Adrian Roye & the Exiles
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Adrian Roye & the Exiles

London, England, United Kingdom | SELF

London, England, United Kingdom | SELF
Band Folk Acoustic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Adrian Roye & The Exiles with friends - Music For A Winter's Night II"

Email this live review Printable version There is an underground of incredibly talented but non-mainstream performers around Blighty at the moment and this ‘gig’ achieved the goal of being a celebration of these performers and a really enjoyable evening’s entertainment too.
I am a big fan of Adrian Roye, his songs are little vignettes of his life and his voice is sweet, strong and original while the other members of The Exiles are all highly talented musicians in their own right – when the two come together the result is a joy to behold.

The setting, St Leonards Church (Shoreditch in the ‘Oranges & Lemons nursery rhyme), is a stark and high-ceilinged hall with flagstone and wooden floors and a huge wooden Cross behind the altar but with twinkling candles set all around the gallery and the pillars it made for a festive location and the mulled wine and mince-pies lifted the audience on a very wet night in the East End of London.

The concept was to have different members of The Exiles play their own set along with a few specially invited guests, all performers that the band have interacted with over the last couple of years and so the audience were treated to a number of different styles but ultimately a feeling of great warmth and love between the performers.

We had a short set from Josephine Lloyd and her band and her mix of folk, classical and the downright unworldly was beautiful and well received. JonPaul Palombo gave us a few sharp and urban folk/pop/rants and the combination of his singing and the energy of his performance went down a treat – he has his own set of Winter Nights around the North that look well worth checking out.Raevennan Husbandes was a fascinating solo performer, just back after a year out getting over double retinal detachment (!), and her little girl voice and clever use of the Copycat to produce a massive sound were simply lovely.

But the evening was all about Adrian Roye and The Exiles and they did not disappoint. Simon Lewis’ cello was present for all of the solo sets but they all worked together to show just how able all four of them are and the new songs that they featured sound as though the forthcoming album will be brilliant. The highlight for me was one of the older numbers and ‘Josephine’ never sounded more heartbroken or plaintively angry. Beth Dariti’s bass playing was as good as I have heard it and Daniel’s drums were restrained – they needed to be in the acoustic of the church – while Simon’s cello was a stunning lead and perfectly suited to the environment.

All around it was a delightful evening and although the pews were too hard on this reviewer’s butt I was able to leave with a real spring in my step and massive smile – a heck of a lot of talent on show and nice people too – perfect for a Winters eve.


"Adrian Roye and The Exiles - Live Review- Music For A Winter's Night I"

The courtyard was laden with snow, and there was a bitter chill in the air. However, the brisk London weather had clearly not deterred a sizable number of hardy music fans from ascending upon this grand church in the heart of Shoreditch.

We were certainly grateful to find sanctuary within the 12th century stone walls of St Leonards Church, an apt choice of venue for an evening of original compositions and interpretations of winter themed songs from Adrian Roye and his band of Exiles.

After a brief reception, the gathered audience took a pew and festivities commenced with a rendition of the traditional Christian song ‘Wade in the Water’. Adrian and the Exiles then proceeded to treat us to some original compositions, a mix of soulful acoustic rock, with alternative funk rhythms. Throughout the night each of the Exiles performed some of their own solo material, providing us with a brief window into each member’s lives and stories, and an insight into what each member contributes to the band. Before the interval we were ushered to our feet and directed to our hymnbooks. Within moments we were chanting along fervently to the gospel like ‘Whatcha Gonna do with my Heart’, certainly a highlight of the night’s entertainment. A complementary mince pie was a just reward for our endeavours!

As we took to the steps outside, drink in hand, we were reminded how much a warm welcome, and perhaps more importantly warmer mulled wine, can contribute to collective goodwill.

As children played in the snow in a scene of almost Dickensian serenity, you would be forgiven for forgetting that we were in Shoreditch, a place that has become almost synonymous with bright lights and hedonistic revelry.

The second half continued along the same vein, with Adrian and Co performing material from their latest E.P ‘Telephones and Traffic Lights’, (available from their myspace site, follow the links), cellist Simon Lewis adding a rich dimension to complement Adrian’s soulful voice. They weren’t afraid to mix in some traditional Christmas numbers either, including an inspired performance of ‘O Holy Night’ by Adrian himself. Looking around us at this point, there was something charming about the fraternity and community spirit exerted from the mixed crowd inside the church, a far cry from the ‘cooler than thou’ mentalit

y that stifles many a gig night in East London. The band’s latest single ‘The Only Poster Child’ proved a real crowd pleaser, it’s infectious hooks and chorus greeted with noticeable foot tapping and nods of approval from the Shoreditch crowd. We were then summoned again to our feet for a final encore, as Adrian, the Exiles, and friends all joined in unison to sing ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’ to end a thoroughly engaging and unique evening of music.

As we made our way towards the exit to the melancholy of Jeff Buckley’s ‘Hallelujah’, it was impossible to ignore the spectacular inscriptions and paintings on the wall, reminding us of a more prosperous time for the church. Many of these spectacular buildings in London are unfortunately now on the road to ruin, as years of devoted effort, perseverance, and art die with the generations before it. In the ‘spit and sawdust’ world of many an aspiring London band, it’s a fine testament to Adrian and the Exiles for having the commitment and ability to bring music and vibrancy to the church once more.

- London Music Blog

"Review: Adrian Roye & The Exiles – Telephones & Traffic Lights EP"

After any “indie” band penetrate the mainstream, there is always an influx of similar, over-hyped, copycat artists who attempt to follow in their footsteps. Whether they existed before said penetration or in numerous cases, that they have simply ridden on the back of the wave generated by a like band receiving mainstream recognition. This is very much true in the case of Mumford & Sons, having released one of the largest selling albums of 2010, received national radio play as well as having played all the major festivals over the UK, they are clearly a band at the top of their game. I mean, you know you’ve made it when you get name-dropped by musical connoisseur David Cameron, right?… Right?

All my prejudices against Mumford & Sons aside, I have been astounded by the number of idealistic groups that have sprung up, working on the assumption that sticking a violin and a cello into your music will suddenly make it otherworldly and all the more worthy to listen to. So I cautiously approach any artist who has been tarnished with the “pop-folk” label, in this incidence, said artist was none other than London based quartet Adrian Roye & The Exiles. Having heard nothing by the group before, I started with debut single “The Only Poster Child“, a rousing three minute affair, debating the trials and tribulations of growing up in a community ravaged with racism, violence and intolerance of youth. The first impressions were extremely promising, sure there are the dreaded pop folk tendencies, but lead singer Adrian Roye’s elegant and soothing voice hastily covers those cracks up.

The groups newest release and debut EP titled Telephones & Traffic Lights only set to further compound my confidence in Adrian Roye & The Exiles. The bitter Valentines showcases a darker, more elusive side to the band, enhanced by Simon Lewis’s melancholic cello, whilst Roye’s lyrics recall the searing pain of losing an adored lover. The self-titled track and EP opener is lightly comparable to Newton Faulkner at his utmost, (but rarely reached brilliant) however unlike the despicable dread locked tawny hippie, the textures and layers embedded in the song allow it to breath gracefully. My personal favourite, Whatcha Gonna Do With My Heart, is a stirring but all the same enjoyable affair, Roye’s voice injecting pure, unfiltered emotion into the track. Having already garnered an avid and devoted fan-base in their hometown, Adrian Roye & The Exiles will be looking to embrace 2011 with open arms, allowing them to take their soulful, majestic music to a greater audience.

- Crack In The Road


'Telephones & Traffic Lights' EP 2009
'The Only Poster Child' Single 2010



Adrian Roye has a longstanding fascination with the hidden and neglected corners of London. Despite a busy schedule writing, rehearsing, recording and touring with the Exiles, on those rare days he has to himself, he is as likely to be found exploring an abandoned railway station as much as relaxing at home in Stoke Newington. There is a connection between the two, as if by exploring these hidden histories he is feeding his imagination for the creative process. For the photo shoot for the band’s debut EP, Telephones and Trafficlights, Adrian chose to be photographed in Parkland Walk, one of his favourite spots in London, a stretch of land that used to form the now defunct railway line between Finsbury Park and Edgware. As he explains, it’s not just the solitude that he craves; it’s a connection with the forgotten history of people and places.

There is a parallel with Roye’s songs, which can veer dramatically in mood between melancholy, soaring and infectiously upbeat, but always seek to explore those emotions, states of being and characters that other songwriters might overlook. The haunting ‘Josephine’ is one such tale, a murder ballad in which the central anti-hero is driven to despair through an unspeakable jealousy. Even at their most uplifting, Roye’s songs are strewn with people and feelings more accustomed to living in the shadows. ‘The Only Poster Child’, with its calypso drum-beat and highlife guitar hook, is as catchy a pop song as any he’s written, but takes as it subject a youth who has fallen between the cracks of the adult world, trying to forge his own way but at risk of being swallowed up by the urban underworld.

This preoccupation with outsider figures seems appropriate for a band named the Exiles. Culturally they’re a diverse bunch, as you’d expect from a band of North Londoners: Adrian’s parents are both Jamaican; bassist Beth Dariti was born to a Greek father and English mother; cellist Simon Lewis, an Anglo-Welsh father and Jewish mother, whereas drummer Dan Paton has Scottish and Jewish heritage. It turns out that their name isn’t just a coincidence: it came about because for a long time the band felt as if they were ploughing a musical furrow which left them unclassifiable musically. They were seen as too soulful for folk nights, but too rootsy to for the soul crowd, so they chose until recently to host their own events at venues such as the Luminaire and the atmospheric St Leonard’s Church in Shoreditch, building up a sizeable following. Having this time apart enabled them to forge their own musical identity, so when the wind changed and audiences seemed more open to musical cross-pollination, they were able to come back into the fold with a clear sense of purpose and self-belief.

It’s true that it’s difficult to put your finger on the sound the Exiles have. Roye’s richly emotive vocals and guitar lie at the heart of the music in the vein of soulful singer-songwriters like Tracy Chapman and Amos Lee and, closer to home, Joan Armatrading and Corinne Bailey Rae. There’s a strong folk and afrobeat influence, with cello, mandolin and high-life guitar being a regular feature of the music, but other roots genres make their way into individual tracks: here and there you can hear hints of reggae, calypso and funk. But this isn’t to say that the music is wilfully obscure, far from it: in fact, like their frontman, it’s deceptively simple; warm and accessible on the surface, yet multi-faceted and layered with complexity. As a band they lie on the city limits, at a crossroads where different musical roads intersect, without belonging to any completely.

This past Summer the band were invited over to the US to record their debut album with acclaimed producer/ arranger Michael Chorney. His work includes production on Anais Mitchell's first two albums ('Hymns For the Exiled' and 'The Brightness'), as well as arranging Anais' highly praised folk-opera 'Hadestown' , which included Ani Difranco, Justin Vernon (Bon Iver), and Greg Brown. The album is nearing completion, and previews of four songs are included in this EPK.