio factory to produce the next model.

Those of you that have visited our Soundcloud pages: ‘Banjaxeld Official’ & ‘Banjaxelds Loose Grooves’ will probably already be aware that we have fortunately (or should that be ‘diligently’?), consistently recorded the majority of our rehearsals and jam sessions over the years, mostly using the very handy Tascam DR-40, and as a result we have the legacy of a wealth of intimate recordings / demos, and a few live recordings that we feel are of acceptable raw quality for inclusion in a collection.

So by way of a ‘here’s what you would have won’ farewell, Sack has lovingly compiled some of these recordings and cobbled them together with spit, straw and a digital lump hammer…!

We inevitably called it ‘Relaxeld’ because these aren’t studio recordings, and the overall feel is much lighter and more immediate. Yet each of these tracks was chosen primarily because they represent special moments in time for us, moments that magically just clicked and somehow worked. And while they may not exactly represent the intended finished articles, we’re confident they offer a fairly accurate and intimate experience of what Banjaxeld are about.

So, please take them for what they are …and if you feel like embellishing them with the influence of your own imagination… go right ahead.

Track listings and associated notes and ramblings are below the link which is the full album (00:51:10 mins).

Banjaxeld – ‘Relaxeld’ …Some of the stuff we never quite got around to recording…!

‘Relaxeld’… relaxed, but with a little bit of hell in it!

Having released our debut album ‘Feels Good to Feel Good’ in 2014, (still available to purchase from the ‘Banjaxeld Web Site’) to much positive critical acclaim, and with a mobile live recording by our good friend Gary Frost of our full Vicfest 2014 set in the can (…as yet unreleased), we’d been itching to get back in the studio to record more new material.  Life, however, said NO..!

It seemed a shame to not get this stuff recorded and out there, so Sack said YES and here it is! And as well as the original material by Banjaxeld we have become synonymous with our interpretations of a few select covers, some of which we have also included on this collection.

Enjoy.

‘Relaxeld’ Track Listings and Info:

 

  1. Crazy like a fool (for you) 
Relaxeld

A little rootsy, jazzy, bluesy, Sack-time style, bare-faced cheek of a song by Sack, that’s been knocking around for a couple of years and has been featured regularly in our live set.  Probably the nearest thing he’ll ever get to a love song! With a special guest appearance on background effects by Matt’s dog; Banjo.

 

Recorded live with Tascam DR-40: Acoustic rehearsal 04-03-15 in Matt Graver’s living room, Ormesby. Norfolk.
Edited and Produced by: M I Mace (Sack)
Jeff Long: Vocal / Acoustic guitar
Matt Graver:  Acoustic guitar / Vocal
Vinny Fogg: Cajon / Vocal
Mark Mace (Sack):  Bass
Written & arranged by: M I Mace

 

  1. Rolling Home (Acoustic extended version)

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The original version of this song is available on the ‘Feels Good to Feel Good’ album. What originally started as a two minute song by Jeff, received an acoustic transformation that gives it a whole new feel. We all know the sentiment of the process of returning to the place we call home, carrying the memories of our adventures, the contrasting emotions of leaving and returning, like the ebb and flow of the tide sweeping back and forth on the beach of our lives. Yet again with added background effects by Matt’s dog; Banjo.

Recorded live with Tascam DR-40: Acoustic rehearsal 04-03-15 in Matt Graver’s living room, Ormesby. Norfolk.
Edited and Produced by: M I Mace (Sack)
Jeff Long: Vocal / Acoustic guitar
Matt Graver:  Acoustic guitar
Vinny Fogg: Cajon / Vocal
Mark Mace (Sack): Bass
Written by: Jeff Long.  Additional Music & Arrangement by: M I Mace

 

  1. It’s alright (do what you wanna)

BJX Power TrioA very new, roots, country / blues, swing-along song, from an original idea by Sack with Lyrics by Jeff.  It’s a kind of ‘take a good long look at yourself’ take on life, from a nihilistic, ‘it’s actually your choice’ point of view.  This version is one of the original takes by the ‘Power Trio’ and retains that freshness of creativity, with plenty of room for involuntary foot-tapping!

 

Recorded live with Tascam DR-40: Rehearsal 17-09-15 in Sack’s living room, Lowestoft. Suffolk.
Edited and Produced by: M I Mace (Sack)
Jeff Long: Vocal / Acoustic guitar
Vinny Fogg: Cajon / Vocal
Mark Mace (Sack): Bass
Written by: Jeff Long & M I Mace.  Arrangement by: M I Mace, Jeff Long & Vinny Fogg.

 

  1. This is the life (Amy MacDonald cover)

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A slightly pumped-up, Banjaxeld version of a cover originally brought to the band by Jeff.  A regular live favourite since the beginnings of the band, it has morphed into a furious rootsy- stomp of a cover that rarely fails to get people up and dancing at gigs. This is perhaps a less full-on, intimate version… but try telling that to your tapping feet!

 

Recorded live with Tascam DR-40: Rehearsal 10-06-15 in Matt Graver’s living room, Ormesby. Norfolk.
Edited and Produced by: M I Mace (Sack)
Jeff Long: Vocal / Acoustic guitar
Matt Graver:  Electric guitar / Vocal
Vinny Fogg: Cajon / Vocal
Mark Mace (Sack): Bass
Written by: Amy MacDonald.  Arrangement by: Jeff Long, M I Mace, Vinny Fogg & Matt Graver.

 

  1. Distant Smiles

IMG_1142 v2Another of Jeff’s dreamy, melodic songs to evoke the memories of past travels, long lost friends, and the gaining of knowledge though these experiences, in this song directly inspired by his time travelling in Thailand.  This is also a song that has been around for the last couple of years but only really featured in our acoustic sets.

 

Recorded live with Tascam DR-40: Acoustic rehearsal 04-03-15 in Matt Graver’s living room, Ormesby. Norfolk.
Edited and Produced by: M I Mace (Sack)
Jeff Long: Vocal / Acoustic guitar
Matt Graver:  Acoustic guitar / Vocal
Vinny Fogg: Cajon / Vocal
Mark Mace (Sack): Bass
Written by: Jeff Long.  Arrangement by: M I Mace & Jeff Long

 

  1. A creak of the mind (Stream of thought)

28-06-14 Banjaxeld @ Globe ClareIMG_0832sq3ink titA weekday afternoon session …sandwiched in-between rehearsing for a duo set …two acoustic guitars, recorded live jamming an instrumental blues tune by SackJeff slightly changed the original feel from a straight blues by using a folkier picking style, and Sack improvised the acoustic lead around the basic melody.  The creaks were added inadvertently but seemed to accentuate the ambiance of the piece, and eventually inspired the title of the tune.

Recorded live with Tascam DR-40: Acoustic rehearsal 07-10-14 in Sack’s music room, Lowestoft. Suffolk.
Edited and Produced by: M I Mace (Sack)
Mark Mace (Sack): Acoustic guitar
Jeff Long: Acoustic guitar
Written by: M I Mace (Sack).  Arrangement by: M I Mace & Jeff Long.

 

  1. Honey Pie (Roots version)

Soundcloud2015cdFamously introduced at gigs by Jeff as Sack’s recipe for sex, meringue and black pepper, this roots-rockin’ sack-abilly-boogie song is loaded with juicy, fruity, innuendo and suggestive smut! The ‘full on’ version has been a feature of the live set as a closing number for a good while now. It unashamedly leans toward the language of the old dirty blues of the likes of Bo Carter, it’s just good clean lust …but in a filthy way, for filthy minds! And if you don’t do innuendo… then it’s just a recipe for a spicy tart!

Recorded live with Tascam DR-40: Rehearsal 10-06-15 in Matt Graver’s living room, Ormesby. Norfolk.
Edited and Produced by: M I Mace (Sack)
Jeff Long: Vocal / Acoustic guitar
Matt Graver:  Electric guitar / Vocal
Vinny Fogg: Cajon / Vocal
Mark Mace (Sack): Bass
Written & Arrangement by: M I Mace

 

  1. Just for you

Banjaxeld @ The Murderers 14-02-14 neoA derivative of ‘Kickback’, from our debut album, originally (and imaginatively) entitled ‘Bcabkcik’ because we reversed the chords. Yet another original idea that has organically bloomed to become a song with its own identity and has made the odd appearance in our live and acoustic sets.

 

Recorded live with Tascam DR-40: Acoustic rehearsal 15-07-15 in Matt Graver’s living room, Ormesby. Norfolk.
Edited and Produced by: M I Mace (Sack)
Jeff Long: Vocal / Acoustic guitar
Matt Graver:  Mandochello
Vinny Fogg: Cajon / Vocal
Mark Mace (Sack): Bass
Written by: Jeff Long.  Arrangement by: M I Mace, Jeff Long & Vinny Fogg.


  1. Swimming against the tide

17-05-07 18 Broken 12 string-mirror2crop4Swimmingtit1If you feel that life is against you, then it probably is! …could easily be seen as Sack’s whole life philosophy as well as the theme of this bluesy, swing-along, sing-along, upbeat, half-empty, and half-full take on trying to remain optimistic, while life and reality continually try to grind you down! It has featured occasionally in our live and acoustic sets of the last year or so. I guess some people see the same horizon every day, while others see a new horizon in every new day!

Recorded live with Tascam DR-40: Acoustic rehearsal 15-07-15 in Matt Graver’s living room, Ormesby. Norfolk.
Edited and Produced by: M I Mace (Sack)
Jeff Long: Vocal / Acoustic guitar
Matt Graver:  Acoustic guitar / Vocal
Vinny Fogg: Cajon / Vocal
Mark Mace (Sack): Bass
Written & Arrangement by: M I Mace (Sack)

 

  1. Broken (Roots stomp version)

BJX-PT 3Tit FlowerAnother reworked, updated, back to the roots, version of an original song by Jeff, available on the ‘Feels Good to Feel Good’ album.  This one has been given a ‘folk-stomp’ upgrade by Sack and Vinny, with a bluesy mouth harp wail by guest musician Mike Flower.  It’s Jeff’s Russian prostitute song, for those that know the tale.  If you don’t, then maybe you should’ve come to a gig sometime and found out! This has laterly become the default live version.

Recorded live with Tascam DR-40: Rehearsal 08-10-15 at INK Studios, Lowestoft. Suffolk.
Edited and Produced by: M I Mace (Sack)
Jeff Long: Vocal / Acoustic guitar
Mike Flower:  Mouth Harp
Vinny Fogg: Drums
Mark Mace (Sack): Bass
Written by: Jeff Long.  Arrangement by: M I Mace, Jeff Long & Vinny Fogg.

 

  1. Second summer of love (Danny Wilson cover)

IMG_0740 v2A happy little song we’ve been covering live in both our full and acoustic sets for the last three years that people tend to react with ‘that sounds familiar?’ A great little song originally released by the Danny Wilson band back in the mid-nineties about the re-emergence of the festival / rave scene. Always upbeat and optimistic… invoking a return to the simple values of love and people, above the materialistic machine of corporate society… if only it was reflected in the costs of festivals in this business centred age.

Recorded live with Tascam DR-40: Rehearsal 10-06-15 in Matt Graver’s living room, Ormesby. Norfolk.
Edited and Produced by: M I Mace (Sack)
Jeff Long: Vocal / Acoustic guitar
Matt Graver:  Electric guitar / Vocal
Vinny Fogg: Cajon / Vocal
Mark Mace (Sack): Bass
Written by: Gary Clark.  Arrangement by: M I Mace, Jeff Long & Vinny Fogg.

 

  1. Maggie’s Farm (Bob Dylan cover)

BJX-PT 5Tit BennettThe arrangement of this one and only concession to the works of Dr. Bob was originally brought to the band by Sack having started the process with one of his previous blues outfits. But as with most things we do, it’s been continually organically evolved by keeping it as loose and open to the emotion of the moment as possible. Jeff has also added some extra lyrics of his own to our expanded version which has now become an integral part of the song.  Although we’ve been playing it as part of the set for a few years now, this version is one of the more recent, and features guest guitarist Aaren Bennett. It is generally considered by the band to be one of the funkiest versions to date.

Recorded live with Tascam DR-40: Rehearsal 17-12-15 at Earth Studios, Norwich. Norfolk.
Edited and Produced by: M I Mace (Sack)
Jeff Long: Vocal / Acoustic guitar
Aaren Bennett:  Electric guitar
Vinny Fogg: Drums / Vocal
Mark Mace (Sack): Bass
Written by: Bob Dylan.  Arrangement by: M I Mace, Jeff Long & Vinny Fogg.

 


All tracks Recorded as live with Tascam DR-40 and Remixed 2015 by:  M I Mace (Sack).
No Overdubs or multi-tracking employed in this process.  Some tracks may have been edited in the production.
All Editing and Production processes on this compilation by: M I Mace (Sack) 2015.
The original © copyright of individual lyrics, music, and arrangements of tracks belong to the authors as stated.

This compilation ‘Relaxeld’ © copyright Banjaxeld 2016


 

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Matt, Sack & Jeff …Banjaxeld live 2014

Outtahere…!

Banjaxeld 2012... Vinny, Jeff & Sack

Banjaxeld 2012… Vinny, Jeff & Sack

Well that’s it for now, but might be worth just keeping an eye on this space as you never know what might transpire in the near future!  If you’ve listened to our humble offering, let us know what you thought, drop a comment in the Youtube, or on our facebook, or even on here! We’d still love to get your feedback.

If you’ve been one of the lovely people who’ve come along to see us over the last few years, we can only express our sincere appreciation and hope we gave you as much enjoyment as you’ve given to us.

Thanks for putting up with us, maybe we’ll be back to disturb you again one of these days!

We leave you with loveand free music.

We’ve been Banjaxeld.  Thank you and good night.

Sack x

 

 


leicester03LCFC 07-05-16 3

 

Finally our congratulations go out to Sack’s home football team Leicester City F.C. this year’s Barclay’s Premier League Champions for the first time in their 132 year history, and they won it by 10 clear points! Come on you Fearless Foxes.

 


CD Cover Art - Front Cover

Banjaxeld – ‘Feels Good to Feel Good’ CD

 

P.S….

Our debut album ‘Feels Good to Feel Good’ is still available to make you feel good… why not make us feel good too and get yourself a copy…. they’re available to order from: www.banjaxeld.co.uk

 

 


Links:

Jamie Roe band

Gary Frost (Icecube Records)

Millie Manders

Addison’s Uncle

One Too Many

Kolin Durier

Junk Shop Poets

Tony Brook

Little Red Kings

Morganway

Mojo Preachers

The Big Gig, Halesworth

Paintopia Body Art Festival

West Norfolk Radio

Cromer Folk Festival Fringe

St Georges Theatre, Great Yarmouth

 

 

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